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Audio-Technica AT4050 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone Reviews

5.0 stars based on 24 customer reviews
Questions about the Audio-Technica AT4050 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone?

Questions about the Audio-Technica AT4050 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Simon Picazo

    I have used this mic to record everything from Yupik native drums, to harmonicas, to vocals, to grand pianos. Five CDs later I still put up my AT4050 before I try anything else. Try this with a 4040 for M/S recording for under $1000.

  • from California December 13, 2016

    Jack of All Trades-workhorse

    What's there to say that hasn't already been said about these microphone? Dependable, great- sounding, and typical 'Audio Technica value. I've noticed that its tonality is particularly appealing in omnipolar mode. Thank you Sweetwater for the awesome sale prices I've acquired these for!

  • from DFW September 2, 2016

    Neutral and versatile

    I've had a pair of these for years and find them very neutral and flexible. The self noise is low, the electronics are quite clean and uncolored. The pair is great for recording jazz ensembles, acoustic instruments and amplified blues bands.

  • from June 23, 2016

    Audio-Technica AT4050 Microphone

    My son love it, he stated that the sound quality is real clear on his recording.

  • from April 26, 2016

    Just what I've looked for

    I bought 2 of them to record room and overheads and they are completely accurate. Pretty good at vocals and acoustic guitars too.

  • from Cairo.egypt September 12, 2015Music Background:
    Sound Engineer

    finally i got a real sound

    i have used akg p 220 and rode nt2a but this mic kill both of them it`s really great mic
    it will last in my studio
    with little touch on eq it will fit into any genre of music

  • from March 27, 2015

    The Best

    I've owned a pair of these for close to 17 years now. Simply put, they work on everything with stellar results. Makes it hard to fork out additional cash on competing designs when these seem to be perfect. I've owned other LD condensers that were 3 to 4 times the price and just ended up getting rid of them and keeping the AT4050s. These mics are simply perfect in all aspects: performance, sound, quality, cost/value ratio, etc.

  • from Greer, SC August 24, 2014Music Background:
    Aspiring recording engineer, gigging musician, live sound

    The mic you will never part with

    I've been using this mic for multiple applications - all vocals, most acoustic guitars, mandolin, fiddle, you name it. While I have some other great mics, this is the one that I go to first and would be the one I would keep if I could only keep one. I find the sound to be a great replication of what goes through it. Yes, it's expensive but worth saving up to buy. You will immediately see (actually hear) the difference. Bottom line, it's great!

  • from Canal Fulton, Ohio May 6, 2014Music Background:
    Music Maniac

    All the wasted years...

    I've used cheaper Rodes and the Bluebird mic over the years. I was always happy with the results but recently I've gotten more serious about home recording and decided to make an upgrade. I picked up the AT4050 and as soon as I plugged it in I was floored! The sound quality is significantly better that what I was used to and is a very noticeable difference compared to the budget condensers. I wish I would have bought this long ago!

  • from Roseville, CA March 1, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer/Live Sound Engineer

    Amazing live recording mic!

    I use this microphone all the time for live recordings especially for choral recordings. I love this mic and will never not use this!

  • from Seattle, WA August 9, 2010Music Background:
    Studio Recording Engineer

    One of my Favorite Mics

    The studio I work at has one of these, and I've begun experimenting with it on different instruments that come through. And I love the results I get with one of these plugged into a good preamp.

    It sounds great on an upright grand piano, accordion, trumpet, vocals, drum room, It's a little too bright for some solo acoustic guitars, but still useful. It's quickly becoming my go-to mic.

    I want to get another just so I have a matched pair.

  • from Orlando, FL May 7, 2010Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Bassist, Producer, www.secombs.com

    Unbelievable on Vocals

    I've been using this mic for about 6 months. I actually bought a pair to use as drum overheads. They sound great for that. I've also used it on acoustic guitar, bass guitar cab, and vocals. It has sounded very good on all of those sources. I'm particularly impressed with how good it sounds on vocals. It doesn't bring out too much sibilance and has a warm but still clear quality to the tone. It has really complimented most vocalists I've recorded lately. Very, very impressed. It's a great value too. It's sturdy, versatile (with the multiple polar patterns and pad), and it sound incredibly good. Will definitely purchase more products from Audio-Technica. These mics are smokin'

  • from Cedarville, OH December 23, 2009Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer/Recording Engineer

    It's a great mic!

