Samson C01U: The Ultimate Podcasting Mic?

by Derrick Story

For the last few weeks, I've been testing the Samson C01U USB Studio Condenser mic. It's a solid, professional looking device that plugs directly into your USB port. No Mbox required. You can use the Sound Preference Pane to control the audio, or better yet, use the free applet software written exclusively for Mac OS X (there's a Windows version coming soon.) And considering that you can find this mic online for about $80, I'm thinking it's in contention to be crowned "the ultimate podcasting microphone" for the portable studio.



Samson C01U Mic

The Samson C01U mic looks as good as it sounds.



The microphone also comes with a holder that attaches to a stand or boom. I've had good success with repurposing one of my light stand booms for the C01U. Samson recommends that you position the
microphone as close as possible to the source, up to about three or four inches away. This helps reduce any unwanted background noise. Having said that, be sure you’re comfortable with where the mic is set. You need to live with it for the 20 minutes or so that your show runs.



A profession tip that's been used for years (and passed along to me from Samson engineer Mike Ketchell) is to position the microphone at a 10-40 degree angle from the sound source. This works really well, since the worst p-popping occurs from wind blasts that hit the microphone capsule straight on. Try it!



Software-wise, I like using the applet available on the samsontech site. You can adjust its level sliders to control the gain of the C01U’s internal mic preamplifier. You can also change your settings with the Sound Preference Pane, as I mentioned earlier. The last controller you use -- preference pane or applet -- is what controls the mic. So you can switch between them if you want.



I've used the device with GarageBand and Soundtrack Pro, but have had the must fun plugging it into Audio Hijack Pro. With the trio of my PowerBook, Audio Hijack Pro, and the C01U mic, I've captured some great sounding audio.



If you haven't found the perfect mic for your audio-to-Mac recording, and don't feel like spending the bucks for a Mbox setup, take a look at the Samson C01U. I think you'll like what you hear.




10 Comments

kiyookasan
2005-09-14 17:01:13
Any Digital Noize?
Hi Derrick,


I was wondering how the mic performs relative to digital noise generated by the power supply of the computer.


The way I test this is to get some high quality headphones, and turn the mic on in a quiet room and then turn the gain (recording/input volume) all the way up.


Power supply noise comes in a variety of flavors, but for computers I hear it as insect-like buzzing which modulates as the computer changes activities (ie. spinning up hard drives etc.)


Gen
http://www.digigami.com/eurekagram/

davemurf
2005-09-16 09:54:48
Multiple Mics
Does anyone know if you can connect two Samson C01Us through a single USB hub and control them independently?
derrick
2005-09-16 20:10:59
RE: Multiple Mics
Good question... I was wondering that myself. Will test with another USB mic and see what happens. Will report back here...
amyloo
2005-09-17 08:50:27
Any Digital Noize?
I'm not Derrick, but I've been using this mic for my podcast for a month or so. I get a little hum. It's enough I usually choose to isolate and filter it in Audition, but you wouldn't really have to. Anyway, to me that noise sounds more like the fan.


http://www.whosaid.org/cast/

barryca
2005-10-10 08:33:12
RE: Multiple Mics
Hi....just wondering if a second USB mic was ever tested to see if we can use two of these USB mics at the same time.


Thanks

HappiePsycho
2005-10-18 19:43:06
Samson C01U Condenser to mic Drum Kit?
Could one of these Samson C01U Condensers pick up an entire drum kit? I'm not expecting professional quality results, but a cheap way to record my drums easily onto my computer.


Thanks,
Dan

DavidBattino
2005-10-23 22:10:40
RE: Multiple Mics
According to Samson, your recording software determines whether you can run multiple USB mics. See http://samsontech.com/products/productFAQs.cfm?prodID=1810&brandID=2. Another USB mic manufacturer, Blue, concurs: http://www.bluemic.com/snowball_faq.php.


—David Battino
Editor
O’Reilly Digital Audio
http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com

Gnarley Marley
2006-06-02 01:37:20
Hey Ill be using the Mic for basic vocal recourdings in my home studio. How is the sound quality on that thing? All answers are appreciated.


Thanks,
Gnarley Marley

banwella
2006-06-02 08:08:46
Now we've establed that the multiple mics can be used, does anyone know what recording software supports multiple USB audio?
Jason
2006-06-03 07:16:05
Similar Question!


Since multiple mics can be used, what software on the Mac supports such multiple inputs?