Dbx286s versus cloudlifter

I have really appreciated your YouTube videos as I navigate the challenges of creating great podcast audio. I am currently running my PodMic into Mackie ProFX10 and then into my MacBook Pro with Audition. I am almost maxing out my gain on the mixer. I also would like to reduce outside noise, etc. before the editing stage. At first I was thinking cloud lifter. After looking at the dbx280s, I am wondering if that will give me the processing I want and also boost the gain so I can reduce it on the mixer without having to purchase the cloud lifter. I would deeply appreciate your perspective. Thanks!

I would get the dbx286s over the cloudlifter. The DBX 286s can introduce between 0-60db of gain to your microphone, the cloudlifter can introduce 20.5db of gain.

Plus the other processing the dbx286s offers can reduce a lot of time in post processing with the compressor, de-esser, enhancer and expander/gate.

Mackie are genuinely quite good so if you can get sufficient gain on the signal going into the mixer you should be able to reduce the gain needed on the mixer and therefore lower the noise floor you’re working with. My mixer (not Mackie) has the gain set on the mixer at -10db but gets a strong signal from the dbx286s meaning I’m not introducing noise into my recording chain.

Yes, as @markdenholm says the dbx 286s is your best bet here. It really gives a fantastic boost to all quiet dynamic mics. Many use it for the Shure SM7B instead of a Cloudlifter.

The Cloudlifter costs more and what it does it does very well - clean gain. A little less and you can have a high quality mic gain boost along with a load of enhancement dials too!

I wouldn’t try and boost a quiet mic using the preamps on any mixer. It won’t sound good.