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I received the AKG D112 about a month ago to use on my band's new demos. I had the intention of using it as a kick drum mic (obviously) and on my Ashdown bass cab (Ampeg SVT 3 Pro head).
I have used both a Shure Beta 52 and an Audix D6 in the past for recording and the Beta I have used live as well, so I was interested to hear the difference with the AKG. Other reviews I had read, about which kick mic to use, suggested that the AKG would pick up more of the "click" of the kick compared to the Beta 52. This was interesting for me as my drummer does not have a hole in his kick drum and so getting a good "click" is quite hard.
For recording I placed it about half an inch from the skin of the kick off centre and covered it in some pillows to stop spill (the advantage of recording in a living room!). Needless to say it was not going to pick up all of the "click" of the drum so we also placed an SM58 pointing up towards the beater on the other side of the kick. I have found in the past that even with a hole in the kick you don't get all the smack you want, so usually place a mic to pick this up anyway. It also makes for nicer mixing possibilities. Both of these mics went through my Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 preamps (look out for my review on that as well).
I can honestly say that the AKG did a brilliant job of picking up the thud and pump of the kick drum even being outside of the kick. Mixed with the 58 and shoved through some Liquid Mix Distressor emulations I have been able to achieve a very professional sounding kick within my mixes. Compared to the sound of a Shure Beta 52 I would say the AKG has a less sterile sound. On mixing with the Beta I have always found it hard to get an aggressive thud without it sounding tacky, but perhaps that is my own opinion.
As many of you know, the AKG D112 has a distinctive egg shape, a first of its kind, this means that of course, many people have been very interested in this and so it has become one of the most popular drum microphones to be made thus far. Although the egg shape could get users confused as to which end was the front, could it not?!
The price of this device comes in at around the £100 mark online, although if you want to look at the product before buying, they are about £20 more expensive on the high street.
I have found through practice, that it works best when it is placed about half an inch from the skin of the kick off centre and have even covered it in pillows to prevent spill. This obviously made it harder for it to pick up the click of the drum, so I also used an SM58 and pointed this towards the beater on the other side of the kick. Problem solved!
The AKG despite all this, did an amazing job of picking up the kick drum, however having used other microphones in the past I don't think that the sound is as sterile as it could be, with the occasional ringing from it too. the diaphragm has a very low resonance frequency, which hekps to maintain the solid and powerful response required below 100Hz.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who needs a microphone for kick drums as it is an excellent piece of kit, although obviously if you wanted to spend more, then the quality would increase as the price does.
The AKG D112 is quite often heralded as a goto microphone for kick drums and occasionally bass guitar. What's failed to mention is the few genres that it is heard in, this microphone predominantly features in indie rock, brit pop and other similair genres. The sound you get isn't very defined, there seems to be too much focus on the lower midrange and this can quite easily muddy up a mix.
Of course if you plan to sample replace your kick drum entirely I don't recommend this mic, I recommend the cheapest one you can find as all you need to do is pick up the sound for it.
If you are working in a rock and metal context and think that the drum tones you are getting are useable and that you can get a good sound without samples then I recommend the Audix D6. The Audix D6 is perfectly suited to most types of music due to its frequency response and can be seen in use by most engineers working in that field.
Another alternative is the shure beta 52, it does what the D112 does, but better!
I personally wouldn't buy one due to my previous experiences with one, however, if you're new, into 'poppier' genres and want reassurance in a good product then I suggest this microphone.
Along with my dual C1000S I also purchased this little wonder microphone, even with my woollen ear I could realise the limits of whacking a 58 in the kick drum 'cause that's all we had. It is specifically designed for optimum bass response, and has become known a bit like an industry standard for kick drums and sundry booming things. You can buy it individually for around a £100, which if it can solve your awful kick drum problems later in the mix then it is an absolute steal.
When I unpacked the box you have to admire the construction of the microphone, excellently sturdy and a wonderfully curious design shape. Although I must admit the previous seventies incarnation, the D12, is just a down right timeless looking microphone and the D112 doesn't really come close to matching it stylistically at least.
In use what a revelation! The kick drum "oofs" instead of a meagre "eef" (In about 10 minutes I will probably have no idea what I am saying either), it is a rather beefy sound and although the midrange boost seems to give it a baseball effect that cannot detract from its impressive ability. I have branched outwards, using it on various amplifiers for either bass or guitar and this microphone is always capable of surprise for something so "one dimensional".
In conclusion, after trying a few other specialist bass microphones, I have to say this really is a phenomenal microphone. It would be great to get a go at its predecessor but still this has been a corner stone for many sessions.
If you ask a studio engeneer what mic to use to record a kick drum, nine times out of ten he will reply AKG D112. This is how popular this microphone is.Why is it so good, the answer is as follows. The D112 is a large diaphram mic which means it is aimed at lower frequencies. The mic is a dynamic mic, this means it can withstand very high sound pressure levels, making this the perfecct mic for loud lower frequency instruments.The mic has a polar pattern of the cardiod veriaty meaning it is directional, this means it is great for live use as well as studio.
The mic is constructed betterthan most bomb shelters, its thick plastic and metal design will withstand years of abuse and still sound brilliant while doing so. The famouse egg shaped head facilitates easy positioning for drum kits and bass amps.This mic frequency response is in the lower region with a lowest frequency of around 20Hz. Bass instruments such as kick drums and bass guitar amplifiers are recorded perfectly with this mic, however try and record anything too high and the result will be bad, but that is not what the mic was designed for anyway.
The mic costs around £100 but is more frequently bought as part of a drum mic set along with c1000 etc for a couple of hundred quid.
The AKG D112 is an industry standard large-diaphragm dynamic microphone for bass instruments.
You can purchase this microphone for around £100-£110 in most shops online and its usually maybe 10 or 20 pound extra in the shops on the high street. Either way, you cant go wrong with the price of it!
The D112 has a great sound pressure level (SPL) of 160dB which means even drummers with the heaviest of foots wont trouble this microphone!
Its frequency ranges from as low as 20Hz which is low enough to pick up all of the low end needed in recordings for kick drums and bass guitars.
It has a cardioid polar pattern meaning it wont pick up much spillage from any other instruments such as snare drum or tom toms and its also perfect for picking up bass guitars. I've even used this on electric guitars and mixed together with a Shure SM57 gave a beefy sound for a metal track.
Also being a dynamic microphone the diaphragm is alot more stable than if it was a condensor. Another great advantage is that it will not need any phantom power.
This microphone has been used hundreds of times in both live and studio situations and has never let me down. Its been a big part of my kit I use and even comes in handy if I need a thicker sound for any other range of isntruments.
I would definately reccommend this microphone if you want to add to your drumkit mike selection!