Audio-Technica have been delivering quality microphones for longer than I care to remember and they continue to do so with models that fit every budget and every need. I’ve tested, tried, used and abused all number of AT microphones over the years, but I always enjoy getting a model to try out that I haven’t had a chance to in the past. As I opened the box of the AT4050 this month, I knew I was in for another Audio-Technica treat, with a few extra features thrown in for good measure.
Inside the box, you find a vinyl cased microphone that is set to offer you plenty of years of use. The case is sturdy enough to look after the microphone when stored away, and a velvet dust hood is also supplied for when you want to leave the microphone set up in the cradle. I was a little concerned when I took the suspension cradle from the box. It felt really lightweight, like it was made of plastic. But as I unwrapped it, I was surprised to find an all metal construction that was cleverly engineered to remove any excess material to keep the weight down. The microphone sits freely between the two sides of a stretched rubber band in the central suspension, keeping it totally isolated from any unwanted low frequency rumble.
This transformerless capacitor microphone is a real joy when you get the phantom power running to it. It delivers a clean, crisp audio capture with a very low self-noise level. A low cut switch is present, although I didn’t find the need for it when used in the cradle, and a -10dB pad switch is also available for use with higher SPLs. Best of all, the AT4050 offers cardioid, omni and figure of eight patterns. This is a very nice microphone indeed and one that any studio, home or professional could make use of. It’s not a traditional large diaphragm condenser, but it offers a very natural sound and sharp transient attack that makes it ideal for a range of instrument applications as well as vocals. This is a microphone that will do justice to pianos, delivering a beautiful clarity across the entire frequency range, yet it can be widely used and would suit a range of instrument applications. I could even see it working well as a choir microphone in the omni polar pattern.
Hits and Misses
Precise audio capture especially with piano
Great range of built in features
Lightweight yet supportive cradle
Not at all