D12 users. on the hunt for a good one - need your input.

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joninc
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D12 users. on the hunt for a good one - need your input.

Post by joninc » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:31 pm

ok - here's the deal, i feel like a lot of producers who i like (daniel lanois, ethan john, philll brown) use this mic on kick a lot. they get nice, unhyped, rich low end on their kicks. darker, less modern recordings to be sure but great sounding IMO.

of course - i have no idea how much sculpting they do to those tracks in mix or tracking to arrive at the end result but they all choose this mic presumably because they like something about it's sound.

i bought one a few years ago on ebay and it underwhelmed me. seemed to have a pronounced bark in the mids (900 - 1k) and not a very full/deep low end. i haven't used it much as a result.

(apparently there are many of these floating around with damaged capsules and they no longer make a replacement so they aren't repairable.)

recently, i was reminded about this and decided to buy another one. again, off ebay - the ad claiming it to be "working and sounding perfectly".

so i got it yesterday and today a/b'd the 2 by recording into my DAW, listening and looking at the freq response using the waves PAZ frequency plugin.

they look fairly similar but the newer one seems to have less barky mids (lower like 500 - 800) and a little fuller bottom - they are a bit different but the difference is not as much as i'd hoped.

both seem to have a peak in the low end right at 120 - 125.

i have previously been told that these mics are really heavy and fat at like 60 - 80.

i am not sure if i have 2 duds on my hands or if these mics just aren't actually as heavy in the low end as people think.

maybe the producers i like are adding a bit more sub low end to their tracks to arrive at the sound.

really would love it if any current users/owners would be willing to chime in and better yet, let me know what type of response they see on their mics.

(to be accurate - am i seeing this particular peak due to the fact that the kick i am testing these on is tuned a certain way?)
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Post by joninc » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:35 pm

one further question - are these mics really sensitve to impedances etc?

i tested mine through the Great River 1NV and it seems a little rouder with the
impedance switch in.

what pres do you love to pair your D12 with?
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Post by E.Bennett » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:07 am

Jon,

To arrive at a quick and dirty estimation of what your mic is doing...

Run some pink noise through a speaker. Capture that with a known flat measurement mic. Now put your D12 in the same spot and see what you get. Note the differences in freq. response. This will give you a general idea of what's happening.

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Post by papercuts » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:39 am

Hi there, I was in a similar position. I have one that was lacking low end, then I used one at another studio and it had amazing low end, below 75hz... Turns out these mics commonly need repair, something about the capsule getting dirty or stiff. With guidance from this thread

http://www.groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=33755.40

I took mine apart and cleaned it, blew it LIGHTLY with compressed air. It's quite nerve racking, especially since I'm not a techy person at all, it's very delicate. But in the end I've gotten a bit more low end out of mine. Not as much as the one I used at another studio but closer! There are mic techs out there that have experience bringing these back to iife, which is another option if you want to pay, though of course they can't guarantee it will work... Hope this helps.

j

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Re: D12 users. on the hunt for a good one - need your input.

Post by leigh » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:16 pm

joninc wrote:ok - here's the deal, i feel like a lot of producers who i like (daniel lanois, ethan john, philll brown) use this mic on kick a lot. they get nice, unhyped, rich low end on their kicks. darker, less modern recordings to be sure but great sounding IMO.
...

both seem to have a peak in the low end right at 120 - 125.

i have previously been told that these mics are really heavy and fat at like 60 - 80.

i am not sure if i have 2 duds on my hands or if these mics just aren't actually as heavy in the low end as people think.

maybe the producers i like are adding a bit more sub low end to their tracks to arrive at the sound.
I was curious to try the D12 for the same reasons as you - I'm into the sounds from those engineers. My only hands-on experience was trying it a couple years back at an outside studio, and it wasn't a good fit for the material so it didn't stay on the kick. So I don't have much to draw from personally.

