Audio-Technica AT2020 | Christy R.
The fine folks at Audio-Technica are on to something with the AT2020 studio condenser microphone. Weighing in at about 12 oz., the AT2020 is a solid-body, metal cardioid condenser microphone that’s made to last. I got my AT2020 from Musicians Friend with a couple of useful accessories – a soft carrying case and a very flexible, threaded pivot mount which makes it good for use in spaces that may be too small for a boom.
The AT2020 does a great job of capturing the feel of the room. The cardioid polar pattern effectively isolates the main source and minimizes noise from the sides and back of the microphone and we were able recorded two instruments simultaneously using the AT2020 with minimal bleed from track to track. The microphone has very little self-noise, and a wide dynamic range. It really is a great project microphone, made for the home studio, so if you’re looking for a demo microphone or something for scratching out ideas and exploring your own musicality, the AT2020 may be the one for you. If your home studio recording studio is like mine, your microphones will serve multiple purposes. The AT2020 is great in this way. Record vocals, acoustic, didgeridoo…this microphone won’t disappoint.
The Audio-Technica AT2020 gives vocals and acoustic recordings a sweet kind of warmth, particularly background vocals. The Audio-Technica AT2020’s frequency response is generally flat, but has a surprisingly full bottom, provides a noticeable depth and shows a lot of restraint on the high-end. It’s smooth and it’s graceful – performing well at the high and low ends of the frequency spectrum.
Now, that’s not to say there aren’t comparable microphones available that would provide a wider range of dynamic flexibility for a bit more money. There are a few microphones out there that offer a cleaner sound, but the AT2020 certainly isn’t a slouch, that’s for sure. It has a pretty substantial dynamic range of its own.
The AT2020 generally retails for about $100, a pretty solid investment in your studio if you consider its durability and range of adaptability. For the money, you are getting a solid piece of equipment which will outlast many of its “cheap microphone” competitors and absolutely will perform in a project setting.
It may not be suitable for live performances, large studios, or professional settings. Again, this microphone is made for demos and projects. But the AT2020 is a workhorse, that’s for sure.
Audio-Technica AT2020 Condenser Resources: