Skip to main content

Audio-Technica AT2020

Anybody own one? What are your thoughts? Applications?

Comments

anonymous Sun, 06/14/2009 - 17:19
johndoesmith wrote: Anybody own one? What are your thoughts? Applications?
I have the AT2020 it is a small diaphragm mic so it's a little sensitive to your speech and it is good if you don't have good room acoustics because it doesn't absorb much of the reverberation. Overall it's a pretty good microphone for $100 but remember it's how you use the mic not really the brand to get the sound you want

anonymous Tue, 06/16/2009 - 18:33
Anybody own one? What are your thoughts? Applications?

It's a noisy, grating, and rather annoying-sounding for most applications. I like it on electric guitar, but then again, I play speed punk. It sounds marginally better than most dynamic mics on acoustic instruments. It's sort of like a Danelectro guitar: has a unique sound that sucks for most things, but it can be made to work for certain applications.

anonymous Tue, 06/16/2009 - 18:40
It's a noisy, grating, and rather annoying-sounding for most applications. I like it on electric guitar, but then again, I play speed punk. It sounds marginally better than most dynamic mics on acoustic instruments. It's sort of like a Danelectro guitar: has a unique sound that sucks for most things, but it can be made to work for certain applications.

I disagree. It's a lot better than the other budget mics out there. I can send you tracks tomorrow if you are interested.

anonymous Tue, 06/16/2009 - 18:53
I disagree. It's a lot better than the other budget mics out there. I can send you tracks tomorrow if you are interested.

I own one. It is not a very good mic. I'm sure B$hringer makes worse budget mics, but for the price, I doubt if there are any better condensers out there. I'm not saying it is any worse than any other mics in the price range, but it isn't great, that's for sure.

Davedog Tue, 06/16/2009 - 21:32
Dan, I think you have a bad one. These are NOT grating in the least. They are bright but a usable bright. Other than the Kel HM1 they are one of the best values around.

You must certainly have a bad one. Send it back. Even if its out of warranty they have been known to fix things without questions.

anonymous Tue, 06/16/2009 - 21:35
Dan, I think you have a bad one. These are NOT grating in the least. They are bright but a usable bright. Other than the Kel HM1 they are one of the best values around.

You must certainly have a bad one. Send it back. Even if its out of warranty they have been known to fix things without questions.

I suppose it's possible. It is just unbearable on vox. But that's what happens when you buy cheap stuff, eh?

moonbaby Wed, 06/17/2009 - 08:26
NCdan wrote:
Dan, I think you have a bad one. These are NOT grating in the least. They are bright but a usable bright. Other than the Kel HM1 they are one of the best values around.

You must certainly have a bad one. Send it back. Even if its out of warranty they have been known to fix things without questions.

I suppose it's possible. It is just unbearable on vox. But that's what happens when you buy cheap stuff, eh?

NO. It's when you try to use the wrong tool for the job. Stop blaming the tool, Dan.

soapfloats Wed, 06/17/2009 - 09:45
I also own the 2020. Doesn't get a whole lot of use, but that's b/c I have better options now like the 414, Bluebird, and some nice pencil condensers.

I do pull it out when I want to mic a hihat, or as an extra vocal mic.
Like Dan said, it can be a little harsh and grating on some sources. I certainly wouldn't use it on a male vocalist that is nasally, really high, or such.

My .02

Davedog Wed, 06/17/2009 - 10:11
soapfloats wrote: I also own the 2020. Doesn't get a whole lot of use, but that's b/c I have better options now like the 414, Bluebird, and some nice pencil condensers.

I do pull it out when I want to mic a hihat, or as an extra vocal mic.
Like Dan said, it can be a little harsh and grating on some sources. I certainly wouldn't use it on a male vocalist that is nasally, really high, or such.

My .02

Moon's point exactly. But to say this is a bad mic simply because it wont do something its not designed for is silly.

Yes, it is cheap. No, it is not a universal use tool. Yes, it does some things really well. I use one as a room mic for the drums in conjunction with the U87. Do I NEED it. no, but it adds a little 'air' that is quite controllable so in this application it works well and leaves me with lots of other mics for other sources. Is it worth the price for this? Yes. If you like a bright hit on toms then this mic will do that and in this case its edgy mids and low mids actually make a good drum a little better in a mix. Another application it works on is a cheap acoustic guitar in a heavy strumming style. It has just enough distortion in its sound to give something like this some texture. Its not bad as a gang vocal mic for a couple of extra background voices. Its bright enough to be articulate off the mic and its anomolies dont show up until you're right on the capsule.


There are other mics that are as good as this one at this price. There are very very few manufacturers that build them as close in tolerances as Audio-Technica. One does actually sound like another for the most part. Something that a majority of the builders in this price range will never get right.

anonymous Wed, 06/17/2009 - 11:33
Yes, it is cheap. No, it is not a universal use tool. Yes, it does some things really well. I use one as a room mic for the drums in conjunction with the U87. Do I NEED it. no, but it adds a little 'air' that is quite controllable so in this application it works well and leaves me with lots of other mics for other sources. Is it worth the price for this? Yes. If you like a bright hit on toms then this mic will do that and in this case its edgy mids and low mids actually make a good drum a little better in a mix. Another application it works on is a cheap acoustic guitar in a heavy strumming style. It has just enough distortion in its sound to give something like this some texture. Its not bad as a gang vocal mic for a couple of extra background voices. Its bright enough to be articulate off the mic and its anomolies dont show up until you're right on the capsule.

