In this article, we’ll explain how to set up the Shure SM7B with the Rodecaster Pro. We’ll also discuss whether you need to use a Cloudlifter with this dream podcasting setup.

Quick Answer: Connect the SM7B to the Rodecaster Pro using an XLR cable and position the mic 2-3″ away from your mouth. Set your level on the Rodecaster and use a Cloudlifter if you need a level setting higher than 40. 

Rodecaster Pro Set Up

If you plan to follow along, make sure your Rodecaster Pro is starting in the same state as ours. We performed a factory reset to restore the default settings.

Then we jumped into the microphone settings page and turned off all of the processing features. We recommend you always turn these off when setting up a microphone.

The Rodecaster Pro can be connected to a computer or used as a standalone recorder. You’ll set your mic up the same way, whichever way you decide to use it.

Headphones For Podcasting

Before you do anything else, we recommend plugging your headphones into the Rodecaster Pro. That way, you’ll be able to hear how any adjustments affect the sound of your voice. 

Closed-back headphones do a better job of preventing your Shure SM7B from picking up the headphone audio. Beyerdynamic’s DT990 Pro headphones are our favorites.

On the other hand, open-back headphones are more comfortable for long periods. So, if you’re recording 3-hour podcasts, the open-backed Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro headphones would be our recommendation.

Can the Rodecaster Pro power 250 Ohm headphones? Check out the linked article to find out.

Shure SM7B Windscreen

We recommend using the thicker, alternate windscreen for the Shure SM7B. The smaller primary windscreen looks better on camera, but it’s not as good for podcasting.

Shure SM7B Microphone Positioning

Aim to position your SM7B about a fist away from your mouth. We find that this strikes a good balance between comfort, gain, and reducing background noise. Placing the mic off-axis from your mouth helps to reduce breath noises too.

Connect The Shure SM7B To The Rodecaster Pro

Shure SM7B > XLR cable > Rodecaster Pro

Connecting the SM7B to the Rodecaster Pro is a super simple operation. You plug one end of an XLR cable into the mic and the other into the 1st XLR jack on the back of the Rodecaster Pro.

We recommend using the Canare L-4E6S Star-Quad XLR cable. They are the highest quality star-quad studio cables that we know of. Click the link to read our in-depth review.

Rodecaster Pro Fader Set Up

There is no master fader on the Rodecaster pro, so the set up process is different from what you might be used to if you’re coming from a regular audio mixer.

Set the mic channel fader to the slightly bolder checkmark near the midpoint. This leaves plenty of headroom in either direction to react to changes in volume. If you start with the fader all the way up, you won’t have the required headroom during your recording.

Microphone Settings

Rodecaster Pro Dynamic Microphone Setting

In the microphone settings menu, select the dynamic mic option. The Shure SM7B is a dynamic microphone, so this is pretty logical. However, there is one situation where you might consider using the condenser setting with the SM7B instead. We’ll get to that a little later.

Shure SM7B & Rodecaster Pro Level Set Up

Rodecaster Pro Level Setup

Things start to get a little bit interesting at this point. How you get on with this stage of the setup will dictate whether or not you need to use an inline preamp.

We don’t like to push the Rodecaster’s level setting above 40, as you start to get quite a lot of hiss beyond this point. That’s because the preamp inside the mixer is working really hard. The Shure SM7B is notoriously hard to power, so it often requires a lot of gain/level.

If you’re comfortable being really close to the mic, you’re likely to reach an acceptable volume with a level setting under 40. However, if you position the mic a fist away, you might need to use an inline preamp like the Cloudlifter.

Do You Need A Cloudlifter For The Shure SM7B & Rodecaster Pro?

In the Rodecaster Pro’s level settings screen, you’ll notice a segment of the level meter that has two green bars. These mark the target level for your audio. 

Does your voice peak somewhere inside this target area with a level setting of 40 or below?

  • Yes
    Great, you don’t need to use a Cloudlifter.
  • No
    We recommend using a Cloudlifter as the preamp adds noticeable noise when pushed over 40.

Shure SM7B & Rodecaster Pro Cloudlifter Set Up

Shure SM7B > XLR cable > Cloudlifter > XLR Cable > Rodecaster Pro

The Cloudlifter is an inline preamp, meaning it goes between the SM7B and the Rodecaster. It trades phantom power for 25 dB of clean gain. 

