Want just the right level of low-end bass in your mix? Ask any serious musician and they’ll tell you that one of the main instruments that’ll help you achieve it is a kick drum mic.
In our opinion the AKG D112 is the best kick drum mic for recording on the market today. We’ll quickly outline all you need to know about this particular kick drum mic and you might just realize that it’s exactly what is missing from your studio.
When it was first released to the market in 1986, it was literally every sound engineer’s preferred kick drum microphone. It was a common sight in most recording studios and live stage performances.
There are a few reasons why it so popular:
- It’s solid and consistent sound couldn’t be matched
- It could be used across different genres, from rock to pop
- It’s high SPL capability
- Punchy EQ balance
- It’s bulletproof construction
However, as the popularity of these kick drum mics increased, AKG had to make some improvements so it remained competitive. It was upgraded to the D112 MKII with the main upgrade being on the stand mount.
The original stand mount was the greatest drawback on the D112. Compared to the other microphones it wasn’t as wide which made it pretty difficult to mount accurately. AKG realized this and made sure it was wide and flexible enough for easier positioning. After all, accurate placement is paramount to get the sound you want.
There were some other improvements as well, including the following:
- The new mic doesn’t require an additional equalizer
- Low resonance frequency
- Integrated hum compensation coil designed to keep noise at a minimum
Who is this product for?
If you want a solid and punchy low-end bass to come out of your speakers, picking this mic could be the solution to your problem. Artists and sound engineers will particularly find this product useful as it’s designed to improving the bass levels in your music recordings and mixes.
For the longest time expensive kick drum mics such as the D12 dominated the market. Thankfully AKG came up with the D112, a more affordable option with an economical design. Because it’s so easy to use even beginners won’t have much difficulty operating it.
Heavy hitters on the kick drum will also find it extremely useful, as the way it captures the low-end frequencies means you’re never likely to overload and distort your kick drum signal when recording.
Inside the box you’ll find the following:
- The D112 microphone
- The microphone clip to secure the mic
- Integrated flexible mount
- Bass resonance chamber to enhance the low end
Overview of features
The essence of this microphone lies in its bass capabilities which are largely determined by the size of the diaphragm. AKG understands this and ensured this D112 has a large diaphragm suited for a number of bass instruments.
As mentioned earlier, it has a very high sound pressure level (SPL) capability of 160dB. This is basically the maximum sound pressure level the mic can handle without distorting. Needless to say, the higher the SPL figure, the more volume the mic can handle.
Generally this classic microphone is quite versatile and can be used for both studio and live applications.
It features a combination of blue and gray on the outside and weighs just over 1 lb, so you can tell it’s a relatively lightweight unit.
Another of its impressive features has to be its frequency response which extends all the way down to 20Hz. It’s response between 20Hz-100Hz is especially powerful, helping to capture those all-important low bass frequencies.
What identifies the sound entry side is the large green bumper band. The D112 has a cardioid pickup pattern, so any sounds coming from the sides or rear of the device are not picked up by the mic very well.
The mic clip is one of our biggest concerns on this unit as it’s made of plastic making its durability questionable. The threads are likely to strip sooner rather than later meaning your mic won’t be held up securely for long. Saying that, you rarely hear about too many issues with this aspect of the mic.
How to set up the AKG D112
As mentioned earlier, the accurate placement of the mic will make the difference between a clear sound and a muffled one. However accurate, mic placement is really a process of trial and error. We’ll quickly outline a few pointers so you get the best sound possible:
- You must remove the front head of the bass drum when miking it
- Know that you can obtain a full drum sound by placing the microphone just outside the drum. If you place it inside you can expect a lower bass sound
- Make sure to point the mic towards the beater to produce a louder sound. If you direct it away, you’ll only get a mellower sound, which can defeat the whole purpose of using a dedicated kick drum microphone
- Place the D112 approximately 4” to 8” away from the bridge. This will definitely increase both the warmth and fullness of the sound
Generally the setup process is quite simple. However you can use the instruction manual provided for clarification where necessary.
Best Kick Drum Mic for Recording – Alternatives
With any product you’re bound to find a number of competing brands – some more expensive or cheaper depending on your budget. Where functionality is concerned the AKG D112 generally offers exceptional performance. However, as mentioned earlier, the plastic mic clip leaves a lot to be desired.
A worthwhile alternative to curbing this problem would be to purchase the MS7701B Euro Boom microphone stand. Here’s why: The clip offers a robust and secure form of microphone attachment, making sure it doesn’t fall off.
Unlike the AKG D112 which comes with minimal accessories, the opposite is true of the Euro Boom mic stand. It comes with the following:
- A stand bag
- Microphone cables
- Boom arms
- Thread adapters
- Shock mounts
- Replacement grilles
The above isn’t an exhaustive list of the accessories it comes with. Manufacturers of the MS7701B mic stand even went as far as including a cup and accessory holder for easier handling and storage.
Nonetheless, it’s clear that the AKG D112 is the preferred and desired kick drum microphone among most sound engineers and home studio owners. It works incredibly well with kick drums and bass guitar amps, making it a versatile unit for all your low-end needs.
The fact that it doesn’t need an additional equalizer makes it an even more attractive option. Also, no matter how much of a heavy drummer you are, it’s designed to keep noise to a minimum while not compromising the sound quality.
The above confirms why it’s the industry benchmark where performance is concerned for recording bass and kicks. Beginners or advanced artists will definitely find it pretty handy thanks to its ease-of-use and fantastic results. So, the next time you’re looking to get more bass out of your instruments, mixes, and productions, give it a try. It’s by far the best kick drum mic for recording.