AT2020/UR22c compatability question

I’m looking to get one of the ubiquitous AT2020 mics to use with my UR22c. I know its far from a perfect mic but the only thing which jumps out at me is the low sensitivity. I would be using it between 30-60cm for vocal and acoustic guitar.

Does anyone have experience with this combination? Does the UR22c have enough gain.

What you mean with low sensitivity?
It still has much more than many dynamic microphones…

All the reviews I’ve read say that its sensitivity (14.1 mV/Pa) is low, and comparing to other mics in its class that seems a fair assessment. I just don’t know if its enough to be an issue for me.

As with any mic with 48V power, it has plenty of signal output to feed any audio interface, even the cheapest ones.
The relative “low sensitivity” critics mean its signal-to-noise ratio is not the best out there.
For live performances, not an issue, but for studio recordings it might inject a bit more noise than desired (if you sing or play too softly), but unlikely to be a real issue.

Would not be my first pick for studio, but they sold over a million units for a reason…

Edit - just to complete the picture… if noise is any concern, consider the sE X1 A, or even Behringer B-1 in that same price range.

A Shure SM58 has 1.12mv/Pa, so over ten times lower… and it is widely used for vocal recordings
The sensitivity of a large diaphragm condenser microphone should be never a problem… they produce plenty of output.

Sweetwater is comparing the noise of the microphones with different measurements… dB(A) is different than dB… to use dB(A) makes the measurement look better…
The numbers on the X1A and the AT2020 are closer, since the diaphragm size is closer…
Bigger sizes produce more output… :wink:

Indeed, any 1" capsule will produce a stronger/cleaner signal than any 0.67" capsule, unless they mess up badly on the electronics.
But with the same-size capsule, that’s where the sE X1A has slightly better/quieter electronics, albeit nothing to shame the AT2020.
Still, either one is fine for live performance, and plenty ‘usable’ in a studio.
But for studio work on a quiet instrument, I would prefer an LDC like a B-1 for that price range, or even better for the same money: a used NT-1A (very quiet!).
But I guess that debate is for another forum… :wink:

…forgot to mention AT is also using dB(A) measurements, even if they are just less explicit about it. So they’re all comparable figures in this table.
And this is a valid and widely spread practice, since A-weighted curves roughly reflect the human ear sensitivity at 40dB/1kHz ref.

Edit - if you want an “earful” on the subject:

I decided to go with the SE X1 A. Nice mic for the money. Very happy with the sound. I’m still surprised at how high I need to set the gain on the UR22c. I’m just past 3 o’clock on the knob and still not getting the signal to clipp when singing and playing acoustic at about 12”.

1 Like

Thanks for updating.
Good pick. Have fun…

Is it normal for the UR series preamps to need to be almost at max to get usable signal out of a mic like this? I mean, it does work with the thing dialed up to 4 oclock but that seems a waste of a knob: I only have the last 1/8 of a turn to play with (and yes I made sure the pad is off and I’m singing into the front of the mic :slight_smile: ). I cant imagine a dynamic mic would work at all.

Hm… did you turn on phantom power (48v)?

Yes, absolutly

Then low gain somewhere else along the signal path?

Not much of a signal path: the mic, a brand new XLR cable, and the UR22c. The meters in dspmixFX tell the story. The only way to get that peak/clip light to blink is to max the gain.

When you engage the 20db pad, how many db of reduction do you measure on the meters?

When you engage the 20db pad, how many db of reduction do you measure on the meters?

Almost exactly 20dB, maybe a shade less

It depends on the sound source. I have several large and small condensers (mostly Rode and AKG) and usually end up with gain at around 3 to 4 o’clock when recording acoustic or nylon guitar.

So the levels you are getting are not that unusual.

Consider drum recording, or loud amps, than you will have use for the range of the knob (and the pad):slight_smile:
And it is not in any way a bad thing to have the gain dimed.