It can be quite challenging to pick out a microphone for your specific needs as a drummer. It's far easier to get a microphone for vocals, but drumming is an entirely different thing.
There are two popular choices when you go out there looking for quality drum microphones. One is AKG D112, and the other is Shure Beta 52a. Choosing between these two microphones is no less than a hassle.
But you don't need to worry too much. If you consider these two and want to decide on one of them, I have got you covered. Here, I will be going through a complete overview of the microphones and a little comparison between the two.
This will clear out all the things you need to know to choose one of them. So, let's not waste any more time and jump right into the real deal.
Overview of the drum microphones
First, let's take a look at both the microphones individually and see how they stand out. This will bring out the qualities they have even without the comparison. Then, I will dive deep into the comparison between them so you can decide on which one to pick for yourself.
Overview of Shure Beta 52A
Shure is already a popular name in that field when it comes to microphones. This one is also entirely up there in terms of the Shure quality. The performance you get from this microphone is consistent, making it worth checking out.
Now, the specialty of this microphone is in its capability to handle bass frequencies. This is why it's suitable for capturing drum music. Especially when you want to record those kick drums, you won't have to worry about missing out on the bass frequencies. This one delivers on that pretty well.
For the connectivity, you get an XLR connection on this one. If you already don't know, XLR is the standard connectivity method for microphones and speakers in a professional setup. So, you can expect some high-quality performance from this microphone.
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Coming to the build quality of the microphone, there is simply nothing to complain about at all. A steel mesh on the microphone is quite hard to crack through. You won't ever worry about any external damage happening to the microphone at all.
Along with that, there is a pneumatic shock mounting feature. This allows you to move around the microphone without picking any kind of external noise. It can be a great advantage when you may need to move the mic a little bit to make room for your playing.
Another great thing about this microphone is the fact that it produces much more natural sounds. You don't get that artificial robotic vibe coming from the sounds recorded through this microphone. It makes the whole music experience much better.
Now, one thing that may concern you with this microphone is handling higher frequencies. It doesn't take those high frequencies pretty well. The frequency response you get from this microphone is 20hz to 10khz. So, when it goes to the higher end of the spectrum, the microphone may fall flat.
Other than that, there are no significant issues with the microphone. You can still consider this to be an excellent microphone for your drumming sessions since there is no need for higher frequencies in that aspect.
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Shure Beta 52A Specifications
- Microphone Type: Dynamic Microphone
- Frequency Response: 20hz – 10kHz
- Polar Pattern: SuperCardioid
- Impedance: 150 ohms
- Sensitivity: -64 dB
- Weight: 1.35lbs
Overview of AKG D112
AKG is another renowned name in the audio equipment industry. They provide great audio gear, and this one is no exception. You can rely on this microphone for quality and performance without thinking twice.
One of the most interesting factors on this microphone is the use of a flexible mount. This allows you to set up the microphone at different angles without moving it around at all. You can always find the right placement for this microphone to capture audio from your instruments and sources.
Diving deep into the sound quality, you will just love how it responds to bass frequencies. It comes with a very deep bass response and catches the frequencies perfectly. It will record these frequencies accurately, and you will get to hear the true sounds from the recordings. Aside from drummers, it's an excellent choice for vocalists who sing from their diaphragm.
Speaking of vocalists, this one has a pretty impressive response to higher frequencies as well. Significantly, the noise canceling feature makes it sound even better when you are recording those high frequencies. Even though it's not the perfect microphone for recording higher frequencies, it still does a pretty decent job there.
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As for the sound quality, you will get crisp and clean sounds coming out of the microphone. It doesn't lack that crunch from the sounds at all, and there are details that you will love to hear. You get sounds that are mostly natural and don't give off any robotic vibe at all.
Now, one thing that you can consider as a drawback is that you can't move it around quickly. It's not as mobile as some other microphones out there. It can be a bit heavy as well. It's more suitable for stationary use rather than going through many movements.
However, they solved this issue by giving it a flexible mount system that I discussed right at the beginning. So, you won't have to worry about recording different elements in a room using this microphone. You can simply use the mounts for that purpose.
AKG D112 Specifications
- Microphone Type: Dynamic
- Frequency Response: 20hz – 17kHz
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Impedance: 210 Ohms
- Sensitivity: -55dB
- Weight: .63lbs
Shure beta 52a vs AKG d112
Here's the real deal, the comparison between the two of them. Going through this section will clear out all the things for you. I will be going through different factors for each of the microphones to give you a complete view of them based on these factors. Let's get going.
When it comes to the features of the microphones, they are pretty similar, and you can hardly choose one of them to be superior. However, if you can dig deeper, I think you can see some differences coming through from these microphones.
First of all, there is a clear difference between the microphones regarding frequency responses. The Shure Beta 52a has a lower frequency response range than the AKG D112. Now, how does that impact practical usage?
To give you an example, the Shure Beta 52a works out great for recording kick drums with those lower frequency supremacy. But because of a shorter frequency range, it can't get the proper sounds from a bass guitar.
On the other hand, the AKG D112 can work out great for both kick drums and bass guitar, thanks to its more comprehensive frequency range.
So, the decision here is simple; if you plan to record your bass guitar and kick drums with the same microphone, you pick the AKG D112. But if you only need the kick drums, you can still count the Shure Beta 52a in.
Build and design
Coming to the build and design of the microphones, there might be some differences to look at.
First of all, the Shure Beta 52a is a pretty sturdy and heavy-duty microphone that can go through rough usage without any worries at all. You won't feel any kind of distortion issue with this microphone, whether you are indoors or outdoors.
On the other hand, the AKG D112 doesn't seem as sturdy as the Shure. It's quite light and doesn't have that heavy-duty feel in it. Although this doesn't mean it's not durable or anything, it's just not as rugged as the Shure, at least in appearance.
The design factor of the AKG D112, however, is a bit interesting. It comes with a pretty flexible mount that you can use to adjust the microphone at various angles. This is not possible with the Shure Beta 52a. It does have adjustability options, but they aren't as flexible as the AKG D112.
So, choosing one between these two microphones is quite difficult for the build and design.
There aren't many things to talk about the microphones and differences other than these two factors. Even the prices of these microphones are pretty close, so you can't choose based on their prices either.
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To sum it up, whether you choose the AKG D112 or the Shure Beta 52a comes down to your personal preferences. None of them lack the quality or reliability. So, no matter which one you choose, you will end up with a high-quality microphone.
Having said that, the easiest way you can choose between these two is when you consider their frequency responses. If you work with this microphone only for all your low frequencies, then the AKG D112 works better for you. This way, you can get your bass guitars and other such instruments along with your kick drums.
Aside from this point, another factor can be the sturdy build of Shure beta 52a. It's a great pick if you move around a lot and need something rugged to keep up with that.
Graduated with a Bachelor of Audio Engineering and Sound Production. He has worked with a number of studios as a Recording Engineer, with over 10 years of servicing experience in both re-recording mixing and sound editing.