I’m not particularly tech-minded. I can wire a plug, change a bulb, jump-start a car at a push. I get my head around most tech issues by watching tutorials and “having a go”. My computer literacy extends as far as the majority, in that I know how about 75% of the standard Office Suite works. So when I started making videos and providing my own audio, I was understandably daunted by the prospect of learning a bunch of new skills and having to get my head around things like “mic gain” and “bit-depth” (actually I still don’t know what that last one is).
As streaming and video production becomes more and more popular and prevalent, my problem is one that an increasing number of people will experience. We simple folk need simple tools – but that doesn’t mean we want to sacrifice functionality for affordability or simplicity.
The Samson G-Track Pro microphone isn’t the most expensive on the market, but at £175 + delivery (based on the Amazon UK RRP at the time of writing), it’s certainly not the cheapest, either. It is, however, pretty easy to use, especially for beginners who want something solid but not overly-complicated. It comes packaged with a link to download its own software, but I found it to be more confusing than good old Audacity, which I’ve been using alongside it with zero issues.
Straight out of the box it’s ready to use. You don’t need to assemble anything; you simply plug it into a USB port and open your recording software. A variety of levers and dials allow you to change the settings on the fly. On the front you can alter the direction of the gain from Cardioid, bi-directional and multi-directional, which is great for cancelling out ambient noise, while there are separate adjustors for vocal and instrumental gain, and a volume setting for audio playback (which you can enable to play directly into headphones). An indicator light will tell you if you’re being too loud or if the input is clipping, so it’s easy to avoid bad samples. Being able to jack an instrument directly into the mic is pretty useful, too.
It is incredibly heavy though, and while stylish, could comfortably be used in hand-to-hand combat should the need arise. It weighs almost 4lbs in its sturdy stand, so I’d make sure you’ve got a strong enough rig before you consider mounting it on anything but a flat surface. It looks like a well-made piece of kit, which is important to some, but the sound quality reflects that. Sadly though, it doesn’t have a pop filter included, and this can be a bit of an issue as the size and weight mean most people are going to mount it on their desk or workspace where it will pick up breathing and sudden noises.
For streamers and amateur creators, the Samson G-Track Pro is a solid investment. Sturdy, easy-to-use and high-quality, the only real complaints are that it’s a bit of a beast (be careful if you’re rigging it to a boom-arm), and it doesn’t have its own pop filter, meaning you’ll have to shell out for one separately to get the most out of the product. Those fairly minor issues aside, if you want a decent mic and you can afford to pay inside the medium price-range, the G-Track Pro is simple, well-made and reliable.
· Dual 1” (25mm) condenser capsules
· Cardioid, bi-directional & multi-directional pickup patterns
· Frequency Response: 50Hz – 20kHz
· Sample rate: Up to 96kHz
· Bit depth: 16 or 24-bit
· Sensitivity: +6dB FS/PA (all polar patterns)
· 1/4” Instrument connection
· 3.5mm stereo headphone output for zero-latency monitoring
· Weight: 3.52lbs (including base)
· Dual vocal/instrument recording
· Heavy-duty desktop base
· Die-cast zinc construction with heavy gauge mesh grille
· USB connection
Simple to use for beginners
No pop filter