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Microphone Month 3

Audio-Technica AT4040 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone Reviews

4.5 stars based on 27 customer reviews
Questions about the Audio-Technica AT4040 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone?

Questions about the Audio-Technica AT4040 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Stuart Niven

    The Audio-Technica AT4040 is a wonderful microphone, great for a wide variety of musical sources. I have been using Audio-Technica for nearly ten years now and they have never ceased to amaze me with their flexibility and sonic fidelity. The AT 4040 gives a true representation of your source signal with no influence of its self, just an accurate, reliable and dependable high quality sound, every time you use it. Your recordings deserve this!

  • from Miami May 9, 2017

    I LOVE this mic!!

    My history with mics hasn't been as extensive starting with the Samson C01 as a gift and then opting for the AT2035. The C01 required too much input gain to get a good signal, I would practically yell into it and the signal would be recorded very low so it could be that there's a defect. I like the 2035 but it was bit too warm for what I desired. I looked at this beauty and the Rode NT1 as my dream mics for a while and based on comparisons and price points​, I'm so glad I chose this. Vocals record so clean, crisp and accurate whether male or female. And the signal comes in very strong and consistent. I would definitely recommend 5 times over.

  • from Ames, IA January 28, 2017

    Great Microphone and great Price

    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 heh

    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!

  • from Wisconsin December 7, 2016Music Background:
    Producer/Rec, Mix Engineer

    Amazing Rap Vocal Mic!

    I picked up this condenser because my buddy has it and has recently been using it for rap projects. I myself have lately been working with rap clients as well. I have to say, I love this mic for that purpose.

    I have other mics like Neumann, Blue, Shure, Rode and a few others. I'm currently running the at4040 through an LA 610 into a WA76. I can safely say that this is my new favorite rap vocal go to mic.

    Very natural sound, forgiving upper midrange and smooth top end without harshness or undesired sibilance. Shaves off most of the processing work . Handles dynamics beautifully. Can't wait to try it on other sources like acoustic guitar and such, which I hear great things about as well.

    You cant go wrong with the price point and can't go wrong to add to your locker. A must have for sure.

  • from sevierville, tn October 19, 2016Music Background:
    over 30 years

    Most expensive mic I've ever bought

    I do vanity projects in my home studio. I had been using an Audio Technica AT2035 for about 3 years. Where I mostly record dudes, I was recording this young lady and her vocals came through very dark, even with the hi pass filter on the mic engaged. I ordered this as a step up.

    The Good: This mic is somewhat larger and so is the capsule. Made in Japan... I've never found electronic equipment made in Japan that wasn't the highest quality. Which brings me to the bad....

    The Bad: It picks up EVERYTHING--- inside the vocal booth, I heard my wife and this girl's dad talking downstairs through my headphones... I had to holler at them to quit yelling at each other... They both thought I was crazy. The next session, it picked up the kids playing, laughing and giggling in the yard about 500 feet from the house. I've had to re-learn what I'm doing because this thing picks up nuances that I've not had the pleasure of dealing with.

    I can't wait to try this thing out on acoustic guitar.

  • from Maine June 4, 2016

    Go-to workhorse mic

    I have a stereo pair of these bad boys and use them on everything - acoustic guitars, mandolins, drum overheads, hard to go wrong.

  • from San Luis Obispo, CA February 28, 2014Music Background:
    Producerm, Recording Engineer, Musician

    Easily the best condenser in it's price range.

    I have used this mic on vocals, acoustic guitar, flute, sax, and even harmonica. This microphone reproduces a natural sound that is accurate to the characteristics of the original sound source. This microphone has many uses in an active studio. When I look for any piece of gear I look for build quality/reliability, functionality, sound quality, as well as affordability. I like many others do not have $1500 to spend on a nice microphone, let alone $3,000 for a matched stereo pair. $600 for a stereo pair is definately feesable though. Anyways, if your in the market for a quality condenser mic for under $300, there isn't any reason to look any further.

