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  #1  
Old 02-14-2019, 09:17 PM
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TBman TBman is offline
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Default Cloudlifter advice needed

So I rushed out and decided (without any knowledge) that I needed a Cloudlifter to help me get more volume from my ribbon mic and at the same time reduce the self noise from the equation.

No.

It doesn't appear to be the intent of the Cloudlifter as I didn't get that result.

Basically from what I can tell I received no benefit from the Cloudlifter at all.

My xlr cables are all 3-4 foot long btw. I just received the device today and I will email the seller to send me a return label.

I'm guessing part of the problem is that my ribbon mic is active, not passive.
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Last edited by TBman; 02-15-2019 at 05:18 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:17 PM
muscmp muscmp is offline
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i have one and it is great with my cascade fat head ribbons, shure 57s and practically anything i throw at it. clean boost so i don't have to crank the preamp so high and get noise.

it does say in the manual, "passive" microphones.

play music!
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:07 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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You should be getting the volume boost regardless.
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:10 AM
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You should get a boost (caveat: I've never tried a cloudlifter). BUT, whether an extra gain stage will help with your noise depends on where the noise is coming from. If the noise is from your preamp - that you have to crank it higher than its optimal range to get enough level, then maybe something like this can help, assuming it's quieter than your existing preamp. if the noise is actually from your mic, not your preamp, then it's not going to help. Say your mic puts out X amount of noise, and you need to crank up your preamp to 60db of gain. Ignoring preamp noise, the noise from your mic (or room, for that matter), will be 60 times X. Now you add the cloudlifter and it gives you 20 db. Great, now you only need 40 db from your preamp. But now you have (20+40) times X. Hmm, that's still 60db of gain, and you're amplifying the mic's self noise by 60db, exactly the same as you did without it.

So you sort of have to figure out where the noise is coming from to know how to address it. It very well could be your preamp instead of the mic, in which case, cloudlifter could help. But if I recall, you said the mic itself has a noisier spec, so if that's it, just breaking up the gain into multiple stages won't do anything to fix that part of the problem. Make sense?

EDIT: just to clarify, I'm playing pretty fast and loose with the "math" above. 60 db gain is not "60 times" the level. But the concept's right if you ignore my gross simplification. Also, in this situation, if cloudlifter adds any noise itself (and all electronics have some noise), then the later stage will also amplify that. So there's a balancing act involved. An early gain stage can help - many mics have built-in gain stages, too, but you have to be sure you're solving the actual problem you have.

Last edited by Doug Young; 02-15-2019 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 02-15-2019, 05:19 AM
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Ok, thanks everyone. Live and learn
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Old 02-15-2019, 10:23 AM
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Hi Barry,
I agree with the feedback you've gotten from Doug, and I'm wondering if the issue you need to address (when using your ribbon mic) is the signal to noise ratio you are getting when recording your source (the level of your recorded music compared to the self noise level of the mic when there is no playing).

If you're getting too much noise in the recording (after the signal (playing plus mic noise) is amplified) then maybe you need to get your guitar's sound pressure level as seen by the mic to a higher level. To do that, possibilities include getting the mic closer to the guitar or playing louder. I'd suggest trying that, otherwise you'll have to get a lower noise mic and amplify it with a low noise preamp.
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:09 AM
gwlee7 gwlee7 is offline
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Let me ask this question. Did you cut on your phantom power? Cloudlifter needs phantom power to work properly. And, yes it is more appropriate for passive mics.
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlee7 View Post
Let me ask this question. Did you cut on your phantom power? Cloudlifter needs phantom power to work properly. And, yes it is more appropriate for passive mics.
No, the PP is still on. I just messed up and bought the wrong thing. I'm returning it.
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Old 02-15-2019, 03:25 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBman View Post
I'm guessing part of the problem is that my ribbon mic is active, not passive.
If your ribbon mic is active, gain should not have been a problem in the first place. Active ribbons will take gain about the same as a typical condenser. If you had to crank the gain, there's either a problem with where you're positioning the mic, or a problem in your signal chain (mic, cable, preamp).
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Old 02-15-2019, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
If your ribbon mic is active, gain should not have been a problem in the first place. Active ribbons will take gain about the same as a typical condenser. If you had to crank the gain, there's either a problem with where you're positioning the mic, or a problem in your signal chain (mic, cable, preamp).
Yeah, I shot myself in the foot, jumped the gun and bought the wrong item. Thanks.
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  #11  
Old 02-15-2019, 11:08 PM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBman View Post
Yeah, I shot myself in the foot, jumped the gun and bought the wrong item. Thanks.

Just curious but what's the right item?
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Old 02-16-2019, 05:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runamuck View Post
Just curious but what's the right item?
I was speaking figuratively, but I'll let you know if I find it.
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  #13  
Old 02-16-2019, 08:51 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runamuck View Post
Just curious but what's the right item?
An active ribbon mic with higher sensitivity.

Look at the AT4080. It's slightly more sensitive than an AKG C414.

How'd they do it? Beats me.

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Ty Ford

Last edited by Kerbie; 04-02-2019 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Edited.
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  #14  
Old 02-16-2019, 10:07 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is online now
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If the problem turns out to be the mic, I've had good results with my Blue Woodpecker so that might be another option. Used ones can be had at a pretty nice savings these days.
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  #15  
Old 02-17-2019, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
If the problem turns out to be the mic, I've had good results with my Blue Woodpecker so that might be another option. Used ones can be had at a pretty nice savings these days.
My Woodpeckers were amazingly noisy. What was worse, was that one was significantly noisier than the other, which made it stand out even more. I had a couple of the first ones made, maybe they've gotten better, but I'd tend to avoid them. I did like the sound, if you overlooked the noise.
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