One for the podcasters/music makers

Decent microphones are brilliant. Laptop inputs, not so brilliant. The answer? A proper mic with a USB connection instead of a traditional mic plug. The one I fancy is the CO1U by Samson – fifty quid for a condenser mic that makes you sound like God is a right bargain, I reckon. I’m ordering one next time I get paid.






0 responses to “One for the podcasters/music makers”

  1. mupwangle

    Do condenser mics not pick up *everything*? If so, have you not forgotten about Megan, Liz and the wean?

  2. Gary

    Noise gate.

  3. The only issue I can see here is that there’s no way to use a hardware compressor in your input chain as you record. Check out:

    …but then, if you were using a laptop mic input before, then it probably doesn’t bother you.

  4. Gary

    Absolutely, yeah. You wouldn’t use it for a pro studio setup, but then again you wouldn’t use a laptop and GarageBand as your pro studio either.

    Then again, if you’re going to be distributing stuff in MP3, there’s not a lot of point to pro studio stuff…

  5. Well, hurry up and get paid. I’d like to know how you get on with it.

  6. Gary

    Heh. Priorities are mortgage than microphone :)

  7. James

    I’ve recently gone to a condenser mic having used a headset for a few podcasts – the difference is amazing, especially with a notebook as my only computer.

    It picks up shuffling papers or putting a glass down, but there’s not as much noise as I thought there would be.

  8. Gary

    A good mic takes a bit of getting used to, but if your software has a gate that can help a lot – dunno about other programs but in Garageband, if you enable the Gate and whack the slider up a bit you can remove most unnecessary noise. And an old pair of tights in front of the mic itself can reduce plosives and sibilants…

    I love condenser mics. They’re incredibly warm sounding.

  9. Gary

    I’ve just ordered the Mic as a “podcast pak” – Mic, stand, shock mount and case. If you shop around (UK) you can get all that for £84, which seems pretty good value to me.

    I’m also mucking around with some drum loop CDs which seem like *exceptional* value for money, but I’ll wait until I’ve used ’em in anger before deciding if they’re as good as they appear to be.

  10. I have loads of drum samples that I use in the free Leafdrum (running in CrossOver is it’s PC only), supply all my drum looping needs.

    I recommended that mic to a friend recently, seems like a good idea as she’s just getting into multitracking with Kristal Audio on her PC.

    I went down the FastTrack USB thing and a Behringer condenser (sticking my small Behringer mixer in the chain to power the mic) – works a treat :)

  11. Gary

    I’d ordered four CDs of loops from a place called Beta Monkey – various rock/alt.rock stuff. Quite impressed so far – you get a lot of loops for about £35 including international shipping – and they seem pretty well recorded (and on the same kit, so there’s no jarring change of sound between samples). Some really nice cymbal crashes, he said geekily :)

    I’m basically buggering around in Garageband for quick and dirty demoing, but I think I might reinstall Soundtrack for the heavy lifting (the G4 ‘book is the one I’m using for music).

    This is fun.

  12. Gary

    That’s the podcast “pak” arrived. Far too busy to actually play with it, but if you can judge a product by the quality of packaging and sheer shoulder-damaging weight, then this gets two gold stars and a VG rating.

  13. The pack looks like a pretty solid purchase – I especially like the inclusion of a shock mount for the mic.

  14. Oh, I forgot to mention, I found a really good site for hosting audio that isn’t Murdochspace. has a nicer interface, ad free pages (apart from a little bit hidden at the bottom of the page) and can host up to 30 tracks that can be organised into a playlist or albums.

    Check mine out at

  15. Gary

    Yeah, I priced the bits separately. Shock mount’s £25, mic stand’s a tenner, so at £85 for the pack you’re also getting a ten-foot USB cable and a decent case. Cakewalk Sonar software isn’t too bad either, although on a Mac obviously you’ve got garageband to play with instead.

    Ta for the heads-up on hosting too.

  16. Gary

    That, ladies and gentlemen, is a really nice sounding microphone. Pity it’s me honking into it.

  17. I shall point my friend at it forthwith.

    You can hear what she did with the internal mic on her bog-standard PC here –

  18. Gary

    Her voice close-miked would sound superb…

  19. Gary

    Oh, and that is good. I’m liking “flew a long way” – haven’t had the chance to listen to much more than that yet.

  20. Emma does have a lovely voice, she’s got a real ear for melody as well IMO. is a great site, I was really pleased to find somewhere that can host so many songs.

    Glad you like what you’ve heard :)