Most USB mics are task-oriented, working well for basic podcasting or throwing down a quick demo, but as time passes and more people are using mics with built-in interfaces, the quality of USB mics is improving. The $149.99 Samson G-Track Pro is a great example of the performance that is now achievable with a USB mic.
G-Track Pro is a full-size, multipattern studio mic with a dual-diaphragm, 1-inch capsule offering cardioid, omnidirectional and figure-of-eight pickup patterns. It has a built-in headphone amp and desk stand, and is the first USB mic I’ve come across with a built-in 1 megohm instrument input. It provides recording up to 24-bit/96 kHz, unlike most USB mics, which offer 48 kHz recording, often at a depth of just 16 bits.
The mic and instrument inputs can be used simultaneously, making it easy for a guitarist to record a guitar direct while accompanying a vocalist. Three knobs control mic gain, instrument gain and monitor volume, and a three-color LED indicates power, clip or mute. Latency-free monitoring is provided via the Monitor switch, which routes the direct mic and line/instrument inputs directly to the headphone out, along with the DAW mix. G-Track Pro can handle up to 120 dB and has a 50 Hz–20 kHz frequency response, with a sensitivity of +6 dBFS.
But more important than all of the specs, the mic sounds good. I’ve used it to record male and female vocals and acoustic guitar, and the instrument input to record keyboards (mono), acoustic guitar and bass, with impressive results in every instance. The headphone amp sounds good as well, making this an impressive package with regard to price.
Samson • www.samsontech.com
Samson Podcasting Solutions • blog.samson.co/blog/podcasting-solutions/
Samson USB Microphone Buyer’s Guide • blog.samson.co/blog/podcasting-solutions/usb-microphone-buyers-guide/