I was doing a research the other day about the different condenser microphones rolled out by Audio-Technica, and one particular microphone that piqued my attention was the Audio-Technica AT2020. The AT2020 can deliver quality sound. Moreover, it offers crisp, direct, and clean sound. Besides, this mic provides a distinguished airy sound. Complemented by a compressor plug-in or a preamp, this microphone can surely deliver an excellent vocal recording and sound.
Given its affordable price, the AT2020 is a rare find that offers quality sound. Thus, experts consider this microphone a workhorse. First, it works well with vocal recordings. It can reproduce all the minute changes in your vocal rendition. Because of its sensitivity to acoustic detail, you can use it for recording acoustic instruments, especially the acoustic guitar.
As a cardioid mic, it offers some advantages when recording. It comes with the most common pickup pattern and is very sensitive to the front audio source while rejecting sounds emanating from behind. Moreover, it has a reduced sensitivity to sounds from the sides. This makes the AT2020 a perfect vocal microphone and a superb microphone in the studio.
The AT2020 comes with a side-address diaphragm (low-mass). This will make sure that it does not get any off-axis sound. Moreover, it has an excellent frequency response (20Hz and 20kHz). This makes sure that it collects a wide range of signals. Nevertheless, you need to match it up with the following audio interfaces to bring out AT2020’s full potential.
1) Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface
It is an excellent audio interface perfect for the AT2020. It comes with the well-known Focusrite preamp and crystal-clear DI for bass, guitar, and keyboard. The Focusrite offers unique gain halos that facilitate the control of levels, while the Direct Monitor switch, volume dial, and headphone jack make monitoring for the user of this audio interface easy.
It has raised the audio interface technology a notch higher with its low latency 192kHz sample rates. It also offers an optimized preamp gain structure, and its instrument input handles the hot pickups.
The Focusrite also comes with the Air Circuit that exhibits their famous ISA console transformer for a brighter recording of voice and instrument. The Scarlett Solo G3 also provides pro-quality sound at a very affordable price. With this audio interface, you can optimize the use of your AT2020 microphone.
2) PreSonus Studio 24C
The PreSonus Studio 24c is an audio interface that comes with two inputs and two outputs and features USB-C computer connectivity It comes with a combo of mic, instrument, and line inputs, and a 48V phantom power powers it. It also offers a balanced 1/4-inch TRS and line-level main outputs as well as an output level control.
You can connect it to a sound module, keyboard, or control surface via its built-in MIDI interface. It also comes with a Mixer knob that lets you blend analog input with your computer playback, allowing for low-latency monitoring.
The PreSonus Studio 24c offers high-definition mixing and recording because it operates up to 192 kHz. It also comes with high-quality converters on each output and input. Moreover, its professional-grade XMAX-L mic preamps let you pick up complex harmonics while allowing for no audible distortion.
3) PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 2x2 USB Audio Interface
The PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 is a perfect complement to the AT2020 microphone. It is handy and straightforward that has features that are right for basic recordings. You only need to plug your microphone into it, and you can start to record up to 24-bit 96 kHz audio immediately.
It is bus-powered and is suitable for traveling. It comes with the right size and features two -front-panel combo instrument/mic inputs. These features make it easy to record vocals, podcast, and record guitars. You only need to connect some mics into it to make it work. Moreover, it comes with a mix control that allows you to control your computer playback and input signal level.
The AudioBox USB 96 is made of heavy-duty steel chassis that can bear a severe pounding without flinching. Its loud headphone output lets you hear your music clear and loud. Its USB 2.0 bus-powered lets you record anywhere you can bring your laptop.
It works perfectly with all Windows and Mac audio recording software. Besides, it features a free license for the Studio One Artist DAW of PreSonus, providing you with a comprehensive recording solution.
4) Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD USB Audio Interface
The Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD comes with a genuine MIDAS preamplifier technology, which makes it stand out among the rest. The MIDAS, of course, is famous, for it can deliver very clear sound with enough headroom. MIDAS preamps also come with standard 48 phantom power onboard, allowing you to use AT2020 or any condenser microphone with it.
Its direct monitor function offers latency-free input monitoring, allowing you to experience clear and neat sound with no lag or delay in the returning signal. This audio interface offers high-quality components and rugged construction for better durability.
5) Mackie Audio Interface, Onyx Producer 2X2 USB Audio Interface
The Mackie Audio Interface combines Mackie analog circuit with its high-resolution 24-bit/192kHz converters and Built-like-A-Tank hardware design. This audio interface is perfect for home studios, dual-mic applications, and mobile recording with its bus-powered Onyx Producer 22.
It also features two XLR/TRS combo inputs and an ONYX mic. Each input comes with phantom power along with Hi-Z instrument switches for incredible versatility. It also offers zero-latency direct analog monitoring that makes sure that you hear yourself in real-time.
Moreover, it comes with built-in MIDI I/O for synths, controllers, and more. With this audio interface, you can capture your performance and enjoy media with pure fidelity, whether you’re on the go or at home.
The Audio Technica AT2020 comes with a big reputation as an entry-level microphone. As a workhorse, it performs hard. Yet, you can maximize its use if you complement it with the most appropriate audio interface. The audio interface, of course, is the bridge between your microphones and instruments and your PC.
The audio interface also powers your condenser mics, so you must carefully choose the right audio interface for your condenser mics. With a suitable audio interface, you will have the best sound quality for your AT2020 microphone.