    I used a borrowed one for the first time last night. My goal was to use it because of asthetics (it fit our act) and wound up being blown away by it's replication of the vocals.

    It was perfect; clear and concise...When I go to doing some DAW work with live instruments and vocals, I'm going to grab this again! Wow!....

  • from Healesville Australia. November 21, 2008Music Background:
    teacher, hobbyist, ensemble and choral teacher, etc.

    at 4050 recording mic.

    I use an ADK al 51 as well as an Audio Technica 4050 in a stereo configuration for high quality classical guitar...made by Simon Marty of Australia. The results are always crystal clear, in your face, full, three dimensional and so easy to EQ. Run the mix through Waves plug ins inc the SSL 4000 output compressor, and you will get better than anything ever before recorded, esp vocals and guitar. Sooooo good.

  • from New Orleans, La September 2, 2008Music Background:
    Live sound engineer: Evanescence, Stone Temple Pilots, Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society

    The all time desert island microphone!!!!!

    Without a doubt one of my favorite all around do everything WELL microphones. I've used these live on several tours on everything from Kick drum, snare drum, toms, bass guitars, electric guitars, overheads, leslie, saxophone, and vocals. For singer songwriters try two 4050's both in figure 8 position. Use the first to help cancel vocals in the guitar mic using the null point (ask your sales person for further polar pattern info) and use the second to cancel guitars in the vocal mic.

  • from Monterey, TN USA June 22, 2008Music Background:
    Vocalist, Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer

    Pure Gold For Vocals

    First let me say that I fully recognize and agree with other reviewers who have noted the versatility of this mic in its ability to perform flawlessly while recording various accoustic instruments (guitar, piano, etc.). I want to focus my review, however, on its performance as a vocal mic and hopefully offer some assistance to anyone who is currently weighing the multitude of options when it comes to purchasing your first (or second) vocal mic for your studio.
    The most important factor when deciding which dedicated vocal mic I wanted to purchase for my home studio several years ago was the price-to-performance ratio. In other words, as I moved up in price point to different microphones, was the performance significantly improved enough (or noticeable enough) to justify the next highest priced mic? I literally demo-ed dozens of microphones from the $200 price range up to those costing more than $2000, and this mic won HANDS DOWN!! I just didn't hear enough difference to justify spending that much more on a vocal mic, when that money could buy a bunch of other hardware or software that I needed, and since purchasing the mic 8 years ago, I have NEVER been disappointed in its performance as a vocal mic or wished that I had a different mic for any vocal tracks that I have cut.
    If you are looking for specifics, let me say that the response and reproduction of any high frequencies is incredible. You will literally hear every crack, pop, growl, and any other nuance that you put into your vocals come through exactly as you sang it. I have a voice in the higher range and sing rock music. I typically use my "scratchy" voice with lots of intentional cracks, and even need that "80s scream" from time to time, and this mic delivers perfectly every time. The only instance in which I could imagine someone finding a mic with a better performance/price ratio would be for someone with a deep bass or baritone voice. This mic does great for low vocals as well, but I am not familiar with other mics that may be better suited for very deep vocals.
    The bottom line is that before you spend your money on that mic "you just gotta have" that costs several thousand dollars, you NEED to try this one first. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed, and that you will also be very happy about all the other gear you can get with the money you didn't spend on your vocal mic!

  • from Ft Wayne October 29, 2015Music Background:
    Songwriter, Recording Hobbyist

    Clean and Bright and True

    I really love this mic. I used an AT4040 for many years, this was the next step up and I'm glad I took it. There mic is clean and clear and bright. More articulate and truer in its representations than the 4040. Recordings I've made with this mic have been spot on--not only like I'm in the room with musicians, but like I've got my ear to the instrument or amp. That true. And I haven't found a single instrument or situation where it didn't impress me. I highly recommend the AT4050. For this price, you will have a very difficult time finding a better mic.

  • from New York April 18, 2013


    Love it, great mic, great value, very professional, versatile, I'm not complaining at all.

  • from Denver March 18, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Go to Mic

    This mic has become my go to mic. It sounds great on everything I've thrown it on. It is the first thing I throw up on clean vocals and in many situations I've found it to sound better than my SM7b on hardcore vocals. It just sounds more... crisp. I recently threw it in front of a mesa going through an orange cab and it made my e906 sound muffled when I A/B'd them. I've also gotten the best acoustic recordings of my life with this thing. I don't regret this purchase at all. I now have more clients lined up than ever.

