A-T’s entry into the studio microphones marketplace ushered in what we like to call our “golden era,” which took place from 1988-1998.
The microphones of the “golden era” helped to harvest some of our most important endorsements from major record producers and engineers.
In 1991, we turned the industry on its side with a revolutionary side-address microphone, the AT4033. The 4033 was high-quality, stylish, and its price point was just right – coming in at just under $1,000. But the 4033 hardly became famous just for its price and good looks. Engineers, mixers, and musicians loved everything this microphone had to offer, and it didn’t take long for the 4033 to catch on industry-wide. This was in no small part due to the contributions of legendary producer Phil Ramone, who consulted in the sound design process and gladly endorsed this now-classic microphone. Having an endorsement from Phil Ramone – with all of his experience and clout – was, needless to say, a huge selling point for the AT4033.
But Audio-Technica’s studio sound revolution by no means started and stopped with the AT4033. In 1994, we welcomed the AT4050 to our family of studio mics. Legendary musician/engineer/producer Alan Parsons was a huge supporter of this microphone and became an A-T endorser, introducing the AT4050 at the 1994 AES Europe event. Parsons has continued to use A-T mics religiously and reports that he has never had one break down on the job.
By 1996, Audio-Technica’s 40 Series had been widely embraced by the studio-recording industry. Engineer and mixer Ed Cherney, who has worked with some of the biggest names in rock, including The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Iggy Pop, and Bonnie Raitt, initially plugged the AT4033, then continued to support the newer mics that came along: AT4060 and AT4047/SV.
The AT4047 was designed with a transformer-coupled output and featured low self-noise, wide dynamic range, and high SPL capability. This microphone was very versatile and widely used on vocals, strings, acoustic guitars, instrument ensembles, small vocal groups, and voiceovers.
In 2006, Tony Bennett marked not only his 80th birthday but also another milestone for our 40 Series by recording Duets: An American Classic, which featured the legendary crooner along with a host of other renowned vocalists, with the AT4047 and the Artist Elite AE5400.
Looking back, we really owe a lot to our 40 Series, which made A-T mics synonymous with the highest quality studio sound. The best ears and some of the most innovative minds in the industry continue to endorse and support the 40 Series. These mics have become essential. No amount of money could buy that kind of love for a microphone line.