This is exactly what I was getting at. Not good for NORMAL applications. Works alright as secondary mic and can be made to work as a primary in certain situations.

NO. It's when you try to use the wrong tool for the job. Stop blaming the tool, Dan.

Sheesh, I guess you woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. I never said it was useless and I wanted to throw it away. But saying that people should go out and buy a AT2020 and expect it to perform like a $500+ condenser is like telling someone to go buy an Epiphone because it's a really nice guitar and will be on par with a real Gibson. That is all I'm getting at.

anonymous Wed, 06/17/2009 - 11:39
But saying that people should go out and buy a AT2020 and expect it to perform like a $500+ condenser is like telling someone to go buy an Epiphone because it's a really nice guitar and will be on par with a real Gibson. That is all I'm getting at.

Some of the nice Epiphones I've heard do sound on par with a real Gibson.

Davedog Wed, 06/17/2009 - 12:28
iamfrobs wrote:
But saying that people should go out and buy a AT2020 and expect it to perform like a $500+ condenser is like telling someone to go buy an Epiphone because it's a really nice guitar and will be on par with a real Gibson. That is all I'm getting at.

Some of the nice Epiphones I've heard do sound on par with a real Gibson.

This is very true and no one has said that the 2020 is a $500 condenser in performance. Theres something about your statement about NORMAL applications that doesnt quite sit. Backing vocals is a NORMAL application. Room mic is a NORMAL application. Acoustic guitar mic is a NORMAL application. I could go on.....and I might.

Just because this mic isn't the be-all-end-all for certain types of vocals or maybe even one that doesnt suit your guitar application doesnt mean its not a good tool. While I'm not here to tout nor to shill for AT mics, I have enough of them and have used a large number of their models to say that if yours doesnt sound at LEAST decent, theres something wrong with it. So until you really know that this is the case, its unfair to deride them as simply awful just because you may have gotten a lemon. There are a huge majority of the users of this mic that are pleased with the results and there are those users who have the experience and the mic locker to indicate that it isnt simply newbie opinons flying around.

So, in the under a hundred category of mics, condensers, this one is one of the top buys.

anonymous Wed, 06/17/2009 - 13:15
So, in the under a hundred category of mics, condensers, this one is one of the top buys.

Quite possibly. Buying condensers under $100 isn't a habit of mine. But seriously, would any of you recommend getting this mic as opposed to saving up for a better condenser? Sure, I could see recommending this mic to someone who already has an extensive mic collection and wants something with a unique sound, but the majority of people considering this mic are wanting to get a good condenser mic for around $100. I think it's only nice to let them know the limitiations of the piece of gear they are considering.

Davedog Wed, 06/17/2009 - 16:12
Some people are just starting out and want something decent for as low a price as they can afford and some of those same people wont be recording a year from now because they dont get it or it isnt their cup of tea. Saving for something better isnt in their needs of the moment, but I will never recommend a piece of crap that isnt going to be some sort of decent quality as well as a sound they can get started with. This mic fills that bill completely and it is the lowest condenser in quality you will ever hear me talking about as a general mic. The Kel's are a special mic and I wouldnt recommend them for a lot of reasons except to someone looking for that special sound. The 2020 is quite another thing entirely and I will always recommend it over any Nady. MXL, B825r28ger or other piece of crap you see people buying so much of simply because they are uninformed.

BTW Dan, whats in your mic cabinet?

I own U87, AT 4033, Oktava 319, SP B3, ADK A51's, 3Zigma Systems, Bag 'O Shures, Kell Audio HM1, Audix kit, ATM25, 6100, 610, AT2020, Crown PZM,others....I have owned...AT4050, Sm81's, MD409,MD421, MD441, Beyer 201, Beyer 422, Soundelux U97, Beyer M500 ribbon,Neumann KM84(sob!!) and have put up many more in studio settings( U67's and even one U47!!!) as well as having access on a rental basis for whatever else I might need....which isnt much at this point....

My point is, I hear and use a lot of mics on a lot of different styles and while I agree that someone who is serious about this business and serious about making a great sound needs mics of good or better quality, they all have to start somewhere and I'd personally rather see them with an AT mic than any of the other cheap ones out there due to, as I have said, build quality + sound quality for the dollar.

Your posts tend to condem something that you have a personal distatse for and while it is true for you, yours is one of the only bad experiences I have heard of in all my years of touting recording practices and gear on the net. I'd rather not scare someone into buying a B*^&$%#^ger or a Nady over something that will atleast get them going in the right direction towards quality gear in the future.

anonymous Wed, 06/17/2009 - 20:58
Your posts tend to condem something that you have a personal distatse for

Saying the AT2020 works for certian applications is not condeming it.

