DPA Microphones d:dicate 2011C Twin Diaphragm Cardioid Microphone by Dowsed
DPA d:dicate 2011C Compact Cardioid Microphone
Microphone: DPA d:dicate 2011C
Manufacturer: DPA Microphones
Price: $829.95 excl. local VAT
Website: DPA Microphones
The d:dicate 2011C is a more recent addition to the DPA product line than some of their flagship products. It is a small pencil condenser microphone with a fixed cardioid microphone. With the 2011C DPA have used innovation to create a mic, which sounds distinctly like a DPA mic without the price tag of their flagship models. Their website describes the 2011C as the “little brother” of the 4011, it is implied on their site that the 2011 is designed to be used on stage; it is compact, can handle high SPLs and due to its interference tube it is extremely directional. Before you go rejoicing in the streets though, DPA doesn’t make budget microphones, so this is still a high-end mic with a price to match, but it’s definitely more affordable to a home studio owner than the “big brother”.
What strikes me first of all is how small the body is and thus placement in tight places is made a lot easier. In my opinion where the 2011C really excels is as a spot mic for prominent cymbals, namely the hi-hat and ride. As a former touring Front-of-house engineer, I always look for effective mounting solutions, the size and weight of the 2011C is such that I would happily mount a 2011C using a LP mic claw directly to the cymbal stands.
I have had the pleasure of using several varieties of DPA microphone recently, in doing so it has been almost impossible not to notice similarities between all of their models:
- Their mics are built and presented exceedingly well
- They tend to use smaller diaphragms with smaller bodies
- They have a detailed, precise and transparent tone without ever sounding sterile
Judging by DPAs branding of the mic, it would be easy to assume that the 2011 is just a more budget conscious version of the 4011, but this is not the case. The 4011 would probably be regarded by most as the company’s most renowned mic, it sounds cutting edge today despite the fact it was released over 25 years ago. For me the biggest similarities between the two are the applications in which you would use the mic rather than for similarities in sound. They both sound expensive and “DPA-like” but that is where the similarities end. To offer something more cost effective, but also excellent sounding, new innovations needed to be made. When you actually scratch below the surface you realize just how different the underlying technology behind these two mics are. For a start the 4011 is a much more conventional diaphragm and costs twice that of the capsule of the 2011. The 2011 is much more innovative, it uses a “twin-diaphragm” capsule. The 2011 is effectively two of DPAs miniature cardioid capsules that have been modified and mounted back to back withan “interference tube technology” to achieve the best off-axis response.
This gives you a decreased self-noise due to the increased diaphragm surface area, whilst at the same time retaining the incredible sensitivity and frequency response you expect from the DPA miniature mics.
Sound Quality (4/5)
It doesn’t sound quite as good as its big brother the 4011 but at its price point and intended purpose; it is a phenomenal sounding mic.
Ease of use (5/5)
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to use a microphone and forgetting to put phantom power on is maybe the only way to mess that up!
A selling point for DPA mics is their flexibility on a number of sources. This mic does exactly what it needs to do without overcomplicating things.
Bang for buck (5/5)
Way more cost effective than the 4011, which puts it in the realm of a committed home studio owner. It’s certainly a case where the law of diminishing returns applies, this is quite a mic for its price.