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AT2020 Microphone & Shure X2U adapter? Good mix?

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by beclet, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. beclet

    beclet Active Member

    Hello! I am just wondering if anyone knows how the Audio Technica AT2020 condenser microphone behaves with the Shure X2U XML to USB adapter?

    The mic: http://audio-technica.com.au/products/at2020/
    X2U adapter: http://www.shure.com/americas/products/accessories/microphones/microphone-problem-solvers/x2u-xlr-to-usb-signal-adapter

    I already have the AT2020 mic and I am looking for a high quality phantom power XML interface / adapter that is around the $100 mark and doesn't take up much space on my desk. So far this beauty seems like the go, but anyone have any other suggestions or experience they could share?

    I have read a few reviews online and some say they have had a "hissing / background noise" issue with the Shure X2U on Windows 7. However I did find the below solution that seems promising after googling the existing issue and many others have done the same thing and managed to fix the hiss problem.

    This is an apparent solution to the hiss (can anyone confirm this works before I buy the X2U and I happen to get this issue?) http://postimg.org/image/epcb6h52t/

    Thanks in advance for any help! :)
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Forget the Shure adapter.

    For $99, you could get into an actual USB mic pre with phantom power for your 2020 condenser.

    This will allow you to adjust the input gain on your mic, and it has a headphone jack for monitoring as well.

    Presonus pre amps are very good sounding, with loads of headroom, warmth and clarity.

    It also comes with AudioBox and Studio One digital multi track recording and mixing software.

    pcrecord likes this.
  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    +1 for the audiobox !
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    To the OP...

    If you do decide to go with the far better sounding (and solidly built) Presonus mic pre - audio I/O USB that I mentioned, you may need to uninstall any current audio device drivers that are residing on your system. This would include any built-in audio card drivers (like Realtek or Soundblaster, etc) that originally came with your PC, and it also includes any drivers that you don't even use but that could still be there, running unseen in the background.

    You can check to see which audio device drivers are in use by going to Control Panel/Audio. This is also where you could uninstall them.

    It's best to do a fresh install with any new audio device drivers - and by fresh install, I'm referring to getting rid of any other audio drivers you may have on your system first - so that when you do install the Audiobox software/drivers, your system recognizes it as the only one to use.

    I'm not saying that you absolutely HAVE to do this, I'm telling you that you might want to seriously consider this suggestion. Your PC might run just fine with multiple audio drivers resident... but my experience and instinct tells me that this is probably not going to be the case.

    Also, you'll love the Audiobox software - it allows you to set up headphone mixes, add effects like reverb and delay to your headphone mix without recording the effects...

    And the StudioOne Artist multi track recording program is very nice. I don't know what program you are currently using as your main DAW platform, but StudioOne is very easy to use, and is nicely designed and laid-out.

    IMHO of course.


    Here's a Youtube video review for the Presonus 22VSL, which is very similar (one step up) to the AudioBox I recommended.

    View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji1yYao3Oa0
  5. beclet

    beclet Active Member

    Thanks for all that :) I actually previously had a mixing box very similar to that ! (Avid recording studio) and it was too big for my tiny cluttered desk and was too annoying to use as I'm no pro. It also produced horrible sounds and never worked properly for me. That is why I gave it to a friend of mine who makes music and opted in for a much smaller option - the shure also has a head phone jack and has gain control so not missing much. I also think it would be easier to use, and I found it for $110 + free postage online brand new so no fuss :)
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Ditto on Donny's suggestion on the Presonus AUDIO BOX. BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!

    There are two versions of this device available. One pretty much within your budget at about $150 US and less, for Used units, on eBay. But for approximately $250 US is the USB, real-time 2.0 version.

    Because of the much faster USB 2.0 protocol, real-time processing can be selected and monitored during the recording process. You don't have to record it that way. You can record dry while monitoring with effects. It gives you that big-time feel. Because it is.

