The AKG is simultaneously one of the most unusually shaped and yet recognizable microphones on the market. Designed to mic kick drums in drum kits the D112 has earned a reputation worldwide for being physically tough and able to handle anything a kick drum can throw at it. With a maximum SPL level of 160dB the D112 is also a very useful piece of equipment for a sound designer.
As a dynamic mic the D112 should be fairly tough anyway, but being built for live performance gigs and to handle the stresses of drum micing the D112 looks and feels like it could fall off a cliff and still keep working. I haven’t yet tested how it would handle a cliff fall, but in all other ways the D112 has handled extreme conditions and performed well. So far mine has been attached to the bottom of cars next to the exhaust, placed at the muzzle of a variety of firearms and a canon and been locked inside a car wreck as it was smashed with a sledge hammer. The high SPL capabilities of this mic has allowed me to capture some truly excellent material that most other microphones simply could not have captured.
This is a purpose built piece of equipment and will definitely not be the best choice for all situations, as such I would not recommend it as your first or even second piece of equipment, but for anyone who ever plans on recording sounds with extreme sound levels this is a must have. It does have a very short range of sensitivity, so it needs to be placed quite close to the sound source; this however means it is very unlikely to capture unwanted background noise.
As a dynamic mic it can tend to be slightly slower to respond than condenser microphones, but in any situation where you would need to captured a range of frequency material I would always recommend using at least two microphones anyway. The D112 works best in combination with other mics. It can capture the loud and low frequency material and add a good weight to your recordings, but I would usually accompany it with a second mic to capture the other extremes of frequency and amplitude.
Initially I think I didn’t use my D112 to the fullest of its capabilities. I purchased one because I knew it would be excellent for high sound levels and low frequency material, but I got into a habit of being lazy and not using several of my mics as well as I could. I am happy to say I have since corrected that poor habit, and the D112 goes with me everywhere. It certainly doesn’t get used everyday, but when it is needed it provides a function that would be difficult to find elsewhere. Mine has been dropped scrapped and burnt in the line of duty, but apart from minor aesthetic marks it still functions as if it was brand new.
In the real world
I purchased the AKG D112 purely to have a microphone that could cope with massive sound levels. It's track record so far has been very good in that regard. This mic has quite literally been at the business end of a big gun.September 2009 Tamninik, Victoria. A 100 year old 100mm Howitzer is going to be a big challenge for any mic at any distance, but to be placed within a couple of feet of the muzzle is a good way to really test it's capabilities.
Limited range of uses