Can this entry-level micophone produce professional results? -asks Chris Kennedy
Type: Studio Microphone
Item: Audio-Technica AT2020
Price: US $99, UK £89
At a Glance: The Audio-Technica AT2020 is an entry-level studio condenser microphone that claims to offer great performance at a low price. It is ideally suited for recording vocals and acoustic instruments in a home studio setting and comes with a basic stand mount and soft vinyl case. It requires phantom power and features a cardioid pickup pattern.
High Notes: Considering the relatively low cost of the microphone it performs well when recording vocals, proving a flattering low-mid peak with a pleasant high frequency boost that adds air to recordings. The AT2020 also has a flat enough response over a wide frequency spectrum to make it capable of producing decent results on acoustic guitar or other instruments as well. Its off-axis rejection is particularly good, which is useful if, for example, you want to keep computer noise out of your recordings as much as possible.
Off Pitch: The included stand mount holds the mic firmly in place, however it is no replacement for a full shockmount as it is quite prone to noise from external vibrations. Compared to higher end studio mic’s the AT2020’s noise level is slightly higher than most, however it is certainly useable in most situations.
A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: The AT2020 represents great value for money for people looking at buying their first studio microphone. Its sound is well balanced and the whole unit feels solidly constructed. Unlike low-cost USB powered microphones, the AT2020 will need phantom power to operate, however its sound quality puts it above many of its competitors.
If you do not already have a suitable audio interface with phantom power, Audio-Technica also produce a USB version of the mic at around $50 more.