Thursday, February 24, 2011

SomeAudioGuy Video Mini-Review: Cloud Microphone's Cloudlifter CL-1 Mic Activator

If you record with low output mics you'll always be craving more gain. The CL-1 is here to give it to you. For engineers using ribbon and dynamic mics, check out my review of Cloud Microphone's Cloudlifter CL-1 Mic Activator.

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  1. Excellent. Great advice and presentation. I'm going to refer everyone.

  2. I'm glad you liked it!
    Thanks for recommending it to others!

  3. I had a ribbin mic that I couldn't get enough sound out of. Even with 48v. It's boxed now and I've moved on to a large diaphragm condenser from Blue. Maybe the Mic Activator would have been a better choice. Mmm... Well, I'm happy with the Blue, it was meant to be.

  4. Well, unless you have an active ribbon, then you're really not supposed to use phantom power with a ribbon...

    Glad you like the Blue. They make great gear. I just like having many different mics to play with... ;-)

  5. Excellent, professionally done presentation. You presented your information in an entertaining way as well.
    BTW, the Cloud ribbon (without the active electronics) sounds wonderful and works beautifully with the "lifter/activator."

  6. Thanks Robert.
    I'm breaking in a Cascade fathead right now, my very first ribbon. Kind of an odd mic to use on spoken word recording. Will probably be producing a video on that soon too...

  7. Where's the phantom power for the Cloudlifter coming from?

  8. Hey Scully.
    The H4n in the video is supplying phantom power, but any dedicated preamp or interface should be capable of driving the CL.

  9. Hmm. Maybe I should get one. The SM57 sounds smooth with the H4n. I'm currently trying an SM57 with a dbx 286A + CL-1 to an Edirol R-09HR. I'm also swapping out the dbx for an Edirol UA25. In both cases it just sounds too... "dry." Your voice sounds smooth, and I don't think it's just your voice.

  10. Whoa. Scully. Pump the brakes.
    If I find out that, with the gear you already own, you went out and bought a $300 portable recording unit to make an SM57 sound better, I swear to the god I don't believe in, I will find where you live, drive there, and deliver a swift kick up the arse.

    Couple things you can try:
    1- Play with mic position. It's sort of like a stage actor finding their light. Move around. Change the position and angle in your booth. Move the mic around. Find that sweet spot.
    2- Try different locations. Do you usually record in a small space? Go bigger. Typically recording in a large space? Go small.
    3- Check out your preamp settings. Maybe your dbx is hitting the compressor to hard? Maybe the de-esser or expander is getting in the way?

    I typically like to record as clean as possible. Usually I'll JUST go preamp, sometimes I'll throw in a compressor as a safety net, but I never use any other gear as an effect on spoken word.

    I'll always recommend working backwards. Disable everything you can to work with as simple a recording chain as possible, and with THAT see if you can achieve the sound you want.
    After that, then it's easy to replace a de-esser or compressor, since they wont be used to CREATE the sound you want, they'll only be there to protect it.

  11. Will the cloudlifter allow me to get further from my
    dynamic mic ... sennheiser 421 ... And use it on a deskstand
    8 to 12 inches away from my mouth ? thanks

    1. It will, but dynamics need a LITTLE proximity to help flesh out the sound. You'll lose a little of that "rich/warm" at that distance. You can hear what that sounds like in my tech review videos.
      Here's one I did on a tablet case:

      I used an SM57 as an overhead, and it's not bad. It's picking up way less crap than a shotgun would.

  12. AudioGuy - Can you recommend a good, inexpensive ribbon
    microphone (hopefully under 300 USD), and would
    it be worth it looking into the used market like
    shure 33, or the 333.