I’m planning to get a Cloudlifter to plug into an iRig Pre HD, which I connect to an iPhone for recording my acoustic songs with a Shure SM7B mic. Right now, I have to set the iRig preamp almost at its maximum gain to get a clean sound, but then it clips very easily on loud songs. Someone said that with the Cloudlifter you only need the iRig Pre gain to be set about halfway, which is plenty. I looked it up and the Cloudlifter adds 25dB of gain or “clean gain” (though I’m not sure what that means). And the iRig Pre can add 40dB of gain (I guess that’s when it’s maxed). So that would mean the iRig would have to be almost all the way up to get to 60, right? But everywhere it says SM7B needs 60dB of clean gain to run at its best. How come everyone says that setup is perfectly fine? Should I get a Rane MS1 or something so I can get to 60dB without having to go up much on the iRig? Also, I was wondering if a Focusrite interface is the same thing as this iRig, or if it is better somehow.
SOS Forum post
SOS Technical Editor Hugh Robjohns replies: First, there isn’t any need here for a Cloudlifter or other preamp: the SM7B is a fine mic, and the iRig is capable of making clean recordings. The second thing to point out is that context is everything when you read advice on the Internet! In a professional studio setup, the A‑D converters typically need a huge signal level before clipping, and to get the signal from an SM7B...
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