When it comes to the vocals of your music production process, a microphone is an essential piece of equipment that you need to be thinking about. The Samson C01U Pro USB is one that you might have discovered during your search, but, as any musician and vocalist would, you’ll want to make sure that it’s the right one for what you’re looking for.
With this in mind, today we’re going to explore the ins and outs of this piece of kit, reviewing it in detail so you can ensure that it’s the right USB microphone for you.
To kickstart this review, we’re going to want to take a look under the hood to see what this microphone can really offer. As the title suggests, this is a USB microphone, meaning it will be universally compatible with the majority of your hardware and existing recording and broadcasting systems.
At the top of the mic, you’ll find a large, 19mm diaphragm with enough range to capture your vocals in a studio-quality format. There’s also a headphone output so you can really zone into the audio that you’re recording. You’ll also find LED peak indicator, helping you to maintain the quality and integrity of the microphone, and the quality of your recorded audio, while it’s in use.
While this microphone is designed for studio use, whether you’re recording music, specializing in vocal work, ADR work, voiceovers or even recording audio for a video, such as a YouTube podcast, the added benefit is that you can also use to dramatically increase the quality of internet conversations, such as Skype and other VOIP calls, making this a fantastic microphone for all manner of uses.
But while you’ll already know how to use a microphone, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty details. In addition to the outstanding super-cardioid pickup pattern inside the microphone, once again designed for optimal audio pickup, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a 20hz to 20,000hz frequency response range which prides itself on being flat and smooth with minimal interference.
Thanks to the USB universal design, you can simply plug the microphone into any USB port, and you’ll be ready to go, no driver downloads required which ensures that it will be highly compatible with the majority of both Windows and Mac recording software. With your purchase, you’ll also find a tripod stand for easy setups no matter where you are, a swivel mount so you can find the right positioning and, of course, a compatible USB.
It’s safe to say that looking at the features; this could be a microphone that you’ll instantly fall in love with and definitely has many benefits that it can provide you, regardless of what use it’s intended for.
Functionality & Usability
As you would expect from the list of features above, when it comes to the actual functionality and usability that this microphone provides, it excels. The microphone body itself weighs in at just 16 ½ ounces, making it ideal for all kinds of setup, whether you’re using it in the stand, on a desk, or clipped into an overhead clamp. This also makes traveling around with and maintenance of the microphone a breeze!
When you’re planning to use the microphone with the stand or the tripod, this process has also been made effortless. You simply unscrew the bottom, line up the threads and screw it into place, that’s all there is to it.
Note that the USB connector on the microphone body is also located on the bottom of the mic so you may not be able to use this with existing stands since the design of the mic is in line with the stand and tripods that come with it, but you should be able to use universal clamps with no problems.
Perhaps surprisingly to many, you can even plug in this microphone to your iPad, or even your iPhone is you invest in the Lightning Adapter. In fact, you can operate this mic through all iOS devices, as long as you’re running iOS 7 or above, and have the right connection leads, meaning you can record sounds, samples, and vocals to matter where you are or what you’re doing.
While this is an extremely popular microphone among musicians and recording artists, especially for a microphone which falls into the low-mid affordable price range, there are some concerns. While the quality that the microphone records are unparalleled, the design means that you need to position the mic, or yourself in the right position for the best pickup, as well as minimizing the risk of interference or background noise.
Likewise, if you get too close to the microphone, the auto-gain features and pristine pickup response may mean that your voice or audio sounds much more deep-toned (bass) than you intended. However, with a few practice-runs on positioning, or a few clicks on your audio software, these are problems that are easily relieved.
If you head over to the website to download the official software, known as Samson Sound Deck, it’s worth remembering that this particular microphone was released back in 2005, and the software has no longer been continued or updated by Samson. However, this isn’t a problem if you’re using other audio platforms, such as FL Studio, Ableton or even Audacity.
- Outstanding sound quality and pickup responsible
- High rate of universal compatibility with equipment and audio software
- Plug and play for fast installation and setup
- Everything you need in one kit
- Affordable price tag
- Sometimes pickup is too sensitive
- May not fit existing clamps and stands
- Software no longer produced
As you can see, this is a microphone that really does speak for itself. Whether you’re looking to record vocals or sounds, use it in music production, performances or even just to talk to your friend through Skype on the other side of the world, this is a microphone that’s there for you and guarantees to give you the audio experience that you’ve been looking for.