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I need to confess... I'm falling in love with AT mics
Old 18th November 2009
  #1
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FreshSkweez's Avatar
 

I need to confess... I'm falling in love with AT mics

I'm like a guy falling in love with his teenage babysitter - I know I'll get frowned upon by my peers but I can't help going back...

Up until a few months ago U87 and U47 were my workhorses. If it wasn't one it was the other especially for vocals, room & ambience, different drum applications, guitars - you name it. At the same time I had a AT4033 laying around I'd use for a random sax or background vocal part but it was never taken seriously otherwise.

It happened so that a fellow engineer asked to pay his tracking tab with a couple of brand new AT mics. I said ok as a sign of good will. That's how 4047 and 4050 got the job at my studio. Once I got them I figured what the hell might as well learn them so I'd set them up alongside with the Neumanns to try on random vocalists I tracked. Imagine my surprise when after a while I realized I pick 4047 over U47 seven out of ten times (yeah I started keeping count at some point). Even my old 4033 got featured on quite a few female pop vocal sessions.

I started thinking there's something wrong with me so I asked my second engineer to setup a blind A/B on a few sources (male & female vox, guitar cab & ambience, as well as my altime favourite: 5 ft away from a single Genelec S30 playing a mono sum of a commercial mix - something I consider the best way to quickly get a picture of what's hyped). The test proved it was true love - 4047 over U47 on EVERYTHING.

I thought ok, maybe I'd see its flaws clearly at mix but no - every 4047 lead vocal track was incredibly easy to place in the mix and took A LOT less eq, less RMS compression (more transient compression though), lighter de-essing than those tracked with the U47... and they sounded awesome. So, it's official: I'm in love with AT mics.

There I said it. You can start hating now

P.S. No, AudioTechnica did not pay me to post this. I just needed to share.
Old 18th November 2009
  #2
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jomo1234's Avatar
 

I'll be more than happy to trade my 4047 and 4033 for your U47 and U87

But seriously, AT makes some great mics. I really like the 4051's on HH and OH and an ATM25 on kick. Try a 4060 if you're able. Another great mic!
Old 19th November 2009
  #3
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Steve G's Avatar
I agree. I use AT mics quite a bit. I especially like to have them on the live DVD shoots that we do. They always work, and they always sound good. I do have to say that I don't usually take a good Neumann down and put up an AT mic, but if I thought what I was recording sounded better on the AT, I would.

Steve

BTW - Al and I demoed the new AT ribbon mics that will be available soon, and as usual, they sounded great. They'll be heavy rotation I'm sure.
Old 19th November 2009
  #4
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beanface's Avatar
 

We ended up using an AT4040 the other day over a few other considerably more expensive mics funnily enough. The results ended up very similar to the Stereophonics 'Handbags & the glad-rags'. Good company is AT! I'm going to be purchasing some (probably all to be fair) Kel mics in the run up to xmas. The price to performance ratio is not even funny. Another hidden gem is the MXL M3. It cost me about Β£450 (!) to get that one imported into the UK and it was worth every penny.
Old 19th November 2009
  #5
I thing the 4033 is a great work horse and I have found it better suited at times over my beloved Brauner Valvet...not better just better suited. I am most interested in their new ribbon mic's. The 4047 sounds similar to the 4033 but since it has a transformer inside, it adds more weight in the low mid's. Many have said the 4050 is just as good as a AKG 414 as they both have a very flat response.
Old 19th November 2009
  #6
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Kris's Avatar
It may be time for your u47 to have a checkup.
Old 19th November 2009
  #7
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deve's Avatar
 

is it a fet47?
Old 19th November 2009
  #8
the AT4047 seems to get more service than anything else at my place - consistently great sound... I've had it for a decade plus and it is just a solid workhorse of a mic
Old 19th November 2009
  #9
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FreshSkweez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris View Post
It may be time for your u47 to have a checkup.
;-) I new I was gonna get a lot of this.

Quote:
I do have to say that I don't usually take a good Neumann down and put up an AT mic, but if I thought what I was recording sounded better on the AT, I would.
This on the other hand is exactly what I'm talking about. I try and make choices for my recording chain based on the source and the final pictue my client and I have in mind. I'm sure most of us do. If it sounds better I don't care what brand (and how legendary) it is - I'm using it. But never in a million years would I expect preferring anything over U47 on vocals. I have been using it for years and love it to death. Hence the blind test... that left me buffled. Hence the post.

Cheers all ya fellow AT lovers
Old 19th November 2009
  #10
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Friedemann's Avatar
 

I used to record many VOs and audio books with a 4050 and I always enjoyed this mic. One day the head engineer decided we need Neumann - just for the name - and bought TLM103. I wasnΒ΄t too pleased...
Old 19th November 2009
  #11
I have a pair of 4050's I take to every session. They're very neutral sounding and take EQ incredibly well. Plus, they're incredibly consistent from mic to mic, which is why they're my go-to choice for overheads.
Old 19th November 2009
  #12
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ambiguity's Avatar
Been in love for couple years now, and the feeling is mutual.
4050 and 4051 are my staple mics.

Cheers.
Old 19th November 2009
  #13
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hazelmossobrien's Avatar
 

I simply love my 4050 pair. I used to have a 4033 pair and I loved them too....though not nearly as much as my 4050's.
Old 19th November 2009
  #14
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Kris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreshSkweez View Post
;-) I new I was gonna get a lot of this.


