Samson C01U USB Microphone (Review)

The Samson C01U seems to be a popular inexpensive solution for simple microphone recording.
Here’s a comprehensive review of them:

There’s also a good selection of other USB microphones here

I use the samson c01u mic. for recording in audacity. I play a karaoke sample on track 1 and record the mic. on track 2. I noticed it sounds bad.
A) I generated a 10.000 Hz tone and recorded on CD. Played it into the mic. using a cd-player using only one track in audacity. After that I did a spectrum analysis. It looked exactly the same as the originally generated 10.000 Hz tone. It also sounded the same. Thus using 1 track the samson performed ok.
B) I played the same sample through the speakers on track 1 and recorded on track 2. After that I played track 2 only. It sounds strange. I did spectrum analysis and found strange peaks next to the 10.000 Hz. Thus recording and playing at the same time in 2 tracks does not work.

My computer is 1.6 GHz windows xp home edition with asus motherboard. I use the sound card integrated on the motherboard to play the sound through the speaker/ headset.

Now I wonder if this problem could be solved using for example a seperate sound card (instead of the motherboard integrated one) or is a new and faster computer necessary to do real time multi-track recording ?

Did anyone have similar problems and solve them ?

best regards, marcel


Try recording at a different sample rate (like 48000 Hz). Cheap motherboard sound cards aren’t known for the stability of their clocks.

Your computer is probably not the problem, I used to use a P3 800-MHz to record 20+ track projects (though never more than 2 at a time). I would first suspect the sound card, then I would try turning off any virus checkers, malware, or other resource hogs.

After extensive research, I bought this mic through Zounds.

There are some interesting tidbits about this thing, and I have supplied some links that are helpful. Apparently, the soft pre applet that comes with it is horrible and once it’s downloaded is hard to get rid of. I’m still experimenting with mine and don’t currently have the applet on my new system. It is recognized via USB port and bypasses my sound card. For the price this is supposed to be an exceptional USB Mic.


I did test with different sample rates but this did not help.

I did also close internet connection, virus scanner etc. but this also did not help. I think I am going to buy a new sound card and see how this works out.

In case B) were you recording the sound from the same speakers as in case A)?

Not sure if this is what you are doing, but what you should be recording on track 2 is just the vocal (use headphones to listen to track 1).
Thus a better A/B test than the one above would be to do recording A) as you did, but for recording B) you should simply repeat what you did in A) onto track 2 (with “Play other tracks while recording new one” selected in “Edit > Preferences > Audio I/O”)

The reason I did these tests is because we were playing the karaoke song (located in track 1) through the computer sound card into the headphones and at the same time recording the voice in track 2. This recorded voice in track 2 did not sound as I did hear it at all.

Thus in test B I played the 10.000 Hz tone (located in track 1) through the computer sound card through the speakers connected to this sound card and recorded at the same time in track 2 with the SAMSON C01U USB mic. In test A I played the 10.000 Hz tone with a seperate CD player.

Thus the speakers were not the same.

I’m a bit confused - what are you wanting as your final recording, just the the vocal, or the vocal and the backing track?

The final recording should be the vocal and the backing track. I know how to realise this inside audacity. With the SAMSON mic. on USB and internal audio card to play the karaoke sample on headphones this simply does not give reasonable results as I did prove in the previous posts in this discussion.

Record the backing track first.
Then go back to the beginning and record the vocal track.

There is a setting in “Edit > Preferences > Audio I/O” that allows you to “play other tracks wile recording new one”.
(Do not enable “Software Playthrough”)

When you have recorded the vocal, you will have two tracks, one above the other. You can then adjust the level of each track to get a nice balance in the mix. When you “Export” the audio, Audacity will mix down the tracks into a single stereo file.

For best quality, “Export” as “Microsoft PCM WAV”
If you are intending to burn the final mix onto an audio CD, set the bit depth to 16 bit and the sample rate to 44100 Hz (these are the settings that CD’s actually use).