A few weeks ago on the Podcasters Community, I was hearing about this microphone for podcasting. At first glance I blew it off, but with more podcasters talking about it, I thought I would get the microphone and check it out. I am talking about the Audio Technica ATR2100 microphone.
At first glance, it is a standard cardioid mic. No different than any dynamic stage microphone. However, when you turn the microphone around, you start to see the difference and the multi-use of this mic. Simply put, the bottom houses a XLR connector, a USB connector, a volume control and a headphone jack.
This means you can plug this microphone straight into a mixing board or right into the computer. You actually can do BOTH and record to two different sources. That makes it a good microphone if you are doing a Skype record – the USB could go to the first machine and the XLR could go to the mixer and the main record.
The Specs of the Audio Technica ATR2100
The Audio Technica ATR2100 USB/XLR is a dynamic microphone with a Cardiod polar pattern. It ranges between 50 Hz – 15 kHz. The microphone records at 16 bit – 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz. It’s only 9.5 ounces so its a pretty light microphone. The ATR2100 also comes with a stand and necessary cables (no headphones). The headphone jack is 1/8″ stereo and can accept a 3-pole iPhone headset.
The Bad – Audio Technica ATR2100
There are two downfalls to the microphone – 50 Hz- 15 kHz means your “P’s” will pop and your “Ss” will hiss. With a shelf at 50 Hz, the pop sound (which is usually at 80 Hz) has no compensation around it. For instance, if I want to remove pops from my sound, I will lower 80 Hz as well as 40 Hz and 120 Hz. Its like working along side a cliff.
Tip – Avoid the “POP”
If you want to avoid the pop of the microphone, have the mic not directly in front of your mouth. Instead, angle the mic toward the corner of your mouth. You are not speaking directly into the microphone, but you’re also not forcing air into the mic to make it pop so much.
Same thing with 15 kHz. If you have a higher voice (eg a female voice) or use this to mic up a guitar, this microphone might not bring out the best sound for you. This microphone might make it sound like something is missing for anything more than a male vocal.
The other issue is the ATR2100 only records in 16 bit USB. If you are recording audio that might become evergreen podcast material (saving to wav files and putting in future episodes), then you don’t want to record with the USB side of this mic. XLR is analog so its up to your mixer if it will record to 16 or 24 bit.
Overall – Audio Technica ATR2100
The overall of the Audio Technica ATR2100 USB/XLR hybrid is this microphone is a good backup. It can fit into a bag easily to be used at a moments notice. The ATR2100 is also iPad compatible (with the USB adaptor) so you can record with Garageband or another podcast app like Bossjock (iPad365 episode).