In the realm of podcasting, streaming, and professional audio recording, few debates have sparked as much interest as the compatibility of the Shure SM7B microphone with the TC-Helicon GoXLR mixer. The SM7B, famed for its broadcast-quality sound, and the GoXLR, celebrated for its ease of use and feature-packed design, are both beloved in their own right. But is the GoXLR enough for the SM7B? That’s what we’re here to dissect.
Delving into the SM7B: Why the Hype?
Firstly, it’s important to understand why the Shure SM7B has become a darling among audio professionals and enthusiasts alike. This powerhouse microphone is known for its wide frequency response, excellent noise rejection, and ability to produce a rich, full sound. With its robust construction and iconic styling, it’s a timeless piece of audio gear that can elevate any recording setup.
An Introduction to GoXLR
Meanwhile, the GoXLR mixer has emerged as a game-changing addition to the audio world. Designed with live streamers and podcasters in mind, the GoXLR offers real-time voice effects, soundboard and sampler features, and more. It’s a sleek, compact device that’s user-friendly and efficient.
Pairing the SM7B with the GoXLR
But the burning question is: how do these two audio titans fare when paired together? Is the GoXLR enough for the SM7B?
The Power Question
The SM7B is a dynamic microphone with a relatively low output level. As such, it requires a substantial amount of clean gain to operate optimally. The GoXLR offers 60dB of gain, which might sound ample on paper. But is it enough in reality? That’s a bit of a mixed bag.
When 60dB of Gain Might be Sufficient
In quiet studio environments where background noise is virtually non-existent, 60dB of gain from the GoXLR could prove to be sufficient for the SM7B. Here, you can capitalize on the SM7B’s excellent noise rejection, capturing your voice clearly without excessive amplification.
Where You Might Need More
In noisier environments or for softer-spoken individuals, the SM7B might require more than 60dB of gain to capture audio effectively. Here, the SM7B and GoXLR pairing could potentially fall short, resulting in a quieter or muddier audio quality.
Considering the Cloudlifter
When the GoXLR’s inherent gain isn’t quite enough for the SM7B, many audio aficionados turn to the Cloudlifter. This handy device provides an additional 20-25dB of clean gain, taking the pressure off your mixer and potentially improving the audio quality of your SM7B.
Verdict: Is the GoXLR Enough for the SM7B?
In an ideal world, yes, the GoXLR is enough for the SM7B. But in the real world, where quiet studios are often more of a luxury than a norm, pairing the GoXLR with a Cloudlifter might be the safer bet to ensure you’re getting the most from your SM7B.
Remember, when it comes to audio recording, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. It all boils down to your unique needs and circumstances. The GoXLR and SM7B combo can work magic for some, while others may find a different pairing more suited to their requirements.
You can also check out our GoXLR Alternatives for other audio interfaces that work with Shure SM7B.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can the GoXLR provide phantom power for the SM7B?
No, the SM7B does not require phantom power, so this is not a consideration when pairing it with the GoXLR.
What is the ideal gain level for the SM7B with GoXLR?
The ideal gain level can vary, but generally, 60dB should be sufficient in quieter environments.
Does the Cloudlifter add any noise when paired with the GoXLR and SM7B?
Typically, the Cloudlifter adds very little, if any, noise. Its main function is to provide clean gain.
Will the GoXLR’s preamps produce noise when used with the SM7B?
GoXLR’s preamps are generally quiet and should not produce significant noise.
Is there a way to boost the SM7B’s signal without the Cloudlifter when using GoXLR?
While the Cloudlifter is a popular choice, you could also consider other inline preamps or gain-boosting devices. However, these should be chosen with care to ensure clean, noise-free amplification.