When you consider the history of the microphone, it is quite incredible how they developed. Always seemingly driven on by what was needed at the time, there is now a microphone for just about every situation. Necessity being the mother of invention, as they say.
They go back a long way…
To 1876 to be precise. Crude and rudimentary as it was, the first efforts arose out of the need for telephone operators to be able to communicate.
The G-Track Pro is a condenser mic that we will be featuring in our in-depth Samson G-Track Pro Review. It’s a distant cousin of the original condenser that came along in 1916. Quite a distant cousin, but related nonetheless. That was followed by the Ribbon microphone in 1920 and ‘finally’ the Dynamic microphone in 1931.
But it was not ‘finally’…
Technology advanced, and out of nowhere, we had USB connections. We needed mics that would work at a good level with our computers and USB ports. Straight plug-and-play mics that required no extra hardware that become the best USB microphones.
At this stage of their development, they do not challenge the Neumanns, AKGs, and Sennheisers of this world in the studio. They are also not designed to compete on live stages against Shure and their kind.
They are designed for another sort of activity. The activities that drove their development in the first place. Podcasts, interviews, live streams, video production, and vlogging. As a result, we now have lists of the best live streaming microphones alongside the best condenser microphones.
Good microphones cost money…
That is why there has been a rise in the number of companies manufacturing good, not excellent, quality microphones. They haven’t got to be excellent. But they do have to be good. There are now several companies doing exactly that. Samson is just one of them. But who are they?
A fairly recent arrival on the manufacturing scene, Samson started in 1980. They were originally involved in the design of wireless microphones. They have grown to the extent that they now have three brands. Samson Audio, Samson Wireless, and Hartke amplifiers.
One of the first…
Samson created some points for themselves when they became one of the first companies to design a USB microphone. That was a bit of a turning point in their marketplace image for some.
They have always been regarded very much as a budget-range manufacturer. That is not a criticism or an inference that quality was cheap. The quality is fine. They are well-made and produce good results.
Good quality is often expensive. Samson, though has produced what looks at face value to be a good mic at an attractive price point. But is it the best USB condenser mic on the market? There is only one way to find out, so let’s get straight to it…
Samson G-Track Pro – Overview
This is a microphone that has been designed with a variety of purposes in mind. If you are a podcaster or record video content that involves speech, it is ideal. Because of its polar pattern options, it is also very good for recording group interviews or meetings.
Live streaming and gaming also fall within its remit, as does recording in a home studio or even on the road. And as it operates at 24-bit/96 kHz, you will get high-resolution results in great detail.
But it offers just a bit more…
This microphone has its own audio interface. In music terms, this could have quite an impact. It will allow you to record an instrument as well as a voice at the same time. You can also adjust the volume levels of both signals to get what you are listening to just right.
Therefore, you can concentrate on the recording and spend less time worrying about the process. It is a plug-and-play mic with a basic and easy-to-use design. All of this together makes it a nice choice for one of the best all in one USB microphones that you can buy.
One of the things we really like about this mic is the quality of the build. Designing it for a variety of uses means it must be able to handle all of them. And as this could be used outdoors, it needs a rugged build. It certainly has that.
It is built from die-cast zinc and has a heavy metal mesh grille. Even the integrated stand is metal and very strong. This makes it quite heavy, weighing in at 3.72 pounds. At its outer extremities, it measures 11 x 6 x 6 inches.
It has some useful design features for mounting. This is because it includes a desktop stand but also has fittings for a boom arm and a conventional mic stand. And it will, of course, take a shock mount.
Controls are all located conveniently and include two sliding controls for pattern selection and mono or two-track recording. There are dials for instrument, mic, and headphone volume and also a mute button. The USB connection is underneath, and on the rear are ¼” and ⅛ inch sockets. We will look at all those later.
As we have already said, this is a mic that has been built to be able to handle a variety of recording tasks. As each task would require a different polar pattern for best results, this mic has three. You have the choice of Cardioid, Omnidirectional, and Bidirectional or Figure-8 polar patterns.
A pattern that is especially suited to a target source situated straight in front of the mic. It will reject a large proportion of the sound coming from behind it. This is a pattern that is ideal for recording a vocal. Also good for podcasting or streaming.
