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Audio-Technica 4000 line of mic's

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Lunatique, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. Lunatique

    Lunatique Active Member

    I'm trying to decide on the 4000 line of mic's from AT, and I have listened to sound clips on both the company site and on frontendaudio, and I can barely hear much of a difference between the various models.

    So my question is, if you aren't concerned about selecting different mic patterns and the sound is the only deciding factor, why would I want to spend more on the more expensive models instead of just getting the 4040 which is the cheapest in that line?

    I've also heard great things about the 3035. Any reason to spring more for the 4000 series over that?
  2. Costy

    Costy Guest

    I have AT4040 and use it on vocals, AC instruments. I think, it's
    a very good mic. It is a bright mic in comparison, for example,
    with KSM27. I like it most in combination with tube pre. I've tried
    in the past AT4033 and it was way too bright for my taste. I've
    heard good things about AT4047 (as vocal mic) and think about
    getting one for trials.
  3. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Luna, I don't know what kind of music you'll be using these for, or what your day to day workflow involves, but you bring up a good point, at least in terms of cost.

    I do a lot of live projects, and have two sets of the 4000 series, (2 4040s, 2 4050s, and a third case with a pair of 3035's), always ready to go out. I like the 4050 for its big, robust sound, and the fact that it's a dual diaphragm mic, with selectable patterns for all kinds of uses. I've used it in many ways, depending on the circumstances - omni, cardioid, and figure-8. Those features alone make it worth the extra cost. I particularly love it when used as a spaced stereo pair on concert grand pianos, esp in Jazz settings.

    But you're right; sonically, it's really not all THAT different than the 4040. I've begun to think of the 4040 as the "little brother" to the 4050, and I'd be hard pressed to tell you something that the 4040 did NOT sound good on. I've used it for VO's, choral sections, drum overheads, inside of pianos, you name it. If you don't need the extra pickup patterns, and have to be concerned with the cost difference, I'd say grab a pair, you certainly won't be dissapointed. (And if you DO get the 4050's, you may find you'll be putting them into extra critical situtaions (solo piano mic'ing, voice overs, vocal soloists, etc.) and using the 4040's for something else....)

    As for the 3035's, I can't recommend a better bang for the buck. Seriously, these are the "Poor-man's" 4040. They sound a little less refined than the 4000 series overall, but I have to tell you; the difference is very slight, and if you're on a tight budget and want the sound of an LD mic, you really can't go wrong with a pair of these to start out with.

    I've got a lone 4033, and really like it; I use it on lots of lower strings and brass; although it's as bright as the other mics, it seems to have a nice warm round tone, esp in the low end. I believe this is really a different type of mic altogether "under the skin", and for a while, AT stopped making it. (Probably around the time that they rolled out the 4040 and 4050 series...) It's NOT an FET mic, but i've heard from others that it emulates the sound of one, and perhaps that's why I like it. Smooth and fast, but not brittle or overhyped. It's back in production again (has been for a while now) and it too is worth a listen; it's a different flavor than the 4040, and you just might like it better.

    I also have a set of 4051 (w/omni capsules - the 4049a) which rival my DPAs and AKG 451's. They're not quite the same as those legendary mics, of course, but they have made some really wonderful recordings when used as the main spaced omni pair on classical dates. I never worry about using them when my DPA's are busy elsewhere.

    Hope that helps you when deciding. :cool:
  4. Costy

    Costy Guest

    I've read somewhere that 4040 was a replacement for the 4033
    at the time. But somehow AT decided come back with the original.

    Joe, did you get any experience with 4047 ? It's the one they
    say FET-simulating and very smooth.
  5. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    +1 on 4050

    +1 on 4033
  6. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    I love my 4040.
    It is a tad bright, but because of that it sits well in the mix.
    I have used it on every thing from vocals to guitars to cellos, and it works great on them all.
    I had the chance to A/B the 4040 with the 4050 with the same pattern and pad on, and they were fairly close. the 4040 had a more defined top end wile the 4050 seemed a little more flat and gave a bolder preformance. But the other people in the studio could not tell the difference between the two.
  7. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    I'm with JoeH, the 3035 is an astounding mic for the price. I use it on tons of stuff (vocals, electric and acoustic guitar, grand piano, upright bass, drum overheads, horns). I love my 4050 too, it's nice to have multi pattern ability, best acoustic guitar mic ever, a fine vocal mic, but a bit bright on some voices. The 3035 has a flatter high end response, more natural sounding to my ears. You can own 3 of them for the cost of a single 4050 ;)
  8. Gertok

