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Audio-Technica AT4040

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User Reviews

Great studio microphone.

By Pjones9, 31/07/2014
The Audio Technica AT4040 condenser microphone is an excellent choice for studio recordings, great for vocals, acoustic guitars and overheads. It has a wide dynamic range and low noise (only 12dB of self- noise). Its high SPL capability captures every sound with detail and with a natural quality. It also is very affordable compared to similar condenser microphones in that price range like AKG or Rode, so If you're looking for a good home- studio condenser microphone this should be your first option. Even if you go to a professional studio you will definitely find one or two of this microphones around. I use it to record vocals, acoustic guitars (using two of them, one aiming at the neck of the guitar and the other at the body) and overheads, as well as percussion and even a chinese instrument I play called Hulusi, it has a radder odd (but beautiful) sound but it was smoothly captured by the AT4040. The recorded drums sounded amazingly clear and organic. One very important thing to keep in mind when recording with this microphone it's placement; its cardioid pattern and large diaphragm makes it very responsive to sound pressure at the extremes; it will capture from the smallest detail to the loudest hit with equal precision.
The AT4040 also features:
-Switchable 80Hz hi-pass filter
-10dB pad
-Cardioid pattern
-Frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz
-Signal to noise ratio of 82 dB
-Includes shock mount and case


What I like the most about this microphone is its versatility, clarity and smoothness, it is also very durable and solid built. As I stated before, this mic is perfect for vocals, acoustic instruments and overheads, however regarding lead vocals recording, it may not be the best choice for everyone; it feels a little bit bottom heavy and some voices may sound too deep, but this is easy to EQ out so it's not really a problem, what I'm just saying is that there are more suitable microphones for certain vocals; some voices have the upper midrange about 6-7 kHz but for some others this frequencies are more on their sibilance range, and vice versa. Also what I said earlier about placement is very important when recording vocals, in my band the singer can get very loud so when we were recording vocals we'd make him stand like 40-50 cm away from mic so the whole vocal range could be well captured with no clipping. I'm happy with the results, the vocals sound warm, crisp and full. Precision and quality of the sound are extraordinary for a microphone in that price range. Definitely would buy again. In conclusion:

-Wide dynamic range
-Clear Sound
-Great deep end

- Some vocals can get a little bit muddy in the low end

Danbei's review

By Danbei, 19/06/2013
See the other reviews


I used it for 2-3 records vocals and guitars.
I have an AT 2020 and now langevin CR 2001.
Micro who are not in the same range and as we could expect if the AT 2020 is well below langevin and CR 2001 is well above the AT 4040.

The 4040 AT gives a sound a bit muffled, it puts everything into the background, so it seems good for instruments (guitar in my case) and secondary voices. on the other hand for the main voice, I struggled to make out, it is not very good at it.

I will not repeat this choice because I record mostly on main instrumental voice, so it is not the most suitable micro. It's still a good mic with a specific sound.

Great little vocal microphone!

By Kierkes, 06/07/2011
The Audio-Technica AT4040 is a side address fixed cardioid studio condenser microphone that is touted as very consistent and very natural by Audio-Technica. It boasts a rather impressively low noise figure at only 12 dB of self-noise, and an equally impressive accompanying signal to noise ratio of 82 dB. Aside from that, it includes the expected 10 dB pad and the low end roll-off starting at 80 Hz that one would expect to find on most microphones of this caliber.

The AT4040 has a rather standard frequency response of 20-20,000 Hz. One look at the frequency response curve, however, and it is obvious what the Audio-Technica was trying to do when they were engineering this little bugger: tailor it for vocals. It has a rather significant bump at 6-7 kHz, a dip in the sibilance range from 8-10 kHz, and a nice boost of air right above 10 kHz. While when using it on my voice, it was a dream, this, unfortunately, can wreak havoc on the sound if it happens to be put in front of the wrong singer.

Why? All of these critical frequencies in the voice--upper midrange, sibilance, air--they are all next door neighbors to each other. On some voices, 6-7 kHz is in the upper midrange, but on others' voices, it is smack dab right in the middle of their sibilance zones. It also works the same way on the other end; perhaps boosting at 11-13 kHz or so may work on some voices, but some people have sibilance zones that go into this range. Essentially speaking, while this microphone can for the most part avoid harshness compared to many of the Chinese microphones that just seem to boost everything over 6 kHz, be prepared to find some bizarre sounds coming out of some vocalists.

But who said one microphone can be used by everyone? Not me.


The Audio-Technica AT4040 is a great little beast that will sound better than any of the lower end Chinese microphones on the market, but that's not saying much. It works very well on me, but there are vocalists it just should not be on. However, even if you place it on these unsuited voices, the results will still be much better than the "boost everything" mentality that the Chinese K67-type microphones push. It's always an upgrade from your MXL microphone, but certainly not always against its peers.

Excellent versatile choice

By Arts en Scène, 15/04/2011
Large-diaphragm condenser microphone, cardioid with low cut at 80Hz.

Stereo pair, studio or live, very versatile.


I use it for 3 years (the previous pair was stolen stereo ...), mainly couple at first, then gradually, and happily, for the live.
In overheads, excellent record in the studio but too sensitive for the live.
On a Leslie, a real treat!
On occasional solo (clarinet, accordion, vocals, violin ...), excellent record but again, a little too sensitive for the live (a KSM32 sounds a bit more neutral but gets less the rest of the orchestra).
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Audio-Technica AT4040 tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer:Audio-Technica
  • Model:AT4040
  • Category:Large diaphragm condenser microphones
  • Added in our database on: 03/28/2004

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