  • from Brooklyn, NY January 10, 2010Music Background:
    Professional Musician

    Another Classic

    Its hard to believe but I`ve been using the 4050 now for 13 years. There are hundreds of microphones out there to choose but to me the 4050 still remains tough to beat. Want something for vocals, guitars, overheads? this mic handles all of it and some. The 4050 has a nice open sound without being overly bright. AT could easily charge double for this mic and get it so my advice for anyone looking for something versatile is to get the 4050 first. I have a TLM 103 which is a nice mic but time and time again, I prefer the 4050. Consider some of the studio classics: SM57, U87... the 4050 is another classic.

  • from Brooklyn, NY January 10, 2010Music Background:
    Professional Musician

    Another Classic

    Its hard to believe but I`ve been using the 4050 now for 13 years. There are hundreds of microphones out there to choose but to me the 4050 still remains tough to beat. Want something for vocals, guitars, overheads? this mic handles all of it and some. The 4050 has a nice open sound without being overly bright. AT could easily charge double for this mic and get it so my advice for anyone looking for something versatile is to get the 4050 first. I have a TLM 103 which is a nice mic but time and time again, I prefer the 4050. Consider some of the studio classics: SM57, U87... the 4050 is another classic.

  • from sydney australia August 2, 2008Music Background:
    engineer, musician, educator

    excellent, crisp, full-range microphone with great detail and bass response

    i chose the 4050 over a U87 for an acoustic git and voice album for my uncle years ago and since have bought a 4033 and 4041 and like them alot. I found that with the 4050 his voice sounded just like I know him to sound face to face. This was the clincher for me.

    I reckon Audio Technica mics would have to be some of the most underrated mics on the planet! They are all very good in my experience and simply in a different league from other mics in their price range.

    Some people say they are bright but i'd say crisp. I find they cut through mixes very well and need very little work to make them sit right in the mix.

    The 4050 is a superb choice on Male voice where a crisp but full sounding take is required. AT mics tend to make other mics like Rodes sound a bit soft and blurred in my opinion although I do like and own Rodes including 2 original NT-1 mics i use mostly for toms and the k2 which is nice for a more fizzy sound than the AT4050 on voice.

    The 4050 is also great on stringed instruments of all sorts as it has an excellent mid/low response and enough high end clarity and sparkle to make acoustic instruments come to life where a tube mic tends to sound too flabby and boomy.

    A Neumann U87 sounds dark in comparison to an AT4050.

    Watch it though when EQ'ing the top end of this mic or it can tend to sound a bit too extreme and a tad plastic

  • from Spokane, WA December 5, 2007Music Background:
    Musician, Producer, Recording Engineer

    Awesome mic for the price!

    This was the first condenser mic that I purchased when building my project studio and bought it souly on reading positive reviews like this one. Since then I have only found that expensive mics like the U87 hold up to it. All other budget large condenser mics sound tiny and lifeless. The 4050 always sounds full and uncolored, and effects spice up the signal nicely when applied correctly. It has never let me down for anything I have used it on. Vocals, acoustic guitar and misc. percussion are where I have used it most, but have had great results with it on unusual applications like kick drum. Due to its high SPL rating, it never chokes out. I paid less for this mic 4 years ago and the price keeps creeping up. Buy it before it’s no longer considered a budget mic.

  • from Georgia September 30, 2006Music Background:
    Recording Engineer/Mastering Engineer

    The Swiss Army Knife of Microphones!

    Not a better, more versatile mic on the market in my opinion. It has been my "go to" mic for 10 years. It gives a clean, uncolored sound that allows me to use it on any sound source with confidence. Vocals, acoustic guitars, guitar cabinets, piano, etc. The bass rolloff is handy, and the figure 8 pattern allows great flexibility in your use of the mic. There are mics that may sound better in certain situations, but if i had to choose a single microphone to handle an entire project, this would be at or near the top of my list

  • from Cleveland, Ohio November 5, 2006Music Background:

    Great mic...kinda boring at times

    I have a pair of these in my cabinet. They get used on every session, but somewhat by default. I use them as drum overheads in XY. They give a really natural kit sound without a ton of cymbal wash. I like using one in omni with an acoustic guitar in a good room. They end up on vocals sometimes, but I will usually go for something with a valve in it there. I'm not getting rid of mine anytime soon. They're great when you want something to sound like it really does with a touch of that condenser "breath". If you want something colored, this mic will bore you.

Questions about the Audio-Technica AT4050 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone?

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