Get Connected with the Samson USB Microphones

Connect

So you’re all ready to hop on a video conference call with a new client, but right from the start you notice a problem. The picture is great but you find yourself aimlessly waving at the display with not the faintest of sound. Not good!

With such a wide variety of VOIP tools at your disposal, communication is easier than ever before and using a telephone as a fix is not a solution.

Before you reach the point where you smash your fist through the computer, let’s discuss how a USB microphone can dramatically improve the performance of your system. A USB microphone is better than plugging a microphone or headset into the small, analog microphone input which relies on your soundcard. Computer soundcards typically don’t have the best audio quality, and can introduce additional noise and problems.

In this article we will explain the differences between some of Samson's microphone features and which microphone is the right fit for each application.

Communicate

First we need to understand how and where you’re using your computer to communicate.

  • Are you leading a webinar?
  • Arranging a conference call around a large table?
  • Calling home while on the road?
  • Part of a group chat in Google Hangout?

Not every tool works for every job, but using the right tool can make the job easier.

Always Connected

If you’re constantly on-the-go, making calls through Skype or similar programs, you need a solution that’s compact, easy to setup, and sounds great. The Samson Go Mic fits all of these requirements. When folded up, the Go Mic measures 2.5” x 1”, clips directly onto the computer’s display or can be used on a desk, features two pickup patterns, a headphone output and a small carrying case. From college students to professionals, the microphone is a great accessory for anyone who works from a laptop or iPad and requires a superior level of audio for their group projects or Google Hangout sessions.

In the Board Room

Many of today’s board or conference rooms have computers of TV’s setup for video conferencing. Without investing in a complete audio/video conferencing solution, you were either stuck using the webcam or computer’s built-in microphone, which provide average quality at best. Suddenly you sound like you’re in a cave or desert sand storm. Again, not good…

Samson offers two solutions for this application: The Go Mic Connect and the UB1 USB Boundary Microphone. The Go Mic Connect mounts directly on top of a computer or display and features Focused beaming technology software which narrows the microphone pickup pattern, effectively reducing noise and sounds outside of the pickup area, resulting in clear, isolated speech.

The Samson UB1 is a USB boundary microphone that features an omni-directional pickup pattern, which means it picks up sound in every direction (360 degrees), making the placement of the UB1 in the center of a conference table ideal. Designed with a high-quality capsule, the UB1 provides clear voice quality on conference calls, allowing easy, intelligible conversation even when you’re not directly next to the mic.

Create

Prerecorded Audio

If you create a lot of prerecorded audio for your own podcasts, webcasts for Twitch and the like…or just product reviews and demonstrations, you’ll want to use a studio condenser microphone like the C01U Pro. This allows you to significantly improve your recording using a broadcast-quality internal microphone preamp and analog-to-digital converter instead of the previously mentioned soundcard option. The C01U Pro even features a built-in headphone jack for direct monitoring without latency- the time between when you speak and when it’s heard.

Microphone positioning

Generally, you should position the microphone roughly 6-8 inches away from the sound source and have its axis (center line) pointing toward the nose and mouth for the most balanced sound. If you get too close to the microphone, you’re more likely to over-drive the input or increase the bass response, resulting in problems with plosive sounds- those popping Ps, Bs, Ds and Ts (more on this in a moment). Being too far from the mic just adds more room ambience, noise, and can create an effect of being in a “bowl”. The goal is to maximize the signal and minimize the noise.

Removing background noise and echo

Be sure to arrange your computer speakers so they don’t interfere with your audio pickup. In fact, it’s best to just wear headphones if you can. If someone is hearing a delay or “echo” it’s because the other party’s speakers are too loud, they need to use headphones or earbuds to completely eliminate the delay.

A certain amount of noise is going to be present in any vocal recording, but there are steps you can take to ensure you get the best results possible. A tried and true method of reducing noise in your recording is to get the strongest signal before distorting or clipping. If your recording is too low and you try to add volume after the fact, you’ll only make any original background noise that much more noticeable. Additionally, you’ll find fan noise is often a problem anytime you’re recording directly into a computer and even noisy laptop power supplies can add unwanted buzz and hum into the signal.

The solution? Samson’s SoundDeck software and its Noise Canceling and Echo Erase features.