Samson C01U USB Microphone

Posted by Martijn on 12/01/2005 in Articles in English, Computers en Internet |

This item is meant to help people who are experiencing problems with the Samson C01U USB Microphone, specifically using Windows 2000. Unlike the rest of my site, it is not intended to be funny. If you are looking for goofy shit in Dutch, click somewhere the right of this text!

Keywords for Google: Samson C01U USB problem driver USB id ID software input low volume bad driver SoftPre windows 2000 wk2 sp4

Description: The Samson C01U USB Microphone is a very good solution for those who need to record speech or live music recordings with minimal facilities. It plugs into any computer (provided it has USB and some audio recording software, such as CoolEdit) and makes high-quality recordings that bypass the PC’s soundcard entirely. Most soundcards being of the cheap and nasty variety (e.g. Realtek AC97), recording via the microphone-connector usually delivers severely distorted audio, barely usable for serious purposes. Recording via line-in requires an amplifier, which is also a bitch.

Enter the C01U USB, a perfect and reasonably priced solution. I really do recommend it. You can even use a laptop as a mobile recording and editting facility now, with no extra hardware! However, there is a problem…

Problem: The microphone itself is a fine product, which is identified by Windows automatically and can be used instantly. Windows 98 and Windows 2000 identify the device as a ‘USB Audio Device’ in the ‘Sound, Video and Game controllers’ section of the hardware manager and as a ‘USB Composite Device’ in the list of USB-controllers.

Unfortunately, the software that can be downloaded from http://www.samsontech.com/products/productpage.cfm?prodID=1810&brandID=2 is not very good. This software, SoftPre, specifically version 1.0.16, is supposed to add some functionality, such as Input Level Meter, Volume control, High-pass filter and Phase Switch. However, I have found on 3 separate machines (running Windows 2000 and Windows XP SP 2 respectively) that this software is buggy and in fact DISABLES any kind of recording feature by reducing the gain to such a low level that you really have to scream to get any kind of signal at all! Also, running Windows 2000 SP4 I found that restarting the PC with the mike connected to the USB port would cause a Blue Screen Of Death!

The bigger problem is that removing the Samson SoftPre applet does not actually get rid of the problem. It has taken me quite some time to fix it and I offer my experiences for those who run into the same problem. Please note: this applies to the WINDOWS version only, I have NO experience with the Apple version of this applet!


1. Delete the SoftPre software Applet using the standard Windows Software Manager

2. Go to the Windows hardware manager (usually found via the control panel or if you can’t find it, do this: Go to the My Computer icon, click with the RIGHThand mousebutton, select Manage, select Device Manager).

3. In the subsection ‘ Sound, Video and Game controllers’ select the item ‘Samson audio (WDM)’ and
select ‘properties’. Click on ‘update driver’ and select ‘Install From A List Or Specific Location’. Press ‘Next’ and select ‘Don’t Search, I Will Select The Driver To Install’.

Toggle the checkbox for ‘show compatible hardware’ and from the list on the left select the ‘USB Audio Device’. This is the roll-back to the default driver that Windows selects. After that, Windows will also change the entry Samson C01U in the list of USB-controllers back to ‘ Composite USB Device’. (You may have to do this manually, in my case it was automatic.)

If you have problems with this, refer to http://www.samsontech.com/usb_mics/driver_update/ although you must remember we are actually trying to REVERSE that procedure! It may help you to locate the appropriate menu’s and buttons, though.

I do not claim this to be the only way or the best way to do this. I just claim this worked for me.

Extra tip: if you are recording in stereo you will only get a signal on the left channel. Look, it’s a mono-microphone! All microphones that record in stereo are, in point of fact, TWO microphones. This ain’t one. Set your recording software to use the left channel only. Oh, and the front of the Samson is where the green light is.

Comments, questions and suggestions for improving this article (grammar included) are quite welcome in the comments-section for this item.