    Items like equalization, compression/limiting, reverb and echo digital effects. Which truly enhances your production chops, just like ya had a full analog control room, with all the goodies, bells and whistles, at your fingertips. All in real-time. And that most definitely can improve your delivery and product.
    Their spectacular software will also blow your mind. It's an expensive package and included free.

    I'm also a technician. Through the years I have occasionally had come through some of their products that merely had personal requested modifications to be made. I was always extremely impressed with their internal build quality. You don't find this kind of manufacturing quality much like that today anymore. I was truly impressed and it takes a lot to impress me. Real solid stuff. And with great sound that's almost entirely goof proof. And I'm not sure if it can also take your dog out for a walk?

    Mx. Remy Ann Woof
  7. beclet

    beclet Active Member

    Haha WOW! Thanks for all the info, it sounds freakin amazing, probably could walk my dog too ;)

    Although as stated in my reply to Donny, I did have one of these before and it was way to complicated for me. All I'm using the mic for is commentary on gaming videos and a USB mic is basically all I'm after, hence the X2U. It also has zero latency monitoring, a head phone jack and gain control, which is really all I need :)

    I really appreciate your answers and advice, and when I eventually get more desk space and become more experienced with recording audio then I will definitely look into a box of some sort, including the one mentioned! :)
  8. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    These devices are for non-critical quality users who want a simple gizmo. I concur with the others, a stereo decent interface will give so much better results and be a much more useful took.
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    well, obviously it depends on what your ultimate goal is... and if it's simply for gaming commentary as you described, then your choice will likely be fine.

    The issue here is that you queried a forum full of professional audio engineers, who are endlessly seeking the best possible sound in everything they do, LOL....

    It's not your fault, you didn't do anything wrong, you just need to understand that this is a forum made up of audio professionals - and whenever possible, we always shoot for the best fidelity that we can get.

    And when we look at the device you mentioned vs. something like the PreSonus - especially since they are both roughly in the same price range - it's really a no-brainer for us to advise you that you are limiting yourself with that particular Shure USB adapter, and that instead, it would be far more beneficial to you to get into a true audio I/O like the Presonus - an entry level USB I/O that actually has very good mic preamps ( with variable gain) phantom power, the ability to accept both XLR and Line ins, headphone level control, and even Midi I/O.

    Adding the free Audiobox and Studio One software that is included, and well, we kinda laugh at the Shure device you mentioned....it just appears to be a grand waste of money, at least to us.
    ( and no one here is knocking Shure, either. There's not one engineer here who doesn't have at least one Shure SM57 or 58 in their mic locker somewhere... Shure makes some great audio gear. It's just that this particular USB device isn't something we would normally choose, or use with the intent of getting the fidelity we are accustomed to..)

    It's just hard for us to cater to the lowest common denominator in equipment choices when we see a far better piece of audio equipment - at pretty much the same price.

    Good luck on your future endeavors. ;)

  10. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    If it's ok with you, this is gonna be my signature ;)
  11. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Pointlessly seeking the best possible sound would for me be more appropriate. I've always previously thought 'endlessly' more akin to what I've always done, but since I have been on the other end, as a performer being looked after by sound people of very different skill levels, I've become used to accepting poor as something that more time simply won't fix. My sound colleague I work with spent an hour on a sound check with a stand up, female comedian - swapping mics and tweaking. In the end he was happy - as we chatted in the wings, she said it was nice for somebody to take that trouble, even though she hadn't heard any difference at all! We all want quality sound, but maybe we push it too far at times?
  12. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    "maybe we push it too far at times?"

    LOL.... ain't no "maybe" about it.

    "endlessly seeking the best possible sound in everything they do,

    If it's ok with you, this is gonna be my signature ;)"

    You have my blessing. :)
  13. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    If I was on a tour for 400 shows with an artist, you bet I'd take time to find the right mic for him/her. But for those one shot nights. I'll try to choose with the best of my knowledge after I hear the voice (Nazal, Hi pitched.. etc)

    Paul is right, we something waste a lot of energy on futil battle. I put it as part of beeing passionate ;)

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