Audix i5 Dynamic Instrument Microphone Review

The Audix i5 Dynamic Instrument Microphone is one of the top microphones for recording instruments. It’s often compared to the Shure SM57, which is an industry standard. It has some benefits and advantages over that workhorse, though. This is a microphone that doesn’t need to be compared to any other in the industry, but because of the applications that are similar to those that the Shure has covered for generations, it’s inevitable that it would be compared. This comparison doesn’t leave the Audix i5 coming up short, either.

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What’s Included in the Box?

  • Dynamic i5 microphone
  • Microphone clip
  • Carrying pouch

Technical Specs

  • VLM diaphragm
  • Handles high SPL
  • Frequency response 15 Hz to 16 kHz
  • Cardioid pattern
  • Cast zinc alloy

First Impressions

The short body and sturdy construction of the i5 makes it a great choice for situations where the microphone might become battered with the percussion sounds from the instrument. Unfortunately, microphones can fall to the ground fairly often. This microphone won’t break easily, which is always a plus.

The cardioid pattern gives this microphone an accurate pickup pattern that allows for very distinct recordings. You can easily tilt it off-axis to create a richer sound, or keep it on-axis to pick up the attack of the snare. It’s a fantastic choice for the musician who wants to record the pop of the snare drum or the entire drum set. While you might need another mic for the bass or kick drum, the rest of the drums would benefit from this mic.

Audix Company

The company was founded in 1984 with the mission to design and manufacture their own microphones and other audio products for the amateur and professional musician. They’ve been recognized over the years with numerous awards and accolades for their microphones as well as other audio products.

With over 30 years of excellent products, it’s no wonder that the company can become a rival to others that have been around for decades longer. They care about their customers and want to provide products that will help them achieve their goals.

Frequency Response

The snare drum is normally within the 150 to 250 Hz range, which means you’ll need a mic that can handle those frequencies without cutting them or boosting them significantly. With the snare drum so close to the kick drum, it can be tough to record the snare alone with some microphones. The i5 will record the true sound of the snare while dropping out the lows of the kick drum. The snap of the snare is what’s important in the recording, and that’s what you’ll get when using this microphone.

Cardioid Pattern

The cardioid pattern of the microphone allows the sound to flow freely into the front of the mic and be captured by the recording software or device. It limits the sides and completely rejects the sound from behind the microphone. It’s important to understand the limits and patterns of the microphone to capture the right sound and reject sounds that you don’t want on your recording.

Solid Construction

Whether you’re in a sound studio created in your own home or you travel and need to bring a microphone for your snare, you’ll want a mic that’s solidly constructed. This mic has a carrying pouch, but it’s not protected or cushioned. Unfortunately, accidents can happen, and you don’t want to lose your mic to a fall.

This microphone can take a beating and still work beautifully. It’s created with a cast zinc alloy body with a grill constructed from steel. Dynamic microphones aren’t as delicate on the interior as condenser microphones, so you don’t have to worry about the interior electronics being scrambled the first time it falls.

High SPL

The dynamic, VLM diaphragm allows the microphone to handle a high dB of sound. It can actually handle up to 140 dBs, which is great for the pop of the snare drum, but it’s this same function that doesn’t really allow for capturing the low sounds of the bass from the kick drum. Keep this in mind when you’re adding microphones to your drum kit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this need phantom power?
The i5 is a dynamic microphone that doesn’t require phantom power.

What are the dimensions and weight of this microphone?
The mic weighs 6.4 ounces, so it’s incredibly light. It measures 5.6 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches.

Conclusion

The Audix i5 Dynamic Instrument Microphone is a lightweight, sturdy microphone constructed from quality materials. It can handle the pop and attack of the snare drum without picking up the low bass sound of the kick drum. This gives you a clean track of the snare while leaving the other sounds for different tracks. You can also use this for other instruments where the attack and high SPL requires the correct frequencies.

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