The AT4050 sm is an excellent LDC microphone. It has three switchable polar patterns: omni, cardioids and figure-of-eight. It has bass roll-off and 10db pad.
I came across it when getting prepared to record Naomi Ferguson’s EP (The Rest is Elsewhere). It won in a shoot-out which included the Rode K2 and the C414. And whilst I’m not saying that this microphone is better than those in the shoot-out, it was clearly the best on her excellent rich voice.
I have used this microphone to record voice, piano, guitar and guitar amplifier, trumpet and saxophone. It did well on all sources thanks to its versatility with switchable polar patterns.
The build quality of the mic is excellent. The shockmount and case are also good.
I got the best recording with voice and guitar amp. But it does depend on the voice and mic placement of course. If you are like me, you will agree that one microphone does not suit all. But in the right situation with the right mic (expensive or cheap) is the best.
All in all an excellent microphone, and one I am glad to own.
I was interested in this mic because, after spending some time with a bunch of very low budget LDCs, I was interested in getting some experience with one that was widely professionally used. After a few months with it, I can say that the AT4050 lives up to its reputation as a mic that, while not always exciting, gets you there on most sources you would care to try it on.
The sound is well detailed on the top and bottom of the microphone's pickup range. It gets great bass, and very clear high frequencies that stick out without the unnatural qualities many cheaper LDCs exhibit. The middle frequencies are not as prominent, which I think is part of what sets the sound of this mic apart from classic Neumanns and other more traditional studio tools. It doesn't necessarily paint a flattering picture on many sources, but it always paints a distinct and believable one. Subjectively, I find the figure of eight pickup pattern to be slightly smoother sounding and prefer that setting for vocal captures.
Ease of Use
If you can set up a microphone, you can use this one. I've never experienced any problems while recording with the AT4050 that were caused by the mic. I guess the shockmount it comes with is not great, so worrying about that might earn a demerit.
Polar patterns, pad, and puh... uhhh bass rolloff. Nice! I really appreciate having the omni and figure eight pickup patterns available, as this greatly expands the sounds you can capture with this mic.
Bang for Buck
Picked this up for $250 last fall, and for that price you can bet it's worthwhile! I don't think I would be willing to spend $700 on a new one, but up to and including $400 seems reasonable to me.
I like this mic. It has a low noise to floor ratio. I've recorded mostly vocals with it so far and it has never let me down. Nothing but good things to say about this beast. I've used it alone and with a mic pre (UA Twinfinity) and it sounds great with or without it. Its heavy duty constructed so you can take it on the road and do live gigs too. It does a great job on Duets also with it's figure 8 pattern selected. This mic isn't cheap or expensive but it's fairly priced for the serious Home Recording Studio for sure. I like it a lot and my recording are always on the higher end with crisp and clear quality. It has a pretty flat frequency response except for a few spikes at around 6k and 10k with a drop at around 17k-20k. check the frequency response on the spec sheet to be sure. I like it for mid range applications like vocals and wind instruments. I haven't used it on much but it did sound good on a trombone I recorded.
Last edited by Jessiefrank; 31st March 2012 at 02:10 AM..
Reason: not long enough
such a terrific mic for the price. Wonderful sound, always consistant, session worthy, multiple patterns for proximity lift and stereo techniques. Balanced big condensor sound, low noise, solid shock mount, works and works and works. having owned U87ai and several of these, I think these mics are more reliable and versatile as a stock mic.