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Audix Drum Mic Evaluations: D112 vs D6 & SM57 vs Micro-D

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D. M. Gremlin
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Audix Drum Mic Evaluations: D112 vs D6 & SM57 vs Micro-D Reply to topic Reply with quote Go to the Bottom
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 1:47 pm Download Post

I've been comparing some new studio mics, the Audix D6 and Micro-D with some standards, the AKG D112 and Shure SM-57. I tested the D112 and D6 on a Tama Rockstar kick drum with an Iron Cobra strap driven double pedal, and the Micro-D & SM-57 on a Pearl metal snare with a Remo Powerstroke head.

To test the output levels of the microphones, I ran them into my Mackie 24x8 and had all the mics pre-amps set at the same level. Here are 128kbps mono .mp3 files of the individual tracks:
AKG D112 - Audix D6 - Shure SM57 - Audix Micro-D
As you can tell, the AKG D112 has a much hotter level than the D6. This means that you'd have to turn up the pre-amps for the D6, which means slightly more background noise. As for the other two mics, if you were to look at the samples in a wave editor, you would also notice that the Micro-D has a slightly hotter output than the 57, but not by much.

To compare tone, I set the pre-amp levels so the recording level would be the same for all the mics and then recorded the same beat. Here are the samples from that:
AKG D112 - Audix D6 - Shure SM57 - Audix Micro-D
Arrow The tone of the D112 is completely different from the D6. The D6 seems to have more of a 'finished' sound, but in my opinion it scoops out too much of the contour of the drum, where as the D112 has the contour, but lacks the 'shiny' quality of the D6. Personally, if I were only to have one mic to record with, I'd choose the one with the contour - since you can always add that 'finished' quality during the mix, but it's extremely difficult to add in the 'contour' if it doesn't exist in the first place. However, I like to record with two mics on the kickdrum and I think the two mics complement eachother rather well... the D6 has elements that the D112 lacks and vice versa, and mixing them both together has produced some good results so far. If I were miking a kit for a live show though, I would probably be more inclined to go with the D6, since the frequencies that are scooped out are frequencies that can be problematic for a live mix - and for live sound a finished, sharp bass sound is good.
Arrow The Micro-D is much brighter than the SM-57. You can probably easily hear the frequency curve. The Micro-D also seems to pick up a higher level of background noise, or 'bleed' from the other drums. The brighter sound and higher frequency response mean that this mic also picks up more 'ping' from the snare. Since rock is my music of choice, I actually prefer a darker snare sound with less 'ping', so I'm likely to stick with the SM-57. If you're doing more pop, alternative or jazzy type of drums, the Micro-D might be the way to go. It also comes with a really innovative and compact mounting system.

These are just my opinions though. Every ear is different. Take a listen to the samples and let me know what you think. Here are some pictures of the angles/distances:
Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
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