Preamp gain question

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Preamp gain question

Post by musiciandude011 »

Hello. So I am planning on getting a cloudlifter to plug into an irig pre hd to iphone for recording my acoustic songs. Right now I have to put the irig pre at almost max 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 to be about halfway which is plenty. I looked it up and cloudlifter is 25db of gain or “clean gain” not sure what that means. And the irig pre is 40db gain (i guess when 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 clean gain to run at its best. So my question is how come everyone says that setup is perfectly fine. Shouldn’t i be getting a rane ms1 or something so I can get to 60 without having to go up much on the irig? Also was wondering is focusrite the same thing as this irig or is it better somehow. Thanks A TON whoever can answer these questions.
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Re: Preamp gain question

Post by Stig Ø »

musiciandude011 wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 1:19 am Hello. So I am planning on getting a cloudlifter to plug into an irig pre hd to iphone for recording my acoustic songs. Right now I have to put the irig pre at almost max 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 to be about halfway which is plenty. I looked it up and cloudlifter is 25db of gain or “clean gain” not sure what that means. And the irig pre is 40db gain (i guess when 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 clean gain to run at its best. So my question is how come everyone says that setup is perfectly fine. Shouldn’t i be getting a rane ms1 or something so I can get to 60 without having to go up much on the irig? Also was wondering is focusrite the same thing as this irig or is it better somehow. Thanks A TON whoever can answer these questions.

Someone more knowledgeable will be along shortly, but if you manage to clip the input without the cloud lifter, you have enough gain. A more powerful signal won’t solve that, as you’ve already hit the maximum level your preamp can handle.
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Re: Preamp gain question

Post by Mike Stranks »

Welcome! :clap::thumbup:

To what level are you trying to record in your DAW? You should be aiming for a maximum of about -12dB on the loudest sections of songs etc. If your audio interface can deliver that without noisy artefacts you dodn't need any sort of additional inline preamp.
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Re: Preamp gain question

Post by shufflebeat »

It may be you could do with a headphone amp and get used to the recording levels you have.
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Re: Preamp gain question

Post by Arpangel »

Just a question, what mic are you using?
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Re: Preamp gain question

Post by The Elf »

musiciandude011 wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 1:19 am it clips very easily on loud songs...

Then you're simply recording too loudly - and you already have sufficient gain. As others have said, a target peak of -12dBFS is ideal (I typically suggest -10dBFS...), but beware the extra volume that vocalists find as soon as the red light goes on.
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Re: Preamp gain question

Post by musiciandude011 »

Wait I thought the purpose of an extra inline preamp is to boost so that the second preamp doesn’t have to be all the way up where it clips and you get the full sound of the mic. Are you saying it will clip no matter what even if the signal is higher from the first preamp? I am using an sm7b. The thing is it will not clip if I keep the gain lower around 8 or 7, but then the sound is so ridiculously low people can’t even hear it through their phone and it also sounds distant. When I put the gain to almost 10 the sound is so much better and clearer it picks up everything more, but it clips. Right now the only way to get a good sound is to be just below 10 and be the perfect distance away, is that how its supposed to be? And the further away you go the less detail you get. I figured the cloudlifter would make it so I can be a little further away and still get a clean sound or get closer and not clipS So i thought thats why you need to boost the raw signal first with a cloudlifter. I thought the clipping is because putting the irig setting all the way up is too much for the irig to handle and it goes red. I thought the purpose is you have to boost the signal first and then the irig wont have too much to handle because it wont be all the way up. Is that not correct? Again the sites don’t make sense because they say everywhere sm7b needs 60db clean gain but irig only is 40 at max so why would it clip if its not the irig. I see other people singing loud closely into the mic and it not clipping and I am not even doing hard rock. So i will try cloudlifter hopefully the irig doesn’t just suck because then I would need to get focusrite also. I think you’re right about the monitoring but the irig monitor is very low through headphones.
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Re: Preamp gain question

Post by musiciandude011 »

Headphone amp is a great suggestion I will use that and give cloudlifter a try (can always return it). Monitoring is definitely the key I gave up too soon on it. You guys are good.
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Re: Preamp gain question

Post by musiciandude011 »

Stig Ø wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 7:40 am
musiciandude011 wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 1:19 am Hello. So I am planning on getting a cloudlifter to plug into an irig pre hd to iphone for recording my acoustic songs. Right now I have to put the irig pre at almost max 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 to be about halfway which is plenty. I looked it up and cloudlifter is 25db of gain or “clean gain” not sure what that means. And the irig pre is 40db gain (i guess when 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 clean gain to run at its best. So my question is how come everyone says that setup is perfectly fine. Shouldn’t i be getting a rane ms1 or something so I can get to 60 without having to go up much on the irig? Also was wondering is focusrite the same thing as this irig or is it better somehow. Thanks A TON whoever can answer these questions.

Someone more knowledgeable will be along shortly, but if you manage to clip the input without the cloud lifter, you have enough gain. A more powerful signal won’t solve that, as you’ve already hit the maximum level your preamp can handle.

Is there something better than irig that can attach to iphone that can handle more gain without clipping?
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Re: Preamp gain question

Post by resistorman »

The iRig HD would appear to be a guitar interface.
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Re: Preamp gain question

Post by musiciandude011 »

resistorman wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 10:42 pm The iRig HD would appear to be a guitar interface.


No it works for vocals i have the irig pre hd 2. Its a mic interface.
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Re: Preamp gain question

Post by James Perrett »

musiciandude011 wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 9:33 pm
Is there something better than irig that can attach to iphone that can handle more gain without clipping?

You are missing the point here. If the input is clipping you don't need any more gain on the input. Buying a Cloudlifter will be a waste of money. You need to work out why your recordings are too quiet. It may be that you are comparing your recordings to compressed professional recordings where the levels are adjusted after the recording to match the target level.
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