I'd rather not scare someone into buying a B*^&$%#^ger or a Nady over something that will atleast get them going in the right direction towards quality gear in the future.

I believe I said that AT2020 is better than anything B$hringer makes.

I consider the AT2020 mic a decent mic for certain applications; in no way, shape, or form do I consider it a GOOD mic. Now, it might just provide that right sound for micing ____ source, and in that case, it would be good for the application.

anonymous Wed, 06/17/2009 - 21:44
Sigh............


Ok.


BTW. Whats in your mic locker Dan?

PM'd.

Mr. Dog,
I'm sorry to report it is a lost cause.

Dan,
Have you ever heard a vintage Casino?
I think Epiphones can sound just as good as a Gibson. Maybe better.

Are you comparing real Epiphones to the stuff made today? What kind of a comparison is that. Sure, some of the Epiphones that cost practically as much as a Gibson are alright, but I think you know what I was getting at with the Epiphone analogy.

anonymous Wed, 06/17/2009 - 21:56
You said Epiphone.
I gave you a model I thought sounded better than a Gibson.
And I am sure that someone has set up an Epiphone that sounds just as good if not better than its Gibson counterpart, bought by someone solely because it was a Gibson.
Some people do like to save money/do things themselves.
And some people like the AT2020.
OP, sorry about your thread. Go ahead and get the mic, if you don't like it I will buy it off of you.

anonymous Wed, 06/17/2009 - 21:56
For someone who talks such big balls you've been getting your ass chewed left and right around here lately for being wrong.

Really? I wasn't aware of that. If Davedog wants to post the pm I don't care. I just didn't want to clog up the post with useless crap. But I guess that's what both of our messages are, huh?

soapfloats Wed, 06/17/2009 - 22:45
Davedog wrote: If you like a bright hit on toms then this mic will do that and in this case its edgy mids and low mids actually make a good drum a little better in a mix.

While writing my post I wondered if maybe I should give this mic a try on some drum applications.
Like I said, I have better choices now. Unfortunately for this mic, the time period between comparing it against 990s & 603s (one of my favorite cheap mics), and against 414s and such was rather short.

Sometimes I forget I have this mic. You've inspired me to toss it in for some upcoming drum a/b's Dave.

To the OP:
All the fracas is because we have many people here who care deeply about what they do. They just want to make sure you make a smart decision.
Like Dave said, the 2020 is a perfectably respectable entry condenser. My advice would be to save some extra change for the 4040 (~$300), which is a highly regarded mic found in a majority of studios (project or professional) around the world. In my opinion, the 2020 is AT's answer to people who can't afford the 4040. I'd like to have one or two of the 4040s for myself. I will not however, get rid of my 2020.
If you can wait, get the 4040. If not, get the 2020 and have fun learning how to use it. THAT's what it's really about.
I can use a screwdriver to put in screws, but I can also use it to open paint cans and many other things. Learning to use the tool is at least as important as the tool.

Ugh... I want to sell my 990s, but not sure if the pittance I'd get would be worth the ONE time I'd want to have them available. I hate getting rid of ANY mic or other gear.

BDM Thu, 06/18/2009 - 08:09
Sure, some of the Epiphones that cost practically as much as a Gibson are alright, but I think you know what I was getting at with the Epiphone analogy.

i have an Epiphone acoustic that was $450, and i will never part with it. sounds as good as guitars 4x as expensive. i'm sure the next one on the factory line sounds nothing like it... it was made in 1985, though, so not sure about 'today's' Epiphones...
as for the AT mic... if it is $100 and is decent .... buy it! buy two!
an Epiphone in the right hands can sing, and i'm sure if used well, the AT will work just fine...

BobRogers Thu, 06/18/2009 - 11:23
Actually, I think the Epiphone analogy works pretty well for both sides of the argument. (At least if you stick to modern solid body guitars that are more of an industrial product with less guitar-to-guitar variation.)

On one side, the modern Epis are cheap imports. An Epi Les Paul is not very close to the quality of a Gibson made in Nashville, and one shouldn't put too much weight on the Gibson name in small print below the Epiphone Label.

On the other hand, some of the Epis are pretty good guitars in their price range. Alice's first electric guitar (about 12 years ago) was an Epiphone Les Paul studio,and it's not a bad guitar. Admittedly the Duncan pickups I put in it help, but it plays well and the fit and finish are good. I'd have sold it long ago, but someone is always picking it up and preferring it to "better" guitars that I have. Since it won't bring in much money, I've never sold it.

In most cases, I'm with Dan and the "buy once, cry once" philosophy. But I realize there are cases where saving for better gear doesn't make sense, and there are many more cases where people are just going to repeat the mistakes that we've all made from time to time. No harm in their getting the best mic in the price range.

BDM Thu, 06/18/2009 - 13:04
BobRogers wrote: In most cases, I'm with Dan and the "buy once, cry once" philosophy. But I realize there are cases where saving for better gear doesn't make sense, and there are many more cases where people are just going to repeat the mistakes that we've all made from time to time. No harm in their getting the best mic in the price range.

ummmm...
anybody want to buy a couple of Apex 430s????
they will be 'vintage' in a few more years...
x

Register

Your recently read content