Audio Technica AT2020 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 5th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Nashville, TN.
Posts: 581
Audio Technica AT2020

I've got a RODE SVM mic I've used for over a year now. When off the camera it does a fair job but as many of you know I 've had major noise problems via stupidity on my part (leaving the IS on the lens running etc.
Yesterday I bought a ZOOM H4n and was looking for couple of bang for the buck XLR speakers that I could place on stands and run XLR back to the Zoom for recording.
I ran across these mics and have heard a few good things about them.
Anyone have good things to say about these? Looks like I can get two, 25ft XLR cables and stands all for around $200.
Is this crap or a good deal?
(I did a search here and didn't find much)
__________________
Nashville TN using Canon 5D MK3, Canon 550D, RODE SVM mic, 70-200 f2.8L II IS, 24-105 f4L IS, 50 and 85 f/1.8, Vegas Pro 11, Zoom H4n, Blackbird, Lilliput Monitor, Lightroom
Harry Simpson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 5th, 2010, 04:28 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Don't have any direct experience with those mics but AT makes some decent enough bargain mics so I would expect these to be okay. The main drawback is that they are side address large diaphram mics designed for relatively close vocal work, more at home in the studio than in a stereo pair for field recording where small diaphram end-address mics are usually preferred. Perhaps a pair of AT2021 would be better,
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 6th, 2010, 08:09 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Nashville, TN.
Posts: 581
Steve I was ready to buy a couple until your post and looking for the 2021s I only see them available as a bundle pack for with the 2020. Argh. Also looking at the reception pattern on their website it looks exactly the same for some strange reason and the frequency response between the two mics looks very similar too. <<Harry enters his constant state of confusion>>

You're right I really would used these for micing an acoustic band or a chorus or a group of people on stage. One each to cover sound for it's half of the stage or set. Rather than the close up mics. With XLR balanced ouptputs 24v phantom if possible.
__________________
Nashville TN using Canon 5D MK3, Canon 550D, RODE SVM mic, 70-200 f2.8L II IS, 24-105 f4L IS, 50 and 85 f/1.8, Vegas Pro 11, Zoom H4n, Blackbird, Lilliput Monitor, Lightroom
Harry Simpson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 6th, 2010, 08:33 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
AT's website states 48v phantom for those mics. Often a mic can run on less but most times when the manufacturer supports use at less than the full 48 volts, they list the spec as a range, something like "12-52 volt phantom" or words to that effect. AT doesn't do that for these particular mics though they do for othe mics they offer.

There's a bit more to getting good stereo than just putting two mics near the stage. For a one-page summary of some different techniques, take a look at this pdf download from Schoeps ... http://schoeps.de/documents/stereo-r...chniques-e.pdf
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2010, 08:57 AM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,177
Over on rec.audio.pro, the AT2020 is reputed to be a "sleeper". i.e. better performance than its budget price would suggest. OTOH, the AT2021 is essentially the same capsule in a different form-factor, so the AT2020 vs AT2021 game is simply cosmetic. I have a pair of AT2020 and they are nice mikes. For the kinds of things I do, however I would just as soon have the AT2021 form-factor as I convenience and flexibility are more important to me than cosmetics and appearance.
Richard Crowley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2010, 09:13 AM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
Posts: 1,961
Until recently the AT2021 was only available bundled with the AT2020, but it is now listed as a separate item. I suggest finding a good sale on the bundle and then if necessary sell the AT2020.
I found my combo kit on sale (also bundled with a preamp) and paid not much more than the original regular price of the AT2020 by itself a while back.
Jay Massengill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2010, 12:42 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Nashville, TN.
Posts: 581
So the 20 and the 21 are basically the same mic in different form factor? So for my purposes of setting up a mic on a stand say 8 feet from the talent to record several musicians with acoustic instruments eother of these mics would not work?

What would be the best mic for that kind of situation? The ZOOM's built in XY mike would prob be good but I kind of wanted to have the ZOOM closer to me and the camera for control and auditing the sound input with headphones.......
__________________
Nashville TN using Canon 5D MK3, Canon 550D, RODE SVM mic, 70-200 f2.8L II IS, 24-105 f4L IS, 50 and 85 f/1.8, Vegas Pro 11, Zoom H4n, Blackbird, Lilliput Monitor, Lightroom
Harry Simpson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2010, 03:30 PM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
Posts: 1,961
Either would work in that situation since the AT2020 doesn't have a true large-diaphram design. That's another reason you might want to find the kit with both mics as a start, you could try them both out and decide, then buy a second copy of the one you think will be more useful to you.
I think it's unfortunate that AT dropped the AT3031, which was truly a great performing mic at around $170 each. They essentially replaced the AT3031 with the AT4021 ($250) above it and the AT2021 below it.
Jay Massengill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2010, 04:23 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Nashville, TN.
Posts: 581
Steve did preface this statement with the fact he had no experience with either when he said
"main drawback is that they are side address large diaphram mics designed for relatively close vocal work,"

But are you saying that these mics would be good for micing a few folks with instruments from about 6-10 ft away mic to talent?
__________________
Nashville TN using Canon 5D MK3, Canon 550D, RODE SVM mic, 70-200 f2.8L II IS, 24-105 f4L IS, 50 and 85 f/1.8, Vegas Pro 11, Zoom H4n, Blackbird, Lilliput Monitor, Lightroom
Harry Simpson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2010, 06:06 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Simpson View Post
Steve did preface this statement with the fact he had no experience with either when he said
"main drawback is that they are side address large diaphram mics designed for relatively close vocal work,"

But are you saying that these mics would be good for micing a few folks with instruments from about 6-10 ft away mic to talent?
Define "few" - is that 2 or 20? 6 to 10 feet would work for a full orchestra or jazz band, not so much for a folk duet with acoustic guitars.

