AKG or ‘Akustische und Kino-Geräte’ is a company founded by physicist Dr Rudolph Gorike and businessman Ernst Pless. ‘Akustische und Kino-Geräte’ translates to ‘Acoustical and Cinema Equipment’ in English. Gorike and Pless believed that the film industry would flourish post war when Vienna was in ruins because people wanted a distraction from the hardships surrounding them. This led to a series of products that redefined the sound of recorded music. AKG created the world’s first diaphragm dynamic cardioid microphone called the D12 in 1953. When it came out it was used in radio stations, theatres and recording studios.
The AKG D12 was intended to reduce the pick up of extraneous sound and the production of feedback. It was based on new developments in microphone technology at the time that would eliminate much to the shrillness characteristics in earlier microphones and it also extended the frequency response deeper into the bass range. The AKG D12 is a reference large-diaphragm dynamic microphone with a cardioid polar pattern. The microphone has a thin diaphragm to enhance the low frequency performance. It is versatile enough to be used on drums, vocals, guitars and bass. In my experience I liked how it sounded on dark and heavy music. I gave it a 4 star rating because it sounded pretty good especially for its time. Unfortunately these microphones have been discontinued but they are still used sometimes for there aesthetic. Below is a picture of the AKG D12 polar pickup pattern. To hear what the AKG D12 sounds like hooked up to a drum set click here.
If you are interested in the AKG D12 some other microphones in its family are the D112 which has a more economical design that incorporated a 4k Hz presence peak, the D12VR that is a large-diaphragm dynamic cardioid microphone with an XLR socket parallel to that in a double-barrel configuration, the D12E plastic surround had its XLR socket coming out directly from the bottom of the microphone works well on toms. Some other family members of the D12 worth looking into are the D20B, the D25, the D30, the D36 and the D45.