C03U USB Microphone Problem

Hi Everyone,
Hope somebody can shed some light or probably help me with this predicament that I’ve had since I bought this product. I just can’t get that noise out of the audio. I’ve turned everything off (normally my AC and Electric Fan) and it still produces that noise. I’ve tried plugging it on my Motherboard USB ports as well as case USB ports but it still does the same. I’ve used the same sampling for recording on Audacity. What’s weird though is that my Windows 7 doesn’t recognize it as C03U but rather C01U which is odd since clearly mine is C03U and it has the additional features the C01U doesn’t have.

Here’s a sample.

Hoping somebody would help, Thanks!

USB identities are printed by the maker and have little or nothing to do with the type of data connection. Some makers put their company name in there. The Behringer uca-202 arrives as “USB Audio Codec.” So that doesn’t bother me very much. I bet they picked the “microphone type” rather than the specific model.

If you have to post work to the forum please use WAV (Microsoft) rather than MP3. MP3 has its own sound distortion, so we can’t always tell what happened. You can only get about ten seconds of WAV show, so use this guideline.


However, we don’t need any of that to know what’s wrong. It’s not that the noise is too high, it’s that your voice is way too low.

When you record your voice, make sure the Audacity top sound meters occasionally reach -6dB in the yellow region.

That’s the happy volume. Too high and you could go into the red region and create overload distortion, and too low will give you what you have now. Fffffffffff.


Select the middle pattern “supercardioid” on the rear, and on the front, make sure you do not select -10. Talk into the company logo, the side of the microphone, not the end and not the back. It’s a cousin to this microphone.

Upside down doesn’t matter.

You may need to get within 8 inches or so to get good level. If you start to pop your P sounds, select the pop rolloff. Switch from straight line to funny sideways bent “L”.


That’s exactly the settings on C03u right now. As for the WAV file here it is. My recording voice does hit the Green part a bit, it doesn’t hit the -6db mark because my mic is currently set to Volume 5 or 0.05 in Audacity. Higher Volume makes the noise louder as well.

The software seeing your mic as a CO1 instead of CO3 is probably normal, I’d wager both models use the same USB A/D converter IC. However, it could be worth uninstalling and reinstalling the Samson software. I’ve see windows inexplicably add 20 db of gain in software which might explain your problem. Ignoring the noise where do you have to put the slider to get the meters to bounce into the yellow from time to time?

This model is a “side address” microphone so you should be speaking at the front side of the mic much like in the picture Koz posted.

This mic does have a 10-db pad switch, make sure that is “off” (set to 0).

Otherwise you are going to need to speak louder or get closer to the mic.

Hi, Thanks to you and Koz but as I’ve already stated the recommended configuration he posted earlier was exactly my current setup. It is not set to -10db since it makes my voice much lower I enabled the weird L thing and I speak on the Logo side, I also have Supercardiod enabled. I’m one of those people that read the manual so yeah, I know, hahaha. Anyways, one other weird thing is that when I tap on the USB Cable it picks up the tapping sound as I can see and here on Audacity, from what I’ve read on another website USB mics shouldn’t pick it up so might that be a problem? Or is this just a plain faulty or too sensitive microphone?

There’s no software though since Samson says it’s just Plug n Play but I tried the one they recommended on their website which is from AndreaElectronics which suppose to have a Digital Noise Cancel feature which I ‘paid’ but it didn’t even work and Windows says it needs to be disabled :confused: Last thing is my Mic’s volume is currently set to 5 or 0.05 in Audacity as I’ve said on my previous post, if I increase it to let’s say 15 or 20 I can easily hit the Yellow mark but the noise becomes disturbingly louder as well.

The “L” setting is for the high pass filter. It’s job is to suppress rumble, thump and low pitch sounds. In general, those sounds are not useful when you’re trying to record the voice. It’s the graphic representation of what the equalizer looks like in other programs. Attached is what it looks like in Audacity.

