Audio-Technica AT8022 Stereo Mic

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Stereo condenser mic: Simple is better, right? If you need to capture a stereo recording, you can place a pair of cardioid mics in an X-Y configuration on a mic bar and then adjust them to face 90 degrees apart at the sound source. It's a tried-and-true method that works well. But there is a simpler way: use a stereo mic.

The AT8022 places two cardiod elements back to back in a single housing for a simpler point-and-record setup. It also weighs less than 9oz, so the mic tree won't be so top heavy.

The mic can be powered by an internal AA battery (with a published spec of 700 operating hours) or phantom power. The output appears on a five-pin XLR, and the mic includes a 2m balanced cable (XLR-5F to two XLR-3M) and a 2' unbalanced cable (XLR-5F to 3.5mm TRS). The unbalanced cable is ideal for many portable recorders, especially when operated on a battery. The mic has a bass roll-off switch and battery power switch.

I used the mic to record a concert band with about 55 players. The mic was placed about 11’ high and about 6’ behind the conductor, with it pointed slightly downward to the middle of the ensemble. The stereo image was clean and not over exaggerated. The concert hall (actually a church) is reverberant, but the mic effectively captured the ensemble with just enough room tone.

The mic clip is a C-shaped style that holds the mic firmly, but just to be safe I draped a piece of gaffer's tape over the top to keep it from moving. What I liked best about the mic is that it simplified my set up. Instead of having to mount two mics on a bar and then carefully orient them, the AT8022 allowed me to screw the adapter on the stand and raise it.

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