    Gertok Guest

    Hope I am not going off topic too bad.
    How about Bluebird vs AT 3035 or even At 4040...
  9. Lunatique

    Lunatique Active Member

    Thanks for all the comments! They really help a lot, and reinforces some of what I've found out from my own listening tests.

    I'm mostly going to record vocals and acoustic guitar, but since I mainly compose scores for various media, I often have to tackle just about any style under the sun, no matter how traditional or how edgy. But, I'm not running some super pro recording studio with generous recording space--it's really just a normal sized control room with some guitars and an electronic drum set, and a normal sized vocal booth that can accommodate about two people comfortably or one guy with a guitar and amp.

    Gertok - Check out the sound clip samples from frontendaudio.com--they've got the Bluebird and most of the AT mic's too. From my listening tests, the Bluebird is a bit shrill for my taste. If the AT mic's are considered bright, then the Bluebird is definitely brighter.
  10. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I'll try to post some clips comparing the two on some common stuff. It will be after the holidays.

    The 4040 is a great mic, but in comparison to the 4050, it can get a bit boxy. It's only a slight difference though.

    I like the 4040 a LOT on a lot of things. It's a good, versatile mic.

    The other 40 series mics fill a niche in a lot of ways and do it very well. The 4040 and the 4050 seem to be their universals.
  11. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    i smell a mic showdown ...

    someone post some audio samples?? i will forever thank whoever does.
  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I have always iterated that IF you were to buy one each of the 40 series mics you'd have a most complete set of mics. AND you'd have mics that would hold up well under the rigors of a working studio environment.

    I had a short encounter with the 3035 and wasnt impressed at the time. However, since certain people seem enamoured with it, I'll have to have a revisit of some length. I am, after all, a real ho for the bargain stuff that works.

    I own three mics that make evry session one way or another. An early 80's U87, a HM1 kel and the 4033.

    The 4050 is on my personal short list.
  13. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    AT 4000 series are pretty good mics. Another of the few companines that offer real good quality and value for your money. Among my collection is a least one of ea 4033,4047,4050,4060 with no plans to dump any of them.
  14. Gertok

    Gertok Guest

    Hmm I liked bluebird sound more than 4040 on frontend audio.
  15. falcon1

    falcon1 Guest

    I noticed that those AT mics seems to have a good bottom, so I was wondering if they could be good to record a pipe organ?

    Would the AT4040 or AT3035 be good for trumpet?

    Was wondering about either two AT4040 or AT4050 (good advantage to have omni feature I think) and a one AT3035 for a trumpet soloist.
  16. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hmmm...I don't know if I'd use them for pipe organ. If it's for the traditional application, it just won't have the depth nor will it have the bottom end. (The 4051s with omni caps would handle it okay).

    Also, I wouldn't personally use a 4040 or 3035 for trumpet. For classical trumpet, maybe (several feet back aimed up or down at the bell.

    For jazz/rock/other trumpet, you might want to consider a dynamic or ribbon.

    They're great mics, but they're not everything.
  17. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't use them for a pipe organ as a general rule, you'd be better off using a small diaphragm mic, even the AT 4049 with the omni capsule. Yes, it seems counterintuitive, but the SD mics are actually better suited for truly flat low end response.

    Of course, they'd be fine in a pinch, and you should get some great results with the 4040 or 3035 on Trumpet. You may want to engage the -10 pad, but otherwise, let 'er rip.
  18. falcon1

    falcon1 Guest

    Cucco, this is classical trumpet :)

    maybe I'm better off buying a more expensive mics for the pipe organ like maybe Earthworks QTC30 matched pair (about $1800 on sweetwater.com). Sometimes I wish I had choice a more simple instrument to play on hehe... - but it's the greatest of them all though. ;)
  19. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    And I thought lugging around a Hammond B3 and a Leslie was tough!

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