Do you need to use a Coudlifter with the Rodecaster Pro audio mixer for podcasting? We tested 4 of the most popular podcasting microphones to find out. Keep reading to discover which microphones need an inline preamp with the Rodecaster Pro. 

Quick Answer: We think 80-90% of people will not need to use a Cloudlifter with the Rodecaster Pro, even when using the notoriously quiet Shure SM7B. For those with a quiet voice, if you need to set the Rodecaster level above 40, we recommend using a Cloudlifter or inline preamp. 

MicrophoneRodecaster Level (Average Voice)
Electro-Voice RE2038
Shure MV736
Rode PodMic36
Shure SM7B40

Condenser Microphones & The Cloudlifter

If you’re using a condenser microphone with your Rodecaster Pro, you won’t need a Cloudlifter or any other kind of inline preamp. The Cloudlifter doesn’t work with condenser microphones; it only works with dynamic microphones, which are more popular for podcasting anyway.

Inline Preamp Options

We use and often refer to the Cloudlifter in our content. But there are many other alternative inline preamps and mic activators that all serve the same purpose.

We have a few recommendations to suit all budgets and design preferences. They all offer a similar level of performance, and we wouldn’t be able to tell which one was used by listening to a recording.

Test Parameters

Rodecaster Pro Audio Processing

We wanted to make sure all of the mics we tested started on a level playing field. So, we used the same audio processing settings for each one. The only thing we adjusted for each mic was the level.

  • Compressor: On
  • De-esser: On
  • High-pass filter: On
  • Noise gate: Off
  • Aural exciter: Off
  • Big bottom: Off
  • Voice tone: Medium
  • Voice strength: Medium

Rodecaster Pro Level Noise Test

One of our objectives when setting up a mic with the Rodecaster Pro is not to exceed a level of 40. Beyond this point, we feel that hiss and other noise from the preamp are too noticeable.

As a result, if you have to push any mic beyond 40, we recommend using an inline preamp or mic activator. This will reduce how hard the Rodecaster’s preamp has to work, giving you less hiss in your recording.

Electro-Voice RE20 Dynamic Microphone
Check RE20 Price

Electro-Voice RE20

Rodecaster Level: 38

The Electro-Voice is our favorite podcasting microphone for a lot of different reasons. One of which is that we don’t need to use an inline preamp. 

We don’t think anyone with an average voice would need a Cloudlifter when using the RE20 with the Rodecaster Pro.

Shure MV7

Rodecaster Level: 36

The Shure MV7 is a versatile USB/XLR hybrid microphone that is relatively new to the market. Most people using the Shure MV7 with the Rodecaster pro will be able to achieve an acceptable level without using a Cloudlifter.

Rode PodMic

Rodecaster Level: 36

Rode frequently markets the Rode PodMic and Rodecaster Pro as the perfect pairing. So, it comes as no surprise that this podcasting setup works well without the need for an inline preamp. Much like the MV7, even softly spoken people should be fine without a Coudlifter.

Shure SM7B

Rodecaster Level: 40

The SM7B is arguably the most sought-after podcasting mic on the market. So, it’s not uncommon to see people using the Shure SM7B and Rodecaster Pro together.

It’s notoriously hard to power the Shure SM7B microphone, but we were able to get a comfortable level with the Rodecaster set to 40. For 80-90% of people who can project their voice and use proper mic positioning, there is no need to use an inline preamp with the SM7B and Rodecaster Pro.

Coudlifter Set Up

To round this article off, we wanted to share a little about how the Cloudlifter works and what difference it makes.

The Cloudlifter gives you 25 dB of clean gain in exchange for phantom power. It fits into your setup between the mic and the mixer, connecting to each with XLR cables. This means you’ll need to turn on phantom power for your mic channel via the toggle switch on the level setting screen.

We have found that using an inline preamp with the Rodecaster Pro reduces the level setting required by 8-12 points.

Do You Need A Cloudlifter With The Rodecaster Pro?

If you’re still unsure, the best option is to test your voice with your own podcasting setup. If you find that you need to set the level above 40, we recommend you use a Cloudifter to rescue the amount of hiss in your recording.

Rodecaster Pro & Cloudlifter Pricing

Rodecaster Pro & Cloudlifter Topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:12 – Condenser Microphone & Cloudlifter
  • 0:31 – Cloudlifter / Inline Preamp / Mic Activator
  • 1:07 – Test Parameters
  • 1:35 – Level Noise Test
  • 2:52 – Electro-Voice RE20
  • 3:30 – Shure M7V
  • 3:55 – Rode PodMic
  • 4:32 – Shure SM7B
  • 5:09 – Cloudlifter Test
  • 7:00 – Need A Cloudlifter?
  • 7:30 – Final Thoughts