The Audix D6 in one word: modern.
With a very defined "smiley face" frequency response and a built for abuse design, it is not your classic dynamic. While usually pigeonholed as a kick drum mic, it also responds well to bass cabinets with careful placement.
In comparison to the staple D112, the D6 seems capture more detail at each end of the spectrum all while naturally rolling of some of the low-mids. It's transients feel faster a it's rear rejection a little tighter. While the D112 is great at outside the drum "thunk" and the port hole "woof", the D6 rules above with all the beater "thakk" and increased lower octave tones. The D6 would not lend itself well on many country albums but is right hope with modern rock/metal and more driven pop. It gives a great overall kick sound as well when reversed in the drum(point out, drummers perspective) that is neither to thumpy or clicky.
Although it's frequency response may look unforgiving, it actually takes to eq rather well. With good placement, there's not much lipstick needed for this pig. Pretty safe to get a sound you like with placement a ride the session out, leaving eq for later.
The bad: As with most kick mics, pretty cumbersome to place. The stock Audix clips shipped with these barely hold the weight of this mic(7.7 ounces) which can result in a moving mic mid session. Not a one trick pony, but not the end all. When you need a great "woof", look elsewhere. I've yet to get a sound I like with the half-in-half-out of the port placing. It's not going to have the additional uses a RE20 or D12/112 would have. Sounds like garbage on guitar cabs, with the exception of capturing some low end to bring in on palm mutes in heavier metal.
I've used this mic a few times, a/b'd it against some of my favorite kick mics and I have to say I really really don't like the D6. For me, the problem is the drum comes across as clicky instead of punchy. The presence peak sits at much too high a freq for my taste.
That being said, I've almost bought one (two?) a dozen times because it NAILS the kick drum sound that a lot of modern metal/heavy rock bands love (and I hate). For that super attacky/clicky kick drum, there is no substitute for this mic.
I've had the AKG D112, the Shure 52 and a few other kick drum mics. The Audix is my favorite by far. It's easy to get a great kick drum sound quickly with this mic. It is a one trick pony, but does that trick exceptionally well.
I've also used it on floor toms and bass cabs as well. It's got a nice frequency response on those instruments, but can't do much else very well.
For me who work 90% with metal and heavy rock, there is no substitute for this wonderful mic on the kick. It has a shiny top end which can really make the kick stand out in a very dense mix, but it's hard to make it sound obtrusive and harsh (unlike others i've tried). If it's the only mic on the kick i stick it about 2-3 inches through the soundhole for a start, which usually gives me a nice balance between bottom end and click. Depending on the style, my favourite since i got it has been to use a EQ at this point and boost the 8k area, from mildly to pretty extreme (as i said, depending on the genre). Usually that's all it needs. If i use other mics i usually try and place it closer to the beater because i would never want to use another mic for 'that' click, and then i have something else take care of the bottom end.
Only downside i have found on this is that i rarely seem to get a great midrange punch using it as the only mic, it's decent and always works, but it isnt great. But the click makes up for that.
On bass-cabs i very often use this aswell, always with great results. As with the kickdrum even if there's a time limit and i dont have the time to find the perfect placement, i've never gotten a bad sound of it.
On floortom this one is a beast, it makes it sound big, lush and very articulated just by itself. With a little bit of tweaking (often very little) it sits right where i wanted. Only problem here is that i only own one, so it's very rarely placed on the floortom but when it has been it's never ever dissapointed me.
I give it 9/10 on soundquality because of the problems i've had with the midrange, as i said it sounds good but i've never gotten it to sound great there. But that could just aswell be me not figured it out 100% yet and not the mic.
Ease of use, 10/10. Because no matter the placement it's never sounded bad. Might not always have been optimal, but it's always delivered.
Features, 10/10. It's a bassheavy capturing mic supposed to be on bassheavy instruments and that's why i bought it, so by performing so well on both kick, bass-cab and floortom it has all the features i need and expect.
Bang for buck 8/10. It's reasonably priced, actually it is a bang for the buck. But i want 2 more so the sum builds up. I wouldnt cry if it was a little bit cheaper, but i'm not crying over the price it's at now either so what brings it down a tad is the midrange i cant get.
I dont know if my scores would have been different if i worked with other styles of music more, but i could see myself grabbing for it in most thinkable sessions in almost every genre.
