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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Audio-Technica AT3035

Audio-Technica AT3035 large condenser mic is where it's AT

I made a blind purchase of the Audio-Technica AT3035 mic. I thought: "It's inexpensive." And, I liked Audio-Technica's rep. So, I snagged one.

The AT3035 is a 26mm diaphragm condenser microphone, cardioid pattern, with a low-cut switch (80 Hz, 12 dB/octave) and 10 dB pad. Self-noise is rated at 12 dB and the mic can handle up to 148dB SPL before switching the pad on. In real world terms, including 12dB of self-noise, this mic features a dynamic range of 136 dB and could handle a 158dB SPL source with no problem, using the 10dB pad.

The microphone feels extremely solid and well built. It has a nice silver finish and comes with a suspension mount. The mount is very solid, you can trust it to hold on to the mic in any position.

I have used the AT3035 on several male singers so far. I found it a very good fit for each singer. First I used it on a baritone quartet singer in a church, next a rock singer with a mid-range voice, and finally a rap-metal screamer. In each case the mic performed flawlessly, and gave me no reason to even reach for another. I even liked it on my own voice.

The baritone's low end came across strong. He was the only singer out of the three that I did not use the bass roll-off switch. I did use the switch on the other male singers. It left very little EQ'ing to be done at mixdown.

One particularly pleasing thing about this microphone is that it has not shown me any sibilance problems thus far.

Another area in which this mic really shines is mic'ing guitar cabs. I have used it on a Marshall JCM series combo, a Crate combo, and a Johnson combo. The guitar sound with each kicked butt. With the high SPL handling, the AT3035 handled high volumes with no problems. The mic is extremely easy to place in the sweet spot. Placing it dead center of the cone around three to four inches back gave me exactly what I wanted in each case.

Acoustic guitar is not a favorite of this mic. I have only tried it on one acoustic, but found out pretty quickly that it was not a good choice. The high end was not as defined as I'd normally like to hear, and overall didn't provide a very open or focused sound. However, this is typical of large diaphragm condenser mic'ing of acoustic guitars. Generally, you're better off with a small diaphragm condenser.

On the snare, the AT3035 is right at home. Again, volume isn't much of a concern with this mic. The sound was very full in the low end and not overly bright.

The Bottom Line: One of the best lower cost large diaphragm condenser mics made. Recommended.

--Warren Dent



marjory said...

i'm still trying to understand what is the correct end to sing into this mic. The side with the words or the half way mark. I tried a couple of combinations. any suggestions?

Steven Langer said...

Maryjory, the side you see in the picture above is the front of the mic.