Cloudlifter CL-1? Preamp n00b.

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by halcyon85, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. halcyon85

    halcyon85 Member

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    I have a very basic home recording setup. Goes from amp > SM57 > Tascam Portastudio. I'm not always pleased with the final output, think it sounds a little weak, and my uncle said I needed to get a mic preamp.

    So I stumbled upon this Cloudlifter CL-1. Does it have to be used in conjunction with a preamp or can it be used on its own?

    Any good "starter" preamp recommendations? I was also looking into the PreSonus Bluetube.

    Are preamps necessary? Is it like a have-to if you're going to record? :huh

    Thanks for any help. I'm not very knowledgeable about recording. Obviously.
     
  2. swartzfeger

    swartzfeger Member

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    A beginner preamp may be something like the Art Tube MP. Then there are boxes like the Gap Pre73 and Focusrite ISA One. Then the Grace M101 etc.

    Preamps aren't always 'necessary' but they can turn a mic that's unusable in practical terms into one that can record a decent track.

    I record my my acoustic with a SM58 (don't ask). Like your 57, it needs a lot of gain. My interface can deliver 75db of gain but only 55db of that or so is truly clean and useable. With a fingerpicked acoustic and an SM58, the noise floor and ambient noise (the whole point of using a dynamic in an untreated room) made the track unusable. It took a ridiculous amount of work to get something that sounded barely passable. A cloudlifter or fethead definitely helps.

    The thing with the cloudlifter is that it requires 48v phantom power, which something like the Art supplies. A warning with 'beginner' preamps like Art, Behringer, etc -- read user reviews from Amazon and Harmony Central to get a feel for issues that may crop up. Let others be your guinea pig. Caveat emptor.
     
  3. halcyon85

    halcyon85 Member

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    Excellent. Thanks for the info!
     
  4. batsbrew

    batsbrew Member

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    don't buy a beginner preamp if you can afford something nicer.

    otherwise, you start the endless cycle of selling and upgrading.
     
  5. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    I think there's a RNC Really Nice Preamp in the Emporium...

    Grab that, your 57 and if you can't get good tracks with them, it's not the rig...
     
  6. WKG

    WKG Member

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    Try changing your mic placement, turn up the amp, eq etc. There should be no reason you can't get a strong enough signal into the Tascam with an amp and a 57. Also, alot of folks make the mistake of eqing their amps while standing to the side. Adjust your eq with your headphone or the amp pointing directly at your face, you want to hear what the mic will hear.

    What model is the Tascam? What are you using to mix/monitor your tracks?
     
  7. halcyon85

    halcyon85 Member

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    I'm using the DP-008 and a pair of Sony MDR-V150s to monitor. All the recording is done with a 1973 Champ. After recording I do editing with Audacity. Very basic stuff. I live in an apartment so turning the amp up, even if it's a Champ, is an issue sometimes. I wouldn't know the first thing about hooking up an external mixer to the Tascam, or even what kind of mixer to get. I didn't know if it was necessary, or if it would provide me any extra control over the recording.

    I haven't really experimented with mic placements too much, just mic angles, so I will heed your advice and see what comes up. Thanks to everyone else for their input, too!
     
  8. WKG

    WKG Member

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    A Champ will certainly get the job done. I'd double check the input settings/switches also on the DP-008, make sure you've enough signal coming in. Headphone mixing can be challenging as they can over accentuate frequencies and the compensation in your mix does not always translate when you play it back on other systems. Learning your headphones by listening to other mixes might help you recognize that. Audacity is fine. Make sure though that your mix levels are up a bit though, most commercial music nowadays is ridiculously slammed by limiting to make it as loud as possible. If you are comparing your mixes that may be a big difference.
     
  9. Jordan8865

    Jordan8865 Member

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    The CL-1 will make a cheap pre sound better though. Even with many mid range to high end pre's there isn't always enough gain provided for certain microphone/sound source combos. The SM7b and SM57 are common mice that often benefit from the Cloudlifters
     

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