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Audio Technica AT-4040
Old 4th February 2009
  #1
Gear Head
 
Rev_Mercury's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Audio Technica AT-4040

Hey guys!

Right now I'm in the market for getting some good quality OH mics and have been recommended AT-4040 quite a few times as far as price/value go. I've checked out the specs on them and it seems to me that the 20Khz frequency response is rather limited especially for recording cymbals. I've asked a couple of different reps at some music shops their opinion and they said that anything over 16Khz is sufficient for recording cymbals and that anything more would lead to piercing highs.

Any of you with experience with this mic, please share your input. I'm also open to other suggestions as well. I'd like to keep my budget to $500 per mic but if their is a mic that is a bit more and worth saving for, feel free to clue me in.

Thanks.
Old 4th February 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I think you could do a lot worse than AT 4040s for overhead mics. I'm sure lots of guys will chime in with their suggestions. Personally, I use AKG c452b SDCs and like them. I use them with vintage Langevin preamps that flatter them having transformers and the like.
As for the claim that anything over 16Khz leading to piercing highs, well, maybe to dogs and babys, most of us adults have our hearing drop off a bit before that so I think the term piercing would be innaccurate.
Old 4th February 2009
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
NickHiebert's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
You're considering the AT4040, which tells me you're on a budget - I guess the cool thing about getting a couple large-diaphragm condensers would be that you could double them for various other applications, from room mics to vocals, distance-micing, etc. But I don't think that many mics from the large-diaphragm end of the 40 series would fit the bill, because they're a bit flat, not dull, but they're not very interesting sounding (great mics, though). If you wanted to stick to Audio Technica, you could try something like AT4041s, or even AT4051s if you have a bit more money.

Being on a budget sucks, but there are tons of options for good OH mics on the cheap - Audix ADX-51s come to mind, I have a pair and they're very good OH mics and inexpensive. AKG C 1000s are good and I used them for quite some time, they're pretty decent for the price and they come in pairs sometimes. Also, if you want to save up a bit more money for something vastly more versatile, you could try and go for a pair of Rode NT2000s because you can actually dial in the polar pattern, roll off, etc. But a good tried and true work-horse mic that's pretty functional for any application is the AT4050, like I said before it's not very interesting but it's a fantastic mic, you wouldn't be disappointed with it.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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staudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
My AT 4040's are pretty good for overheads, I prefer a pair of AKG 414's but the 4040 is a workhorse and is useful for many things like overheads, percussion, acoustic guitar, piano, and some vocalists.

For $600 bucks a pair it is pretty hard to do much better in condenser land.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Funnily enough I was just road-testing an AT4040 this weekend, although I need to stress this was only on vocals.

My verdict? Well, the AT4040 is only $300, so I guess it ain't bad for the money, but if you can possibly stretch to $550 the Shure KSM32 gives a substantially smoother and more musical sound IMHO.

Are you fixed on LDC's? If not, a pair of Avenson STO-2's will also set you back $550 and these are really nice little mics.

You said your budget was around $1,000 - I say spend $1,100 and score three excellent quality mics that give you lots of options for other uses later. I'd suggest doing some reading on this Forum on the KSM32 and the Avensons - I think you'd be extremely happy with either or preferably both.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
I use a pair of AT4050's for overheads most of the time. You can pick up a used pair of 4050's for $600-800. I've gotten great results with them. They're multi-pattern and have worked great for me on a variety of other sources too. I think those are a much better bang for the buck than the 4040's.
Old 4th February 2009
  #7
Vogon
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev_Mercury ➑️
Hey guys!

Right now I'm in the market for getting some good quality OH mics and have been recommended AT-4040 quite a few times as far as price/value go. I've checked out the specs on them and it seems to me that the 20Khz frequency response is rather limited especially for recording cymbals. I've asked a couple of different reps at some music shops their opinion and they said that anything over 16Khz is sufficient for recording cymbals and that anything more would lead to piercing highs.
Thanks.
Most people wouldn't be that concerned with reproducing all that-much over 16k.
People have been using ribbons to great effect in this application, and they generally roll-off in the highs.
Alternatively; I've seen lots of favourable reports on the ATM450, you may like the Beyer MC930's if you want "natural", or the Josephson C42's for more sparkle.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
NorseHorse's Avatar
You can't hear over 20kHz.

And what about ribbons? They have high-frequency roll-off, and they are loved by many on strings and cymbals.

My main Schoeps microphone for orchestral recordings only goes to 16k according to the specs.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
I've used LDCs and SDCs as overheads, each for their own applications. I agree that the AT4040 are very clear, uncoloured microphones. The Rode NT-5s are a dirt cheap SDC pair that get the job done if you're really on a budget. I've used the AT3035s at overheads before as well to great effect, they give a really nice capture of the whole kit. I wouldn't worry about specs too much. We can't hear above 20kHz and the fact that most specs are based on a + or - 3db system makes them fallible and often incredibly inaccurate(considering the quality we work to achieve, 3db is a big deal).

If you're talking about perceptual high end, then increasing your sample rate will be another thing you'll have to consider even if you do find mics that claim to capture 20kHz and above.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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cavern's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
i had a 4040 for 6 months. i gotta say i found it pretty dull. i don't know what it was, i like the 4050.
anyway i traded it back in on a 4033 cause i had one of those already.
i use 2 4033's on overheads now and im quite happy with those. the 3/4" diaphram seems to work well for that.
they're also good on guitar cabs combined with an sm7.
and, i know some don't like it for vocals but i think they do a great job on some singers. when they work, they work great.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Vogon
Guest
Yes, the 4033 is a special mic, at and above it's price point IMHO...
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
turk sanchez's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
The 4040's have too much of peak around 5k to use on overheads in my opinion...I would get some Pro 37's and save the rest of your money for something else. Those are still a bit bright (you like that though?) but they sound great...especially for $120 each. Or spend more and get a pair of 4047's if you want smoother mics. I sold my 4040 a couple years ago.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
A LaMere's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by waffle waitress ➑️
The 4040's have too much of peak around 5k to use on overheads in my opinion...
I agree with this... they're waaay more crisp than what I'd want on overheads.
I've heard that the KEL audio hm1's work well on overheads and they are CHEAP!

I've also heard them compared to a "less crisp sounding audio technica mic" on more than one occasion.
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