Let’s take a look at setting up the Rode AI-1 Audio Interface with the Shure SM7B microphone. Now, if you’re in the market for a high-quality audio setup, this is definitely one to consider.

Rode AI-1 Audio Interface

The Rode AI-1 is sleek and stylish, with a black design that looks great on any desk. But more importantly, it’s packed with features that make it an excellent choice for recording audio.

One of the standout features is the preamp, which provides a clean and transparent signal for your microphone. This is important because it ensures your recordings sound as clear and accurate as possible. The AI-1 also includes a 48V phantom power supply, which is necessary for condenser microphones or inline microphone preamps.

Included with the Rode AI-1, you get:

  • USB C to A Cable
  • USB C Cable

Shure SM7B Dynamic Microphone

The Shure SM7B microphone is a beast, and it’s often used in professional recording studios for a reason. It’s a dynamic microphone perfect for recording vocals and other sources that require a high level of clarity and detail.

The microphone has a smooth and natural frequency response, and it’s designed to reject background noise and other unwanted sounds.

Included with the Shure SM7B, you get:

  • Two Different Windscreens
  • Mic Stand Adapter (⅜” to ⅝”)

Mic Stand / Boom Arm

Since the Shure SM7B doesn’t come with a microphone stand, you will need to buy one to support the microphone. 

In our experience, you have two main options.

Table Stand

A table stand is inexpensive and robust. If you’re just getting started, this is a great option. These table stands are pretty generic and we don’t have an opinion on using one brand over another. 

Boom Arm

If you’re looking for a long-term option, consider a microphone boom arm. With a boom arm, you get better mic placement options and more flexibility, not to mention the additional sound isolation benefits that some microphone boom arms can provide. 

We recommend using the Rode PSA1+ Microphone Boom Arm.

Microphone Placement

When positioning the microphone, it’s important to keep it at a consistent distance from your mouth throughout your recording. This ensures that the audio remains consistent and doesn’t vary in volume or quality.

If the Shure SM7B is too close to your mouth, it will sound boomy. If you place it too far away, it will be too quiet and have too much background noise.

We recommend keeping the Shure SM7B 3-4” away from your mouth for best results. 

XLR Cable

When selecting an XLR cable to use with the Shure SM7B microphone, you should consider a few things.

Choosing a high-quality XLR cable is essential to ensure that your microphone can deliver the best possible sound quality. Look for cables made with high-grade copper and quality shielding to reduce interference and noise.

Consider the length of the cable you need. XLR cables come in different lengths, so choose a long cable to reach your audio interface or mixer without being too long, as longer cables can be more prone to interference and signal loss.

Stick with reputable brands when selecting an XLR cable. This will help ensure you get a quality product that will provide reliable performance.

We recommend Mogami, Canare, or Hosa XLR cables, but if you can also check out our XLR cable buyer’s guide

Preamp & Gain Setup

Rode AI-1 Audio Interface

Once you connect your Shure SM7B to your Rode AI-1 Audio Interface, the next step is to set the preamp. 

When recording, you want to turn up the preamp until you’re getting a level between -12dB and -18dB.

This will give you a loud enough single without risking clipping or peaking. 

Cloudlifter / Inline Preamp

In our experience, you don’t need a Cloudlifter or Inline Preamp when using the Rode AI-1 with the Shure SM7B. 

That being said, if you have poor mic placement or are soft-spoken, you may want to consider adding this to your setup. 

It’s also worth checking out some other inline preamp options:

How To Connect & Setup Rode AI-1 With Shure SM7B

Time needed: 10 minutes

How To Connect & Setup Rode AI-1 With Shure SM7B

  1. Connect Rode AI-1 to the computer.

    Connect Rode AI-1 to the computer using the provided USB cable.

  2. Setup / Install Recording Software

    Setup / Install Recording Software from OBS Studio, Logic Pro, Garageband, Adobe Audition, Reaper, etc.

  3. Connect Shure SM7B to Rode AI-1

    Connect Shure SM7B to Rode AI-1 using an XLR cable.

  4. Set the gain on the Rode AI-1

    Set the gain on the Rode AI-1 so you’re recording between -12dB and -18dB in your recording sfotware

  5. Hit record!

Final Thoughts

Overall, I highly recommend the Rode AI-1 Audio Interface with the Shure SM7B microphone.

This combination provides an excellent solution for recording vocals, podcasts, and other types of audio content.

The interface is easy to use and provides high-quality results, while the Shure SM7B microphone is a versatile and reliable microphone that is well-suited for a wide range of recording applications.

Rode AI-1 & Shure SM7B Pricing

Rode AI-1 & Shure SM7B Topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:38 – Price & Specs
  • 1:00 – Equipment In Video
  • 1:30 – What’s Included?
  • 2:00 – Mic Stand / Boom Arm
  • 2:38 – Connect Shure SM7B to Boom Arm
  • 3:18 – Microphone Placement
  • 4:08 – XLR Cable
  • 4:57 – Connect Shure SM7B To Rode AI-1
  • 5:27 – How To Record On Your Computer
  • 6:15 – Preamp & Gain Setup
  • 8:02 – Cloudlifter / Inline Preamp ?
  • 9:28 – Cloudlifter / Inline Preamp Setup
  • 11:35 – Recommendation

Rode AI-1 & Shure SM7B FAQs

Can the Rode AI-1 power the Shure SM7B without needing a cloudlifter or preamp?

Yes, the Rode AI-1 is designed to provide sufficient gain and power to drive the Shure SM7B without additional equipment.

How do I connect the Shure SM7B to the Rode AI-1?

You can connect the Shure SM7B to the Rode AI-1 using an XLR cable. Simply plug one end of the XLR cable into the microphone and the other end into the AI-1’s microphone input.

Do I need to enable phantom power on the Rode AI-1 when using the Shure SM7B?

No, the Shure SM7B does not require phantom power to operate, unless you are using an inline preamp (Cloudlifter, Fethead, Dynamite, etc.).

Is the Rode AI-1 compatible with other microphones besides the Shure SM7B?

Yes, the Rode AI-1 can be used any dynamic, condenser or ribbon microphone that uses XLR to connect.