Author Topic: Cheap but decent USB Mics?  (Read 2832 times)

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Linsen

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Cheap but decent USB Mics?
« on: December 01, 2009, 12:39:51 pm »
So, I'm starting to get ready for a reasonably priced recording solution, as I recently discovered that listening to myself play is one of the best tools to gauge progress and improve. But using the built in mic of a cheap digicam (which is not even mine) is really not much fun and is probably masking some of my mistakes while potentially exaggerating others. And it sounds cack, of course.

Therefore, I've been looking at cheapish USB mics recently, because I'm currently not willing to spend too much money on a USB interface plus mic.

So, what I've been looking at is the Samson C01U, which Ragz has afaik (and presumably at least one other forum member).

And there's the Samson G-Track, which is interesting because it's actually a USB audio interface and mixer in itself (albeit very basic), so it would even be still useful when I get an electric where I could then mic up the amp with a dedicated mic and run it through the G-track. It would also be possible to live monitor what I play with headphones, which seems like a pretty cool and helpful feature.

I'd be really interested to hear recommendations and maybe even about experiences anyone might have with the above items or stuff that's similar. I will be recording acoustic guitar plus singing for now simultaneously and later down the line electric guitar will be of interest, too, but that's still a ways off. I don't want to spend much more than what the G-Track costs, so about 100 Euros, give or take.

Thanks in advance,

Linsen

Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Cheap but decent USB Mics?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2009, 01:17:11 pm »
Samson C03U €99
Audio Technica AT2020USB €169
Fame Studio CU1 €59
MXL DRK USB Desktop Recording Kit €139
Nevermind, just check out www.musicstore.com
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 01:26:16 pm by Cue Zephyr »
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Linsen

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Re: Cheap but decent USB Mics?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2009, 02:43:21 pm »
Erm, thanks, Cue, but that's not really all that helpful, tbh. :-\ I was more hoping for some first-hand experience with cheapish USB mics and general info on what I shoud consider when choosing one...

Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Cheap but decent USB Mics?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2009, 03:05:51 pm »
Cousin's got an AT2020 non-USB and it sounds ok. Seems to be pretty popular as well, so I don't think you'd go wrong with the USB version of it.

I can't help you on USB mics since I just skipped them (looked into getting one, but didn't).
I'm now running through a €189 pre-amp with a €155 microphone (€219 for multi-capsule package).
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Linsen

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Re: Cheap but decent USB Mics?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2009, 04:10:52 pm »
Okay, thanks, the AT 2020 is a little more than I wanted to spend, but I'll put it on the list. Then again, 169 Euros puts me almost in the category where I could get a cheap audio interface like an EMU 0202 and a cheap non-usb mic - which might sound no worse (or better?) than a stand-alone usb mic but would be more future proof... Oh, decisions!

Does anybody have experience with the EMU 0202? I Somebody's got the EMU 0404 on here, I believe, but that's almost twice as much as the 0202.

Edit: It seems the EMU 0202 won't work with condenser mics due to lack of phantom power, so that one's not an option then.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 04:25:32 pm by Linsen »

Offline JC

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Re: Cheap but decent USB Mics?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2009, 04:41:22 pm »

I think Wishbone have one of those EMU:s (or at least know something about them)

I have no experience whatsoever with recording audio, so can't offer any advice. But I came to think of that new gadget from Line6, "Back Track", which seems quite versatile. There's one model with built-in mic, it costs around €100. Just thought I would mention it, but maybe You're after something more proffessional.

cheers
JC

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Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Cheap but decent USB Mics?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2009, 08:48:21 pm »
You can get some MXL condensers for under €100. :P
What about a Behringer MIC 100 - €46?
Then there's an MXL 990 you can get for €89, or the 603S (I think these are mod-able, but not sure),

I'm one of the guys with the 0404, I think Wishbone is indeed the other person with the 0404.
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Linsen

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Re: Cheap but decent USB Mics?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2009, 02:28:56 pm »
Thanks for the suggestions everybody. I decided to go for the Samson G-Track, because I think it will be sufficient as far as sound quality goes (I'm not expecting any miracles) and has all those tempting features built-in. It's basically a simple USB interface and mic in one. So it gives me the option for live monitoring which will be very handy when recording vocals and guitar at the same time through one mic. And later on, once I have an electric, I can get a cheapish second mic for the amp and plug it right into the G-Track. So, this should keep me happy for a long time coming.

The mic should arrive here tomorrow, so I shall try to put up some sound samples soonish.

Offline Ragz

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Re: Cheap but decent USB Mics?
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2010, 07:15:27 am »
Linsen, how is the mic?
Wish i'd seen this earlier. I'd of said that you're better off with the Samson C01U or C03U rather than the G-Track. But i'm interested what you think of the G-Track.


Linsen

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Re: Cheap but decent USB Mics?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2010, 11:09:04 pm »
Hey Ragz,

I'm actually quite satisfied with the G-Track. Sound quality may not be the best, but it's a huge improvement over the one on the digicam I had to use previously. Let's just say it's good enough for me and will last me for some time to come.

What I really like about the G-Track, and what a pure mic would not have given me, is the possibility to live monitor my recordings via the built in headphone socket. I use that a lot and I would have needed a real audio interface plus a mic otherwise. I wasn't prepared to spend that much money. There's also the line in, which I haven't used as of yet, but I'm sure will come in handy once I have an electric guitar and an amp.

I have not regretted my choice, so it's all well.

Cheers,

Linsen

P.S.: I'll try to upload some soundsamples on the weekend and maybe even write a quick review in the gear section. I've meant to do that all along, but you know how it goes...

Simo

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Re: Cheap but decent USB Mics?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2010, 10:10:25 pm »
I have a Blue Snowball and am pretty happy with it. I bought it on sale but I think the standard list price is about $100 US.


strapp75

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Re: Cheap but decent USB Mics?
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2010, 11:49:53 am »
Hi,

I've got an Eagletone UM30. I paid it about €50 and i'm pretty happy with it. I use it to record some acoustic stuffs and the result id more than decent.

http://www.amazon.com/Eagletone-Studio-Cardioid-Condenser-Microphone/dp/B001O7YZ6I


Kevin A

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Re: Cheap but decent USB Mics?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2010, 04:25:58 pm »
I recently bought the Samson C01U Mic and cant say ive found anything wrong with it.  Still messing around with the positioning of the mic but its simple, Mic, Stand and USB Cable, attached them all and connect to your pc/mac and thats it on and ready to use.

I paid £63 from Soundslive.co.uk but im pretty sure you can get it a bit cheaper than that.


Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Cheap but decent USB Mics?
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2010, 05:20:27 pm »
Kevin A, try the 12th fret, move it towards the birdge (still pointing to the 12th fret) to get more bass. I've been experimenting with tis an it seems to work.
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Offline close2u

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Re: Cheap but decent USB Mics?
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2010, 05:34:32 pm »
how long are the cables on those usb mics?

 

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