Samson Audio C03U Recording Pak £114
21st Aug 2007 | 23:00
Turn your Mac into a fully fledged podcast-recording studio
Everyone's making a podcast these days, and why not? Hosting them online is cheap, and all the web-building tools we use have easy podcast integration. Even iWeb has a one-click podcasting facility. And if this Samson microphone proves anything, it's that professional voice recording in a studio setting needn't be expensive.
The mic comes with a brilliant stand that includes a shock-resistant rubbery cage attached to a solid, heavy base. The sound quality is a step up from the headsets we normally use.
The C03U has a multi-pattern condenser, so it can capture audio in several ways. Flicking a three-way directional switch between modes lets you chose which direction to record in. You get omni (all directions), cardioid (to the front), and a figure of eight pattern for recording in front and behind the mic only. Different modes lend themselves well to different types of recording.
Next to the direction switch is a quick volume-cut switch that cuts away 10dB, or adds it going the other way. This could be handy during times of heavy background noise.
Ideally, this mic wants to be on a desktop in a studio, but as it's USB powered, you could easily take it out with a Mac laptop and do your recording remotely.
It doesn't require a driver - it gets OS-level support out of the box. Optional drivers are included if you want to change things like level metering and phase control. The package also includes Sonar CakeWalk LE, which is good software for recording and mastering the audio you capture.
Overall? A clean-sounding and fully featured package.