Reviewed: Audio-Technica AT-BP40 Dynamic Microphone

Audio-Technica | | Expect To Pay: $499

Audio-Technica's AT-BP40 is a large diaphragm dynamic microphone that has the natural characteristics of a dynamic microphone mixed with the clarity of a condenser microphone. This is a really clever design and one that is sure to make its way into more and more recordings in the future as engineers and artists alike discover what it has to offer sonically.

This microphone instantly conjures up the idea of a broadcast situation, where an overhanging mount allows it to be moved around a radio studio for vocal work. And yes, that is an ideal use for the AT-BP40, as it is perfectly suited to broadcast operation for both radio and television work. The hypercardioid capsule offers excellent side rejection and a very direct pickup pattern to isolate one individual voice from others in the room. Furthermore, being a dynamic microphone, it picks up more sound from close range and doesn’t tend to capture much of the unwanted room noise that is often a problem with more sensitive condenser microphones. Take all this and consider the addition of a humbucking coil in the schematic to ensure further rejection of noise from electromagnetic interference, and the result is a microphone that lets you hear what you want and leaves the rest of it out. But it isn’t just a broadcast interview microphone; the AT-BP40 has so much more to offer.


In the studio, this microphone delivers on all fronts. For vocals, especially in loud rock and metal applications, the AT-BP40 produces a sound that is very much reminiscent of a warm condenser microphone, but without the distortion that high sound pressure levels can create. This makes it ideal for a range of instrument uses too. Put it in front of a guitar amp and you’ll understand why it’s good to experiment with different microphones and positions. You’ll get so much more from the large diaphragm of the AT-BP40 than what you get from just sticking a 57 in front of your amp. With that in mind, it will work a treat for big, booming floor toms on a drum kit and even delivers the goods in front of a bass amp when the DI just isn’t giving you the natural characteristics you want. There’s very little this microphone can’t achieve and I can pretty much guarantee you’ll want to experiment with it to see just how you can change or improve certain sounds within your mix.


Hits and Misses


Big sound from the large capsule

Very direct pickup pattern

Great noise rejection


Bulky housing reduces placement options in some applications