It’s a large-diaphragm condenser mic, the AT4040 is another in the line of quality Audio-Technica microphones. With a little time and practice, I found that this microphone has a lot to offer in the right audio situations.
Audio Technica at4040 condenser mic (eBay) (B&H) (Amazon)
Frequency Response: 20Hz–20kHz; 28mm gold-sputtered 1 inch diaphragm -Polar Pattern: Cardioid; Dimensions: Diameter 2.6 inches, Length 8.2 inches -Diaphragm features hand-tuned frequency response with low resonance steel mesh grille -Includes stand mount for 5/8 inch diameter thread and clip for mounting on various mic stands -Includes AT8464 Power module providing +48V of phantom power to Audio-Technica 40 series microphones -Manufactured in the USA.
Quality of audio recordings made with the Audio Technica at4040:
I got this microphone used off a guy named Dave who had it listed on craigslist as a Shure sm57 clone mic for 100$. I think he may have been ignorant of what was going on because when I first plugged it in, it sounded terrible.
It’s a bright condenser mic so using it outside is really harsh and audibly distorts too easily without anything riding. In fact, so much so that after the first day I had it, I went ahead and sold it to a friend of mine who fell in love with it. Now I on the other hand, not for another year or so did I decide to give this mic another try, and boy am I glad I did.
The audio Technica at4040 is a really nice condenser microphone that doesn’t carry any real coloration of its own.
It sits somewhere between warm and bright but can actually get quite dark if you roll off some low end around 100hz on your EQ which allows you to add back some lows without getting too muddy though anything over 200 Hz will start to become pretty boomy sounding on this mic.
The audio Technica 40 series audio mics are all cardioid patterns which is great for audio work because of the audio spill and how audio recordings sound when audio is not only recorded from the front but off-axis (of course audio-Technica audio recording instruments can record audio in Omni patterns as well).
What I like about this microphone beside the price, is that it doesn’t really color your audio too much.
It’s a fantastic starter microphone for anyone who does voice-over audio like youtube videos or local radio commercial advertising or whatever, anyone of any experience level of audio engineering really.
This condenser mic just has really nice, the clear audio response always giving me plenty of headroom no matter how loud I am speaking into it It also boosts highs nicely when EQ’ed in the right way which is great when you are doing audio recording outside or when audio has to compete with other audio.
I have done audio recordings of cars driving by, motorcycle audio, many different situations where car audio was fairly close to my location and this microphone always came through without sounding harsh or too bright.
The only undesirable audio qualities that this mic can convey might be sibilance but even then not really if it’s in the recording chain long enough to boost frequencies above 2kHz in your mix.
Do be aware for any audio engineers using this condenser mic though that because it records at +15db (which is quite loud) all of your devices should follow suit like preamps, mixing boards, etc., otherwise your audio will be distorted everywhere it’s processed.
I do recommend this microphone to anyone who wants a clear audio response condenser mic that doesn’t color one’s audio too much and who is looking for an audio recording budget solution on the cheap.
I never had anything negative to say about this microphone while using it for audio recordings despite its shortcomings (which were minor).
If you are wanting a brighter more colored sound, then pick up something like an Audio-Technica at2020 or Shure sm7b, but if you want clean audio with great high-frequency cutting power without harshness, the Audio Technica 40 series of microphones are my go-to recommendation every time!
If you are an audio enthusiast looking for a very neutral audio response microphone used in the studio I’d also suggest checking out Audio-Technica at2035 or something with a large-diaphragm condenser mic head like the Audio-Technica at4047.