Bidirectional or Figure-8 pattern…
This is a perfect mic for recording an interview between two people across a table. This is because it will collect sound from in front and behind the mic. It will also reject sounds coming from both sides. It could also be used for recording a duet between two singers.
This is a pattern that is often quite difficult to use in a recording environment. That is because it collects sounds from everywhere. In front, behind, and off to the sides, basically 360 degrees. That makes it particularly problematic as it will possibly collect a lot of unwanted noise.
However, it is what you need for recording a group of people sitting around a single mic. This will be of great benefit in a podcast or video recording where there are several people involved. It is also excellent for recording the sound of a room or ambient sounds.
It has two one-inch condenser capsules. The frequency response is a reasonable 50Hz–20kHz, and it has a resolution of 24-bit, 96kHz. As we said, this is a plug-and-play mic, and you do not need any extra drivers.
Let’s go back to have a look at the controls. As we have already mentioned, they are neatly placed and easy to use.
Here you will find the operational controls. Three rotating dials for instrument level and microphone level and also headphone volume. The headphone output will give you zero-latency monitoring. This allows you to ‘mix’ the sounds to get good levels during recording. A nice addition on a mic.
Just above them is a mute control, which is also a useful addition in some environments. Also, on the front, the selector for the three polar patterns and a slider for a choice between Mono or 2-track recording.
On the rear are connections for an instrument or a line-level device with a ¼ inch jack socket. Also, the ⅛ inch output for the headphones. There is a switch that turns the monitoring for the mic off and on.
Given that you have the option of three polar patterns, you might expect an accomplished performance. To a certain extent, you would be right. It gives you plenty of options. And it performs quite well in all of them. The 24-bit, 96kHz resolution offers a decent result.
We are not saying that this will compete with mics that are significantly more expensive. If we are honest, it doesn’t. But it does offer an acceptable performance at a reasonable price point with plenty of options.
It has the addition of an instrument input. And it can act, to a certain extent, as an audio interface. This means it could be considered as a bit more than just another USB mic. It certainly offers you a little more control on the mic itself than many of its competitors.
It can capture vocals and instruments at the same time. And to have some control over the sound is a big plus, especially for singer-songwriters. If you are using it with vocals, speech, or interviews, then a pop filter will certainly help to improve the sound quality.
Where is it best used?
Normally that is a simple question to answer. With this mic, there is a broader spectrum. It will perform quite well wherever you use it. Outside it will encounter the same problems that any mic will have with ambient noise.
And as we said, used indoors, it will be better with a pop filter. But generally speaking, it has been designed for multi-purpose use. And it performs adequately in all of them. So, whether you are a podcaster, singer-songwriter, video creator, or streamer, you will get a decent quality result.
Samson G-Track Pro Review – Pros and Cons
- Good strong build quality.
- Comes with a desk stand.
- Plenty of mounting options.
- Dual capsules and the option of three polar patterns.
- 24-bit, 96kHz resolution.
- Adequate frequency response for speech and vocals of 50Hz–20kHz.
- Easy to use controls.
- Zero-latency headphone control.
- Ability to record vocals and an instrument at the same time.
- Acts as an audio interface.
- It is quite heavy. If you are mounting a mic stand, make sure it is a good one.
Looking for Something Else?
Find the right microphone for you right now by checking out our in-depth reviews of the Best USB Microphones, the Best Microphones for Youtube, the Best Condenser Microphones, the Best Vocal Mics, and the Best Dynamic Microphones you can buy in 2021.
You may also like our comprehensive reviews of the Best Cheap Mic under 50 Dollars, the Best iOS Microphones, the Best Microphones Recording Electric Guitar, the Best Interview Microphones, and the Best Computer Microphones currently on the market.
Samson G-Track Pro Review – Final Thoughts
As a mic that will fulfill a variety of functions, we have to say it works well. We wouldn’t say it is a master of any of them. But for someone that needs a mic for a variety of potential uses, it ticks all the boxes. Certainly, the reproduction is crisp and clear.
It has a strong build that will take a few knocks, which will be necessary, especially if it is to be used outside. The price point is about right, and so we would have to conclude that it is a good mic that offers good value for money. If you need a ‘jack of all trades’ mic, it is going to be well worth a close look.
Until next time, never stop looking for the sound you want.