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Great for recording your guitar masterpiece…or conking out a bad guy.
In a unique twist, the Samson G-Track is a blend of a solid USB condenser microphone with an auxiliary input for a guitar, keyboard, or line-level audio source. It’s a nice combination of features in a rock-solid enclosure, with all the cables you’ll need—and a reasonable price tag to boot.
Unpacking the G-Track, it’s hard not to notice the sheer heft of the hardware. The construction quality is solid—this baby is made of metal. You’ll definitely notice the weight if you throw this monster in your MacBook bag. You’ll also need some sort of mic stand, as it’s not designed to be handheld.
There are two 1/8-inch inputs on the bottom of the G-Track for connecting a pair of headphones (or speakers), as well as another 1/8-inch plug for hooking up an instrument (and all the adaptor cables you’re likely to need are included in the box, a thoughtful touch). A slide switch lets you choose between mic/instrument and line levels for the input. There’s also a switch for selecting between a mono mix or separate stereo channels for the condenser mic and connected instrument or to play back your computer’s audio through the connected headphones. The flexibility is superb, and in order to control all the volume levels, there are three recessed knobs on the front, which pop out when pushed and deliver control over headphone, mic, and instrument levels.
Getting up and running is effortless. The G-Track works without any extra drivers, and we had a blast using it with GarageBand and Ableton Live. The microphone’s audio quality was better than we expected, though it’s not as sensitive as we would like. You’ll need to turn up the mic volume knob almost two-thirds of the way for a decent level, which also increases the background noise and hiss, (something you can partially compensate for with a bit of judicious equalization and compression in your recording software). Podcasters and hobbyist musicians will likely find the sound quality to be just fine, and the fact that the G-Track can simultaneously record your voice and guitar playing on separate tracks is excellent for real-world use.The G-Track is one of the more compelling mixtures of USB mic and audio interface that we’ve seen. We wish the microphone was a tad more responsive, but for the price, budding singer-songwriters and podcasters alike will find it to be a natural choice for recording on a budget.