Recording

Audix D6, December 2002

DYNAMIC KICK DRUM MIC 5/13/2004 8:00 AM Eastern

I use a variety of mics for kick, such as a Sennheiser MD-421, Beyer M88, E-V RE20, AKG D112 and even E-V's 664 “ray gun,” which transforms any bass drum into the '70s dry thud Steely Dan kick. Another fave, Audix' D4 offers thunderous LF, but requires some experimenting to find its sweet spot. With this in mind, Audix offers the new D6, a $349 cardioid using a very low mass (VLM) dynamic diaphragm in a 4x6-inch rugged aluminum body. The D6 has a stand adapter (on mine, the swivel wouldn't cinch securely), but it also fits the Audix D-flex, other D-Series mounts and lots of other clips: A-T, E-V, etc.

In session, the D6 delivered exactly as promised. It's voiced for kick miking, with 144dB SPL handling and a response emphasizing the 60 to 120Hz “boom,” while attenuating the wobbly 200 to 600Hz range and then extending to 15kHz to catch those beater-snap transients.

Forget EQ. You don't need it. Outside, six inches from double-headed jazz drums (1962 Gretsch 18-inch and 1914 Ludwig & Ludwig 26-inch calf), the sound was rounded, full and woolly. Inside a 22-inch Premier rock kick, the result was punchy and tight, with soul-shaking lows. The D6 was consistent nearly anywhere within the kick, with a solid, no-hassle sound, although it can be easily tweaked by moving it slightly—i.e., closer/more on-axis to the beater. Onstage or in session, the D6 rocks—literally!

Audix, www.audixusa.com