Cloudlifter

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
Post Reply
User avatar
Marco Raaphorst
Posts: 2121
Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Contact:

20 Jan 2018

The Cloudlifter is a device which can turn any non-phantom powered microphone (dynamic, ribbon) into a phantom powered one. This causes a gain boost which means your pre-amp needs less gain, resulting in possibly less noise.

I tested it using my Shure SM57 with a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, a rather cheap setup with possibly not the best pre-amp in the world, but found out that the Cloudlifter even INCREASES the noise.

I tested it 2 times using different cables and different mic placement. Both test proved me the Cloudlifter didn't improve the signal at all.

I also noticed that with the Cloudlifter the signal became more prone to picking up computer noises (from my MacBook Pro and iPhone).

The first part of the test is without the Cloudlifter, the second part is with the Cloudlifter. The jump in noise level should be obvious, if not: check your ears! :D



How I performed this test:
- I placed my SM57 above my iPhone
- played back a 440 hz test tone on the iPhone
- recorded this while I measured the input level (-35 dB)
- the input gain on the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 was all the way up (maximum)
- I then removed the iPhone so the SM57 would not pickup any computer noises and kept on recording the noise for half a minute
- I then put the Cloudlifter in between the SM57 and my Scarlett 2i4, put the iPhone back in place on exactly the same spot
- I activated the 48 volts for phantom power
- played back a 440 hz test tone on the iPhone
- adjusted the gain to make sure the input level was -35 dB (thanks to additional phantom power the input gain didn't need to be turned all the way up)
- I then removed the iPhone so the SM57 would not pickup any computer noises and kept on recording the noise for half a minute

I removed the test tones from the original recorded clips and increased the recording level about 40 dBs. Both clips are 100% balanced using the test tones. As you can hear the noise increases when using the Cloudlifter. It should be the other way around but I found out this not to be the case.
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

User avatar
joeyluck
Moderator
Posts: 5625
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: Richmond, VA

22 Jan 2018

I use the Cloudlifter with my Beta 57A and Zoom H5 and have only noticed better results when using it.
Not sure what the issue you are experiencing might be attributed to.

User avatar
Marco Raaphorst
Posts: 2121
Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Contact:

23 Jan 2018

joeyluck wrote:
22 Jan 2018
I use the Cloudlifter with my Beta 57A and Zoom H5 and have only noticed better results when using it.
Not sure what the issue you are experiencing might be attributed to.
Probably the Zoom has a bad pre-amp.

I know the H5 is noisier than for example my Sony D50. Focusrite has great pre-amps as well. Cool test for these recorders: plug an Electro-Voice RE50 into it. No need for Cloudlifting on a good pre-amp.
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

User avatar
joeyluck
Moderator
Posts: 5625
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: Richmond, VA

23 Jan 2018

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
23 Jan 2018
joeyluck wrote:
22 Jan 2018
I use the Cloudlifter with my Beta 57A and Zoom H5 and have only noticed better results when using it.
Not sure what the issue you are experiencing might be attributed to.
Probably the Zoom has a bad pre-amp.

I know the H5 is noisier than for example my Sony D50. Focusrite has great pre-amps as well. Cool test for these recorders: plug an Electro-Voice RE50 into it. No need for Cloudlifting on a good pre-amp.
I wouldn't call it a bad preamp. It's -121 dBu I believe, which is pretty decent. But it's behaving as it should without the Cloudlifter. I've tested the Cloudlifter with other interfaces and had similar results; more clean gain. Funny, I actually do have bad preamps on my Focusrite Saffire interface. When did you get the Cloudlifter? Could it be that the Cloudlifter itself is faulty? They offer a lifetime warranty. I would contact Cloud with your findings and see what they say.

User avatar
Marco Raaphorst
Posts: 2121
Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Contact:

23 Jan 2018

joeyluck wrote:
23 Jan 2018
Marco Raaphorst wrote:
23 Jan 2018


Probably the Zoom has a bad pre-amp.

