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Edit: This article was originally written for Propellerhead Record 1.5, but the same applies to Reason 6.
I recently bought a Samson C01U USB condenser microphone. I connected it to my Windows 7 laptop, the device drivers installed automatically and I could record sound from the mic in Ableton Live without any problems. I then went to record audio in Propellerhead Record by adding an audio track, but I couldn’t select the Samson mic as an input device. Record only seems to recognise mics and other input devices connected directly to your sound card (either internal or external) specified in your preferences, so given that my Samson mic was connected directly to my laptop via USB it bypassed my sound card and was therefore invisible to Record.
So, if you have bought a USB mic and cannot use it with Record, fear not because ASIO4ALL comes to the rescue. It’s a free download for Windows PCs that allows you to aggregate multiple input and output devices connected to your PC into a single virtual device, which can then be selected in your audio software of choice.
Here are the steps you need to follow to get a Samson C01U mic working with Record via ASIO4ALL on Windows 7, but it’s safe to assume that these instructions work for all USB mics on all versions of Windows, both 32-bit and 64-bit:
1. Connect your USB microphone to your PC and ensure that the drivers are installed correctly.
2. Download and install the free ASIO4ALL driver.
3. Start Record and select the Edit -> Preferences menu option and select ASIO ASIO4ALL v2 as the audio card driver, as shown here:
4. Click on the Control Panel button to bring up the ASIO4ALL settings and then click the spanner icon at the bottom-right of the window to alter the configuration:
5. The screen shot above will be different depending on the devices you have connected to your PC, so ensure that your sound card and the Samson C01U mic are selected as shown. You have now aggregated your sound card and mic into a single virtual device that is available to any audio application on your PC. You can aggregate as many devices as you like, but be aware that performance of the ASIO4ALL driver will be reduced when lots of devices are aggregated.
Record will now show the Samson C01U microphone as the input to your audio track:
The Samson mic may appear twice in the drop down list on the audio track, both of which perform the same. I can only assume that this is because the ASIO4ALL driver has been configured to aggregate both your sound card and your mic, resulting in two virtual channels being made available by the resultant virtual ASIO4ALL device.
You can now record audio from the microphone, but be warned: if you disconnect your mic the ASIO4ALL driver may show you an error message, but Record probably won’t crash as a result.
When I recorded some audio through the Samson C01U mic I noticed that the input level was very low. I tried increasing the level of the audio track in Record but this didn’t make much difference. Originally, Samson made a free driver available on their website for the mic called SoftPre, which allowed you to make adjustments to the mic’s settings, but this has been discontinued. You now change the mic’s settings via the Hardware and Sound settings in Control Panel, which in my opinion is a much better way of configuring audio devices:
After selecting the Hardware and Sound option in Control Panel, click the Manage audio devices option:
Select the Samson C01U microphone from the Recording tab and click the Properties button:
You can then adjust the mic’s level from the Levels tab to suit your preferences. As you move the slider the setting takes effect immediately, so you can monitor the mic input level in Record at the same time, helping you to fine-tune the setting in real time: