Pros: This microphone offers a very good value for the money.
AKG D 11 PROFESSIONAL DYNAMIC MICROPHONE
There are many microphones on the market today, many of which claim to be all purpose microphones that can be used for just about any recording chore. I am not a believer in the "one size fits all," and does it well, when it comes to microphones, especially when they are relatively inexpensively priced. There are some microphones that can measure up to this pretty well, but they are usually quite expensive. Bearing this in mind, if you are in the market for a very specialized microphone that is well suited to recording or picking up the sound of a bass drum, a bass guitar cabinet, or other instrument that generates low frequency sounds, there are few choices that are as good or equal to the AKG D 11 Professional Microphone, in this price category. Are there better microphones for this purpose? Yes there are, but those microphones are priced quite a bit higher than the AKG D 11 Professional Microphone. If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive microphone that is specifically designed to capture and reproduce the sound of a kick drum, bass guitar, or other instrument that generates low frequency sounds, you should definitely consider adding the AKG D 11 to your short list of potential candidates. Read on and see if thee AKG D 11 sounds like a microphone that you might want to audition the next time you are visiting your local musical instrument store.
When making any purchasing decision, price is always an important consideration. The AKG D 11 has a retail price of $179.00, but it can be had from most good musical instrument chain stores or online Internet dealers for as low as $119. That is not a bad price for a microphone that can deliver all that the AKG D 11 can deliver.
The AKG D 11 is a less expensive version of the AKG D 112, which is arguably considered by many to be the industry standard when it comes to professional micing of kick drums. Some of the technology that went into the AKG D 112 is incorporated into the design of the AKG D 11, and although it was designed in Vienna, Austria, the AKG D 11 is manufactured in China, and that helps to also keep the cost down quite a bit. Many people do not like Chinese made microphones. I personally own a few that I use in my studio, and I can absolutely vouch that many Chinese made microphones are quite good, but that is another story for another review.
The AKG D 11 is a large diaphragm dynamic microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern. A microphone with a large diaphragm is very good at picking up and reproducing low end frequencies, such as might be produced by a bass guitar, trombone, or bass drum. The AKG D 11 is a dynamic microphone, and as such, it does not require phantom power in order to operate correctly, and it works on a different principle than do studio quality condenser microphones. A microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern, like the AKG D 11, is very good at isolating the sound sources that it is being asked to capture, and it rejects off axis sound sources. This comes in very handy in the studio when it comes time to mix, as it lessens the likelihood of other sounds bleeding onto the track that the AKG D 11 is being used for. It is also very good in live performance situations, as a microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern will tend to reject or be less sensitive to sounds that are coming at it from the sides or the back of the microphone, and this permits a relatively high gain without feedback.
The AKG D 11 also has a very wide frequency range, and it ranges from 20 Hz. all the way up to 20,000 Hz. However, this microphone really shines in its ability to capture and reproduce frequencies below 100 Hz, and reproduces them with punch and clarity. It also has an amazing ability to handle sound pressure levels (SPL) in the vacinity of about 165 dB without distortion, which means that it is almost overload proof. This makes it suitable for placement right inside of the bass drum, or right up to the speaker grill of a bass guitar amplifier cabinet without distorting. A slight presence rise at the midrange permits the AKG D 11 to have a punchy quality that makes the sound of a bass drum and bass guitar full and punchy. Although the AKG D 11 has a full frequency range, I would not recommend it as an all purpose microphone, as the sensitivity of the microphone has been specifically designed to capture and to reproduce the sound of low end instrument sounds. Novices must keep this point in mind, as just because a microphone is reported to have a full frequency range, it does not mean that it is equally sensitive to reproducing all frequencies equally. I point this out, as when I was much younger and less experienced, I myself did not know this, and I made a few disappointing recordings because of it. One is not born with this knowledge you know. For example, if one were to use this microphone to record the higher notes of an acoustic guitar, it would be very easy to see, or actually to hear, that just because this microphone has a frequency response of 20 Hz. to 20,000 Hz., it does not mean that it is going to capture the sounds of all frequencies equally, and the sound of the recording of the higher notes of the guitar would be somewhat disappointing.
Like many AKG microphones, the AKG D 11 is not only suitable for studio use, it is sturdy and rugged enough to take on the road as well. It has a sturdy metal die-cast aluminum frame which houses its internal workings. There is a tough stainless steel wire mesh front grill and a built in wind screen. The wind screen permits one to get relatively close to instruments that potentially can produce wind noises, such as a trombone or bass clarinet, or similar type of instrument. A nice feature of this microphone is that it also has a built-in stand adaptor which makes it easier to position in hard to read spots, such as the inside of a kick drum, or below a floor tom tom.
So who is the AKG D 11 Professional Dynamic Microphone best suited for. This microphone is best suited to someone who is looking to have a microphone which will give a good sonic reproduction of low pitched instruments, and which can also handle very high sound pressure levels without distorting. It is a microphone that is suitable to use in a home studio, semi-professional studio, or for live sound reinforcement, and it is especially good for reproducing the sound of a kick drum and a bass guitar cabinet. Although the AKG D11 can be used for professional purposes, serious users would be advised to consider the AKG D112 or some other higher priced microphone for more demanding situations.
Well, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my review. But now if you will excuse me, I must get back to my practicing.