However, the spec sheet for the D12 shows a low peak around where you're hearing it, not down at 60-80:

http://www.coutant.org/akgd12e/index.html

Did you find this GS thread with sound clips? D12 vs D112 vs a Beyer

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/gear-sho ... -freq.html

Leigh

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Post by joninc » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:31 pm

thanks for the info guys, i am looking into having it worked on (as per the http://www.groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=33755.40 link) - i am terrible at stuff like
that.

i am curious about impedance issues - one of my D12's says 200 ohm on the side i don't know which preamp that might pair well with? aren't most newer preamps high impedance (like 1200?). the tg2 has an impedance switch and will do 300 so i gotta try that one out next.

i have tried the UA 610 and Great River 1nv so far.

i also have a chandler tg2, isa428, sage and germanium preamps i could try. (no time to audition them all right now)

what pres do these clasically pair really well with?
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Post by percussion boy » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:05 pm

I have a d12e (a d12 with an xlr) and it certainly has lows -- but whether the peak is around 100-150 or at 60-80, I couldn't say. Sounds good on big boomy hand drums, where what you want is the boom. Never liked it as the only kick mic, but works well on batter side with a 421 in front, stuck in the drum.

On the d12e I have, the impression of big low end is exacerbated by the weak high end -- which also fits the published curve for a d12, iirc.

Proximity effect helps too.

Maybe what you were told about big bottom at 60-80 was misinformed or uncommon? Many d12s are geriatric at this point, makes 'em unpredictable.
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Post by joninc » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:13 pm

i dunno - it seems like the guys i like, who use this mic, are using it as their only kick mic and getting great boomy lows. they are using it outside the kick but close.

i think my mics either need some love, are toast, or aren't being paired with the right preamp/impedance.
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Post by percussion boy » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:06 pm

Bottom line, If you're not getting a bass-ish result, when putting the d12 right in front of a source with a lot of low end, something's not right.

The mic is not a magic bullet though, at least not in my experience.
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Post by vvv » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:53 pm

Post some clips?
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Post by joninc » Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:57 pm

this was the latest quick test on my kick today - 16/44. tg2 preamp - impedance switch in. no compression/eq/processing

http://www.buenavistaaudio.com/wp-conte ... sample.wav
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Post by top_ape » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:14 pm

percussion boy wrote:I have a d12e (a d12 with an xlr) and it certainly has lows -- but whether the peak is around 100-150 or at 60-80, I couldn't say. Sounds good on big boomy hand drums, where what you want is the boom. Never liked it as the only kick mic, but works well on batter side with a 421 in front, stuck in the drum.

On the d12e I have, the impression of big low end is exacerbated by the weak high end -- which also fits the published curve for a d12, iirc.

Proximity effect helps too.

Maybe what you were told about big bottom at 60-80 was misinformed or uncommon? Many d12s are geriatric at this point, makes 'em unpredictable.
I've never been into these...always wondered why they're so revered. Maybe the handful I've run across have just not been the elusive "good ones". My impression was always that it's kind of a lo-fi mic with an exaggerated low end, blurry/weak through the rest of its range and lows I could get more effectively in other ways (eq, condenser/ribbon outside the kick). Speaking of those lows- aren't they due to a built in resonator tuned specifically to 80-120 Hz?

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Post by iC » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:59 am

very informative repair thread:
http://www.groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=33755.0

currently pushing my D12 to the top of my to-do list
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Post by vvv » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:23 am

FWIW, I posted a short (~ 1meg, 24/44.1), raw, Sennheiser E602 drum track, here, mic placed 1/2 inside the front cut-out onna standard Yamaha kick, pointing a little off the beater.
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Post by joninc » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:27 pm

vvv - do you have thoughts on my clip?

i know what a E602 sounds like - i have one. i have used it a lot lately and previous to that have used a atm25 and tlm103 a bunch too. for more aggressive rock i sometime put a 421 inside as well.
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