Gain/signal suddenly FAR too high

In the middle of a recording session, believing we have changed -nothing- from one chapter’s recording to the next, we found (after recording a couple of 45 minute chapters) that the gain/signal was WAY too high.

We have a setup with Audacity, an EV RE20 with a cloudlifter, into a scarlet 18i8.

Just curious - does anyone have any notion as to whether the cloudlifter perhaps can experience a sudden spike in power, or if there is some “easy accident” we might have committed to make this happen? Upon discovering the files had way too much gain, we checked all the settings on all our equipment, and -nothing- seemed out of our ordinary setup. Nothing on audacity, nothing in the way we exported the files to mp3, no settings on the AI, nothing.

Just curious if anyone else has ever experienced this, or has a “99% sure it was blah”.

whether the cloudlifter perhaps can experience a sudden spike in power

Maybe not in the way you think. A Cloudlifter is an in-line volume booster to make up for the RE20 being a Dynamic (moving coil) Microphone and naturally having high quality, but “restrained,” “gentle” volume. I think the Lifter has something like 10dB or 15dB boost to put a number on it. It runs from the adapter phantom power (48v).

Did someone turn on Phantom Power and it wasn’t on before? That would do it. Boom! 15dB boost seemingly out of nowhere.

It’s also possible your adapter doesn’t apply phantom power (48v) to all the connections. Consult your instructions.

Cloudlifters I’ve met have no volume control. Does yours?

Word of warning about the Lifter. It “uses up” the phantom power. It will not work with microphones that need phantom power such as condenser microphones. The cable between the Lifter and the microphone is “Dry.”