What Is The Best Setup For The Shure SM7B?

Buy The Shure SM7B

Buy The DBX 286s

Buy The Cloudlifter

Buy The Scarlet Solo

So, what’s the best setup for the Shure SM7B? We think the setup should go something like this – SM7B into a DBX 286s, and the DBX 286s into a Scarlet Solo. You could use a Cloudlifter instead of the DBX 286s but the cool thing about the DBX 286s is it allows you to apply processing in real time. This is perfect for lots of things where you just want your processing constantly dialed in without having to edit in your DAW.

Why Not Just Use The Cloudlifter

The Cloudlifter is a great option, but its only function is to provide clean gain. The DBX 286s does this with its awesome preamps and it also has compression, EQ, dessing, and a gate. You get all these additional options for only $50 more than the Cloudlifter. If the DBX 286s is out of budget, the Cloudlifter into a Scarlet Solo will sound amazing as well.

Can I Just Use An Audio Interface And Call It A Day

Just using an audio interface without a Cloudlifter or an external preamp is definately an option. You can use the Scarlet Solo with the SM7B and still get a pretty good sound. However, you might pick up some noise or hiss from the preamp because the SM7B requires so much gain and you’ll have to push the preamps pretty hard in order to get a good volume level. What you could try, is to raise the gain just enough on your Scarlet Solo and then raise the volume in your DAW or OBS in order to avoid that hissing sound. You could try it this way and if you need the Cloudlifter or the DBX 286s you can grab it later.

I’m Still Confused – What Setup Do I Use

It mostly depends on your budget. If you can afford the Shure SM7B and the DBX 286s then we would go that route and bypass the preamps on your audio interface. This will allow you to process your SM7B in real-time with the 286s channel strip. Also, its preamps are quite a bit better than the Scarlet Solo so you will also have no noise. However, going this route is the most expensive. If that is out of your budget, you can go the SM7B into the Cloudlifter and then into your audio interface. This will save you some money. But, if that is too expensive, we would recommend you use the SM7B with your current audio interface, and boost the audio in your DAW or OBS. By boosting the audio later in the chain, you’ll use less of your preamps which will introduce less noise. We hope this cleared some things up for you. Thanks for reading! Cheers! Check out our other articles here!

Thomas Shelby – Editor/Audio Engineer

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