Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Replacing the Weakest Link

The Next Piece of the Puzzle

First, let me say that I have already owned my fair share of professional microphones over the years, mostly for use as location mics in my film business.  Shotguns, wireless lavalieres, condensers and dynamic, from makers like Sony, Shure, Sennheiser, ElectroVoice and even a cheapie Logitec desktop model with a pretty green light on it that cost all of $18.  And, ever since I have used GarageBand on my assorted Macs I have tried to get by with using these sturdy "sound acquisition tools" to record music in less-than-perfect studio conditions that I was able to "kluge" together in the various offices, kitchens, and rec rooms in homes where my wife and I have cohabited with blankets on the floor and hung around the room waiting to roll audio between trucks and ATVs storming up and down our neighborhood's roads, with lawnmowers, dogs barking, etc.

Well, enough already.

I finally went into Musician's Workshop music store here in Asheville a few days ago and bought a real studio mic made for recording the human voice AND musical instruments: a Samson C01U USB Studio Condenser Microphone.  It was only about $150 with the optional SP01 Spider Shock Mount.  It sounds great with a flat frequency response of 50 Hz - 20KHz, a cardioid pickup pattern, and includes a desktop mic stand, mic clip, USB cable and carry pouch.  Unbelievably it appears to be made mostly out of metal.  You remember metal don't you?  That really hard, sturdy stuff most quality functional things used to be made of.  

Conveniently, when using a Mac with GarageBand, the C01U is truly plug-n-play.  If you still are in the Neanderthal world of computer audio recording using a PC, you will have to load some extra drivers and other software stuff from the Samson Cakewalk Sonar LE disc included in the box.

Note:  Just a bit of sage advise from Uncle Billy here.  If you are into any kind of media production, or anything else for that matter, get smart and get a Mac.  If you already have one, you know what I mean.  If you don't, go ahead and continue living in the dark DOS past.  Us Mac users will wave bye-bye as we continue to fly away from you into the bright Mac-Future.

My friend, singer-songwriter Neil Laurence and I used the C01U mic today with GarageBand to record a demo for Neil and it performed just as advertised producing a great vocal from Neil here in the privacy of my basement studio.  (I looked for BasementBand audio recording software but it doesn't exist as yet).

Of course, now I have no excuse and must keep working on writing, performing, recording and producing music for fun and, maybe someday, even profit.

Oh, one more thing of passing interest.  I have examined the mic from stem to stern but I don't see an engraving or decal that states that it is made in China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Japan or Germany.  Could it be manufactured in the Good Old US of A?  The included instruction manual has the Samson Technologies Corp address in Syosset, New York.  Is this possible?


  1. I showed this picture to an MC friend of mine this weekend, and he almost drooled on my phone. I'm guessing that's a positive sign. :)

  2. Not positive for your phone, no :) Thanks for the comment, Beth. This mic does sound very nice. I'm making some short GarageBand music cues for Anita's Diabetes Menus shows and they sure sound purdy!