How To Attach The AT-2020 To A Standard Microphone Stand

Hey, there!

The number one question I’m asked about this amazing mic, the AT-2020 USB Plus (in all it’s various incarnations, including the Plus) from audio-technica, is:

“Why won’t my AT-2020 fit on my mic stand?”

I got not one, but two emails and a frantic phone call in the last couple of days, all asking the same question.

The most desperate of the calls came on Friday morning.

Leticia was beside herself.

“I just don’t get this – I got the desktop mic stand you said I should get, which is great, and I got the AT-2020 USB Plus, which is great, but I can’t figure out how to attach it to the mic stand. The hole is too small for them to fit together! I’ve tried everything – I’ve even disassembled it and put it back together to see if there’s a part missing.”

She started to sob, and said under her breath, “I’m embarrassed to tell you what I resorted to – duct tape. And it looks completely stupid! What am I doing wrong?”

I told her that everything was going to be OK, and that it was a simple, but not-so-obvious solution.

It’s all about adapters and not-so-obvious instructions.

Let’s look at what comes in the AT-2020 USB box: the mic itself, an instruction booklet, the warranty registration, and the carrying pouch, which has three more things packed inside: the USB cable, the tiny, almost useless three-legged mic “stand”, and the bracket that connects the mic to the almost useless three-legged mic “stand”.

And, let’s also take a look at the tips of both the almost useless three-legged mic “stand”, and the one I recommend you purchase to go with your mic (the OnStage Desktop Mic Stand). Let’s call that the “good” stand.

You’ll notice that the threaded top of the two stands are different sizes. The smaller one, on the almost useless three-legged mic “stand”, fits the bracket perfectly.

But if you use it, there’s a good chance your mic will fall over. Seriously, it’s an awful choice.

But that bracket will also fit the “good” stand with its larger diameter. It just takes a nickel. Or, if you can spare the change, a quarter.

Look carefully at the bracket, where the hole is that fits the almost useless three-legged mic “stand”, and you’ll notice something interesting about the metal threads – there are two notches cut into the surface of the colored metal core.

And if you take your nickel, or quarter, and insert it into those two notches, and twist to the left (with all your strength – AudioTechnica really seats this item in there tight), you’ll be able to unscrew what is actually an inner threaded adapter right out of the bracket, leaving behind a larger, threaded hole that will fit the “good” stand just right.

Here’s a video from our Labs area that shows you how to do this:

(And there are lots more Lab videos like this, and they’re all available to you if you’re a VOHeroes Pro.)

I so wish AudioTechnica made this more obvious in their instructions.

So, you can now put away the duct tape. And the almost useless three-legged mic “stand.” And the now-removed threaded adapter.

(I usually tell clients to pitch into the trash the almost useless three-legged mic “stand”, but it makes a great storage option for the now-removed threaded adapter.)

And yes, this works for the studio version of the AT-2020, as well as the two USB versions.

When I shared this little tip with Leticia, and the other 200 or 300 people who’ve contacted me about this, an audible sigh of relief was heard.

I love that.

And I hope this helps.



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  1. You can also use a shock mount, with that spring clip deal that fits all kinds of mics. That also makes it easier to spin the mic around to get that 45 degree off axis delivery you like…it is a BIT harder to get your sock over it though.

    1. You’re still talking about the bracket – whether you use the bracket that comes with the AT2020’s, or your own shock mount. Chances are, there’s no adapter in the third party shock mount bracket. This article is solely meant for those poor souls who don’t see how to make this all work.


  2. Hi David,
    Thank you! I feel personally served by this post.
    I know you are a stickler for words, so to serve our fellow VO talent, who might be struggling with the “make the mic fit the stand issue,” I’ll suggest one itty bitty change in your copy.

    For me the word colored means it contains a hue, pigment or such, like red, blue, green, chartreuse, magenta–you get the idea. Therefore, when you mention colored part of the mic stand, it’s clear you don’t mean the black part, but it’s also not clear you mean the silver-toned or stainless steel part. I had been thinking that perhaps the manufacturer had changed the product a bit and your reference might have been to an older model.

    Just my 2 cents. Hope it helps all!
    PS once I got my nickel in the right spot (I had been looking at the wrong end!) it didn’t take much force at all.

