Let’s take a look at how to set up a Rode PodMic dynamic microphone and PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 audio interface. We’ll talk about connecting everything, setting gain, and look at the difference an inline preamp makes to noise levels.

Quick Answer: Use an inline preamp like the CloudLifter CL-1 to reduce the hiss and noise produced by the AudioBox at high gain. Simply connect the PodMic, CL-1, and AudioBox using XLR cables, and don’t forget to turn on phantom power. 

How to Connect A Rode PodMic & PreSonus AudioBox

Rode PodMid Dynamic Microphone

Time needed: 1 minute.

  1. Connect the AudioBox to your computer
    AudioBox > USB cable > Computer.
  2. Connect the Rode PodMic to the AudioBox
    Rode PodMic > XLR Cable > AudioBox.
  3. Set gain

Phantom Power

The Rode PodMic is a dynamic microphone, so it does not need phantom power. As a result, you don’t need to press the 48v button on the front of the AudioBox.

If you turn it on by mistake, rest assured that a modern dynamic mic will not be damaged by phantom power. However, it can damage some older vintage mics, so, as a general rule, only turn it on when needed.

Gain & Preamp

PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 Audio Interface

Every mic out there, including the Rode PodMic, generates a very small analog level audio signal which passes through the XLR cable into the preamp. The AudioBox does two things; it amplifies this signal and converts it to a digital signal for your computer.

Where amplification is concerned, the AudioBox’s goal is to make the signal as loud as you want while introducing as little noise as possible. However, we find that it adds more noise than other audio interfaces.

Gain Without Inline Preamp

The setup process outlined above is the simplest option, with the PodMic connected directly to the AudioBox. Setting the gain set to 9/10 gives an audio peak level in the -18 to 12 dB range. You will hear a lot of noise or hiss from the AudioBox at this level of gain.

What can you do about it? Adding an inline preamp will reduce the amount of gain you need to add with the AudioBox.

How To Connect An Inline Preamp (CloudLifter CL-1)

Cloudlifter CL-1 Inline Preamp

The CloudLifter is designed to sit in between an audio source (microphone) and the audio interface. It will add about 20 dB to the audio signal coming from the mic, reducing the amount of work the AudioBox preamp has to do. The CloudLifter requires phantom power to do this.

Time needed: 2 minutes.

  1. Connect the AudioBox to your computer
    AudioBox > USB cable > Computer.
  2. Connect the AudioBox to the CloudLifter
    AudioBox > XLR Cable > CloudLifter.
  3. Connect the Rode PodMic to the CloudLifter
    Rode PodMic > XLR Cable > CloudLifter.
  4. Turn on phantom power
    Press the 48v button the AudioBox
  5. Set gain

Direct Setup vs Inline CloudLifter Preamp

With the CloudLifter added to the setup, we only needed to set the AudioBox gain to 7.5/10. The difference in noise and hiss is night and day. With the CloudLifter, there is practically no audible noise whatsoever; it makes a huge difference.

Gain Recap

To set gain levels correctly, you need to know what you’re aiming for. Watch the peak monitor on your audio software as you make small adjustments to the gain knob.

  • For recording
    Audio should peak somewhere in the range of -18 to -12 dB.
  • For live audio (including live streams)
    Push your audio peak to -6 dB to avoid being too quiet for your listeners/guests.

Rode PodMic Foam Windscreen

We always recommend using a windscreen with the Rode PodMic as it does a better job of plosive protection, aka protecting against strong P and B sounds. We think it makes the mic sound nicer, and it doesn’t look bad either.

PreSonus Audiobox USB 96 & Rode PodMic Pricing & Specs

PreSonus Audiobox USB 96 & Rode PodMic | Setup & Demo Topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:30 – Pricing & Specs
  • 0:45 – Connect Rode Podmic to PreSonus AudioBox
  • 1:35 – Phantom Power
  • 2:15 – Gain & Preamp
  • 3:24 – Gain Without Inline Preamp
  • 4:50 – Connect Inline Preamp (Cloudlifter CL-1)
  • 5:39 – Gain With Inline Preamp
  • 6:12 – Comparing Direct VS Cloudlifter
  • 6:40 – Gain Recap
  • 7:04 – Foam Windscreen
  • 7:33 – Final Thoughts