New Music Gear Monday: DPA 4055 Kick Drum Microphone

If you know anything about audio you know how DPA has a reputation for some of the highest quality microphones available. In fact, the company is one of the few that makes mics so flat that they’re used for audio measurements. Even NASA has chosen their microphones to go to Mars thanks to their clarity and ruggedness. It’s one thing to make mics that are ruler flat to 20kHz, but the company has never developed a mic aimed at capturing the sound of a kick drum – until now. The new 4055 goes where DPA has not gone before.

DPA 4055 kick drum microphone on New Music Gear Monday on Bobby Owsinski's Music Production Blog

The 4055 Kick Drum Microphone is specifically designed to capture the low-frequency, high-SPL content of the bass drum. It’s different from traditional kick drum mics in that it’s not pre-tailored to any specific sound, but that’s actually a good thing in that it allows engineers to shape the sound exactly as they want. Not only that, the mic has been rigorously tested to perform in a variety of musical genres, and it’s built to withstand the rigors of life on the road, which is not the case for many condenser mics.

The shape of the DPA 4055 is another unique feature that sets it apart from other kick drum mics. Its asymmetric design makes it easy to position when slid into any size drum. It can also be placed both inside or outside the kick drum, its large housing is packed with wind damping foam in front of the capsule behind the grille to deal with the turbulence from the front of a drum hole, which is often troublesome.

Unlike other mics intended for kick drum, the 4055 is a condenser mic, so it produces a fast, tight and clean sound even at very high SPL. In fact, the max SPL is 164 dB, so it can take just about anything a heavy hitter can serve up!

The mic is also not limited to the kick drum as it works equally well on other instruments like electric guitar cabinets, bass and horns, which is something that most other purpose built kick mics don’t particularly excel at. In this case, being flat down to 20Hz with a bit of a 10kHz boost can work well on a lot of different kinds of sources.

The DPA 4055 retails at $730 USD. You can find out more here, or watch the video below.

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