Electronic Review: AKG D12 VR Bass Drum Microphone

AKG D12 VR Microphone

April 2013

Electronic Review


D12 VR Microphone

by Butch Jones

Since its launch in 1947, AKG has been at the forefront of recording technology, manufacturing DYN series microphones, which were handmade, plus other top-level mics, like the C12, C451, C1000, D1000, and D112. The company was also responsible for the very first unidirectional cardioid dynamic microphone, the D12, and recently reissued this classic as the D12 VR.


The D12 VR is a large-diaphragm cardioid dynamic microphone, made specifically for bass drums, that uses a thinner diaphragm to enhance its performance in the low frequencies. This mic is manufactured with the same transformer used in the studio-standard AKG C414 and has a frequency range of 17 Hz to 17 kHz.

The “extra” in this model is the AKG-patented electronic filter technology, which has three selectable filters, engaged via phantom power through a standard three-pin XLR cable. The microphone operates in dynamic mode until phantom power is turned on, which activates the filters and illuminates one of the filters’ LEDs (green, red, or blue). These lights are very bright and make it easy to recognize the chosen setting. It should be noted that as soon as these filters are activated, the output volume drops 10dB. Advertisement

The filter switch is located directly beneath the LED lights and easily slides to the various lock positions. The three filter shapes have been categorized by AKG as “open kick drum” (green), “vintage” (red), and “closed kick drum” (blue).

Click below to check out the various filters of the D12 on a muffled bass drum, an unmuffled bass drum, and a djembe.


Muffled Kick

Dynamic mode | Rogers_dyn


Red filter | Rogers_red


Blue filter | Rogers_blue


Green filter | Rogers_green


Unmuffled Kick

Dynamic mode | slingerland_dyn


Red filter | slingerland_red


Blue filter | slingerland_blue


Green filter | slingerland_green