Published by edva on 23rd February 2012
Audio Technica 4047SV condenser microphone
Audio Technica's 4047SV is a single pattern (cardioid), large diaphragm condenser, made in Japan, designed primarily for recording vocals, although it can be used wherever a quality LDC would normally be appropriate. The mic shares the familial appearance of most AT mics, and the fine build quality. It comes with a very nicely designed shockmount, in the same brushed silver finish as the mic. The mic has both an 80 Hz hi-pass filter switch, and another for the 10db pad. With the pad in, the mic is rated for 159db! The self noise is rated as an admirably low 9db.
I am a big fan of the 4047, and use one frequently. It can work on some vocals, particularly the "crooner" style, but is a little too dark for most modern styles. It also has a small but noticeable high frequency peak that can hit the sibilant zone with some singers. When the mic matches the source though, it's like butter.
It's also a great mic to put up as an "alternative" choice on many sources (drums, guitar cab, upright bass, etc.) because it will often sound better than the primary choice. The mic has a very beefy, warm signature, with a very well controlled, almost "soft" top end, but always sounds "real" and present. AT did a good job with the components in this mic, including the transformer, which no doubt adds to the warm tone. A modern take on a vintage U47 FET was AT's intention, and their result, with the 4047.
Because of the low-mid character of the 4047, it can be a bit of "overkill" on an already very warm source, or inappropriate on a source that doesn't feature that area of the spectrum, or on something that wants to "sparkle". However, it is a very nice mic that will bring something useable to the mix more often than not. A bit pricey amongst its AT brethren, but you do get value for the money.
By Magpel on 23rd February 2012
Don't own it, have used it a lot and like it a lot
The Audio Technica 4047 was a critical vocal mic in a full-length CD my band recorded recently. We used other vocal mics on the CD as well: a Mojave MA200, a Shure SM7B, A Rode of some flavor I have conveniently forgotten, and my own ADK TT with the Custom Shop 67 replacement capsule.
As you probably already know, The AT 4047 is a delicious microphone ( I can't seem to steer clear of food/taste metaphors when describing it, which is always how I responded to pieces that sound syrupy), on the dark and full side, a natural fit for male vocals and often a good choice for females, depending on the voice. The female vocalist in our band, for some reason, is more flattered by highly focused, somewhat bright mics. Seems counter intuitive to me, as I always think you match by opposites -- bright mic to dark source, etc. But maybe this is why I am a player and not a professional engineer.
It is the odd one in the AT line, for sure. I could say I wish it had more features, especially patterns, but I think it should be kept what it is, a well known entity, a special flavor at a good price, kind of like an SM7B in that regard, actually. We DID try it as third mic in a guitar cab arrangement. In our situation it didn't contribute anything especially useful, but this was a very limited experiment.
By VictorM on 6th March 2012
Someone already stated the technical specs of the mic so I'll go straight to personal impressions.
I use it as my main vocal and guitar mic, and these are the only things I record in my small studio. It's great on vocals, mainly males but also works for some females. The female singer in my band tends to have a very high pitched timbre and it doesn't flatter her quite so well, making it sound harsh, but I can still find enough space to maneuver and sculpt her voice nicely to fix in the mix (example of song recorded with the 4047, both on the vocals and guitar: Yoon - The mirror can't hear you by yoon. on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free ). It's great on darker sources, the bottom end gets warmed up and rounded very well and the highs are still present and very pleasant. I did a kind of audiobook project with it and it was perfect for this.
I would have liked more polar patterns on it, but I guess the price would had went a lot higher. It's still a great bang for the buck, it has a fine build quality and the shockmount does a good job and looks great. I recommend you to keep this one as a guitar and male vocals mic and definetly have another one nearby for overly bright female vocals.
By monkeyxx on 26th March 2012
The AT4047 is a very handsome microphone, and it sounds good. Like any high quality microphone, the careful engineer should be able to find at least one good use for it. I find the sound to be sort of "thick" with ample low end and good overall clarity, with a focus on the midrange, and a soft high end that has a sort of sheen to it. It has the familiar Audio Technica "grain" or "wool" to the sound.
On a kick drum, out in front of the resonant head, you can get a very natural presentation of the drum that's very different from the inside "beater" microphone that's typically used as a default. Sometimes I like to use this sound by itself, other times mixing it in with the inside microphone. I do always seem to have to use EQ to shape the sound, but, this is not surprising for me since I find drum mics to need EQ most of the time, other than some of the "pre-EQ'd" mics like an EV N/D868 or D112 that are already tailored for a specific sound on a specific source.
As a pair on drum overheads, in the Glyn Johns configuration, a lot of the low end and midrange of the kit comes through, and the cymbals sound very pleasant with just enough brightness and a sweet sustain. It's not a super-detailed sound, and transients seem a bit softened, but, it's very good for rock and roll drums. You might prefer a different microphone for very shimmery cymbal sounds or increased detail.
I've had great luck with this mic on a certain male vocalist with a distinctive whiskey and boots breathy/growly singing style, but this mic is not my first reach for a vocal microphone. It is excellent in this category in the price range, however, especially on the used market, somewhere in the same price range as the SM7B, and fantastic on the right voice.
I've also used this mic happily on bass amps and in combination with other microphones on electric guitar cabinets, where I found it a good mic to blend in with others using a 4 or 5 mics on one cabinet technique, which generally seems to allow me to find a huge or distinctive tone for electric guitar vs. using a single microphone. Using 2 or 3 mics can get there too.
I did not like it on acoustic guitar, finding the softened transients and high end to take away too much of those things that I look for most often in an acoustic guitar recording.
Overall a microphone with a specific tonality that has a few very good uses, excels on the right source, but not the most versatile, which is fine if you have other microphones for other things. Great for the price used, but I wouldn't pay full retail for one, since the price went up in the past year or two.