I would like to start my journey into the gearslutz user reviews by choosing gear that:
1. Has not been reviewed (as far as I know)
2. Might be overlooked , unknown or under appreciated.
3. has been considered to be one of my personal favourites or secret weapons.
Okay, lets get started with the Audix D2.
First off, for those of you who just want the quick answer and don't feel like reading the entire review, if you see one for sale BUY IT! The rest of you, continue reading.
Now, the version of the D2 that I own is slightly different looking than the one that is currently for sale from Audix with a different looking grill. Because of this, the photo I uploaded is from an ebay auction for a mic of the same design of mine but you can see the current design when you check out the audix website.
The Audix D2 is a dynamic hypercardioid instrument microphone with a handy compact and non intrusive form factor without sacrificing the frequency range.
Here are the specs from the Audix website:
Type = Dynamic
Polar Pattern = Hypercardioid
Frequency Response = 80Hz - 18kHz
Impedance = 250 ohms
Sensitivity = @1k 1.2 mV/Pa
The D2 is great for instruments where transients are a distinctive character of the instrument (such as percussion). The audix website boasts the mics prowess on drums/percussion, sax, guitar/bass cabs and brass, but the true magic of the D2 is when paired with a 12" floor tom. As a mater of fact, through my extensive mic locker and my constant objective approach to micing drums, I still always end up using the D2 on the 12" rack tom and what is really amazing about this is that it shines on this particular application regardless of the context, genre, tuning of the drum or the individual player. I actually would love more than anything to find a mic that out performs the D2 in this application of to find a situation where the D2 doesn't work on the 12" tom. Sadly and to my great disappointment, I have not found a reason to buy a different mic for the 12" tom.
Because of how much the D2 shines in this specific application, the rest of the review will only be regarding the D2 on a 12" rack tom.
I would have to say that on my 12" rack tom, the D2 is the most revealing and accurate sounding mic I have used on a drum. The mic reveals the closest sound to what you are hearing in the room. There is some slight hype on the transients giving a pleasant punctuation to the attack of the drum without being obvious or intrusive. At the same time, there is a bit of a dip between around 510hz and 1.2k that really helps with clarity and carving out some of the mud and the more intrusive overtones and honks.
There is also a bit of a rise around 150hz that helps a bit with the body and although according to audix the mic dose not support much below 80hz, I have found that there is still enough low frequency down to about 50hz to really add a subtle and balanced low end support.
When you look at the freq chart for this mic, you would think its anything but transparent and with the freq characters described above, you might be wondering how I could begin by describing the mic as accurate and revealing but the stars aligned with this one and and the result is unexpected and truly appreciated. All in all, this mic reveals the true sound of your drum and favours transients, nuance and character while magically making the gremlins that live in the timbre find a place to hide, like a curtain has been lifted to reveal the wizard.
First off I will start with the one thing I do not like about the mic. This is not really a big deal and it is not even something that is uncommon in many great mics (MD 421, RE20, C414) But I don't like when mics use a very specific proprietary mic clip (again, not a big deal) and the D2 uses one.
The low profile of this mic makes for very versatile placement in tight spaces or under low hanging cymbals. Speaking of low hanging cymbals, another impressive thing about this mic is its side and rear rejection when dealing with cymbals. Although the mic boast a hypercardioid polar pattern, there is no lack of focus and bleed from cymbals is nearly invisible (nice!) Keep in mind that this might only be the case with my specific version of this mic that has a different grill design with venting on the side, just sayin. Another feature that is likely unique to the earlier design that I have came from a happy accident. At one point the mic got whacked with a drumstick and the top part of the grill popped off leaving me with a modular design. with the grill "cap" off, it serves a purpose when I need a little more articulation, its actually a noticeable difference and gives the mic some new options and versatility.
Verry affordable at around $150
in conclusion, Buy the mic, stick it on a drum, thank me later.
Four Foot Studios
The Indie Darkroom