Cheers all ya fellow AT lovers
No offence intended and not trying to discount your experience!... I own a few 4047s and don't have much love for them on vocals (though I do love them)...which is why I'm still curious if your u47 is up to snuff. LOVE the 4060 on vocals though!
Old 19th November 2009
  #15
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dustyreels's Avatar
 

Another lover of the 4050. It's the only AT mic I own but it's my goto for LDC duties. It has yet to fail me. Very excited to use the new ribbons coming out. Truly a quality company that makes quality mics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve G View Post
BTW - Al and I demoed the new AT ribbon mics that will be available soon, and as usual, they sounded great. They'll be heavy rotation I'm sure.
Old 19th November 2009
  #16
Gear Head
 

Dont think i have ever done a session without one of my 13 Audio Technica mics, and yes great love for the 4047.
Old 19th November 2009
  #17
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

The 4047 doesn't sound like a U47 at all IMHO. It is an oddball sort of dark sounding condenser with tons of girth in the low mids which makes it sort of the opposite of what 99% of modern mics are going for in this day of bright and scooped. The off axis pickup on the 4047 can get pretty odd (phasey) sounding so position is very important. I love the 4047 because I like tools that are unique. Sometimes you need something to fill that low mid frequency range and if you don't feel like using a ribbon like a Coles 4038 or something, the 4047 can be a cool condenser alternative. Like the previous poster I also don't like it on many vocals.
Old 19th November 2009
  #18
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FreshSkweez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris View Post
No offence intended and not trying to discount your experience!...
Oh, none taken. Like I said I'm very surprised myself.
Old 19th November 2009
  #19
It just goes to show you the more expensive mic is not always the best solution. Of course it's just one part of the chain when recording vocals as well. Justin Timberlake likes the 4060, the Tony Ben duet CD they used the 4047 on all of the guest vocalist.

I have a recording session tonight and it will be interesting to see how my 4033 does against the Brauner Valvet, Blueberry and other mic's I have on a male tenor voice. He has a strong low mid character and it could be that a mic with a transformer may not be the best, so the 4033 could do well. Of course proxmity effect comes into play, so you have to find that sweet spot for them to stand. Vocals will be going through a Manley Voxbox is my main setup for lead vocal tracks with Christian contemporary music.
Old 19th November 2009
  #20
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beanface's Avatar
 

Sometimes a 57 sounds awesome, I just try not to prejudiced when it comes to getting a sound.
Old 19th November 2009
  #21
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Slaytex's Avatar
 

I agree, I have the 4047 and 4050 but the 4047 gets all the love at my place. I use it for all my overdubbing even though I have many more mics. GTR's, VOX and even bass amp. It's uber cool on toms especially the floor.
Old 19th November 2009
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Ok I am convinced. Time to dust off the 4050 and give it another go. Haven't listened to it for some time!
Old 19th November 2009
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Bucci View Post

I have a recording session tonight and it will be interesting to see how my 4033 does against the Brauner Valvet, Blueberry and other mic's I have on a male tenor voice. He has a strong low mid character and it could be that a mic with a transformer may not be the best, so the 4033 could do well. Of course proxmity effect comes into play, so you have to find that sweet spot for them to stand. Vocals will be going through a Manley Voxbox is my main setup for lead vocal tracks with Christian contemporary music.
very interested - please report
Old 19th November 2009
  #24
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erwinor's Avatar
 

Some days ago a client came with his U87 to do some vocals.

I asked him to use the 4050 at the same time with the U87.

Afterwards he choose the 4050 as it was the best for his voice

4050
Old 19th November 2009
  #25
Gear Head
 

I've been head over heels in love with the AT4047 for the past year or so, but I'm curious to gauge opinion on what preamps everyone favours to bring it to its full potential.

Right now, I only have two options: my M-Audio Profire pres or Joe Meek VC3Q ( original Ted F...green version) to partner it with.

Both yield very nice results, but I'm looking to upgrade when funds allow. I'm gonna assume that a dark, 'character' mic like the 4047 would shine with a cleaner, more neutral pre?
Old 19th November 2009
  #26
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doug hazelrigg's Avatar
At 4050 -- need to pick one of those up
Old 20th November 2009
  #27
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by evernaut View Post
I've been head over heels in love with the AT4047 for the past year or so, but I'm curious to gauge opinion on what preamps everyone favours to bring it to its full potential.

Right now, I only have two options: my M-Audio Profire pres or Joe Meek VC3Q ( original Ted F...green version) to partner it with.

Both yield very nice results, but I'm looking to upgrade when funds allow. I'm gonna assume that a dark, 'character' mic like the 4047 would shine with a cleaner, more neutral pre?
I like the 4047 through a V72 for a tube thing. It's cool when paired with a Neve 1084 but that combo can yeild a ton of low end (you might need to filter). I am not the guy to ask about clean pre's though. I can't get enough color.
Old 20th November 2009
  #28
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Empire Prod View Post
I like the 4047 through a V72 for a tube thing. It's cool when paired with a Neve 1084 but that combo can yeild a ton of low end (you might need to filter). I am not the guy to ask about clean pre's though. I can't get enough color.
Thanks. I also love flavoursome gear, which is why I opted for the 4047 in the first place..it really shines on my tenor voice...but I'm thinking maybe a less characterful pre will allow more of its own sound to come through?
Old 20th November 2009
  #29
Here for the gear
 

Just goes to show you that, given the huge number of variables that exist in the various signal chains everyone uses, you never can tell which mic will turn out to be the best for a given application. For obvious reasons I've tried a lot of different affordable mics and one of my favourites is still the AT4040. It has a unique capsule, which coupled with it's transformerless symetrical circuitry (the same approach we take to keep prices down, rather than use inexpensie, substandard transformers) leads to really good transient response. Really clean, fast sounding mic. Sometimes that's what you want. I also like the ATM25 on kick, which sadly has been discontinued.
Old 20th November 2009
  #30
Deleted bd1be4f
Guest
Another big thumbs up here for the 4050. It should be almost criminal that it sells for as little money as it does, given how it holds right up against mics costing several times what it costs. Every engineer should have two.
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