BTW, I do concur with Jay on the 3031 - I also own a pair and am very pleased with them. I'd have recommended the 4021 except it's a bit over your budget.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2010, 08:36 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Nashville, TN.
Posts: 581
Not really over my budget. I just want most bang for the buck. But it's got to work first. appreciate the advice. So the a couple of 4021s would be good for micing a group of three musicials - two with acoustic guitars and one on upright bass about 10 feet away?
__________________
Nashville TN using Canon 5D MK3, Canon 550D, RODE SVM mic, 70-200 f2.8L II IS, 24-105 f4L IS, 50 and 85 f/1.8, Vegas Pro 11, Zoom H4n, Blackbird, Lilliput Monitor, Lightroom
Harry Simpson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2010, 09:29 PM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Simpson View Post
So the 20 and the 21 are basically the same mic in different form factor? So for my purposes of setting up a mic on a stand say 8 feet from the talent to record several musicians with acoustic instruments eother of these mics would not work?

What would be the best mic for that kind of situation? The ZOOM's built in XY mike would prob be good but I kind of wanted to have the ZOOM closer to me and the camera for control and auditing the sound input with headphones.......
The capsule in the 20 and in the 21 appear to be identical. Which is to say that the AT2020 case is oversize to make it appear to be a "large capsule" when it is not.

Whether ANY mic will work at 8 feet (or any other distance) depends on a great many other factors besides the number of performers. The ambience of the room and the style of the music are major factors. We typically "tune" the microphone PLACEMENT (during rehearsal) to achieve the desired direct to ambience ratio for the recording style we are seeking.
Richard Crowley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 8th, 2010, 07:12 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Simpson View Post
Not really over my budget. I just want most bang for the buck. But it's got to work first. appreciate the advice. So the a couple of 4021s would be good for micing a group of three musicials - two with acoustic guitars and one on upright bass about 10 feet away?
As Richard says - optimum mic placement depends on a lot of factors and has to be determined by experimentation at the location. One simply can't say reliably that "X" mic will sound great at 10 feet and "Y" mic won't. But for three individual performers with unamplified instruments, at first thought 10 feet seems to me to be a bit far almost any mic you can name. There's a physical principal in operation with all mics called the inverse square law that you just can't escape. It says that when you increase the distance to point source of sound, the intensity of the sound hitting the mic drops by the square of the change in distance. So compared to a mic at 1 foot, a mic at 2 feet picks up 1/4 the sound, one at 4 feet picks up 1/16, 1 at 8 feet picks up 1/64 and so forth. In a concert venue with an audience present there's a lot of stuff in the air besides your performers ... reflected sound, audience snorts and coughs, air conditioning, etc The intensity of those sounds doesn't change much as you move the mics around because their mic-source distance stays relatively constant. But as you move the mics farther away from the performers, the level of THEIR sound hitting the mic drops dramatically. This means that the farther away the mic is, the closer the level of their performance sound gets to the general background sound and the recording quality suffers. This is just as true for the $2000 Schoeps as it is for the $100 Chinese knockoff sold at Joe's Music and Stormdoor Company. With your performers, you'll want to get the mics as close as you can while keeping the group within the angle of optimum pickup of the mic pair. Three people side-by-side would make a line about 5 feet long That line would form the base of an triangle with the mic pair positioned at the apex. For a common X/Y configuration with the mic axes at about 90 degrees to each other, that would put the mic pair about 3 feet in front of the performer in the middle. No matter what your mics are, that's where I would start and adjust position from there during rehearsal and sound checks. I would expect good results when they are in the 3 to 5 foot range, falling off quickly if you move further out.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 8th, 2010, 08:31 AM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Nashville, TN.
Posts: 581
Thank you Steve for that explanation. I'm pretty much self taught in everything I do so I stay ignorant most of the time. It's kind folks like you that really help by explaning this stuff. Thanks!!

I'm copying your reply to a note on my iPhone now. So the 2020s wouldn't be that bad or do i need to get the 2041s. I guess I should just order the darn things and learn by experience but wanted to start out in best position I could.

I know that the lenses I require are in the $1200 to $1900 for L glass. There are though a few gems out there for cheaper like the 85mm f1.8. I was hoping to start out with one of these cheaper gems as far as mics go - that's kinda where I was coming from.

I didn't want to buy a crappy mic but wanted to get great value (who doesn't!). Sounds like ideally I'd mic everyone and every instrument as if it were a broadway play. ;-)

When I shoot in amped music venues I'm really just micing the speakers so all of the distance stuff kinda flys out the window at that point I suppose.

Wonder if there's an Audio for Dummies book.....hmmmm.......we have enough authors here..... :-)
__________________
Nashville TN using Canon 5D MK3, Canon 550D, RODE SVM mic, 70-200 f2.8L II IS, 24-105 f4L IS, 50 and 85 f/1.8, Vegas Pro 11, Zoom H4n, Blackbird, Lilliput Monitor, Lightroom
Harry Simpson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 8th, 2010, 08:44 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Simpson View Post
...
Wonder if there's an Audio for Dummies book.....hmmmm.......we have enough authors here..... :-)
IMHO, two absolutely must-have books are Jay Rose's "Producing Great Sound for Film & Video" and "Audio Postproduction for Film & Video," available from Jay's website or the usual source such as Amazon. Another reference I like that deals with techniques for booming, rigging lavs, practical mic placement, setting up mixers and gain staging, etc is "Location Audio Simplified" by S. Dean Miles.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:13 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network