Audio Technica AT2020

In this article we discuss the 5 most common mistakes that we see people make with the Audio Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone.

1 – Phantom Power

The Audio Technica AT2020 is a condenser microphone. All condenser microphones require +48v of Phantom power in order to activate the microphone. The AT2020 is not an exception to this rule.

This means that XLR to USB Cables or XLR to 1/8″ Cables will not work with this microphone because they do not provide the +48v that is required.

In order to use this microphone, you will need an audio interface or an audio mixer that can supply +48v of phantom power to your AT2020 Microphone.

2 – Microphone Direction

Audio Technica AT2020 Front

The AT2020 is a side-address microphone. This means that it is designed to capture audio from the side of the microphone. Specifically, you should be talking into the logo that is on the microphone.

Common mistakes that we see people make with this microphone:

  • Speaking into the top of the microphone
  • Speaking into the rear of the microphone

If you make either of these mistakes, you will notice that your audio is more roomy sounding and is not high quality.

3 – Pop Filter

We always recommend some type of pop filter when using the Audio Technica AT2020 Mic.

The pop filter has two jobs:

  • Prevent Plosives (“P” and “B” sounds are problematic with microphones)
  • Reduce some sibilance (Makes “s” sounds easier to listen to, reduce mouth noise)

You can use any type of pop filter that you have available to you. We recommend adding a foam windscreen to your microphone because we think it’s the most consistent and best looking solution.

4 – Microphone Distance

As a general rule, we recommend staying about 4-6 inches away from the microphone when you are speaking into it.

If you get too close to the microphone, you will be prone to getting plosives.

If you get too far away from the microphone, you will notice that the tone is thin an wispy.

5 – Shock Mount

AT2020 Shockmount

The AT2020 Microphone has a tendency to transmit any bumps, taps, or shakes that it experiences. For this reason, we recommend that you use a shock mount with this microphone to make sure that your audio recording is as clean as possible and that the bumps and taps don’t distract your audience.

Pricing & Specs For Equipment

Topics Covered In This Video

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:15 – Pricing & Specs
  • 0:57 – Phantom Power
  • 2:05 – Microphone Direction
  • 3:15 – Pop Filter
  • 4:15 – Microphone Distance
  • 4:58 – Shock Mount
  • 5:45 – Room Treatment
  • 6:15 – Final Thoughts

Additional Videos With More Information

Disclosure: If you purchase an item or service from an outbound link, we may receive a referral fee, which helps to support Kettner Creative.

Jordan Kettner

I consider myself to be half entrepreneur and half A/V geek. I am never content to settle for what is expected or determined by others to be the “industry standard”. Instead, I work extremely hard to break new ground and deliver value to whoever I meet.

My passion for the audio visual industry drives me to create content that will help others learn the best tools and techniques to learn how to setup their home studio.

"Recognizing opportunity is so difficult for most people because it goes around disguised in overalls, looking like hard work!"
- Thomas Edison

View all posts

Subscribe