  • Mike schreef:

    Have shitloads of problems with SoftPre..Asio driver did overload xx times and gave me the BSOD (Blue screen of Death) will try your version…vertel wel wat het geworden is…MIKE

  • kevin panlilio schreef:

    i have a problem about Samson C01u microphone…yea, the sound is pretty good, but the volume only works good in the Left Channel, [which means u cud only hear the thing u recorded on your left earphones]… why is it like that? PLEASE HELP ME

  • Martin schreef:

    I have had the same BSOD problems, only after installing the driver. I rolled back the driver and the BSOD is gone, but it doesn’t seem as if the SoftPre software is able to be used. Strange.

    Thanks for your directions on uninstalling the driver!


  • Abe schreef:

    the sound is pretty good, but the volume only works good in the Left Channel, [which means u cud only hear the thing u recorded on your left earphones]… why is it like that?

    It’s a mono microphone, so there’s no reason for it to have two channels of audio. The left channel is the one you want. The right seems to be some intermediate stage, which you can’t see when SoftPre is installed.

    When you use it without SoftPre, it still works perfectly, but you have to set your recording software to mono, so it only inputs from the left channel and ignores the right channel.

  • Jamie schreef:

    I also had a problem with the mic only using the left channel, it does that when the software is not properly installed. When I reinstalled there was a bunch of extra files that it installed and didn’t before, it uses both channels equally now.

  • ... schreef:

    it sounds pretty good but i hate the applet

  • tony schreef:

    just got that mic today…very dissapointed as soon as i pluged it in a balloon came up and told me that my bandwidth has been exceeded!?!?!

    plus when i did get it to work(in the loose sence of the word) there was astronomical pops/clicks/really nasty audio snaps when you spoke into it.

    i knew in the back of my mind that a usb microphone could never work 🙁

  • Martijn schreef:

    Tony, if you’re not going to read the manual or my text then don’t complain about it either. It’s a perfectly good device, if you install it the way I describe in my article. And the first step is: delete the driver that comes with it.

  • Hell0.
    I use XP (service pack 2) and Audacity with the C01U mic.

    I wanted to say thank you to all of you for posting this info. I experienced much of the same problems described and now have functioning Samson C01U mic – and I thought all had been lost. The PreSoft applet is garbage. Thank you Martin for providing a solution (step by step – invaluable).

    Also, the steps weren’t exactly the same, but were correct. Here is my experience…
    With the C01U connected.
    Using “add/remove programs” I removed the PreSoft applet.
    Using Device Manager – removed the Samson mic completely (deleted the drivers).
    Disconnected the microphone and waited 10 seconds.
    Reconnected the microphone.
    Used Device Manager to automatically search for drivers and had it installed. Then clicked “update drivers” and allowed the wizard to do its job.

    Opened Audactiy.
    Changed “Preferences” (under file menu) – Audio I/O
    Set recording device to Samson C01U.

    Ran a test… now it is okay.

    Thanks to all.

    – Andrew in Ottawa
    P.S. ASIO is an application (free add on) that will allow multiple inputs to be recorded.

  • Martijn schreef:

    I’m glad that this article seems to be helping out people who are stuck and I’d like to encourage all those who read this article and find it useful to send a brief e-mail to Samson via support@samsontech.com and tell them that this page is here and a hell of a lot more useful than their own support section. If we don’t complain, they won’t improve!

  • Paul schreef:

    When I first plugged in my Samson C01U USB mic, the drivers appeared to load. But then I changed it to use a different USB port and the drivers seem to have dissapeared. I’ve followed the Samson driver update info but ended up getting to an empty folder. Restoring the computer to an earlier date and then plugging the mic in does not seem to have any effect. Any suggestions on hwat to do next? I emailed Samson but no reply yet.

