In this article, we’re going to explain how to set up the Audio Technica AT2020 condenser microphone with the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 audio interface.

Quick Answer: A single XLR cable is all you’ll need to connect the AT2020 and PreSonus AudioBox. If you experience any issues, make sure you have phantom power on and that you’re speaking into the front (logo side) of the microphone.

Audio Technica AT2020 Microphone Setup & Orientation

Audio Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone

Before we get into connecting the AT2020 to an audio interface, we want to share a few tips and tricks to help you avoid a common mistake.

The AT2020 is a side-address microphone, meaning you need to peak into the front of it, not the top. This can cause confusion if you’ve never seen a mic like this before.

  • The logo is on the front of the mic; this is the side you need to speak into.
  • If you can see the word back, it means you’re mic is pointing the wrong way.

How to Connect the AT2020 to the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96

PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 Audio Interface

Time needed: 5 minutes

  1. Connect the AudioBox to your computer

    AudioBox > USB Cable > Computer

  2. Connect The AT2020 To AudioBox

    At2020 > XLR Cable > AudioBox

  3. Turn on Phantom Power

    +48v Button on AudioBox

  4. Set Gain Correctly

  5. Press Record!

PreSonus AudioBox Phantom Power

The Audio Technica AT2020 is a condenser microphone, so it won’t work without an external power source. The AudioBox is powered by your computer via the USB cable, and it has a 48v button, which is used to supply phantom power to your microphone.

If you don’t turn on phantom power, the AT2020 won’t sound bad; it simply won’t make any sound at all. Always check you have turned on phantom power if you have a problem getting sound from your AT2020.

Audio Technica AT2020 & PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 Gain Setup

Having used this setup before, we know that setting the AudioBox’s gain knob to just above the 3 o’clock position. So almost a 3/4 turn from the starting point. Look at the peak monitor on your audio software and make minor adjustments to the gain knob until your audio is peaking somewhere between -18 and -12 dB.

Why? It leaves you with 12 dB of headroom to play with. If your audio hits 0, it will sound peaked, clipped, and distorted, and you won’t be able to recover it. If you are live streaming, you can push your peak level to -6 dB as your audio may be too quiet otherwise.

Audio Technica AT2020 Windscreen & Pop Filter

We recommend using a pop filter or windscreen to help with plosives when making P and B sounds right into the microphone. The optional windscreen is super cheap but very effective. 

PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 & AT2020 Pricing & Specs

PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 & AT2020 | Setup & Demo Topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:30 – Price & Specs
  • 0:55 – Microphone Setup & Orientation
  • 1:55 – Connect AT2020 to Presonus AudioBox 
  • 2:23 – Phantom Power
  • 2:55 – Gain Setup
  • 5:07 – Windscreen & Pop Filter