Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-X
The Cloudlifter X offers a custom-designed Cinemag transformer along with two selectable output levels that expand the range of output gain offered by the industry standard CL1. Featuring Cloud’s signature ultra-clean gain, the nickel-core Cinemag transformer delivers an incredible amount of bandwidth at normal input levels, and can also provide a variable amount of harmonic content and saturation as the input signal is increased, adding extremely musical flavors to the CLX’s output, which can change dynamically based on the input level of the source material.
“Our customers love the CL-1 for its ultra-clean, transparent gain,” says CEO Rodger Cloud. “With the addition of a custom transformer, the CL-X will respond to different sources and input level and return that ultra-clean gain with varying levels character and mojo. We like to say ‘the more signal you give it, the more love it will give back’.” Inspired by the two-position MORE/MAX switch found on the Cloudlifter Z, the default setting (up to 12dB) on the CLX is ideal for use with hotter signals like an SM57 on a snare, whereas the “Max” setting (up to 36dB) is perfectly suited for quieter source material such as a soft instrument or ASMR applications. “The CLX is the perfect companion piece for CL1 owners,” says Cloud. “The additional gain settings – neither of which can be found on the CL1 – combined with the sonic flavor of the transformer opens up a whole new world of Cloudlifting possibilities.”
Simply put, all Cloudlifters give you more of the actual sound of the mic itself while reducing coloration and distortion resulting from overdriving the preamp's gain stage. By allowing the preamp to operate at lower gain levels, noise floor, distortion, and other compromises to the frequency response are dramatically reduced.
- Pair with dynamic, ribbon, and tube microphones
- Patented ultra-clean gain circuit eliminates capacitors in the audio path
- Operates on standard +48v phantom power
- Safe for passive ribbons and tube mics! Does not pass phantom power
- Increases microphone sensitivity and output level by up to +36dB
- Transformer-coupled design adds dynamic character responsive to the input leve
- Significantly reduces noise and unwanted artifacts by allowing the preamps to operate in a more comfortable range
- Improves signal to noise ratio and microphone performance
- Rugged, portable, and road ready for studio and stage
- Free Lifetime Limited Warranty with product registration
- All Cloudlifter electronics made on the Navajo Nation in Arizona
- Entirely designed, manufactured and assembled in the USA
Max setting is great for:
- Capturing quiet sources with low output microphones
- Podcasting, voiceover or dialog using dynamic mics
- Using battery powered shotgun mics to capture clean audio while filming
- Live-streaming, gaming, remote conferencing
- Foley and nature recordings, where the natural tone of a ribbon or dynamic microphone is desired
- Tracking delicate, difficult to capture sources such as a choir or string section
- Vocals, piano, and acoustic instruments
Min 12dB attenuator setting is great for:
- Driving the input with hotter sources to hear more character
- Snare, toms, kick or drum overheads and room mics
- Louder electric guitar or bass amps
- Live vocals using dynamic mics
- Percussion, sound effects
- Driving very long cable runs in live venues
X = More
More Gain - The CL-X provides up to +36dB of ultra-clean gain, perfectly suited for using low-output microphones to capture quieter source material such as acoustic instruments, podcasting, ASMR, or even Foley. Now you can fully take advantage of the beautiful tone of ribbon, dynamic, or tube microphones in situations that were previously problematic due to the gain requirements.
Cloud Microphones partnered with CineMag to develop a custom nickel transformer with very wide bandwidth, adding the element of dynamic character. The more signal you feed the CL-X, the more the transformer dynamically responds with just the right touch of saturation and harmonic content.
The selectable output attenuator allows you to decrease the gain from the CL-X, yielding up to 12dB, in order to capture louder applications such as an SM57 on a snare or loud guitar amp. Because this is not a pad, but rather a reduction in output level, you can really lean into the CL-X with a hotter source to hear even more harmonic content and transformer character.
Capture Every Detail
Like all Cloudlifters, the CL-X dramatically increases the sensitivity of your microphone in order to fully capture the nuance and detail of the source. Many of the most incredible sounding microphones are the ones that need the most gain. It can be challenging to capture very quiet sources with ribbon, tube, and dynamic mics without hearing noise and frequency loss introduced by many preamps being driven into upper gain ranges. With the CL-X, the detail and nuance - the true character of your mic - comes right to the foreground, in remarkable contrast to the tone achieved when pushing a preamp to achieve a similar volume.
All Gain is Not Created Equal
The ultra-clean gain of the Cloudlifter coupled to your preamp offers a sound that removes not only the noise, but unwanted coloration and frequency degradation that occurs in proportion to the amount of gain provided at the preamp or interface. Even with a preamp that imparts a desirable coloration, Cloudlifters open up a different sonic option by having more of the mic’s natural character sitting upfront. Now, with the CL-X you can reach for the microphone that you love for its sound and tonal characteristics, without the limitation imposed by the gain requirements.
Bring Your Mics To Life
It is amazing how much ordinary dynamic microphones can produce with the CL-X! With both higher sensitivity as well as significantly reduced gain requirements, you’ll hear the character of your dynamic mics like never before. Try a dynamic mic on high volume sources such as a snare drum or a guitar amp with the output attenuator engaged to hear that touch of transformer mojo from the CL-X; or, use your dynamic mic on a very soft source which would never have been possible to capture without the dramatic increase in sensitivity and ultra-clean gain the CL-X provides. The results can be jaw-dropping, unlocking a whole new spectrum of possibilities, regardless of whether you’re using expensive preamps or a basic home studio interface.
With the CL-X, ribbon microphones will deliver output sensitivity similar to the best condensers while retaining that coveted sound that defined the golden era of recording. Now, a quiet vocal or other low level sound sources can be captured with ease, taking advantage of the beautiful tone that only a quality ribbon mic can capture. Use your ribbon mics with a Cloudlifter X to capture any source with absolute clarity.
Tube mics also struggle with quiet sources. With the CL-X they come to life, leaving the noise behind while unveiling the feeling and richness of the true sound. You’ll immediately hear the difference when you
incorporate the CL-X into your audio chain.
Audio transformers have played a pivotal role in capturing sound since the early days of broadcast, multitrack recording, and even with today’s large format recording consoles. Transformers can elicit more of the feeling and punch of the source material, capturing the natural sonic characteristics in a manner both dynamic and responsive in nature.
In partnership with CineMag, Cloud began with the simple quest of innovation. Creating the ideal transformer as they were designing a modern recording console. It had to be ultra-clean, have very wide bandwidth, and provide desirable dynamic responsiveness for today’s most demanding applications. From the very first moment Cloud heard the CL-X transformer integrated into the Cloudlifter’s ultra-clean gain stage, they knew they had landed on something really special. The beauty and dimension of this wonderful transformer, amplified by the award-winning Cloudlifter circuit produced exactly
what they had hoped: ultra-clean gain with transformer love.