  • tien schreef:

    hey have a question that relates to the mic and the cool edit program it works to record, but when i record and playback what i have recorded i only hear it on one side of the speaker and can’t seem to figure out the problems even on the sound controlls of cool edit pro it works perfectly fine on audacity any suggestions please get at me

  • Scott schreef:

    Has anyone succesfully solved the multi channel recording problem? That is, can multiple CO1U microphones be plugged and used at the same time? I am using Audacity, and while the computer recognizes 4 separate microphones and while Audacity would appear to permit multi channel recording, Audacity will only recognize 1 of the 4 microphones connected. Any solutions or suggestions?

  • Dieter Van de Walle schreef:

    The manual says the C01U has an internal digitally controlled ANALOG preamp.
    This preamp would allow for lower SnR ratio’s .
    However, I think this internal preamp can only be controlled with the SoftPre application.

    So without SoftPre, no internal analog amp, no low SnR ratio!
    Boosting the level digitally also boosts the noise level…

    Since I can’t get the SoftPre application working anymore, I feel a little screwed …

    Has anyone compared SoftPre amplification vs. digital amplification with regard to SnR-ratio?

  • Ann schreef:

    This blog was very helpful in my attempt to remove SoftPre from my computer – unfortunately, I could not get past Step 3 in the original post (allowing Windows XP device manager to “roll back” to the default device). Even after uninstalling SoftPre, the default generic USB audio device driver was no longer a choice in device manager, even though I could see the default driver files in the WINDOWS\system32\drivers diretory. (I had avoided loading the Samson software on a second computer, so I could see what the original driver system files were supposed to be. I got sidetracked for several hours thinking that the generic driver files had somehow been deleted, and trying to get new copies from Microsoft or elsewhere – that turned out to be unnecessary.) Worse, without SoftPre installed, there was a missing driver so the C01U was not usable.

    Eventually, I decided that there must be a Samson driver still lurking in the \drivers directory which device manager considered superior to the generic driver (thereby removing the default choices). Sure enough! Only after deleting the system file SamsonLLDriver.sys was I able to successfully reinstall the microsoft generic USB audio driver.

    Hope this helps others get back to the original machine state without having to do a System Restore (as suggested in another forum).

  • Murdah schreef:

    Thank you very much ANN. I had the same problem with my C01U on XP today and it really works the way you described it, i just delected SamsonDLLDriver.sys and installed the mic again. Please people don’t install this stupid driver called SoftPre….

    Thanks for this great blog, hope it can help other people, too.

  • hanzy schreef:

    i was trying to get the recording to work with the softpre, but could not. At first i thought was the recording programe doesnt support usb recording and thus those bluescreen errors. So i downloaded and tried it on sonar le and still, the bluescreen still appears, After reading through the comments here, i think i can give up on softpre..

  • YLHM schreef:

    Hey maarten,

    Heb namelijk ook problemen met mijn samson microfoon en dat is zoals de rest het feit dat ik geen stereo meer kan opnemen wat ooit wel is gegaan…Wat moet ik doen om dit te herstellen ?

    Grtz YLHM

  • Martijn schreef:

    Hoi YLHM,

    Je microfoon zal nooit stereo hebben opgenomen. Om stereo op te nemen heb je TWEE microfoons nodig.
    Je kunt slechts 1 kanaal opnemen: selecteer in je opnamesoftware het linkerkanaal van de Samson en neem op in mono. Echt, stereo kan niet met dit ding.



  • charles schreef:

    searched all over the country and can’t find any valid answers on how to fix the horrible latency problem with my samson co1u mic that i use on my hp computer,i’ve tried audacity,asio4all i tried to use it with cakewalk sonar le and sony acid music studio..samson is clueless when i call tech support..am i wasting my time on this mic? Is anyone smart enough to figure this out?and yes i checked youtube videos,called tech companys for support nothing is working…latency,latency,latency i bought this mic because it was supposed to be an easy way to record vocals….uhh negative ghostrider

    Charles, there are many things less than ideal about the Samson software but the hardware is pretty good. Unless yours is broken, it’s something in your PC. Not the mike. Don’t install the Samson software, that helps a lot. – Martijn, blog owner.

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