I note you carefully avoid talking about getting closer to the microphone or speaking louder. In general microphone noise (ffffff) is fixed and you are required to present at a high enough volume to overcome it. Some microphones have a built-in ability to change the capture volume, but some don’t. You can’t run the microphone across the table from you. USB microphones are close-talking. Many times you can fix low volume in post production, but high volume can permanently damage a show.

Almost all USB microphones with no controls run low volume.

when I tap on the USB Cable it picks up the tapping sound

Are you plugged into a nearby laptop computer? How about a scratch test?
Start Audacity recording and scratch the grill of the C03U and then scratch the laptop built-in microphone. This is what it sounds like when I do it with my microphones.


The sound goes crazy when I hit the active microphone.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 7.51.45 AM.png

Hi Koz,
I don’t have a Laptop, I’m recording on a Desktop PC. My USB Mic is about 2 ft away from the CPU and I’m about either a feet or half a feet when I’m recording. This time, I made the Mic Volume to 50% or 0.50 in Audacity so you should hear the noise much more now. Let me know if you need more samples. Oh, by the way, I don’t have any other microphone besides this one. Thanks for giving a helping hand btw.

The voice is still very low, but I can get to AudioBook compliance with correction tools (attached).

If this works for you, I can publish how I got there. If not, then you may need a different microphone. What does Google have to say about this? Everybody thinks USB microphones are a gift from the angels, but they don’t work for everybody.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 10.31.39.png

Hi Koz,
I haven’t uploaded another voice or recording sample with the increased volume. The only sample I sent on the 50%/0.50 Volume is the Scratch Test on my previous reply. Here’s a recording sample using the 50%/0.50. Let me know what your thoughts are on this and again Thanks!

I forgot, Yes, I would be grateful to know what you did on it and I’d like to tinker with it as well. I tried checking it on Audacity but the static noise is still there though, does it still have the noise at your end?

It still has a very low level hiss, yes, but it’s low enough to pass the ACX sound quality standard. They warn you not to go overboard with corrections because you could accidentally make your voice fall part.

You can make the background perfectly quiet, but then your voice may start to sound like a bad cellphone call. The corrections work on everything, not just the noise. It’s up to you to balance the suppression of the noise against the damage to your voice.

A recent poster read months of work and ACX rejected many of the chapters as “overprocessed.” After you make it past the robot automatic testing, a real human spot checks the sound aurally with their ears. That’s when the choppy cellphone voice kills you.

So you’re still looking for a better microphone.

I need to wait until I get back into the house to post the corrections list.


ACX didn’t just make up the technical standards out of whole cloth. They are a very close cousin to broadcast sound. Generally, if you can pass one, the other is a snap.

You didn’t actually say you were reading for AudioBook publication. Are you?


Yep, I was readying it to be mixed later on with in-game sounds. I plan to record my commentary on Audacity while playing on a console being recorded with a generic capture device. Afterwards I’ll salvage the Audio on the recorded file and put it into Audacity and sync it together with the one I’ve recorded for commentary.

Here’s a recording sample using the 50%/0.50. Let me know what your thoughts are on this and again Thanks!

My thoughts are you should be telling me where the sound meter was during your recording. That is most important.

I did a correction on the last one: Mic Test 2.wav

Unzip and put acx-check.ny in your Audacity plug-ins folder and restart Audacity. That’s the ACX check tool developed by flynwill that prints the panel with all the technical information and testing.

Select the whole show by clicking just above MUTE.
Audacity > Analyze > ACX Check.

The next thing you will need is Steve’s special rumble filter.

Unzip. LF_rolloff_for_speech.xml has to be installed in the Equalization tool.

Adding Equalizer Curves
– Select something on the timeline.
– Effect > Equalization > Save/Manage Curves > Import
– Point at LF_rolloff_for_speech.xml > OK. (it won’t open the ZIP. You have to decompress it)
– LF Rolloff for speech now appears in the equalization curve list.

