Recording January 2022 - 56

REVIEW
Audio-Technica AT2040
Come for the vocals, stay for the guitars and drums
REVIEW BY ALEX HAWLEY
A
udio-Technica recently unveiled a highly affordable addition to its
family of podcasting and voiceover microphones, the AT2040. It
sits alongside the longtime A-T staple, the AT2020, with a price
point of $99. A dynamic mic with a hypercardioid design, it falls in the
same class as the renowned Audio-Technica BP40. While positioned as
an ideal choice for podcasters and content creators, we wanted to push
it beyond this application to hear how it fares in a studio setting. As many
classic broadcast microphones have shown us (Shure SM7, Electro-Voice
RE20, etc.), potential uses for broadcast microphones reach far beyond
broadcast work.
Overview
The AT2040 features rugged all-metal
construction with an integrated mic
clip paired with an internal shock
mount to protect it from vibrations. It's
a large diaphragm dynamic mic with
an ultra-tight hypercardioid polarity.
This helps isolate the intended sound
source and block out unwanted reflections
and noises in the room. It's also
beneficial for users who may not be
recording in an acoustically treated
environment, especially when recording
voice or spoken word.
56 RECORDING January 2022
Unscrewing the head from the body
reveals a multistage windscreen comprising
foam mesh and a nonwoven
pop filter. The foam is quite thick, which
bodes well for protecting from plosives.
The build quality is impressive, with a
solid weight and durability that seems
fit for the long haul. I wouldn't hesitate
to put this mic in harm's way with an aggressive
drummer sitting at the throne,
plus it has excellent SPL handling.
The AT2040 lists a frequency response
of 80 Hz-16 kHz and a sensitivity rating
of -53dB (2.2 mV). The plot shows a
slightly scooped curve with a subtle dip
from about 300 Hz to 800 Hz, followed
by a moderate bump in the 2.5-4 kHz
range. No surprise-this what we expect
from a broadcast mic-extra emphasis in
the speech range for vocal clarity, and
then a warm tapering off in the top end
for a smooth overall response.
Part 1: Podcasting, content
creation, and beyond...
I started by testing the AT2040 in its
primary intended application: speech.
The results were in-line with what I expected
overall-smooth tonality with a warm
top end, pulled-back mids, and a healthy
low-end response. The pronounced proximity
effect will allow talent with good
mic technique to easily take advantage
of the classic 'radio announcer' sound. I
found the ideal placement to be between
three and four inches away, which captured
the most natural sound with optimal
control over plosives. The integrated
windscreen provides a very respectable

Recording January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording January 2022

Fade In
Fast Forward
Soundware Showcase: Toontrack Fields of Rock SDX
A Family of Microphones Compared: The AKG P Series
Austrian Audio CC8
Stewart Copeland: Don’t kill the talent with the technology…
Akai MPC Studio Controller and MPC 2 Software
Soundware Showcase: Boz Digital Labs Claps, Stomps and Snaps Bundle
Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Drum Plugins and Processing
Avantone Pro: Gauss 7 Two-way Powered Reference Monitor
Plugin Outlet: PSP Audioware Saturator
Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: The Memphis Drum Sound
Soundware Showcase: Spitfire Audio Hammers
API Select T12 Tube Mic Preamp
Session Log: Frank Kimbrough tribute recording session
Audio-Technica AT2040
Plugin Outlet: IK Multimedia T-RackS TASCAM Tape Collection
Readers' Tracks
sE Electronics V Pack Arena Drum Microphone Package
Plugin Outlet: BABY Audio TAIP
Fade Out: Both Sides of the Glass Things
Recording January 2022 - Intro
Recording January 2022 - Cover1
Recording January 2022 - Cover2
Recording January 2022 - 1
Recording January 2022 - 2
Recording January 2022 - 3
Recording January 2022 - Fade In
Recording January 2022 - 5
Recording January 2022 - 6
Recording January 2022 - 7
Recording January 2022 - Fast Forward
Recording January 2022 - 9
Recording January 2022 - Soundware Showcase: Toontrack Fields of Rock SDX
Recording January 2022 - 11
Recording January 2022 - 12
Recording January 2022 - 13
Recording January 2022 - A Family of Microphones Compared: The AKG P Series
Recording January 2022 - 15
Recording January 2022 - 16
Recording January 2022 - 17
Recording January 2022 - 18
Recording January 2022 - 19
Recording January 2022 - 20
Recording January 2022 - 21
Recording January 2022 - 22
Recording January 2022 - 23
Recording January 2022 - Austrian Audio CC8
Recording January 2022 - 25
Recording January 2022 - Stewart Copeland: Don’t kill the talent with the technology…
Recording January 2022 - 27
Recording January 2022 - 28
Recording January 2022 - 29
Recording January 2022 - 30
Recording January 2022 - 31
Recording January 2022 - 32
Recording January 2022 - 33
Recording January 2022 - Akai MPC Studio Controller and MPC 2 Software
Recording January 2022 - 35
Recording January 2022 - Soundware Showcase: Boz Digital Labs Claps, Stomps and Snaps Bundle
Recording January 2022 - 37
Recording January 2022 - Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Drum Plugins and Processing
Recording January 2022 - 39
Recording January 2022 - 40
Recording January 2022 - 41
Recording January 2022 - Avantone Pro: Gauss 7 Two-way Powered Reference Monitor
Recording January 2022 - 43
Recording January 2022 - Plugin Outlet: PSP Audioware Saturator
Recording January 2022 - 45
Recording January 2022 - Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: The Memphis Drum Sound
Recording January 2022 - 47
Recording January 2022 - Soundware Showcase: Spitfire Audio Hammers
Recording January 2022 - 49
Recording January 2022 - API Select T12 Tube Mic Preamp
Recording January 2022 - 51
Recording January 2022 - Session Log: Frank Kimbrough tribute recording session
Recording January 2022 - 53
Recording January 2022 - 54
Recording January 2022 - 55
Recording January 2022 - Audio-Technica AT2040
Recording January 2022 - 57
Recording January 2022 - Plugin Outlet: IK Multimedia T-RackS TASCAM Tape Collection
Recording January 2022 - 59
Recording January 2022 - Readers' Tracks
Recording January 2022 - 61
Recording January 2022 - 62
Recording January 2022 - 63
Recording January 2022 - 64
Recording January 2022 - 65
Recording January 2022 - sE Electronics V Pack Arena Drum Microphone Package
Recording January 2022 - 67
Recording January 2022 - Plugin Outlet: BABY Audio TAIP
Recording January 2022 - 69
Recording January 2022 - 70
Recording January 2022 - 71
Recording January 2022 - Fade Out: Both Sides of the Glass Things
Recording January 2022 - Cover3
Recording January 2022 - Cover4
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