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MICS: D12E and D112. Comparison questions

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by DJJazzV, Jun 11, 2011.


  1. DJJazzV

    DJJazzV Gambling is illegal at Bushwood sir... Supporting Member

    May 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    I just picked up a cool D12E. When I A/B it with my D112, the D12E sounds ever so slightly less "bassy" and "warm" then the D112. I've even tried putting them both in front of a B-15R and recording both tracks at the same time. When I compare, the D112 is slightly more "full", but maybe slightly "scooped", and makes the D12E sound slightly thinner in comparison. BUT, the D12E seems to capture almost exactly what the amp is blasting. I can record, hit playback, and it sounds exactly like if I was just playing the amp in the room. (I am recording with the amp EQ flat. Noon for everything.)

    1. Am I hearing this correctly? Is the D12E supposed to be not as "bassy" as the D112?

    2. Should these 2 mics be placed differently in front of an amp? I've only tried with both of them about 1" away from the speaker grill, and dead center on the speaker.

    3. Could there be damage to the D12E? The top on the chrome part has just the slightest indentation, and the black plastic center strip piece is cracked in 2 places. Otherwise it looks in great shape. If so, could there be slight damage that would slightly "cut" the bass but leave the rest at full volume and still sounding really good? Perhaps the "bass chamber" is slightly damaged? Hopefully not, of course. Bass Chamber mentioned here: AKG D 12 E

    I'm trying to provide as many details to get the most accurate answers. Also, when I look at the graph of 2 tracks recorded at the same time with both mics, they do look very similar. The D12E requires slightly less gain on the mbox to equal the D112. To me, that shows that the D12E is slightly hotter, so I don't think there is a volume issue.

    Hopefully I am hearing exactly the way these 2 mics are supposed to sound when compared to each other.
    Thank you.
     
  2. Hello mate, congrats on picking up a great old mic!

    Yup, what you are hearing is to be expected 100%, the D112 has a scoop, the D12 doesn't. The scoop on a D112 is actually pretty big, enough to render a bass amp track fairly useless in a lot of mixes. When listening to the track in solo it'll be emphasising the main area of a bass (the lows of course) and some of the highs to give it a bit of clarity. This is pretty flattering when listened to in isolation and is one of the reasons people end up using this mic in error. It doesnt do well in the 300-600Hz range which is very much the bass' territory in many modern mixes. Not to say you need to go boosting that range on a bass in a mix, just that theres not many other instruments that work well in that region for a lot of genres, so when using just a d112 you can be left with a hole down there!

    The apparent warmth is just the extra low end, warmth is a subjective term and by and large means attenuation of highs or boosting of lows but different people identify it in different ranges generally.

    D12's excel in older sounding bass sounds, and are very good for other things as well, they have an overly close sound, if you want the vocals to stick out right in front of a mix then give it a try!

    Your placement sounds right for a dynamic, you could go a little further back and see how it sounds, but both mics love to be up close, and can take a LOT of spl.

    Not likely the mic is damaged from the dent, they are robust. The bass chamber is little more than a cavity and is hard to damage to an audible point. The one thing to look out for with D12's is a rattle developed over time, not all of them have it but its quite common and you can find instructions of how to fix it online!

    D12's may well need a bit of eqing, not for bass generally unless you want to scoop out a little of the mids to make way for something else. More low end is normally best done on the amp rather than eq in mixing but isn't the end of the world if you need a bit. The D12 will really show its age on kick, though, thats one instrument we have become very accustomed to the scoop on. Using a D12 on kick can sound GREAT for older sounding stuff, in fact theres not many better mics for the job! But if you want to get that sub'n'slap classic kick sound then the D112 is your man!
     
  3. DJJazzV

    DJJazzV Gambling is illegal at Bushwood sir... Supporting Member

    May 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    That is fantastic information and validation of my ears. Thank you very much. After spending plenty of time this evening with a few tracks, I've decided there is nothing wrong with the D12. Watching both tracks on the visual EQ showed there was no drop off in bass compared to the D112. The best and clearest example was recording "Sir Duke". Great isolation bass line to view and hear both mics.

    What you described makes perfect sense to what I am hearing. The more I listen, the more it makes sense. No rattle in the mic either. The dent is very small, and electrical tape patched the plastic strip. Simple, and no worries.
    I am very happy with my purchase, and I am really looking forward to adding some great sounding bass tracks.

    Cheers, and thank you again!
    Don

     
  4. uhdinator

    uhdinator

    Apr 20, 2010
    Maine
  5. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    I'd add that dead-center placement is not my favorite. I think there's more natural and useful sounds to be had within a few inches of the edge. Also, my vintage B15N has a bar of wood that crosses the speaker cutout across ther center. If the R is the same, you'd probably want to avoid center placement for that reason as well.
     
  6. DJJazzV

    DJJazzV Gambling is illegal at Bushwood sir... Supporting Member

    May 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    The B15R actually does not have a bar across the middle. So far, the center is my favorite spot. I need to do more testing. I will try your suggestions.
    The D12E is amazingly accurate. What you hear is what you get recorded. The D112 is very good, but not as accurate as the D12E in direct comparison. But that's just my novice recording opinion.
     

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