Question: How do I set up the AT2020PK or AT2035PK Streaming/Podcasting Packs?
Answer: The popular AT2020 and AT2035 microphones are go-to choices for podcasters, streamers, and home recording enthusiasts. Audio-Technica has also created streaming packs that include one of these microphones, a boom microphone arm with integrated microphone cable, and a pair of the ATH-M20x studio monitoring headphones. The AT2020PK includes the AT2020 microphone with a swivel mount to attach to the boom arm, whereas the AT2035PK includes the AT2035 microphone as well as the AT8458 shock mount to attach to the boom arm. Before using for the first time, you will want to ensure that you properly set up the microphone and cable, and configure the connections to your microphone preamp.
Set up the boom arm. You may attach the boom arm base clamp to a flat surface, such as a table or desk, that’s up to 2″ thick. The clamp is padded to protect the surface you attach it to. The boom arm fits into the base clamp. Before mounting the microphone to the boom arm, tighten the screws at the base and middle of the boom arm. Use a 7 mm wrench to tighten and loosen the top nut on the boom arm. This will allow you to adjust the pivot point where the microphone mount attaches to the boom arm. Be certain not to tighten excessively.
Attach the mount and microphone to the boom arm. For the AT2020 microphone, thread the swivel mount onto the boom arm. The microphone may be inserted and threaded into the swivel mount by turning the ring nut on the mount. Make certain the microphone is fully secured into the mount. For the AT2035 microphone, thread the AT8458 shock mount onto the boom. If not already in place, you will need to insert the included 5/8-27″ thread adapter into the shock mount before connecting it to the boom arm. The microphone must be inserted into the mount from the proper direction. The slot ring on the shock mount will connect with the microphone, ensuring that you are properly attaching the microphone to the mount. Both the AT2020 and the AT2035 are side-address microphones, so make certain that the front of the microphone is facing the location where the person speaking will be. Either microphone may be positioned up or down, depending on your preference. The front of the AT2020 and the AT2035 is identified by the Audio-Technica logo. The back of the AT2020 is also labeled as “Back.” The integrated XLR female connection of the cable in the boom arm may be attached to either the AT2020 or the AT2035.
Connect the microphone cable to your microphone preamp. Both the AT2020 and the AT2035 microphones have an analog signal and may be connected to a microphone preamp for home studio use or to other analog microphone-level connections such as those on a sound system or portable recorder.* To connect to a computer, you will need to use an audio interface or a mixer with a digital connection. Some audio interfaces and mixers have multiple microphone connections, allowing you to use several microphones simultaneously in your setup.
*As both the AT2020 and AT2035 are condenser microphones, they require phantom power to operate. The audio interface, mixer, recorder, or microphone preamp you connect to the microphone will need to provide the DC voltage. If your existing equipment does not provide this power, you may use an external in-line phantom power supply. To turn on the power, you may need to press a button or change a setting to engage. The ATH-M20x headphones may be connected to the headphone connection on your audio interface or mixer. To hear the signal, some audio interfaces and mixers allow for direct monitoring from the input (microphone), while others require additional configurations within the computer and applications. Refer to the setup instructions provided by your interface’s or mixer’s manufacturer.
To get the most out of your Audio-Technica Podcasting Pack, it is important to use the microphone properly. First and foremost, you will want to ensure you are speaking into the front of the microphone element. As mentioned above, both the AT2020 and AT2035 are side-address microphones, so you will also need to speak into – or address – the side of the microphone and not the end of it. This is unlike traditional handheld or live microphones that are end-address models, requiring that you speak into the end or top of the microphone. One way to tell if you are addressing the microphone correctly is to listen as you speak into different sides of it. The AT2020 and AT2035 have a cardioid directional pickup, so the optimal pickup area will be directly in front of the microphone element. As you move away from this optimal spot and speak into the sides and back of the microphone pickup area, the sound will decrease in volume and quality. This may be used to your advantage to prevent unwanted sounds from being picked up by the microphone. If you are typing on a computer keyboard while speaking, for example, you may position the null pickup (or back of the microphone) towards the keyboard to minimize pickup of the keyboard sound. Additionally, you may speak off axis of the microphone element to reduce popping associated with plosives, such as P’s and B’s, which is caused by excessive breath directed onto the microphone. You may also use a windscreen or pop filter to reduce unwanted sound from plosives.
Condenser microphones such as the AT2020 and the AT2035 are more sensitive than dynamic microphones. This is great if you are in a location with proper acoustic treatment or an adequate acoustic environment. This may not be optimal if you are in a noisy environment and the microphone is more susceptible to picking up unwanted sounds. If that is the case, you may remedy this by moving the source (your mouth) closer to the microphone element and adjusting your input level accordingly.
The video below shows you how to set up your AT2020PK and AT2035PK Podcasting Packs. If you have further setup questions or need tips for using your podcasting pack, please contact the Audio Solutions Department for assistance.