Cloudlifter clouding up my Portico 5017 Any thoughts?
Just recently got both a Cloudlifter and a Portico 5017 to use with a sm7b.
The Cloudlifter when pared alone with my apogee one and sm7b works great, adding the much desired gain allowing the Ones preamp to work less and sound a little better. Just a slight improvement in clarity/presence perhaps.
When I attempt the same with the Portico 5017 in between the Cloudlifter and One (with the ones preamp as low as possible), a drastic change in overall tonality can be heard compared to just running the sm7b straight into the 5017 and out to the One. The Cloudlifted signal certainly gets boosted a good 25db but with it comes a lot of fat. A muddier sounding signal really, not the same amazing clarity and detail the Portico delivers alone, even if it does require all 66db of its gain while doing so. This remains true when tested with other mics as well.
Obviously the fix is to just not use the Cloudlifter with the portico and just crank that gain, but still curious if anyone has any thoughts as to why this might occur.
I don't have the portico, but just from a quick search it looks like it has transformers in the signal path, so you are likely overloading the input transformer with the additional gain the cloudlifter provides. Transformers are known for adding fatness and warmth when pushed a bit, so hitting one really hard would likely cause the serious muddiness you are hearing.
I use an SM7b into a portico 517 myself and never needed a cloud lifter, if your recording at 24bit anyway! But I'd imagine its blasting the transformer on the input and it's giving you a very saturated tone...
The neve 5017 has 66db of gain, which is way more than enough gain for your sm7b, no need for the cloudlifter. Also the apogee one does not have proper line inputs, I would upgrade to the Duet, which has proper line inputs. I say ditch the cloudlifter and apogee one and you will be much happier with your sound.