What does an Audio Engineer actually do?
CRAS AES was honored to have Rodger Cloud, CEO of Cloud Microphones, come to CRAS to have a discussion about his incredible passive and active ribbon mics, and Cloudlifter technology.
Cloud Microphones is based out of Tucson, Arizona. Rodger opened with the history of Cloud, which he and Stephen Sank began in 2006. He then outlined details of one of their microphones, the Cloud 44-A, which is an active ribbon microphone with a selectable switch for music or voice equalization curves. Rodger played a video with great comparisons on the capabilities and sounds the mic can provide.
Following the video Rodger continued to discuss their microphones, and the technology that goes into them. He demonstrated the voice and music switch in real time, which acts as a frequency response. With music position selected, the 44-A captures much more low end, and exhibits very obvious proximity effect. Unlike many ribbon microphones, Rodger revealed to us how their microphones contain a unique metal fabrication surrounding the ribbon. After that he played another video showing how the microphones are built by hand from start to finish in high speed, which he said takes about six hours per microphone.
Rodger continued on by showing us one of their other products, the Cloudlifter. The Cloudlifter is an inline gain stage for a microphone, providing up to 25dB in clean gain. With integrated active circuitry, the Cloudlifter adds a heightened sensitivity to any mic that gets plugged into it. The Cloudlifter-Z also provides selectable, continuously variable impedance, as well as a low-cut filter to custom tailor your mic’s sound.
Rodger outlined how all of Cloud’s product parts are locally manufactured, including all metals, circuit boards, and transformers, to help communities and small businesses within the States. One of the main workhorses of Cloud products is Tooh Dineh and the Navajo Nation, working out of their manufacturing facility in Leupp, Arizona. Rodger feels that it is very important to bring jobs to local communities and keep America’s proud manufacturing heritage alive. Now, Cloud gear is being sold in over 40 countries around the globe, and the impact that has both globally, and locally to our economies is incredible. Cloud’s care for customer’s satisfaction has also helped greatly to give positive reviews for nearly all of their products. Cloud feels that the customer is always right, and the pride Rodger displays in his products is very admirable. You can be sure that when you open your brand new piece of Cloud gear, it’s not going to have a flaw.
At the end of the seminar, Rodger presented the winner of CRAS AES Cloud Mix Contest, Malcolm H., a new Cloudlifter Z! Malcolm was ecstatic to get his hands on the Cloudlifter, and is hoping to add one of the 44-A active ribbon mic to his collection soon!
CRAS is very grateful to have Rodger come down and speak and we hope to see him back soon! You can watch the entire presentation on the CRAS YouTube channel here, and feel free to look around the rest of the gear students can get their hands on at CRAS!