Open the show in Audacity. Use Mic Test 2.wav for the test so we’re both singing from the same hymnal.

Select the whole show by clicking just above MUTE.
– Effect > Equalization: LF Rolloff for speech, 8191 Length > OK
Don’t forget to push the Length slider all the way up.

Drag select the first second of the clip. You or something made noises during the first two seconds of silence, so you didn’t follow clip instructions.

– Effect > Noise Reduction: Profile.
Select the whole clip by clicking just above MUTE.
– Effect > Noise Reduction: 12, 6, 6 > OK

– Effect > Normalize: [X]Remove DC, [X]Normalize to -3.2 > OK

Analyze > ACX Check.

That’s all I had to do with this clip. On the first clip, I had to boost your voice volume with the compressor. Substitute these three lines for the last Normalize, above.

– Effect > Normalize: [X]Remove DC, [X]Normalize to -3.2 > OK
– Effect > Compressor: Thresh -20, Floor -50, Ratio 2:1, Attack 0.2, Release 1.0, [_]No Gain Makeup > OK
– Effect > Normalize: [X]Remove DC, [X]Normalize to -3.2 > OK

Analyze > ACX Check.

If you want the noise lower, increase the “12” number in Noise Reduction. It’s already higher than normal, that tool normally works fine at 6, 6, 6. Listen carefully for voice damage when you do that.

If the RMS (Loudness) is still too low even with the compressor tool, run the three lines again with Ratio 3:1 instead of Ratio 2:1.
Again, listen carefully to make sure you didn’t break anything.


I plan to record my commentary on Audacity while playing on a console being recorded with a generic capture device.

Does the console make noise? It’s very common for posters to complain their microphone is picking up key clicks and other physical game noises along with their voice.


I did that correction monolog on a dead run. If I lose you, just post where and I’ll catch you up.


I’ll try what you outlined on your previous post thanks! No, my console doesn’t make any noise that I can hear and I haven’t tested yet recording while I’m playing my console. The console will be about 5ft away from the mic since that’s how long the HDMI cable can reach from the console to my monitor.

If your hands are going to be busy and you have to maintain multiple sightlines (the game and Audacity recording meters), you might want to think about hanging the microphone and not using a desk stand. That means you can park it slightly up-left or up-right out of the way while you perform and still stay close enough to overcome the noise.

I like my On Stage Stands MS9701 (attached). They use clever folding joints to get around not having a heavy iron base.

The SP01 will give you the shock mount and knuckle joint to complete the picture.


Here’s the stand and a different microphone (and shock mount) in a guitar shoot.

Yes, that is a real theatrical sandbag. You can use a book or anything else heavy to keep the stand from falling over if needed. Here’s the same stand mounted on a table instead of the floor. There’s no arm extension, so I didn’t need the sandbag.

It’s a little hard to see, but this shoot needed the pop and blast filter. That’s the black tennis racket thing in front of the microphone. Wynona is using one, too.

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 9.53.45.png

I also have a Samson C03U mic, used with Audacity with no major problems so far, but have several questions prompted by this dialog:

– If I understand right, Koz mentioned activating the high-pass filter to reduce incidence of popping. (I already use a pop filter.) Is the high-pass filter really effective for this purpose?

– I’ve heard/seen suggestions to turn the mic ~ 45 degrees instead of talking straight at the Samson logo in order to reduce popping and other mouth sounds. Your opinion?

– Alternatives to Samson mic: A VO coaching company is offering a Focusrite Scarlett home studio bundle that includes a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface with 2 mic inputs (incl A/D conversion & preamps, with XLR connection to mics and USB connection to computer) and a Scarlett CM25 large diaphragm condenser mic. What do you think of the relative merits of using the Scarlett setup in comparison to using the Samson mic with direct USB connection to computer. Relative quality of mics themselves? Other pros/cons of connecting mic to computer directly (Samson) vs. through an interface (Scarlett)?