  • from Sherrill, AR November 6, 2010Music Background:
    Singer, Song writer, studio musician

    Great God Almighty

    I own one of these AT4040 and I must say I am truly thankful to the Lord for it. I used it to record my female lead and backing vocals in a gospel song and it was great! The AT4040 handle the emotions and pressure of high soprano very well. When you have a mic that sound as excellent as the AT4040 it really brings out the best in you!

  • from Jacksonville, FL August 3, 2009Music Background:
    Recording Engineer and Producer

    Solid Performer

    I gave this mic a 5 rating because it performs as advertised...flawlessly. If you're looking for a microphone that will reproduce the source without adding or taking anything away, then this is the mic for you. Are there mics that will do the same with even more accuracy? Probably. However, you won't find any other mics for $300 that will accomplish this task better than this one. I had a client comment that the mic is probably how a mirror would sound if it were a mic.

    Cosmetically, everything about the mic says "professional tool". I've had mics in the past where I'd look at them and they'd scream "home studio" back at me. Not this puppy. The shockmout IS a little...um, unconventional? I was a little worried about the whole elastic band thing holding the mic, but was surprised at how well it actually did once I got it in there. Good thing the included a dust cover. I have no desire to find out how many threadings and removals it takes to damage the thing, so I'm just gonna leave it in there. It's probably gonna get used quite frequently anyhow.

    Finally, I'd like to add that I was so impressed by the way this mic peforms that instead of purchasing the TLM103 next, I'm going to buy the AT4060. They are pretty much the same price, the AT4060 gives me the option of vacuum tube warmth, AND after two Audio Technica mics (AT3035 and AT4040) I am confident I won't regret the decision. I think I'm turning Japanese...and I really think so.

  • from CT January 14, 2009Music Background:
    UMASS Lowell SRT Student / Drummer

    From Overheads to Orchestras

    As a tech for a school system, we use these mic's to record band, orchestra, and chorus concerts along with a wide variety of other events and are never disappointed with the results.

    On the other hand, at home I use these mic's as drum overheads. The sound comparable to C414's at one third the price! They also excel at reproducing acoustic guitar and work well as a second mic along with an SM57 on electric guitar cabs. Definitely my go-to mic.

  • from NEW JERSEY June 17, 2008Music Background:
    student

    AT4040 is a winner

    im very satisfied with this mic, i own this and a Focusrite TrakMaster PRO preamp, and together they produce great studio sound. -i mainly record vocals for Rap, Hip-Hop and R&B music. -very clean sound.

  • from Troy, AL August 9, 2007Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    One of the best cheap mics

    This mic is a great vocal mic. I used it to record a female jazz musicians vocals, and it sounded smooth, breathy and personal. I haven't used it much on percussion. I have played my classical guitar into it, and it makes that sound amazing too. This is a wonderful mic for a super cheap price. I am going to buy another one soon so I can make stereo recordings with it.

  • from salinas, ca October 6, 2006Music Background:
    singer, songwriter

    GREAT MIC!!!

    If your in the Market for a good clean mic for vocals and other studio tasks you should look no further.

    For the price, this mic is a winner.

  • from September 12, 2016

    At 4040

    My martin d 28 sounds awesome through this mic

  • from Ypsilanti, MI March 1, 2015Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Recording Artist

    Audio-Technica AT4040

    For years I had heard from serious musician friends of mine the touts of even lesser models of the AT line at how amazing the results were. But because of the low price I was like...uh I don't know, maybe someday I'll pick one up. Well that day came. She had mighty big shoes to fill though as the mic I consider to be the queen of my castle is the Mojave Audio MA200. I use the Avalon 737 VTSP pre and Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 interface. I hooked up both mics side by side with the exact same setting for each channel leaving my Avalon set on the settings I always use. Compared to the MA200 the AT4040 has a little more upper mid-range. At first I wasn't sure I liked it but the more I tested both I could see me using this mic on my voice on future records I am making. It has a silky smooth high end that picks up the airy quality of my voice very well, which I love. It is a bit more mid-rangy as I said, but that could be easily handled with a slight bit of EQ so no problem there. It definitely does not have the mellow over all roundness of the low end that the Mojave has but again I am being extremely critical here and giving it to you straight. If I had originally purchased this mic to record my vocals for our last record I am sure it would have performed well enough that no one would have had a clue I was using a mic that costs 1/4th as much as the MA200. Because everything I just mentioned can be handled by EQ. I will likely go on using my MA200 as my mainstay but for those out there who don't have or are not willing to shell out the extra bucks for that one, this mic is a definite keeper and one you will be proud of owning. I am. And it don't break the bank! Way to go AT!

