Samson Q1U USB Mic

I just picked up a Samson Q1U for a student as a going away present. He wants to do some webcam lessons or something (we’ll see how that goes…….yeah). Anyhow, there are a number of USB microphones out, or adapters for Microphones to USB. The Samson was a well under $100 mic that includes a little stand as well (I think I paid like $65 or something).

For the money, this mic is great. It sounds good, and it is stupidly simple to set up. On a Mac, you plug it in, and it shows up right away. You simply select it as the input, and off you go. It can be used in Amadeus, or whatever your recording program is. There is a noticeable latency though when you record.

I really didn’t do that sort of testing with the mic, I just simply plugged it in, and did some sound quality/tone tests with it (as it was a gift and I had to wrap it up and give it the next day). It really sounds great. Like a Shure 58, but not quite. Sounded pretty close to my Shure 58 that I have (keeping it fair, just recording the 58 in 48K, 16 bit). Maybe closer in sound to their Performance Gear 58, though I’ve never seen one of these in the wild. The frequency response graph for the Samson looks better (ie more flat, which is a good thing).

Verdict: For $65, this is a great mic. Sounds great. Simple to use. Comes with Cakewalk for you Windoze people. Brainless setup on the Mac side (plug it in, and it shows up). If you can deal with the latency (or not have to hear yourself while recording), then this mic would be ideal for someone wanting to record but not wanting to spend hundreds of bucks on an interface, mics, and cables. 9 out of 10.

Great Idea….Bad Timing??

Alesis ProtrackFinally, a professional mobile solution for recording on an iPod. The Alesis Protrack sounds good…

ProTrack provides convenient, direct-to-iPod stereo digital recording to iPod in a portable, handheld form factor. Users can capture live audio anywhere and anytime with their iPod or iPod nano. ProTrack’s smart design integrates the iPod into the recorder, with included sleds to securely mount supported iPod models to the recorder.

But only records 16-Bit, 44.1kHz or 22kHz stereo, supplies 48V phantom power to inputs when wall-powered (not on the 4 AA batteries it needs), and it only records to iPod (Classic or 5th Generation), or iPod nano (2nd or 3rd Generation). The last one is the kicker. With Apple due to refresh the whole iPod line anytime, it is rumored that the Classic iPod will be dropped…..and who knows about the Nano.
If this product was released like…….two years ago, it would have been great.

Digidesign Releases ProTools 7.4.2 for OS X 10.5.3

Almost 9 months after Apple released OS X 10.5, Digidesign got around to releasing an update to Pro Tools to let people run it “officially” on 10.5. Woohoo.

I had to run Pro Tools on 10.5 due to a new Mac Pro purchase. It worked ok on the MacPro, failed miserably on my iMac. Then Apple released 10.5.3, and Digi released 7.4.2pr (pre-release), and that worked on the iMac. Looking forward to playing with it later.

Reed Prices…….WTF?!?

So, I finally depleted my supply of reeds. I generally buy a couple of boxes. Last time I bought some from The Woodwind and the Brasswind. Not this time. They have this really deceptive thing going on. Example, Rico Plasticovered reeds for Tenor. For 3.5 (3 1/2) size, it’s $16.49 a box. But I use 3 size, and selecting that, the price jumps to $23 a box. WTF? Clarinet reeds have a similar thing going on.

When last I ordered reeds, back in August, the Rico Plasticovered were $15.95 a box from WWBW.

This last order of reeds went to USAReeds. They had good prices, and reasonable shipping. Anyone have a good source for reeds?