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At 4050

Audio-Technica AT4050

4.55 4.55 out of 5, based on 6 Reviews

A great microphone that suited my needs.


3rd March 2012

Audio-Technica AT4050 by alexvdbroek

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
At 4050

Info:

The AT4050 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.

Sound:

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.

Build:

The build quality of the mic is excellent. The shockmount and case are also good.

Round up:

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.

If you would like to hear the results of the microphone, check out the EP:
iTunes - Music - The Rest Is Elsewhere - EP by Naomi Ferguson

8th March 2012

Audio-Technica AT4050 by prontold

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
At 4050

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.

Sound

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.

Features

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.

31st March 2012

Audio-Technica AT4050 by Jessiefrank

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
At 4050

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.

2nd April 2012

Audio-Technica AT4050 by soundmark

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
At 4050

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.

I personally prefer it to the Neumann TLM107/102.

15th June 2017

Audio-Technica AT4050 by 6dyslexicelephnt

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
At 4050

My first LDC was an AT-4033 which sounded really good on my voice but wasn't as smooth as I wanted on acoustic guitar. This mic "disappeared" at some point in college.
Well about a decade later, with a lot more experience and knowledge, I am upgrading my mic locker and thought I would throw a 4050 into the mix since I have fondness for the 4033 and I wanted to do a bunch of shootouts on overheads, vocals, acoustic guitar, and room mics for guitar amp. I tried it on my voice and it sounded fine - even and smooth but didn't really enhance my voice in the way that the 4033 did. I actually really liked the MD-421 on my voice - I compared the 4033 and 421 freq response charts and they both have a bump around 5K which seems to work for my voice. Anyway a vocal mic is so specific to the singer that you can't fault a mic for not being mind blowing when it is simply doing its job - to capture the sound in front of it. It would probably work better for a professional singer who has trained their voice to sound naturally beautiful.
Well I had also heard this mic was good for guitar cabinets as a room mic and I was going to use it for that until I tried it on acoustic guitar. My acoustic is a Gibson Hummingbird custom shop that has a flame maple back so it's more articulate than the standard mahogany. It is maybe the best sounding acoustic I have ever heard. I use John Pearse bronze strings because they are mellow and the guitar doesn't need more brightness.
To my surprise, the mic beat my Blue Blueberry and Blue Woodpecker on acoustic - which I had got specifically to try on this guitar. Unlike vocals where I wanted a mic that enhanced my voice in a flattering way, for acoustic I just wanted the mic to capture the gorgeous sound of the guitar. In cardioid, it captured the guitar much better than the other two but was so sensitive that turning a little bit in my seat would change the sound a lot. If it's 12" away from the guitar and pointed at the 12th fret it sounds one way. If I pivot to the left a little bit, then it's pointing at the soundhole and the booming sound of the "square shoulders" body would come through. Then I read someone suggest the 4050 on acoustic in omni, to avoid proximity effect, of which this mic has plenty. I usually don't like omni, because typically it makes the mic sound brighter while also sounding like the bottom octave just dropped out. But holy crap if it wasn't gorgeous sounding and way less sensitive to position so I don't have to sit stiff while I play.
I gave this mic 5 stars across the board because I bought it used for $300 and I honestly cannot imagine a better acoustic guitar sound for any price. I was using it with a Sebatron tube preamp. These two are a match made in heaven. The tube preamp is warm and detailed and clean if you want - but if you crank it a little bit, it gives a gentle tube compression that starts to make it sound like a hifi recording from the '60s. If you crank it up more, it distorts in an awesome way that sounds amazing. Basically, the mic is doing an excellent job of what it's supposed to be doing, and so is the tube preamp, and the cleanliness of the mic and the warmth of the preamp are oh so wonderful together.
I hope this good review helps cement the fact that this mic is an absolute modern classic and it deserves to be in every studio's mic locker. The praise for this mic is well deserved and the more they are cranked out, the easier it will be for people of modest means to pick this mic up used at budget mic prices. It's a win for everybody.
I bought the Blue Woodpecker for $600 used and I'm now going to try it for my room mic on guitar amp since the 4050 is now firmly stuck on acoustic guitar. If it's not sounding right and I have to sell it at a loss, I'm not really worried about it because I can just look for another cheap 4050. I'm actually a bit scared to try it on overheads as I don't want to upset the whole hierarchy of my mic locker.

5th July 2017

Audio-Technica AT4050 by ARIEL

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
At 4050

The At4050 has been my main vocal mic for years, I heard it first from Lynn Fustons vocal mic shootout from 3db audio many years ago and chose it through the tests he had done. I find it excels as a vocal mic and I never have to boost any frequencies on this mic. It captures aggressive rock and metal vocal extremely well and keeps the bite and tone alive with these kinds of vocals. I have also used it as an overhead or room pair and very much like what it captures in that position. I highly recommend this mic.

 
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