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Samson C01U USB Studio Condenser Mic Reviews
Having a small home studio and a pretty tight budget, i reckoned nearly £70 for a condenser mic was a great deal, and after reading several reviews, i decided to buy one.
It is quite heavy and sturdy, it definitely looks and feels the part.
Set up is easy. Literally just plug it in and you can use it.
However, i have the same complaints as most people here. I find that the volume is still quite low even when the gain is turned up. Windows Vista users are told not to use the software you can download from the Samson website with gain features etc. so i don\'t really know how to overcome this.
I use Reason 4.0, so i can\'t directly record audio in this, but using audacity is acceptable, although i think latency is an issue, my recordings end up out of time by the 2nd verse.. :\\
The idea is great. If you are not wanting to spend on average £200 for an audio interface, this is definitely a must buy, especially if you aren\'t so much of a professional serious user. However, i seem to think a \'proper\' condenser mic (XLR) would give lower noise and higher overall sound.
I was very dismayed to learn that the CO3U as well as the CO1U can not be monitored in an audio application. RIDICULOUS! Why would you design such a quality microphone and make it so no one can hear what they\'re recording?
A software patch to correct this would be nice. Sony Acid won\'t even let me select the driver for the mic. I am not happy.
I purchased this microphone a couple of years back for recording rap music to. I must say I was blown away with the clarity of my voice. The vocals were crisp and sounded very proffesional, people used to ask me what studio I went to, but I just replied \"I dont, I do it all from my room for Â£50\", they were amazed.
I then told several friends about the microphone and dolphin music and they all bought 1, (about 5 in total), I found that some of them couldnt install them, thus making the microphone VERY QUIET! But once they installed the Samson Softpre-amp, and the drivers it was working amazing!
YOU CANNOT GET A BETTER USB MICROPHONE, period. I have looked.
Sound quality - 9/10
Ease of use - 7/10
Build quality - 10/10!
I have just bought this mic, at first I agreed with the reviewers that said the level was too low etc. and the mic was a load or ****. Then I changed the format (Advanced Microphone properties) to 1 channel 16 bit (instead of 2 channel 16 bit), now I agree with the reviewers who say it is wonderful.
Great mic - lousy instructions.
I bought the CO1U microphone for podcast work (a use Samson make a claim for on the box). Quality of the recording is no doubt good, but I suffered from the very low sensitivity of this mike (-33dB/Pa). Or to put it another way, the mic suffers from high levels of noise.
Samson do provide driver software (that you have to download from their website - it is not on the PC-only CD that comes with the mic). They use the same driver for all their USB mics. But this is not compatible with OSX 10.5, only with 10.4. This meant it did not work on my new Mac and the mic sensitivity was much too low to work with. I tried it out on my older PowerBook with 10.4. There the driver does work and you can increase the gain by up to 48dB. This worked much better and with the gain up to 48dB and the mic level in the System Preferences turned to maximum, I managed - just - to get a good level of voice recording. Although I had to get so close to the mic that popping became a problem.
Of course Samson might update the software soon. But they haven’t yet, some months after the release of 10.5 and the really bad news is that the driver doesn’t work with Vista either, so I suspect their programmers will be working on a fix for that first.
Moreover, I was still disappointed by the amount of background hiss I was getting on the recordings. This was as much as I got from the built in mic on the PowerBook which tends to pick up a bit of the hard disk hum.
So despite the fact it worked straight from the box (or at least when the driver software had been installed), in the end it is not much use for what I wanted it for – one voice podcasting. The voice is recorded to a high quality, but there is too much background noise to make the recordings usable in podcasts.
To say that this mic was a waste of time and money would be giving a bad name to the drinking-binges i went on trying to forget the £60 i spent on it in London's Tottenham Court Road. I installed it and configured Cubase to start using it rather than my Steinburg pre-amp/mic and wish i'd just re-wired it to be a lamp instead.
When i attempt any kind of louder singing, rapping, sound-byte recording - basically anything more than a gentle vocal performance it distorts terribly. Everything that does fall under its threshold for distortion comes out with so much treble, it's pretty much useless for any sort of professional usage. The only purpose it can serve is for 14/15 year olds that have a sequencer and want to experiment with harmonies, multi-tracking and even then you'd have to be careful of what it is you're recording. If it's a guitar, play softly, if it's vocals sing ultra gently, if it's violin or something you might be alright.
I wish samson would market their condensor mics as entry level, use for new-comers instead of calling it "professional" and acting like it's a breakthrough in cost-option serious recording.
Save yourself disappointment and anger, buy a mixing desk and plug a proper condensor into it, maybe via a compressor first.
I read the comment that podcasters would find this a useful tool.
However after trying it I find that, like other mono microphones this one is only heard through one channel. I don't have the time to manually alter every mp3 I record, so I'm afraid it's useless for me.
I will say that the sound quality in the one speaker is very good, but more seriously, I would argue this product is not as described.
Consider this description from the website -
"Seamless integration was the idea, and it was obtained by creating a studio condenser microphone that can be plugged into any computer with no in/out boxes, no expensive computer pre-amps, just a USB cable."
Yet further on down the page there are instructions for recording vocals that specify a pre-amp!
"The C01U works perfectly on any computer, Mac or PC, and with any DAW software program."
Oh no it doesn't - well, I am writing this during the panto season!
I bought this mic a year ago. A lot of my more seasoned muso friends were skeptical as no-one they knew had gone the usb route before. Here are my findings
1. Sound quality
Brilliant! crystal clear. I have used it to record vocal and acoustic guitar. I\'m by no stretch of imagination a pro but I\'ve recorded in a lot of home studios and this takes the biscuit.
This mic is a surprisingly heavy bit of kit. I have accidentally dropped it onto my floor (carpeted) a a few times and its been fine. I\'ve had it a year and no probs.
3) Value for Money
Well worth it. At the current price its a giveaway. When I bought it, it cost something like £65
4) User Friendliness
It came with a small straight-forward manual.
Just plug and play.
I still haven\'t figured out how to make it talk to my cubase SX3 software.
I have resorted to recording my audio on \'Audacity\' and then importing it in. For this reason I have not given this product full marks, although I gather it works with other versions of cubase.
For my needs: a home studio, a tight budget it has been worth every penny.
I recently brought the samson coiu, at the start i had my doubts but they were soon proven much wrong.
the setup of the mic was very conenvient and easy to setup and recorded superbly even with the audacity program, however i switched to Adoube Music Studio and it was unbelievable and really did prove to me i had a quality piece of equiptment on my hands.
It really did prove to me that this superb price microphone was the perfect deal for a boy and young artist of my age.
This microphone is what i feel is samsons best design of microphone and should deffinatly be brought as it is such a low price and the recording is clear and picks up what you want.
I rate this 9 out of 10 but close rimming to a 10 as it is exellent recording.