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Most directional condenser microphones have dual capsules, but they’re almost always identical, and it’s how they’re placed that makes the mic directional. That said, what if you created a mic that had 2 capsules, but one was a large diaphragm and the other was small so you could get a combination of the sound of the two instead? That’s exactly what the new MXL DX-2 dual capsule instrument microphone does.
The DX-2 is meant for guitar amps, and as such, it’s built with a flat face that makes it side-addressable. That means that it’s easy to hang over an amp or speaker cabinet without the need of a microphone stand, although it is possible to mount it on a stand as well. While that’s pretty cool in itself, the real coolness comes from the two condenser capsules, one large and the other small, inside the mic. On the rear of the mic is a crossfade control that allows you to go from one diaphragm to the other and everywhere in between. This allows you to dial in the exact sound without changing mics, and provides a wider tonal palette than most mics that you might use for this purpose.
Besides the difference in size, both capsules also have different pickup patterns, with the large being super-cardioid while the small diaphragm features a wider cardioid pattern. Those patterns probably won’t mean much with the mic being that close to the source, but it does change the sound, as you can hear from the video below.
What’s interesting is that according to the video, you do get some cancellation between the mics at a certain point when the mics are mixed together, but that could also make for an interesting sound as well.
The MXL DX-2 is very affordable at only $149 retail and has recently become available for shipping. Check out the video below to hear what it does and the website for more information.