I know the H5 is noisier than for example my Sony D50. Focusrite has great pre-amps as well. Cool test for these recorders: plug an Electro-Voice RE50 into it. No need for Cloudlifting on a good pre-amp.
I wouldn't call it a bad preamp. It's -121 dBu I believe, which is pretty decent. But it's behaving as it should without the Cloudlifter. I've tested the Cloudlifter with other interfaces and had similar results; more clean gain. Funny, I actually do have bad preamps on my Focusrite Saffire interface. When did you get the Cloudlifter? Could it be that the Cloudlifter itself is faulty? They offer a lifetime warranty. I would contact Cloud with your findings and see what they say.
Tried many recorders. The H5 is not bad but it doesn't have a clean pre-amp like my Sony D-50. For a Electro-Voice RE50 the H5 is tricky (noisy).

Cloudlifter could be faulty but I have no reason to think it is.

I found a test a while ago online of a guy who thought Cloudlifter sounded better. He shared the WAV's. I found out that he didn't get better results also. He said he did but when I downloaded the files (wavs) I found out this was not the case.
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

User avatar
joeyluck
Moderator
Posts: 5625
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: Richmond, VA

23 Jan 2018

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
23 Jan 2018
joeyluck wrote:
23 Jan 2018


I wouldn't call it a bad preamp. It's -121 dBu I believe, which is pretty decent. But it's behaving as it should without the Cloudlifter. I've tested the Cloudlifter with other interfaces and had similar results; more clean gain. Funny, I actually do have bad preamps on my Focusrite Saffire interface. When did you get the Cloudlifter? Could it be that the Cloudlifter itself is faulty? They offer a lifetime warranty. I would contact Cloud with your findings and see what they say.
Tried many recorders. The H5 is not bad but it doesn't have a clean pre-amp like my Sony D-50. For a Electro-Voice RE50 the H5 is tricky (noisy).

Cloudlifter could be faulty but I have no reason to think it is.

I found a test a while ago online of a guy who thought Cloudlifter sounded better. He shared the WAV's. I found out that he didn't get better results also. He said he did but when I downloaded the files (wavs) I found out this was not the case.
Gotcha. Well I would still reach out to them with your findings and go from there. As advertised: "+25db of ultraclean, transparent gain."

User avatar
miscend
Posts: 1026
Joined: 09 Feb 2015

23 Jan 2018

From what I’ve heard the cloudlifter should provide clean gain for low output mics like ribbon mics and the SM7s.

Is it possible the noise is coming from a different source? Have you tried a different XLR cable?

User avatar
Marco Raaphorst
Posts: 2121
Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Contact:

23 Jan 2018

miscend wrote:
23 Jan 2018
From what I’ve heard the cloudlifter should provide clean gain for low output mics like ribbon mics and the SM7s.

Is it possible the noise is coming from a different source? Have you tried a different XLR cable?
Yes, tried different cables.

Ran the test 2 times.
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

User avatar
Marco Raaphorst
Posts: 2121
Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Contact:

23 Jan 2018

joeyluck wrote:
23 Jan 2018
Marco Raaphorst wrote:
23 Jan 2018


Tried many recorders. The H5 is not bad but it doesn't have a clean pre-amp like my Sony D-50. For a Electro-Voice RE50 the H5 is tricky (noisy).

Cloudlifter could be faulty but I have no reason to think it is.

I found a test a while ago online of a guy who thought Cloudlifter sounded better. He shared the WAV's. I found out that he didn't get better results also. He said he did but when I downloaded the files (wavs) I found out this was not the case.
Gotcha. Well I would still reach out to them with your findings and go from there. As advertised: "+25db of ultraclean, transparent gain."
Send it back, will receive my money back. No problem. Lesson learned.
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

User avatar
joeyluck
Moderator
Posts: 5625
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: Richmond, VA

23 Jan 2018

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
23 Jan 2018
joeyluck wrote:
23 Jan 2018


Gotcha. Well I would still reach out to them with your findings and go from there. As advertised: "+25db of ultraclean, transparent gain."
Send it back, will receive my money back. No problem. Lesson learned.
Ok. That's good you can still do that.

I'd still be curious though. Tons of professionals use this for radio and TV broadcast, voiceovers, and many incorporating it into live sound setups even on wireless mic receivers. And that's on top of already amazing, professional preamps. Haven't heard any complaints and have only seen nothing but great reviews and results from tests.

