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Tritonaudio FetHead - Studio Preamplifier

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But how do these two mic activators hold up in practical application? Well, we have run some tests to determine the noise floor and frequency response of each device.

The Dynamite DM-1 from sE Electronics is closer to the FetHead in styling than any of the other options and is another direct-to-mic option unlike the Cloudlifter, the Durham and the McBoost. These ranged in price, but one thing was sure, they were much cheaper than the original Cloudlifter! This lightweight, portable, and easy-to-use activator adds gain without distorting the audio. If you have a low output ribbon or dynamic mic and an eye for simplistic, no-frills gear, FetHead should meet your needs and more. Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter Ultimately, I omitted them because they are not quite as popular or are much of the same. The only exception to this is the Royer dBooster, which is a pricey but top-shelf unit. That said, it’s safe to say assume we’ve covered every mic booster worth contemplating in 2021. Made of high-quality steel, it can also help protect older ribbon microphone styles that can be damaged by phantom power. Its portability makes it the perfect choice for the artist on the go. Performance

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I have a particular condenser microphone that needs a high gain setting on my mixer's preamp, and so has a tendency to cause noise because of the near maximum setting. The FetHead Phantom was the answer because this in-line microphone booster takes its power from the phantom power supplied by the mixer at source and in so doing the FetHead's energised circuits enable about + 18dB further gain to be inserted at the right point. The whole purpose of the device is then achieved because it means the mixer gain rotary switch was advanced to a lesser point than without the FetHead and so noise was eliminated. For the sake of a fair experiment, the variable element will be the activator, and the controls will be the interface (Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2 nd gen) and our microphone of choice (Rode Procaster which does really benefit from the boost of a device like these). Much like the CL-1, the FetHead circuitry relies on phantom power to work. The amplification provided is super low noise, and with a frequency range from 10Hz – 100kHz, the boost received is incredibly transparent. The low noise amplification means that when using a sensitive microphone, the usable dynamic range is extended ensuring any quiet vocals retain high audio quality.

I would recommend it to anyone who is in that situation with not enough gain to drive the mic, or just barely enough but getting lots of preamp noise. As previously stated, mic activators have become popular in recent years but before they hit the scene, outboard mic preamps were widely used. Now we know a bit more about the products and have analyzed how they work in a variety of tests, what have we learned? Well, the noise floor on the FetHead is higher than that of the Cloudlifter, however, that is to be expected as the FetHead provides a higher boost overall. With time, podcasters, YouTubers and online personalities started to upgrade their gear and moved from USB mics to standard XLR microphones, the ones that need an audio interface to work.In case you are still unsure of just what is on offer with each product, we have compiled the most important specs into two convenient lists for you to come to compare further. While, it’s nice to know what a microphone activator can accomplish, knowing it will work with the gear you already own is essential. The last thing you want to do is add incompatible noise to your setup. Here are the basic features of Triton’s FetHead:

It doesn’t add any color and the gain boost on dynamic or ribbon microphones doesn’t have any noticeable noise. The transparent gain and improved impedance loading are ideal for studio use or podcasting with low-output microphones. Verdict By using the phantom power voltage of an audio interface or mixer, the Cloudlifter provides +25db of clean gain which boosts the level of classic podcasting microphones such as the Shure SM7B. This means that you can avoid having to crank up the preamps of your interface which risks introducing excessive noise. It’s safe to say that it can transform any preamp into a ribbon preamp with high-gain functionality. In addition, it can help maximize the gain staging without spending thousands of dollars. When it comes to boosters, the one that I always recommended for people was, of course, CL1 Cloudlifter. Which is a classic. I’ve referenced the regular FetHead for this post. However, Triton Audio also offers FetHead Filter that has an extra HPF feature and FetHead Phantom for condenser microphones. 2. sE Electronics Dynamite DM-1 (Highest Gain)


FetHead Phantom is an ultra-low noise, high quality, in-line microphone preamplifier. It provides improved sound for condenser microphones. Small, compact, but powerful, Fethead Phantom utilizes tried and true FET technology to deliver up to 18dB of clean boost. No more cranking your mic preamp and adding unwanted noise to get your microphone to an acceptable volume.Boost your microphone! Mic activators have become really popular in recent years because of their convenience and relatively low cost (in comparison to outboard mic preamps which we’ll cover next).

The best preamps for the Shure SM57 include the Cloudlifter CL-1, the Triton Audio Fethead and the Golden Age Project Pre-73 MKIII Microphone Preamp. Older broadcast quality outboard preamps such as the Alice Mic-Pak also work great with the SM57. If you wanted to spend a bit more and get something new, I’d recommend the Golden Age Project Pre-73 MKIII Microphone Preamp. With +80db of gain, it’s enough to power even the least sensitive of microphones and the warm sound it produces will give you great sounding audio. Conclusion When you think mic activators, two names spring to mind. The TritonAudio FetHead and Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter series are by far the most popular products on the market, yet they are worlds apart in both price and design. How did these two products come to be the go-to for anyone looking to boost the mic level, and why do some people pay more for the Cloudlifter?

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The Cloudlifter has a solid fan base and has become one of the go-to gain boosting devices for pairing with a low sensitivity dynamic mic. Regardless of what type of microphone you’re working with, a Cloudlifter can be added at any point in your setup to help cut down on noise while raising your noise floor. FetHead vs Cloudlifter: A Side-by-Side Comparison

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