I use this mic all the time for bass drum duties, it is VERY position sensitive, but in a good way. I use it in conjunction with a Soundelux U195 outside of the bass drum. Varying the levels of this combo give you lots of useful different sounds
I use the D6 on the upright bass (live sound and recording), stuffed in foam or rag under the tailpiece, aimed up toward the bridge. For this task, it sounds smooth and mellow with reasonable sustain - a fairly accurate acoustic bass sound, not thumpy at all.
For live sound, I always roll off that hyped high end on the board, leaving only the low end of the D6, which is excellent for upright bass.
The D6 does a decent job at the modern metal kick sound that so many are after. Where this mic REALLY shines is on snare drum.. I know. WHAT?
Yes, it really sounds awesome on snare. I got hip to this from War's snare drum shoot out a while back. Try it. Seriously. It just might shock you.
For my money, the D6, the AKG D112, and the Beta 52 are all rather poor choices. In general, using a "scooped" mic is a cheat to compensate for poor technique. The best kick drum mics, i.e. the E/V RE-20, Beyer M88, and AKG D12E all feature relatively flat response and sound good on many sources, not just kick drum. Do you want the sound of the drum as you hear it or what some guy sitting in a room at a factory thinks your sound should be? A good mic gives you a choice. A "scooped" mic doesn't. It's your decision.
To be fair, if you're doing live sound in small clubs where you don't have the time (or adequate EQ) to properly dial in a sound, mics like this may get you an acceptable sound under the circumstances and I have had OK results under those conditions - except that I found the "clicky" high mid boost a bit annoying without EQ. So live, I'd use it in a pinch. In the studio, no.
NOTE: If you're one of those "modern metal" (speed, thrash, etc.) guys who loves clicky kick drums you'll probably love this mic. And, compared to really good kick mics that generally run $400-$500, they're cheap.
I agree, D6 is a shortcut mic designed for live use so that the engineer doesnt have to fiddle a lot. It pretty much makes all kicks sound the same, so its not really my thing. I can get a much bigger, fatter, more natural sound using a subkick speaker mic combined with a condenser, usually a 4047.
Never liked the D112 either. Sounds weird and phasey.
First off. The Audix D6 is not really a stand alone kick drum mic. If the kick drum in your mix is going to be prominent or soloed at any time you're going to need to slap a second mic on the kick to capture what the Audix D6 misses.. which is quite a lot in the mid range. You can also miss out on a lot of highs, depending on your placement. I've noticed that despite the sculpted eq of the Audix D6 you can still lose a lot of high frequency if you place the mic in the center of the kick drum.
I have to disagree with one reviewer who stated that the Audix D6 sounds great no matter where you place. That review (it was from another website) is what led me to buy this mic and I have found that to be simply not true. To get the best kick sound possible, you're going to need to move it around. If however your kick is going to be buried in the mix and you want a quick and easy mic to slap on it.. the D6 is a great choice. It will supply you with bottom end thump virtually no matter where you place it.
I've read that RE20s sound great in conjunction with the Audix D6. I've had to use a Shure SM57 in a pinch and this worked out pretty well. I'm looking forward to trying out an Audix i5 with Audix D6 on kick and sampling the D6 on toms and snare.
In conclusion: this mic will not an end all of your kick drum needs in one fell swoop but if you need bottom end thump.. get this mic!
Excellent for live, good in studio for metal
The microphone is quite different from other standards like akg 112 or shure beta 52. Those 2 are more neutral, while this one is more metal-prone.
You'll get a quicky sound, with bass response that goes down very quickly after 50 hz (you might want to get a subkick mick on couple with this one).
Cost is very low and sound is pretty much pre-eqed. Positioning is critical, study on that part and you will get what you are looking for.
Very comfortable to use in live, i like to get microphones that don't require me to EQ anything, and this is surely one of them.
Been using this mic for a fair few months on an in house rig.
It replaced the Shure. Not a good move, the boss loves it, but I find it much harder to sit in the mix.
To me it sounds a bit gutless.
The Shure used to respond really well to eq meaning I could tailor the kick sound to suit the player and the genre(house kit). Not so with the D6, eq just doesn't seem to do much.
I find it just doesn't cut through the mix well at all, which is a bit odd as I thought that was the point of this mic
Love the D6! I also own and use all the other usual suspects as well. It works great in conjunction to a beyer m88 or the RE20. They are also really great on toms!