User avatar
Marco Raaphorst
Posts: 2121
Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Contact:

23 Jan 2018

joeyluck wrote:
23 Jan 2018
Marco Raaphorst wrote:
23 Jan 2018


Send it back, will receive my money back. No problem. Lesson learned.
Ok. That's good you can still do that.

I'd still be curious though. Tons of professionals use this for radio and TV broadcast, voiceovers, and many incorporating it into live sound setups even on wireless mic receivers. And that's on top of already amazing, professional preamps. Haven't heard any complaints and have only seen nothing but great reviews and results from tests.
No idea. Do you have an idea?
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

User avatar
normen
Posts: 3429
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

23 Jan 2018

Well you have to check where your noise is coming from.. This thing is effectively just a gain boost and impedance decoupling. If the noise floor you have in your recording is from your mic you will obviously increase the noise if you boost it with this thing. If the noise floor is coming from your mic preamp though - for example because you have to work with a lot of gain to get signal out of a ribbon mic - the cloudlifter will help, probably also because of the decoupling.

User avatar
joeyluck
Moderator
Posts: 5625
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: Richmond, VA

23 Jan 2018

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
23 Jan 2018
joeyluck wrote:
23 Jan 2018


Ok. That's good you can still do that.

I'd still be curious though. Tons of professionals use this for radio and TV broadcast, voiceovers, and many incorporating it into live sound setups even on wireless mic receivers. And that's on top of already amazing, professional preamps. Haven't heard any complaints and have only seen nothing but great reviews and results from tests.
No idea. Do you have an idea?
I don't. That's why I think you should contact Cloud :)
If your window to return is closing soon, maybe go ahead with the return in the meantime. But I assume you bought the Cloudlifter because you wanted the benefits of what it claims and reportedly does. And I think it's definitely worth contacting them to get to the bottom of it.

User avatar
Marco Raaphorst
Posts: 2121
Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Contact:

23 Jan 2018

normen wrote:
23 Jan 2018
Well you have to check where your noise is coming from.. This thing is effectively just a gain boost and impedance decoupling. If the noise floor you have in your recording is from your mic you will obviously increase the noise if you boost it with this thing. If the noise floor is coming from your mic preamp though - for example because you have to work with a lot of gain to get signal out of a ribbon mic - the cloudlifter will help, probably also because of the decoupling.
The SM57 is not a very clean mic. But I am not in a noisy room. I am a guitar player so I absolutely make sure I am recording relatively noise free using my old Strat.
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

User avatar
Marco Raaphorst
Posts: 2121
Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Contact:

23 Jan 2018

joeyluck wrote:
23 Jan 2018
Marco Raaphorst wrote:
23 Jan 2018


No idea. Do you have an idea?
I don't. That's why I think you should contact Cloud :)
If your window to return is closing soon, maybe go ahead with the return in the meantime. But I assume you bought the Cloudlifter because you wanted the benefits of what it claims and reportedly does. And I think it's definitely worth contacting them to get to the bottom of it.
I don't think mine is faulty. Have send them back already. I am sure about this. Doesn't work for me.
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

User avatar
normen
Posts: 3429
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

23 Jan 2018

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
23 Jan 2018
The SM57 is not a very clean mic. But I am not in a noisy room. I am a guitar player so I absolutely make sure I am recording relatively noise free using my old Strat.
If the boost from the cloudlifter raises the noise it is coming from the mic/room, period.

Edit: Well or the unit is broken :)

User avatar
Marco Raaphorst
Posts: 2121
Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Contact:

23 Jan 2018

normen wrote:
23 Jan 2018
Marco Raaphorst wrote:
23 Jan 2018
The SM57 is not a very clean mic. But I am not in a noisy room. I am a guitar player so I absolutely make sure I am recording relatively noise free using my old Strat.
If the boost from the cloudlifter raises the noise it is coming from the mic/room, period.

Edit: Well or the unit is broken :)
Yes SM57 is noisy, not hum shielding stuff.

Found out that Tape Op concluded the same thing (https://tapeop.com/reviews/gear/85/clou ... activator/):
One thing about the Cloudlifter became clear in this situation; if the mic itself is inherently noisy, the Cloudlifter is going to amplify that noise along with the desired signal.
So I guess on different mic the Cloudlifter might be cool. Didn't try my Electro Voice RE50 though since I only use that mobile. And the SM58 I never use. And my Joe Meek is already a condensor... but the SM57 is my favorite mic for many things.

