Spoken word and noise floor tests comparing the EV RE27 with and without a Cloudlifter. Is lowering pre-amp gain worth the price?

Word on the street is that you don't need a Cloudlifter Mic Activator while using an Electro-Voice RE27N/D microphone. However, to get the desired input levels, I had to run the Mackie Big Knob Studio+ pre-amp at about 90-95% gain. This seemed like a lot and I was afraid I was introducing quite a bit of pre-amp noise into my recordings.

In steps the Cloudlifter. Offering a 20-25 dB increase of ultra-clean gain for dynamic and ribbon microphones, I can now lower my pre-amp gain to 50-55%. But what does that actually sound like with the EV RE27?


Equipment Used:

This video is not sponsored. The review is unbiased and I purchased all of the equipment.

Transcript

A Cloudlifter with an Electro Voice RE 27? Let’s do some comparisons and see if you actually need one.

What’s up? I am Sean SW Hammond and I’ll doing a quick pairing of the Cloudlifter CL-1 Mic Activator with an Electro Voice RE27 N/D. I’ll give comparisons of me speaking with and without the Cloudlifter, along with providing noise floor levels. All of this will be taking place through the Mackie Big Knob Studio Plus, maxing out the pre-amp at 60dB and then matching that same output level with Cloudlifter attached.

As surprising as it may be, I’ve discovered that a quality XLR cable makes all the difference in the world while using a Cloudlifter and for this test I’ll be using the Audioblast HQ-4 Star Quad cable. For all things XLR noise related and to see a nice side-by-side comparison GLS, Monster, and Blue XLR cables, check out my XLR Noise Test video.

For consistency, the audio samples will be unprocessed. The RE27 will also be in its flat position. I’m using this sine wave to consistently match level with and without the Cloudlifter. First up is the speaking test without the Cloudlifter.

Now with the Cloudlifter with about 55-60% gain.

Now I’ll be doing some A / B tests of room noise.

One last comparison, this time the Amplitude Statistics. Without the Cloudlifter, the noise floor has an Average RMS of -81.07dB.

With the Cloudlifter, I have an average noise floor of -83.46dB.

So, what do you think? There is a slight improvement with the Cloudlifter, you can just barely hear it, but overall it’s pretty expensive for a two and half decibel noise floor reduction, especially when I was already in that sub 80dB noise floor range. I like not having to push the Mackie pre amp quite as hard—under normal recording with the Cloudlifter, I now run the pre amp at about 50-55%. Without the Cloudlifter I was running the gain at 90-95%.

For some reason it just feels better to me, but according to our Amplitude Statistics, it’s probably all in my head. Overall, the Cloudlifter doesn’t seem to be necessary with the RE27 like it is with the RE20 or Shure SM7B. However, if you’re trying to reduce your noise floor and every dB counts, the Cloudlifter will offer some improvement and piece of mind.

Until next time…

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