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Any thoughts on the USB mics?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by blipndub, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. Any thoughts on the Blue Snowball or the Samson model?

    I've been looking for a way to run a mic in for the quick and the dirty and wondered if anyone has some experience with the USB mics. Right now I have to haul around my preamp with my mac and it would be great to just go straight for easy stuff.
  2. fenwickbacker


    Jun 12, 2004
    New Orleans
    blip - I was about to post a similar question. Same as you, I'd like to just hook up a mic directly to the back of my apple and record quick vocal tracks. I was also looking into an adapter from a standard xlr mic output to the 1/8" direct in on the back of the mac. But I'm not sure if there is one, or what the quality would be. I'm using a 1/4" to 1/8" for bass and keyboard hook-up.

    I'll check into the ones you listed.
  3. Aram


    Feb 2, 2003
    New York, NY
  4. wEEman33


    Mar 12, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    *Another bump from an interested poster.
  5. wEEman33


    Mar 12, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Well, I went ahead and snagged Samson's CO1U model for $63 off eBay yesterday, so I'll be sure to post a report after I give it a thorough testing.
  6. We'll look forward to your impressions!
  7. wEEman33


    Mar 12, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Well, I've had three or four days to mess around with the Samson USB mic, and so far I am more than pleased with my purchase.

    Setup/installation is totally painless—just connect one end of the included usb cable into the mic and the other end into your computer’s usb port and you’re all set to record.

    Though the mic will work with or without installing the Samson drivers, the downloadable drivers do give you some added options in terms of adjusting the input gain (it even has a handy, real-time meter that tells you when your sound is getting clipped) and a low cut/high pass filter that allows you to adjust the exact frequency at which the low-frequencies getting picked up by the mic are rolled-off, or attenuated.

    As for the mic’s overall sound quality, I’m far from being an audio authority, but given the extremely low entry-price, the actual recorded quality of the audio seems to have an impressive sense of depth and clarity. In fact, the thing is so sensitive that it seems well-served in accentuating the noisiness of my practice amp--whose primary speaker is partially damaged--the general inconsistency in my playing technique, and the ever-present buzz of my very-close-by computer fan. Basically, the mic sounds superb if you’re in a properly “sound-proofed” area, but if your recording area has some acoustical flaws, this mic will have no trouble pointing them out to you. Thankfully though, the mic’s usb cable is long enough that you should be able to distance yourself from your computer so that its cooling device(s) don’t get picked up during recording.

    One sentence summary: Samson’s CO1U is certainly worth a shot if you’re looking for a cheap, quasi-professional-sounding condenser mic.

    I went ahead and spliced some rough sound samples sans post-production (as recorded in Audacity) for anyone that wants to hear the thing in action with some seriously low-end gear (specifically, a Squier P-Bass as played on the above-mentioned noisy and somewhat busted Bassman amp):


    Also, to exemplify the quality of the mic’s vocal-capturing capabilities, I slapped together several layers of vocals set at varying frequencies; the resulting clarity is quite pleasing (or perhaps in this case, the word "disturbing" is more appropriate?):

  8. you can get get xlr to 1/4 jacks cables fenwick
  9. [​IMG]

    Well, for $70 I thought I would take the plunge. All I've had time to do it open up the packaging and take a look. First aethetic impression is that the unit is well-made, cleanly designed and full of potential. I'm going to do some serious home-recording this weekend and I'll put it through the paces and post clips if worthwile.

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