Making music on your PC has never been easier – or harder. While the recording side of things is fairly straight-forward, getting good audio using your PC’s limited complement of hardware tools is difficult. Hissing, bad levels, and odd artifacts plague home recording. That’s why I like the G-Track microphone from Samson. It essentially puts a good microphone and nice line-in source in a package that is shock-proof, highly configurable and really quite attractive.
The G-Track has a condenser mic with a separate line in. The microphone is hidden in a nice cage and the line in and line out are at the bottom of the mic. Three front dials control the instrument and mic gain and the volume controls the monitor output. To record, simply plug in the device and fire up your recorder. I used Garage Band but it includes Cakewalk’s Sonar LE for Windows.
To record you attach the mic to the included stand or optional “spider mount” and begin monitoring the mic’s mono channel. The mic mixes in the line-in audio into one channel and acts as an audio output device for most programs, allowing you to monitor the mic input through headphones. The quality is excellent, with a nice depth of field. The dials offer enough audio tweaking but aren’t so complex as to render them useless to amateurs.
It includes a 3/4″ female to 1/8″ male cable and an dual mono RCA to 1/8″ cable which should fit just about any music gear. I plugged in my acoustic guitar with a Dean Markley pick-up and set the levels. I then began recording. Note: This is the song I’ve been singing to my son recently and one of the only ones I’ve memorized off-hand. I could have played No Woman, No Cry but that would have been horrible.
As you can hear, the resulting cacaphony is quite clear. I would actually use this mic for podcasting and Skype and it’s sufficiently powerful and sufficiently compact enough to be considered portable. At $149 the G-Track is a bit expensive for a mic but, as we know, good microphones are the cornerstone of any rock band’s success. That and having a hot singer.
Bottom line: This is a great mic for singer-songwriters and podcasters.