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Shure SM7B with or without Cloudlifter/Fethead

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  • Shure SM7B with or without Cloudlifter/Fethead

    Good day,

    I'm considering getting a Shure SM7B for vocal recording and streaming, but I have a slight dilemma.

    I have a Behringer UMC202HD for my interface. It already has low-noise preamps at ~-129dBu vs the Fethead's ~-130dBu; which is pretty-much negligeable. I'm assuming the dBu is identical as this guy's video is.
    https://youtu.be/T8HwNnJAjbQ

    The issue comes from the fact that the Shure SM7b is very low output. My question is, do I need an in-line preamp if the self-noise is about the same as the preamp in my current audio interface?

    Thanks
    GreatOz

  • #2
    Re: Shure SM7B with or without Cloudlifter/Fethead

    Originally posted by GreatOz View Post
    Good day,

    I'm considering getting a Shure SM7B for vocal recording and streaming, but I have a slight dilemma.

    I have a Behringer UMC202HD for my interface. It already has low-noise preamps at ~-129dBu vs the Fethead's ~-130dBu; which is pretty-much negligeable. I'm assuming the dBu is identical as this guy's video is.
    https://youtu.be/T8HwNnJAjbQ

    The issue comes from the fact that the Shure SM7b is very low output. My question is, do I need an in-line preamp if the self-noise is about the same as the preamp in my current audio interface?

    Thanks
    GreatOz
    The issue with an SM7B isn't the self noise, but the total gain of the mic preamp. I'm not familiar with the Behringer UMC202HD, but this thread implies that it'll work but be rather noisy. A Fethead or Cloudlifter will greatly improve the overall noise floor because you won't have to run your mic preamp all the way up.
    Originally posted by crusty philtrum
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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    • #3
      Re: Shure SM7B with or without Cloudlifter/Fethead

      I don’t need one with my Warm Audio preamps, but if I’m going straight into my interface (Tascam US-1800), I do. It all depends on the available gain of your pre.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Shure SM7B with or without Cloudlifter/Fethead

        Whenever I get around to ordering an SM7B, I'll check then. If the noise isn't really noticeable in practice, I'll skip the in-line preamp; otherwise, I'll get the in-line preamp. Either way, I'll report back here for the findings. I'm sure there are other U-Phoria users who want the answer to this question.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Shure SM7B with or without Cloudlifter/Fethead

          I'm using my SM7B into a Scarlett 2i2 with a CL1 Cloudlifter. It runs off of phantom power from the preamp. I wouldn't run the mic without it. It gives the mic the gain it seems to need to work best with no added noise whatsoever.

          If you're not sure if you need one or not, get one from somewhere with a return policy and try it out. As for me, I won't be getting rid of mine. Ever.
          Last edited by B2D; 07-19-2020, 03:36 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: Shure SM7B with or without Cloudlifter/Fethead

            It's all about usable signal range, most stand alone preamps won't need it, and most DAW interfaces will.
            ďFor me, when everything goes wrong Ė thatís when adventure starts.Ē Yvonne Chouinard

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            • #7
              Re: Shure SM7B with or without Cloudlifter/Fethead

              The interface should have a mic preamp. My UMC22 does. If you can plug a regular low Z mic into an interface, then it has a mic preamp.


              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Shure SM7B with or without Cloudlifter/Fethead

                Originally posted by DavidRavenMoon View Post
                The interface should have a mic preamp. My UMC22 does. If you can plug a regular low Z mic into an interface, then it has a mic preamp.


                Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                If in reference to my comment, my point is most multi channel DAW interface mic pres have less onboard gain and headroom than standalone single or dual channel professional mic pres. -due to size constraints, heat dissipation, cost etc.... so usually interfaces are where a cloudlifter becomes a must -also cheaper mixers.
                ďFor me, when everything goes wrong Ė thatís when adventure starts.Ē Yvonne Chouinard

                Comment


                • #9
                  Shure SM7B with or without Cloudlifter/Fethead

                  Originally posted by NegativeEase View Post
                  If in reference to my comment, my point is most multi channel DAW interface mic pres have less onboard gain and headroom than standalone single or dual channel professional mic pres. -due to size constraints, heat dissipation, cost etc.... so usually interfaces are where a cloudlifter becomes a must -also cheaper mixers.
                  Where did you get that idea? Itís an op amp just like in a guitar pedal. If itís USB itís running on 5 volts. You can get hundreds of times the gain without breaking a sweat. No heat is generated. Itís not a 10 watt amp!

                  My interface was cheap. I can drive the channel into distortion.

                  Itís more than you need. Your DAW can also boost the signal. You can also use a compressor plugin.


                  Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                  • #10
                    Re: Shure SM7B with or without Cloudlifter/Fethead

                    Originally posted by DavidRavenMoon View Post
                    My interface was cheap. I can drive the channel into distortion.

                    It’s more than you need. Your DAW can also boost the signal. You can also use a compressor plugin.
                    It is NOT more than you need. A Shure SM7B has a rather unusually low output as far as microphones go, and it typically requires 60db of clean gain which is an extreme stretch for most interface preamps. If your interface will do 60db of gain, it might not be entirely clean and it almost definitely won't do so without adding a bunch of noise. Boosting a not-loud-enough track in the DAW will also boost any noise in the track, so it's not a good solution. The whole point of a Cloudlifter/Fethead is to add 20db of clean gain to a preamp, which is plenty for an SM7B with pretty much any preamp.
                    Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

                    Comment

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