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Running SM7B (dynamic mic) through Axe-Fx II

Discussion in 'Axe-Fx II Discussion' started by EVHalen, Dec 8, 2018 at 5:58 PM.

  1. EVHalen

    EVHalen
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    I have an Apollo Twin interface, and pretty much have to max out the inputs on its preamp to get a usable level out of an SM7B. So I was wondering if I could use my Axe-Fx II in place of a CloudLifter, to add some more clean gain to the mic before it hits the preamp?

    If this will work, would you recommend plugging the mic into the front instrument input, or the rear (balanced) input? I’ve heard that the front input has a lower noise floor. But the rear input being “balanced” has its advantages too.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. #2 Rane, Dec 8, 2018 at 6:22 PM
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018 at 6:44 PM
    Rane

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    The Axe II doesn't have a preamp. If you were using it with a mic, you'd need a preamp before it. Even if it did, stacking preamps is generally a bad idea. That CloudLifter thing looks interesting and could probably save you from having to buy a preamp for now, but I can't imagine it being the best solution in the long run. Really what you need is a better mic pre.

    EDIT: Actually, I did some reading up on the CloudLifter, and it sounds like a really neat tool. A lot of people seem to use it with the SM7B. It may be just what you're looking for. Although, it is hard to pass up an opportunity to buy good mic pre. lol

    If you feel like reading a debate on the CloudLifter's merit:

    https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-...-i-really-need-cloudlifter-my-quiet-mics.html
     
  3. EVHalen

    EVHalen
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    Thanks for the advice. I may still be picking up a CloudLifter, but I wanted to check and see if the Axe-Fx II could do the same thing, before I go out and drop another $150.

    I still am curious: wouldn’t this page (see attached photo) on the Axe-Fx II be considered a “gain boost” if you chose to use it that way? Or is this more of a digital gain knob that will increase the noise floor equally with the signal? My goal here is to get as little hiss/noise as possible.
     

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  4. chris

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    That is not a gain boost. There is no preamp for a mic so you don’t have the correct levels happening at all.
     
  5. getlostinsound

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    Just playing devil’s advocate... why not try it and see how you like the sound? Pick up an XLR to 1/4” cable and go at it! Sure, it’s not the “proper way” to do it, I know. I own several nice mics and preamps, including the SM7B, but I also enjoy experimenting with gear. I’m pretty sure that when guitar amps were invented, you weren’t supposed to crank them up to the point of distortion...
     
  6. chris

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    Sure, but this is more of a “it doesn’t work” situation than “let’s try this option.”
     
  7. getlostinsound

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    Sure it does. You can add gain to whatever the input is, regardless of whether it’s the right impedance or not. Ever tried it?
     
  8. axel

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    I've actually recorded some vocals by running an SM58 into my Axe Fx II, then using the tube pre block to boost the signal. For just messing around with recording some vocals, I got some decent results, but definitely not a replacement for a high end mic pre.
     
  9. Rex

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    But you are getting a usable level, right? Is the issue that you don’t like having the Twin’s input dimed, or is there a problem with what you’re running now?
     
  10. chris

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    This particular mic needs a LOT of gain, and turning up Gain is not a replacement for a preamp.

    It also introduces a lot of noise, which many would seem absolutely unusable.

    Try it, of course. But it’s not advised for quality.
     
  11. getlostinsound

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    Agreed. I was just answering the OP’s question on whether the AFX could be used to add some gain before it hits the mic preamp.
     

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