    1. There are random colors used – sometimes it’s silver, sometimes it’s brass-colored, sometimes flat nickel – but I’ve never seen an adapter that matches the outside of the bracket.

      So, what she said.


  3. Hello,

    Excellent. It helped me too. It was a particularly difficult problem for me since I am not even in the US. I was on the point of ordering some sort of clip. So, this has saved me a lot of time and some money too. Thank you.


  4. David! You are always spot on and a lifesaver whenever there is a need.
    My new stand is perfect and your tip about using the coin to remove the bracket was so helpful, made it all very easy.
    I was able to remove it with ease.
    My grateful thanks.

  5. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Music store sold me a $3 adapter that was worthless. All I needed was a quarter! Mic fits onto my stage stand perfectly. You are awesome! 😀

      1. Just got back from my local music store, Long & McQuade, where the sales rep used a (Canadian) dime to remove that. No sale of an adapter, but a million dollars worth of goodwill.

  6. I cannot tell you how happy I am that you put these directions on here….. OMG…. I was in a panic and wondering what other adapters I may have to find and purchase! I guess this is the first test…. For those who do not pass it…. do not pass GO, do NOT collect….. haha

  7. Ha, this is great. Thank you!

    Spent the past hour trying to figure out how to mount an AT2020 to a boom mic stand for my wife to use for some vocal recording, and we were stumped, and it being a weekend, all the audio shops in town closed til Monday.

    Thank you for this simple explanation. Psst. Don’t tell my wife… she was impressed I figured out how to insert a coin in and remove the inner threaded adapter! 🙂

  8. Sometimes there are seemingly small pieces of information that make a big difference in people’s lives. This is one of them. Thank you, David.

  9. Thank you sooo much for this article. You saved me a couple bucks and a lot of time. I thought I had to buy a new adapter as the little plastic one that came with my Neewer mic stand just wasn’t doing the job. VERY happy camper here thanks to you. 😀

    1. That means that someone inserted it backwards, at the factory, or once delivered, it was played with and re-inserted backwards. You might try a pair of needlenosed pliers to get it out – or, you could contact Audio-Technica (in Stow, Ohio; support number available here) and ask for a replacement bracket (with the adapter properly inserted).

  10. Wowzeee! Here I was ready to call the guitar store to tell them an adapter was missing, but then from past experiences I know there sometimes is a glitch in my brain that jumps to useless conclusions. With your fun instructions the mic attached in two seconds. Thanks so much.

  11. Wow… What perfect timing. My AT2020 came in the mail on Wednesday, and my stand will be arriving here in just a couple hours (hopefully).
    That’s a scary coincidence. Surely DHL17 must be a psychic.

  12. OMG this is magical! I had no idea I could do this, and I’m about to be using an alternate setup that’ll require me to do exactly this. And yeah, the little tripod that comes with the mic is surprisingly useless…glad the rest of it can be put to good use. Thanks!


  14. Hi there.
    I found you online searching for a solution to the same problem. Turns out I didn’t need a quarter; when I unscrewed the mic from the silly little desk stand, it came right off the adapter. MAGIC! But I wouldn’t have known to do that otherwise. Thank you from Montreal, Canada.

  15. […] The ultimate in simplicity and utility, this is the classic desktop stand that adjusts in height, is movable to anywhere you need, and is portable for travel. Screw the stalk into the base, and you’re ready to go. Attaching the AT-2020 microphone to this stand (or any other standard stand) might be a mystery, but we solve that mystery here. […]

  16. The simple things are often the best. I was just about to jump the gun and order an adaptor. Now I have it set in a universal shock mount. Brilliant.

    1. Max,

      Did you happen to get the Vision version? That version of the AT-2020 doesn’t.

      And if that wasn’t the version you got, did you check all the items in the carrying case that came with the mic? That’s where the little stand is packed.

  17. thank you so much. I couldn’t believe I couldn’t make it fit. I was sure the gold colored connector was to be removed, but I couldn’t figure out how to remove it. The nickel worked perfectly.

  18. Gotta tell ya, Thank God for your article. I tried looking for online tutorials on YouTube and manufacturers notes, etc. on this. I thought the adapter was missing and I thought they just didn’t include it. Lol
    I just thought that my mic and microphone stand were not compatible. How wrong I was.
    Such a simple fix. Please make a video for this since this article didn’t come up in the Google search right away.