Been there, done that :D
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

User avatar
EnochLight
Posts: 4657
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

25 Feb 2018

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
23 Jan 2018
joeyluck wrote:
23 Jan 2018


Ok. That's good you can still do that.

I'd still be curious though. Tons of professionals use this for radio and TV broadcast, voiceovers, and many incorporating it into live sound setups even on wireless mic receivers. And that's on top of already amazing, professional preamps. Haven't heard any complaints and have only seen nothing but great reviews and results from tests.
No idea. Do you have an idea?
I've used mine with Balance, as well as my current RME Babyface Pro, with a $600 MXL R77L ribbon (with Lundahl transformer). In both cases, it increases the gain very noticeably without any noticeable increase in noise floor. In a word, it sounds sublime. It's literally the most affordable and best sounding option for those who need something like it.

That said, if you sent it back and got a refund, that's cool.

EDIT: ah, saw that you figured out the cause - my bad!
Marco Raaphorst wrote:
23 Jan 2018
Yes SM57 is noisy, not hum shielding stuff. ..So I guess on different mic the Cloudlifter might be cool.
Windows 10 64-bit | Reason 10 |  Studio One 3.5| Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 4.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | M-Audio Trigger Finger Pro

User avatar
selig
Moderator
Posts: 7143
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

26 Feb 2018

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
normen wrote:
23 Jan 2018
If the boost from the cloudlifter raises the noise it is coming from the mic/room, period.

Edit: Well or the unit is broken :)
Yes SM57 is noisy, not hum shielding stuff.

Found out that Tape Op concluded the same thing (https://tapeop.com/reviews/gear/85/clou ... activator/):
One thing about the Cloudlifter became clear in this situation; if the mic itself is inherently noisy, the Cloudlifter is going to amplify that noise along with the desired signal.
So I guess on different mic the Cloudlifter might be cool. Didn't try my Electro Voice RE50 though since I only use that mobile. And the SM58 I never use. And my Joe Meek is already a condensor... but the SM57 is my favorite mic for many things.

Been there, done that :D
Just curious what things you like your SM57 for? For me, it’s snares and guitar amps, both of which sometimes actually need an inline pad rather than more gain!

That being said, I probably need to get a cloudlifter for my SM7b, which is one of my all time favorite dynamic microphones. I could probably use it for more things if I added the cloudlifter!

If you like your SM57 but not it’s noise, look into the SM7b as a “high end” (read: lower noise) dynamic microphone that has a similar quality to the SM57.


Sent from some crappy device using Tapatalk
Selig Audio, LLC

User avatar
Marco Raaphorst
Posts: 2121
Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Contact:

26 Feb 2018

selig wrote:
26 Feb 2018
Marco Raaphorst wrote:
Yes SM57 is noisy, not hum shielding stuff.

Found out that Tape Op concluded the same thing (https://tapeop.com/reviews/gear/85/clou ... activator/):


So I guess on different mic the Cloudlifter might be cool. Didn't try my Electro Voice RE50 though since I only use that mobile. And the SM58 I never use. And my Joe Meek is already a condensor... but the SM57 is my favorite mic for many things.

Been there, done that :D
Just curious what things you like your SM57 for? For me, it’s snares and guitar amps, both of which sometimes actually need an inline pad rather than more gain!

That being said, I probably need to get a cloudlifter for my SM7b, which is one of my all time favorite dynamic microphones. I could probably use it for more things if I added the cloudlifter!

If you like your SM57 but not it’s noise, look into the SM7b as a “high end” (read: lower noise) dynamic microphone that has a similar quality to the SM57.


Sent from some crappy device using Tapatalk
I love the SM57 for acoustic guitars and voices a lot. As well as for electric guitars as well.

I have a dead vocal booth but I never use it, so I rather use the SM57 for voice overs because it doesn't pick up much of the room acoustics. Much easier to use, sitting behind my laptop.

And why would a guitar player like me use anything else than a SM57? :D
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

Post Reply
  • Information
  • Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests