New Music Gear Monday: Cloudlifter X Mic Activator

There are so many microphones that we love that have a low output gain, which means it’s time to crank up the preamp to get the level to where it needs to be. Sounds good in theory, but what that often means is adding noise that’s just unacceptable in quiet recording situations. The original Cloudlifter CL-1 from Cloud Microphones was frequently the answer to this dilemma thanks to the extra 20dB of super clean gain it added to bring those ribbon mics up to speed level-wise. Now the new Cloudlifter X goes even further to bring a few new features that customers have long asked for.

Cloudlifter X mic activator

It’s All In The Vibe

When the CL-1 hit the market in 2011 it was a sensation for users of SM7Bs and ribbon mics, but through the years other manufacturers have gotten into the act with their own versions that seemed to have a “vibe” that the CL-1 lacked (yes, it’s possible to be too clean sometimes). Cloudlifter X takes care of that with the inclusion of a brand new custom-designed Cinemag transformer that adds just a touch of harmonics and saturation the harder it’s hit. If some subtle vibe and character is what you’ll want, this little gem will provide it.

The second asked-for feature was a different gain structure with even more clean gain. The original CL-1 provided a fixed 20dB of gain, which was actually too much for some applications. Cloudlifter X fixes that by allowing you to select either 12dB or a full 36dB of gain thanks to a selector switch on the output panel on the side.

By the way, like the CL-1, Cloudlifter X is powered by phantom power so you never have to worry about changing batteries, and it’s XLR in and out for easy connection between the mic and mic preamp.

If Something Was Missing

A gain stage device like the Cloudlifter is something that you marvel over when you first add it to your signal chain and don’t think of it again as it sits there silently doing its job. That may also be the case for Cloudlifter X, but the new features are not only going to make setup go faster, but give you that little something extra that your signal chain was missing.

Cloudlifter X retails for $269 and can be found at most audio retailers and on Amazon. Check out the website for more info, or watch the video below.

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