Simply connect them all in order using a pair of XLR cables. Then activate phantom power on the Rodecaster Pro. Even though the SM7B is a dynamic mic, the Cloudlifter needs this power in order to work. It won’t harm the SM7B. You can activate phantom power in 2 ways.

  1. Press the phantom power toggle on the level settings screen.
  2. Switch to condenser microphone mode.

With the Cloudlifter working, you’ll now be able to set a level that puts your voice in the target zone on the level meter. Your level setting should be well under 40 now.

Rodecaster Pro Audio Processing Settings

Rodecaster Pro Audio Processing

As we said in the intro, we like to start with all of the audio processing features deactivated. These affect the mic gain, so we prefer to get the level set before turning them on.

We’ll work through each of these features to explain what it does and how/when we would use them.

  • Compression – ON – The compressor narrows the dynamic range of your audio input. It makes your loudest moments quieter and your quietest moments louder. The compressor makes the volume of the speaker’s voice more predictable and keeps you from having to adjust the faders constantly.
  • High-pass Filter – ON – The high-pass filter reduces the lower frequencies and removes the microphone from the subwoofer of the listener. Turning on the high-pass filter will make the microphone sound more clear.
  • De-esser – ON – The de-esser does what its name would suggest. It removes the S and other sibilant sounds from your voice, which can be hard to listen to for longer podcasts. We prefer to have it turned on, but some voices may not need it.
  • Noise Gate – The noise gate is a feature that automatically mutes the microphone when you’re not speaking. There is a set threshold at which it will open and close.

    It can work really well for multi guest podcasts, but we don’t like it as much when there is a solo presenter. This is because you can hear the noise gate clicking in and out every time you stop or start speaking.

    This clicking can be more distracting than any constant low-level background noise. It’s not as big of a deal with multiple guests as the other voices mask this subtle sound.
  • Aural Exciter – OFF – The Rodecaster’s aural exciter works in a similar way to Air mode on the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface. It brightens up the higher frequencies, adding a bit more life to a voice.

    This setting can help if you have a speaker who sounds a little bit drab, but it can also make some voices sound worse. We recommend leaving it turned off unless you’re trying to achieve something specific.
  • Big Bottom – OFF – The Rodecaster’s big bottom setting helps to embolden the presence of a speaker within a group on your podcast. It’s helpful if you have a speaker who lacks presence or has a thin voice compared to other guests.

    We recommend leaving the big bottom setting turned off as a rule of thumb. We would consider using it if a guest’s voice was lacking the presence of other guests.

Rodecaster Pro Voice Settings

The Rodecaster Pro voice settings screen has two sub-sections, tone and strength.

  • Tone Mode
    Think of this as an easy EQ setting; it will set a profile to compliment your voice based on which one of the three options you select. We generally leave it set to medium.
  • Strength Mode
    As we understand it, what you select here will affect the compressor settings. For example, the strong profile would apply more aggressive settings to keep things under control. We usually leave it set to medium.

Rodecaster Pro & Shure SM7B Pricing

Rodecaster Pro & Shure SM7B Topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:10 – Rodecaster Pro Setup
  • 0:40 – Mic Setup
  • 0:56 – Headphones For Podcasting
  • 1:23 – Shure SM7B Windscreen
  • 1:43 – Shure SM7B Mic Positioning
  • 1:53 – Connect Shure SM7B to Rodcaster Pro
  • 2:17 – Fader Setup
  • 3:08 – Microphone Settings
  • 3:27 – Level Setup
  • 5:23 – Cloudlifter Setup (Optional)
  • 7:20 – Do You Need A Cloudlifter?
  • 7:41 – Audio Processing
  • 8:10 – Compressor Setting
  • 9:02 – High Pass Filter Setting
  • 9:20 – De-Esser Setting
  • 9:30 – Noise Gate Setting
  • 10:20 – Aural Exciter Setting
  • 10:50 – Big Bottom Setting
  • 11:20 – Voice Mode Settings
  • 11:40 – Strength Mode Settings
  • 12:09 – Final Thoughts