  • from Louisville, CO USA October 21, 2014Music Background:
    Music Teacher, drummer and Recording Engineer

    Great mic for the money.

    This mic sounds a lot warmer than my Rode NT 1A. Great mic for male vocals.

  • from Hayward, CA August 22, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Artist/Producer, Songwriter

    Dark Sound... Bright Potential

    This microphone is very warm. Which is a good starting place for a microphone. However, recorded through an average preamp, the AT-4040 sounds a bit harsh. Even in this harshness the dark character of this microphone alludes to the potential for a very smooth sound when matched properly. Through a Vintech 73 or an SSL Alpha Channel, this baby shines. Not very sibilant, this microphone benefits from some cut in the mid-range and some boost in the 10k-11k top range. With those settings, what you have in this microphone is a very smooth performer.

    I recommend this for any type of singing vox. For rap vox, this is not a great microphone if you're not hardware eq'ing prior to conversion. Further, if your room sounds bad, just forget about this mic.

    In addition, this microphone is great for acoustic guitar and/or mic'ing cabinets. The aforementioned darkness does a lot to reign in over sibilant signals like excessive string noise and super bright tubes.

    In conclusion, if paired well, what you have in this microphone is a smooth performer.

  • from Union City, California May 8, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Producer, Artist...

    A Versatile Performer With Great Character.

    I've used a few mics in my lifetime, from Blue, AKG, to Neuman... And this is nearly my favorite out of all of them. I do believe that the AKG C414's breath the best out of the one's I've used... But with that said, I hiss a lot when I speak, so that is a problem with extra-siblant microphones. With this one, the siblance is restrained... Yet natural. This mic can also smooth out rough voices like a sander does a jagged edge. And for the price? It has to be hard to beat. I also use it on guitar amps and the classiness of the sound is hard to believe. The sound it imparts is bright but mello and unobtrusive. In summation, this will always be a tool in my repertoire.

  • from Central NJ April 18, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Teacher, Sound Engineer

    AT 4040 Great OH Mic

    I truly like the response I get from this Microphone.
    I have a home studio. I need to get the best bang for my buck.
    I use the AT 4040 for Drum OH's, Acoustic Guitar, and Vocals it performs well in every situation I put it in. Couldn't be happier.
    They are bright but, not too bright. Great price for a studio work horse.

  • from USA October 9, 2012Music Background:
    Musicians

    Great mic for 1 mic events

    This mic works great for our Bluegrass famly band, we have 3 members and it works well at picking up all vocals and instruments.
    We highly would recommend it for your band.

  • from Phoenix, AZ May 17, 2009Music Background:
    Sound Engineer

    Solid Mic for the Money

    I was at first disappointed as I plugged it into my Yamaha Console with the wire I bought from Sweetwater, only to realize 2 hours later that because it was a high impedance cable that was also longer than my usual one I use, my sound has been castrated. I was very disappointed because my old AKG Perception 200 sounded better, untill I plugged the new mic using my old cable, and VIOLA. That's when the moment of joy came!

    It has a very decent high frequencies that cut through the mic, but don't make your ears bleed like A LOT of cheaper mics. The lows are pretty broad, but I always roll them off for my heavy bass voice. Midrange is nice and destinct, that stands out, and gives a mic its character. Like someone else said here, this mic shows your voice as it is (or close to) in real life. If you looking for a mic to enhance vocals, this may not be the one.

