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September 10, 2013 / Randy Coppinger

Stephanie Sheh AT5040 / U87 Mic Comparison

Recordinghacks and Audio Technica put the new AT5040 microphone in my hands so we could hear how it sounded on some voices. For a fair comparison we recorded two microphones at the same time with a pristine signal path and no processing. But I wondered how things would change if I processed the voice recordings. Would it reveal greater contrast? Would new aspects be discovered?

Stephanie Sheh compares Audio Technica AT5040 and Neumann u87 u87Ai microphones

So I started with a template and adjusted things until it sounded good. Have a listen to these recordings of voice actor Stephanie Sheh after processing. Each time we hear the AT5040 followed by the Neumann u87Ai.

The difference in presence was most obvious to me in the projected read. At first the presence was the ear catching difference for the intimate read too, but then I noticed the low end change. While neither mic sounded especially sibilant to me, the 3k to 9k Hz range sounded more natural on the AT5040 across all reads. I think either one of these microphones might be a good choice on Stephanie’s voice depending on the project.

This comparison also available via YouTube.
Hear the unprocessed recordings of Stephanie and others.
Listen to other microphone comparisons.
More about voice processing.

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