First, this mic is durable. It has been on the road for a couple of years and it's standing holding it's own. I haven't had any issues with the mic. It includes a nice coffin that is good for travel as well. No complaints in terms of the build quality.
Sonically, the audio is crisp, it also has a low cut filter as well. The low cut filter does wonders if you are working with vocals especially. It removes just enough muddiness that will allow you to mix your music better at the end of the day.
It also includes a -10db pad. I rarely use the feature, but when I have had to use it, it's helped out tremendously when tracking louder vocals or instruments.
Versatile, it allows you to record vocals, as well as instruments. It records vocals amazing. The vocals are crisp. It picks up highs and mids well. I can usually work with the hi's as well when it comes to mixing.
In terms of style, the mic is your typical black metal mic. It blends and fits in well in most environments.
I suggest one for a portable rig or your cabinet. If you are looking for quality, a decent price, and something that will fit well in any project studio, the best way to go is the AT4040.
The AT4040 has been a workhorse in my project studio for years. I've used them on just about everything - horns, upright bass, grand piano, acoustic guitar, guitar cabs, and (my favorite) as drum overheads.
I find that the AT4040 subdues some of the mid and high-mid frequencies in voices. For one of the male vocalists I regularly work with, the AT4040 is better suited than my Neumann TLM49. As overheads, the AT4040's provide a nice cymbal sheen without getting too glassy, and really bring out the lows and low-mids of the drums themselves. Real thunder territory here
Just remember, when using them as overheads, to use the 10dB pad on the AT4040's to save your pre's and converters when you apply 48V phantom power!
I've been holding off writing this review for quite some time. Reason being, I'm at school for eng and I wanted a year or so of education and experience under my belt before I pretend to know what I'm talking about.
-Cardioid polar pattern, very little rejection from behind the mic along it's axis.
-Bass roll-off switch
-A -20dB switchable pad
-Solid metal everything
**NOTE: I will compare this mic to several others. I'm not necessarily saying that they are in the same price-point. I am only using them as comparisons for sound because they are popular, and many of you have used them.
What should this be used on?
This is a very wide cardioid pattern condenser. Use one on your vocals and you'll hear smooth response, perhaps just a tad hyped on the high end. But that's a typical plight of many large diaphragm condensers.
Comparing this mic to a Rode NT1A for example (the best known LDC arguably) and you'll hear just a little clearer response in the presence band, but you'll get slightly less in the upper highs above ~16K. This will either work for your vocalist, or it won't. Works great for my tenor voice, but very poorly on my friends bassy voice. (Whether bass voices across the board sound poor I do not know, only in this one man's experience was this the case)
You can certainly use this mic on an acoustic guitar and it will sound deadly! It provides a very natural, transparent colour to the acoustic guitar that blows many other LDC's out of the water. In this regard, the NT1A is absolutely no comparison to the much more sophisticated 4040. This is unsurprising since it's half the cost, but it is honestly worth it. Plant yourself in the middle of an iso booth and you can have absolute control over ambience. On acoustics in particular, this is a top weapon of choice no doubt.
It works on cabs too! I have heard from two sources, both reputable, that this mic can handle upwards of 130dBSPL which is nice. You can get nice and close, but be careful. Use your head.
I've used a 4040 on saxophones and trumpets and it did a very good job. I can't say that the initial results were as good as some of the tube preamp mics I've tried on horns but I was seriously impressed with it nonetheless. In fact, the sustain and decay sounded a little better on the 4040. (Sorry I don't remember the name of the tubepre mic I compared.)
Overheads. Great Overheads. Nothing more to be said... GREAT overheads.
The mic is solid and durable. It's very attractive, plain and simple looking enough to look the part without being too much.
Overall this is actually the mic I end up grabbing for most of my personal vocal sessions, even in a studio full of much more expensive microphones. I'm not trying to big the microphone up too much, but it really is a stellar all-rounder. They say every engineer has his "desert island" microphone... this one is unequivocally the mic I would pick if I had to choose just one. The price I paid was just over $400 CAD, and I wish I had bought 2.
There it is! As level-headed and down-to-earth as I can realistically be considering how (obviously) in love I am with this piece. Truly amazing microphone.
I use it for my Home studio.
It delivers sonic harsh crispy detail on VOCALS.
Goes low deep on the BASS without going to muddy.
Great on OVERHEADS, althought i tried to match with a AT 4033, found - a little difference on the bright side - fuller body on the AT4033
Perhaps the lowest point on this its the fact that you have to focus this equipment to the right source otherwise you`ll get to bright on something that already has more than enough treble by its natural sound.
Otherwise is my go for mic for Acoustic instrument sources and deep but less articulated vocals.
I've had my AT4040 for about a year now, and I've got to say it's become the workhorse of my home studio. It captures vocals beautifully, and I find myself going to it at least once per session. There's a low cut filter you can toggle on the back of the mic, and I've found that it really clears the mud from the track, making your mixing a lot easier. I think the AT4040 is appropriate for both male and female vocals (especially using the low cut filter), the crisp sound lends itself to pretty much any job you throw at it. Sure, there are better mics out there, but at this price point I think it's hard to beat.
The design is sleek and fits into any studio. My only gripe is the provided shockmount is a bit of a pain to fit the mic into. Maybe it's just me, but the bands that loop around it made maneuvering the mic difficult. Besides that, I haven't had any issues with the AT4040. I've used it on male vocals, female vocals, spoken word, guitar, and I've even used it in a M/S arrangement. I have some microphones I hope to pick up one day (when I'm no longer a student), but I'll have a hard time parting with the AT4040.
When comparing the AT4040 against the C414, I hear much more definition and clarity with the C414. I've tried the 4040 on both acoustic and electric guitar and found that it lacks something in the midrange causing the guitars to get lost in the mix. The only source I like it on is drum overhead, when looking for a darker result, or if the 414 is too transparent. For guitars I prefer my early version light gray NT1 over the 4040 (for under $300). I am using UA6176 pre in my project studio. To me, the AT4040 is ok for the money, and can be good on a few things but recommend spending an extra $350 and picking up a used C414 instead. The AKG C414, for around $600 used, will give you bigtime results in the under $1000 condenser world.