New Toys: DPA 4055 Kick Drum Mic

The latest addition in the brand’s instrument microphone line, DPA's new 4055 is a pre-polarized condenser microphone with an open cardioid pickup pattern and a 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response. Unlike some other kick drum mics, there is no built-in frequency response curve or shape that the manufacturer has deemed correct for recording kick drums.

The DPA 4055's frequency response curve shows a remarkably flat response, with a slight boost starting at 8kHz and extending out to about 12kHz. The key to this measurement is that the phase response specification looks like one of DPA's measurement microphones—remarkable for an instrument mic that costs $730 MSRP.

Maximum SPL is 164 dB SPL (peak) and the dynamic range is specified at 132 dB. The transformer-less active output electronics requires +48-volt phantom power and will drive up to a 100-meter mic cable making it perfect for live stages and studios. The mic measures: 5.19-inches in length and has an asymmetrical design—offset from center line, so the 2.2-inch-wide, removable windscreen (for cleaning) can be placed exactly out in front, inside, against the beater head, or anywhere you want around a kick drum.

To enable this freedom of placement, the DPA 4055 is internally shock-mounted and comes with a locking mic clip called the UA0961. This all-metal clip grips the mic solidly and, along with the windscreen, allows confidence for whatever placement gets the sound you're looking for. And that is the whole idea here: easily provide a flat, non-distorted capture of high SPL sound that’s ready to be "carved" into shape later, if needed. 

I found that the DPA 4055 does the job in the most elegant and non-intrusive way in the recording studio. Highly recommended!