Close Up: Cloud Microphones

Cloud Microphones


A Passion for Ribbon Mics: In 2006, while working as a recording engineer and developing his career as a singer, songwriter and musician, Rodger Cloud serendipitously met the tenant in the studio next door, Stephen Sank, who carried on the legacy of his father Jon R. Sank, legendary developer of ribbon mics for RCA under the tutelage of Harry Olson, who developed the 44 and 77 series. What began for Cloud as a side hustle helping Sank refurbish hundreds of vintage ribbon mics ultimately led to the 2009 launch of Tucson, AZ-based Cloud Microphones, starting with the rollout of the first of his trademark innovative Cloudlifter mic activators and the JRS-34 active and passive ribbon mics at AES in New York. Cloud set out to design mics he imagines Olson might have created if he had today’s resources, technology and manufacturing capabilities. With the heart of the mic, the ribbon itself, remaining unchanged, he has brought Cloud Microphone’s products, he says, “into the modern era by combining the soul of the past with the robust nature we need for modern recording.”  

Cloud Ribbon Mics in NYC Orchestral Session: Three of the company’s flagship products are the Cloud 44 Midnight Passives, the JRS 34 Passives and the Cloud 44-A Active ribbon, which combine the best attributes of vintage and modern mic technologies with custom CineMag transformers, a patented round magnet and Cloudlifter JFET technology. In mid-June, these mics were used for an orchestral recording at RCR Studios under the direction of veteran cellist, arranger, composer and producer Kristine Kruta as part of The Antisocial Producer’s Club, a renowned songwriting camp that invites 150 of New York’s top established and up-and-coming talents to compose fresh material. The session was engineered by studio owner Ricky Berotti.

Cloudlifter X: Cloud Microphones’ latest product is the Cloudlifter X, an expanded and expressive Cloudlifter featuring a custom transformer (developed with CineMag’s David Geren) for more gain, more options and dynamic character. With a bandwidth of up to 100K, it offers a sound one might expect from a large format broadcast console. The custom designed nickel-core transformer dynamically responds to louder input signals, adding harmonic content and saturation. The more signal it’s given, the more character and “mojo” it gives back. It also provides up to +36 dB of ultra-clean gain in MAX mode and up to +12 dB with the output attenuator engaged. 

Local Arizona and Navajo Nation Connection: Cloud Microphones’ unique ongoing commitment to local, sustainable and environmentally friendly manufacturing has created countless new jobs and economic growth. All elements are created and assembled regionally, with metal fabrication done in Tucson, coating and finishes in Phoenix, assembly at the Cloud HQ in Tucson and, quite significantly, working with Tooh Dineh for SMT circuit board manufacturing and assembly in the Navajo Nation in Northern AZ. The latter has helped bring vital, well-paying jobs to a community that averages 47% unemployment. In 2016, Cloud Microphones received the Presidential Export Award from President Obama in recognition of their contribution to the U.S. Economy. Five years later, the Biden Administration awarded them the E-star presidential award in recognition of their continued contribution to the increase of U.S. exports.

Contact Cloud Microphones, 520-829-3108