A superior all-purpose desktop microphone.
When I watch a stream or video that has poor audio, I find myself jumping out early. It doesn’t matter how good the content is, if the audio is terrible, I just can’t make myself watch it. Sometimes all it takes is upgrading your microphone to make all the difference in your audio quality. With so many microphones in the market, it can be hard to decide which one will work best for you. Sometimes, one size does not fit all so I’ve found it’s best to narrow down your main purpose for needing a microphone and then search based on that. With that in mind, I would like to introduce you to the Samson G-Track Pro, a professional USB studio microphone that can be used for a variety of purposes including music recording, podcasting, and gaming/streaming.
Because Samson knows that narrowing down your needs can be difficult, they tried to create an amazing all-purpose microphone with the G-Track Pro. They refer to it as a complete recording solution for capturing vocals and instruments. The microphone is a multi-pattern USB condenser microphone, audio interface, and mixer all in one device. It can deliver up to 24-bit, studio quality sound. The G-Track Pro makes set-up simple by providing a plug-n-play solution for microphone use. You simply connect the USB cable to your computer (or other interface) and start recording. There are no special drivers needed.
The microphone features dual 1″ (25m) condenser. It is compatible with most computer-based digital audio workstation software. It has the ability to record microphone and instrument input simultaneously. There is a 3-color Power/Clip/Mute LED and an integrated desktop base for the microphone.
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid (unidirectional), bidirectional, omnidirectional
- Capsule: Dual back electret condenser
- Diaphragm Width/Thickness: 25mm/3 microns
- Frequency Response: 50Hz–20kHz
- Sensitivity: +6dB FS/PA (all polar patterns)
- Max. SPL: 120dB SPL
- Bit Depth: 16 or 24-bit
- Sample Rate: Up to 96kHz
- Digital Output: USB
- Headphone Output: 1/8″ (3.5mm)
- Headphone Impedance: 16Ω
- Headphone Power Output: 85mW @ 32Ω
- Instrument Input: 1/4″
- Instrument Input Impedance: 1MΩ
- Controls: Mute, Mic/Instrument/Headphone Volume, Monitor On/Off, Mono/2 Track
- Product Dimensions: 4.5″ (116mm) x 10.5″ (268.5mm) diameter
- Product Weight: 3.52lb (1.6kg)
The G-Track Pro arrived in some nice packaging. The box is blue and white with a few images of the G-TRACK Pro on the outside. There are some basic details of the microphone posted around the outside of the box in multiple languages. When you open the box, you will see the top of the Mic. There is quite a bit of protective cardboard as well as bubble wrap in the box with the microphone, which comes pre-assembled. After removing the microphone from the cardboard, you are left with a USB cable, manual, and two small square cards — one is for registration and the other is to download AudioDesk software. Downloading the AudioDesk software is a nice touch, but not necessary if you have a program like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere or even Garage Band as you can record voice as well as other types of recordings directly into those programs.
I really appreciated that there are no complications when it comes to getting started with the microphone. You don’t have to assemble the stand or update any systems on your computer. It really is just plug and record. The manual is quite nice as you are getting started. It’s got a glossy finish and it’s really written well. It’s one of the nicer manuals I’ve seen. It’s very easy to find the information you are looking for and easy to understand.
As for the microphone itself, it’s an impressive piece of audio equipment. It’s got some weight to it. I appreciate this as it keeps it grounded to its location and it doesn’t move around. It’s sturdy and it just feels well-made. The USB cable plugs into the bottom of the microphone and this is really the only thing I don’t like about this design — the cable gets bent. Because it has such a sizeable plug end, if the microphone is sitting vertical, the cable gets bent at a 90º angle. I’m sure the product designer reinforced the USB cable, but it is still concerning as a user to see the cable under obvious stress.
In order to test the Samson G-Track Pro, I decided to complete a short test recording with the help of Robyn, one of the Senior Writers here at MacSources. She recorded herself reading a short passage from Stopping by a Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost. She read the excerpt using the Cardioid setting while sitting various distances from the microphone (6 inches, 12 inches, and approximately 3 feet). She tried her best to keep her voice steady so that she didn’t over project when she wasn’t farther away. Here is the recording.
I have to say that I was very impressed by the sound quality of the recording. We recently reviewed a compact microphone by Turtle Beach that was designed specifically for gaming and video streaming. While it worked well for what it was designed for, that microphone can’t really compete with the G-Track Pro when it comes to overall quality. You can hear a pretty great difference between the distances when you listen to the demo above but the quality is still crisp and there is virtually no ambient noise bleeding through to the voice track. That said, it’s apparent to me that the closer you are to this microphone, the better the recording will be. With that in mind, I would recommend it for voiceover work and/or podcasts because you have the ability to sit closer to it than you do with other types of use.
Even though you can’t always find one microphone to work for all types of recordings, the G-Track Pro comes very close. It’s built extremely well and the quality of the recording can’t be beaten. My previous microphone of choice was the RODE Podcaster. While that is still a very nice mic, the quality of the recording I did with the Samson G-Track Pro is far beyond what the Podcaster can do. The recordings are like night and day. The G-Track Pro is a larger desktop microphone so if you can’t spare the space, you might want to look into something that is a bit smaller. The only problem I really have with the design is that it’s locked into being a desktop microphone and it can’t be mounted anywhere else. I’m willing to overlook that though given it’s extreme ease of use and excellent audio quality.