    This mic doesn't sound sterile, like many mics in the price range. The transient response is quick, but not precise like let's say on AKG Perception 200 or other AKG series mics. If you have a vocalist that uses a lot of multis (in rap) or staccato styles then the notes come in smooth, instead of distinguishing every note/first letter to the next (smooth transition).

    It all depends on the taste, but for the price that this mic sells, it's def better than anything I've seen in $350 range. If you under budget, this mic is def great, and as far as I've seen I only heard good things about it. I love this mic for rap, rock vocals.
    Gives it a nice place in a mix.

    I suggest a nice mic pre and you got a mic that can rival some $500-700 mics.

  • from Jacksonville, TX USA December 27, 2007Music Background:
    Pro Musician/Rap Artist

    Audio Technica has a winner.

    This microphone defines "Bang for the buck". I am a Hip Hop/Rap Producer and musician, and this mic makes my vocals sound amazing. This was the first mic I personally bought, I now own this one as well as a Neumann U 87, and I must say there isn't much notable difference... Except the price of course.

    If your looking for an outstanding microphone with a cheap price-tag, this is calling your name.

  • from Central, NJ March 30, 2013Music Background:
    Paid Musician, Drums, and Bass, Home Recording Engineer

    Excellent OH Mic

    I now have (2) 4040's I use for OH's there great bright but, not to bright.
    They really round out my drum kit sound.
    I purchased these mainly for OH's but, also use them for acoustic guitar and vocals.
    You need to take a look at your room and setup and decide. Am I going to build a World Class studio or am I happy with what I have.
    Buy Microphones accordingly.

  • from Beaufort Naval Hospital, SC November 18, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Artist

    You get what you pay for.

    This mic records the real you. It is very clear and absolutly worth the money.

  • from Portland, IN. September 25, 2010Music Background:
    Musician/Home Studio Recordist

    An A-T Gem

    I have owned this mic for about 3 yrs. and used it on my last couple of cd's for vocals. Ran it through an ART TPSII. Bought a Grace Design m101 micpre this year, ran the 4040 through it....WOW ! what a difference. I miced my guitar cab with it, again wow, tried it as a room mic and didn't care for it in that mode. Where it really shined was micing my acoustic, very open and true, captured the sound of the guitar very very well, not quite as open and airy as my MA200 but still didn't disappoint at all. Every home studio should have at least one of these mics. For the price they are outstanding.

  • from South Florida August 29, 2008Music Background:
    Producer, Songwriter, Engineer, A&R

    A trusty work horse mic for 6 years and counting!

    I've had one of these since 2002.. and it's a well built good all around mic for the price. My only complaint has been it's not the best choice for Rock or Pop vocals, and I have found it can't handle the highs of a upper register power vocal well (it likes to distort & become VERY thin when pushed too hard).

    Overall though it's a fantastic all around condenser, well built mic for the money.. a must have for your mic locker!

  • from NC October 3, 2007Music Background:
    Audio Engineer, Video Editor

    Great Buy for the $$$

    I bought 3 of these mics to start up my production company. We do everything from live and studio recording, dramas, live sound, etc and we've been 100% satisfied. If you're on a budget, but still need a good quality sound thats clean & not noisey, this mic is the best buy in its price range. We use it along with a tube mic pre to make it sound really nice and warm on vocals and I'm pleased. It's an excellent buy for the money and Audio Technica is known for outstanding quality and durability.

  • from February 28, 2013

    Wasn't For Me

    I flipped between the at2035 and at4040 among other mics the past few years always forgetting why i sold them in the first place. it really is a trade off i think. the at4040 is very flat and muddy and with some eq and tilting the mic to aim at your chest you can clear it up nicely. however, theres this occasional sound it still gives off mainly i notice with "th" sound words. thats when i wish i didnt sell the at2035 i keep buying. the at2035 sounds thinner and clearer but also more grungy and has a "ingy" colored sound to. i dont know what's worse so i just side with the mic thats half as cheap aka the at2035. im looking for better though.

Questions about the Audio-Technica AT4040 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone?

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