The Audix D1 is a hypercardioid dynamic microphone manufactured by Audix, a company known very well for its designing of specialty dynamic microphones. It is part of Audix's D series of microphones, peculiarly shaped microphones that are designed to be put in very high sound pressure level situations. Firstly, the hypercardioid pattern is a common trait in many Audix microphones, because their vision of microphones is that every single thing should have a microphone on a stage. This leads Audix to aggressively engineer their microphones with very tight patterns, allowing fantastic off axis rejection and preventing instrument bleed. The D1 has a particularly tight pattern, and with its incredibly small size, at under 4 inches long and just over a quarter pound in weight. Audix touts many features in the D1, particularly its very low mass diaphragm, which ensures a very good transient response to the sound. This is important, with the quickness of percussion, many dynamics struggle with this, but the D1 is particularly good at capturing the punch of the percussion. The D1, unlike many of its siblings, is relatively clean, and produces an authentic, natural sound.
The Audix D1 has an extremely impressive frequency response from 30 Hz all the way to the high end at 20,000 Hz, and can handle a very respectable sound pressure level of 144 dB.
Because of this, it is well suited to micing up things in the recording studio, and particularly good in smaller venues, where the reflections can get a little bit overwhelming.
When I tested the D1, I was a huge fan of how unobtrusive the microphone sounded, especially against Audix's tendency to create overly specific thunder microphones that just explode and often oversaturate. The sound of the Audix D1 is by no means at all dead. In fact, it is quite lively and sweet sounding, and Audix even says it could be used for things other than drums, like flute, even. Because of this, I can easily recommend the Audix D1 to many artists who just need something less in your face than the other microphones that Audix puts out for percussion and high sound pressure level sources.
The Audix D1 is a dynamic microphone that is suitable for use in the recording studio or on the stage. I only do sound in the recording studio, so this is my experience with the mic, and is what I'll be basing this review on. The mic has a hyper cardioid polar pick up pattern, meaning it's best to aim the mic directly at the source of what you're recording, which will usually be a drum. In fact, I'm sure that it has a hyper cardioid pick up pattern so that it can be used to record drums up close and minimize bleed. The mic will pick up frequencies between 46 Hz and 18 kHz. It's overall a pretty small microphone, making it easy to place on drums without blocking the drum or taking up too much of the drummer's space.
The Audix D1's are definitely a good choice for recording drums. I've only used them on tom tom drums to date, but for this application they did a great job in the studio. I would imagine that this good sound would translate well for use on the stage, but I can't speak from experience. The D1's are cheap enough where you could pick up a few for your studio or live rig if you wanted a few cheaper drum mics for recording tom toms or whatever other drums you'd want to record. I don't know how well these mics would work for other applications, but they do seem to be tailored for recording drums anyway. I will say that I like some of the other mics in this line a bit more than the D1, like the D4, but they are all pretty similar sounding microphones. I'd recommend that anyone looking at drum mics to check out the Audix D1's for sure...
The Audix D1 is the first in their D line of drum mics. It is a dynamic moving coil capsule type which does not require any phantom power. The polar pattern on this mic is a cardioid that is maybe approaching hyper-cardioid. I find that this mic really has great off-axis rejection, much more so than the other mics in the D line. This makes it very well suited to stick in the center of a drum kit where there is noise coming at it from all sides. The mic has excellent transient reproduction, which means that you will get very snappy drum recordings. It doesn't have an attenuation pad that you can switch on, but it can handle a very high SPL before you get any distortion. Due to the hyper-cardioid pickup pattern and the better transient response, I would definitely recommend this mic for use on your snare drum. Believe it or not, it will sound better than your SM57! I personally like to use the Sennheiser 421 on snare drums the most, but this is my second favorite dynamic mic for this purpose. In addition to giving you a nice, full snare drum with a great attack, the bleed rejection is fantastic. No more trashy hi-hat sound coming in through your snare mic! The great rejection also makes it well suited for use in a live situation, where noise rejection will help your mixer bring out the sounds of your instruments much better.
I have been using this for nearly a decade. My favorite things about it are the super tight polar pattern and the rejection it provides, and the very fast transient response even though it's a dynamic mic. It is a very cheap mic for the imrpoved sound you can get, so I think it's a good value. If you want to upgrade from your SM57 for a snare drum mic but you don't want to pay for a Sennheiser 421, you should consider this one. Great mic!