Latency problems and Low volume Levels with Audio Technica AT2020 USB+ WIN 10 [FIXED]

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2018/12/14 14:37:50 (permalink)

Latency problems and Low volume Levels with Audio Technica AT2020 USB+ WIN 10 [FIXED]

I thought I'd post this here for anyone else who is having issues with the Audio Technica USB+
I got this mic, kind of by accident. I'd bought the XLR version from Amazon Warehouse, but when the box arrived it contained the USB+ version. Since I got the mic for €50 I decided to make the most of what I bought, but straight away started having issues.
Sound levels when recording were low, and I mean low. The quality was not bad, but because I wasn't able to record 'hot', I was having to push up the sound post production, getting a lot of background noise.  A search for solutions on-line threw up thread after thread of other users complaining of the same problem. Seems that since Windows 7 turned into Winows 8-10, there have been issues with USB mics in general. Especially low levels and distorted sound. Audio Technica do not offer a solution (they say it's an issue with Windows), Microsoft don't offer a solution (they say it's an issue with bad drivers from the vendor).  You will see people cursing both on the Microsoft forums. And on Amazon this Christmas, you will see Audio-Technica 'dumping' their stock at low-low prices. 
So how did I fix it?
Firstly, to fix low mic levels
Go into Settings>System>Audio you can higher the mic input volume.
You'll need to play about with the levels to what is desirable for you. Too much and it distorts.
This seems to fix the issue of input volume, but not latency.
To fix latency, I would suggest getting hold of a Magix product that comes with Magix ASIO drivers. Mine came bundled with Sound Forge Audio Studio 12.5.
In Cakewalk, go to Preferences>Devices and choose Magix Low Latency 2016
After that go to Driver Settings tab and click on ASIO Panel.  From here you can choose the AT2020 mic as the input/output device.
I didn't try this with ASIO4ALL, but that might work too. Personally, I've had very mixed results with this ASIO4ALL. It kept interfering with my Edirol ASIO drivers, so I keep it off my system now. Magix has never created this conflict problem.
This seems to have corrected the problems I had with latency during recording in WASAPI and I'm now getting solid recordings with depth and clarity which are perfectly aligned.  Just make sure the room is well isolated, and use a pop shield. One thing people don't seem to understand is that the AT2020 is a very sensitive mic and will pickup background noises. It is NOT, I repeat NOT a good podcaster/gamer microphone. It is a GREAT instrument mic, however.
I'm so glad I persevered with this mic. I was all set to send it back.
If this has put anyone off getting the mic, let me add that this issue only seems to affect Windows 8-10 (Windows 7 works great with the AT2020), and it doesn't affect Apple, as far as I know.
I hope someone finds this useful.
post edited by burgerproduction - 2018/12/15 12:02:53

Cakewalk by Bandlab, Sonar Platinum Lifetimer, Windows 10, HP Laptop, CPU i5, RAM 8GB. Audio interface: Edirol FA-101 Firewire interface with moded drivers. Microphones: Audio-Technica, M-Audio, Behringer, AKG. Pianos: Casio digital, Yamaha B1 upright.  Guitars: Dobro, Tanglewood, Danelectro, Fender. Hats: Fez
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