Forums/A/V Equipment list

Samson UB1 USB Boundary Mic

Sacha Goodwin
posted this on June 28, 2010 06:16 AM

About £60 in the UK, easy to install, visually unobtrusive, can stick it to the desk with mirror pads, very quiet and picks up from a remarkably long distance from the speaker (even picking up audience questions in smaller rooms) - also doesn't suffer from the fake output device problem that some cheaper ones do that wreck the default output of the PC rendering it silent.

 

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Graham Robinson
University of Southampton

University of Southampton has tried the Samson UB1, Yoga CT-07u and Plantronics MCD100-M.

Out of the three the UB1 is the best one, the Plantonics is great, but we don't need the speaker and the Yoga (also called Pulse on OneCall) seems to think that it is a speaker causing the lecture theatre loudspeakers to cut out.

The UB1 is extremely clear when 0.5-1.5 metres in front of it and audible from 3-4 metres away (opposite side of a lecture theatre).

July 01, 2010 05:08 AM
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Glenn McGarry
University of Derby-UK

We've bought a dozen of these for people to use in our smaller teaching rooms but have also used as a back up in a large lecture theatre.  We've had nothing but good results so far!  Especially suitable for recording small seminars and group discussions.

October 25, 2010 09:56 AM
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Glenn McGarry
University of Derby-UK

Our classroom services guys are a bit reluctant to loan out kit as much as our lecturers are to run around collecting it.  So, I'm looking at a way to retro-fit mics into each teaching room.  I've just done a comparative test of the Samson UB-1 with these two, mounted on a classroom wall.

The MXL AC-404 is too loud, distorted quite a bit and give quite harsh sounding recordings.  The Samson UB-1 is fine but found it too quiet however and the Beyerdynamic MPC70 was just right but too expensive to roll out to 100 odd classrooms.

Question:  If I could just give the Samson UB-1 a 10dB boost it would be the perfect solution, does anyone know how to do this?

 

June 02, 2011 06:02 AM
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Sacha Goodwin
University of Bath

Ref low output on UB1, we've found we always have to push the windows record level faders right up, they always seem to default at around 10%, that normally does the trick for us and ends up round about where we want it - not sure I'd want to add *another* 10db as such, as dynamic range can be quite large (applause at end of discussions etc) - have discussed with Eric some ideas about post record gain adjustment/limiting on playback to get round this - the more important indicator is the signal to noise ratio of the device, to our minds the UB1 is pretty good in this regard (70dB) - can't find any published specs on the other two you mention.

As an aside, anyone know anything about this?

http://www.crispmic.com/

June 02, 2011 06:32 AM
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Graham Robinson
University of Southampton

I know we're going back a decade, but our current thinking is that we will use UB1 microphones whenever we lend out a microphone to staff. It's no-admin install and ease of finding a USB port make it excellent.

However, when we are fitting microphones to desks we are going to use gooseneck or powered boundary microphones connected straight to the sound card. This gives control over the volume to Windows and allows audio boosting.

June 02, 2011 06:50 AM
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Glenn McGarry
University of Derby-UK

Cheers Sacha,

It's an additional 10dB that I want to add.  I know about it defaulting to 10% it's a bit of a pain for us and interestingly the other two mics I tested did the same.  I've had great results from the UB-1 where it has just been resting on a lectern but our small classrooms aren't set up that way and the mic needs to be fixed to the wall hence that boost is needed.  There are other problems with fixed installs of course in that you pick up transmission noise of doors slamming etc. through the walls.

I'm just exploring possibilities at the moment and like I said the Beyerdynamic seems the best for the job.  It gives good results with a 10dB pad added with some headroom to spare, has AGC built in and seems to have a pleasant freq. response that handles background noise nicely.  At £200 a go I can't help thinking I should just get some RevoLabs Mics and tell the Lecturers they'll have to wear down some shoe leather and pick up the kit.

June 02, 2011 06:56 AM
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Glenn McGarry
University of Derby-UK

Cheers Graham,

That's helpful to get yours and Sacha's perspectives on this.  Our big rooms are all kitted and ready to go in the same way as you suggested, but its all the smaller rooms that I'm trying to accommodate now.   You've probably guessed I'm trying to achieve a lot with a tight budget but I don't want to install cheaper kit that is not going to do the job properly either it's just a false economy!  Probably better to go with loans of decent kit.

Listen, you guys have been fantastic I think I've made up my mind now.  Many thanks!!!!

June 02, 2011 07:11 AM