In this article, we’ll explain how to set up the Audio Technica AT2020 condenser microphone and Elgato Wave XLR audio interface for live streaming and home recording. We’ll guide you through mic positioning, phantom power, and how to achieve the best gain settings.

Quick Answer: Position the AT2020 correctly and connect it to the Elgato Wave XLR. Enable phantom power, check the mic isn’t muted, and adjust the gain to suit the volume of your voice. We recommend using a windscreen and shock mount with the AT2020 too.

How To Set Up The Elgato Wave XLR & Audio Technica AT2020

Elgato Wave XLR

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to setting up your Elgato Wave XLR and Audio Technica AT2020. We’ll break some of these points down in greater detail later in the article. 

Time needed: 2 minutes.

  1. Position the AT2020 correctly
    Use a pop filter or windscreen for best results.
  2. Connect the AT2020 to the Elgato Wave XLR
    AT2020 > XLR Cable > Elgato Wave XLR.
  3. Ensure the Elgato Wave XLR’s mute button is not active
    The ring of lights on the front of the Elgato Wave will be red if the mic is muted.
  4. Turn on phantom power
    Press and hold the large rotary button on the front of the Elgato Wave XLR until the light under the “48V” symbol comes on.
  5. Set the gain
    Press the large rotary button repeatedly until the mic symbol illuminates, then increase the gain until the meter in your software peaks between -18 dB and -12 dB.

Audio Technica AT2020 Microphone Positioning

Audio Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone

One of the most important aspects of getting the best sound from your AT2020 and Elgato XLR setup should happen before you even connect them; mic placement.

Here are some tips to make sure you have the AT2020 positioned correctly:

  • Distance
    Position the mic around a fist’s width from your mouth
  • Direction
    This is a side-address microphone, meaning you talk into the side and not the top. The AT2020’s logo should be facing your mouth.
  • Plosive protection
    Use a pop filter of foam windscreen; this is one of the most common AT2020 mistakes we see people making.
  • Use a shock mount

Elgato Wave XLR Mute Button

Look on the top of the Elgato Wave XLR, and you’ll see a mute button. It’s a touch-activated button that gives no physical feedback or indication when pressed, so it’s easy to mute the AT2020 without realizing it.

If you have pressed the button and muted the mic, all of the lights around the interface’s large rotary button will turn red. If you see this, press the mute button again to unmute your AT2020.

Elgato Wave XLR & Audio Technica AT2020 Phantom Power

The Audio Technica AT2020 is a condenser microphone, all of which require 48 V of phantom power to activate them. It’s not that they sound bad without it; they literally won’t work at all.

In the bottom right corner of the Elgato Wave XLR’s interface, you’ll see a small “48V” symbol with the light turned off. To activate phantom power, press and hold the large rotary button until this light comes on.

Elgato Wave XLR & Audio Technica AT2020 Gain Settings

Gain boosts the level of the audio signal from your microphone. You’re aiming to find a gain setting that allows your audio signal to peak somewhere in the range of -18 dB and -12dB on the meter in your audio software.

Single press the large button on the Elgato XLR interface until the light under the microphone symbol illuminates. Then turn the dial while speaking naturally into the AT2020 until you find the correct level. Setting the gain to 30% worked best for our setup.

We aim to keep the level under -12 dB as this gives you room to get louder, perhaps while animated or laughing. If the level hits 0 dB, your mic will clip and sound distorted. It sounds terrible live, and you can’t recover clipped audio in a recording.

Elgato Wave XLR & Audio Technica AT2020 Pricing & Specs

Elgato Wave XLR & Audio Technica AT2020 | Setup & Demo Topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:42 – Pricing & Specs
  • 1:11 – Microphone Positioning
  • 3:10 – Connect AT2020 To Elgato Wave XLR
  • 4:03 – Mute Button
  • 4:22 – Phantom Power (48v)
  • 4:59 – Gain & Preamp Setup
  • 7:14 – Elgato Wavelink Software
  • 7:20 – Summary
  • 7:50 – Final Thoughts