The Audix ADX-90 is a miniature electret condenser mic with a cardioid
pattern. Smartly outfitted with a "mount anywhere" clamp, this affordable
mic is well suited to a number of studio applications.
Sound Quality: 4
Ease of Use: 5
How They Work!
The new addition to the Audix ADX Contractor Condenser microphone line is
the miniature ADX-90 electret condenser. This is a small, black anodized
aluminum condenser mic (6 oz/170 grams) placed at the end of a miniature
four-inch D-Flex gooseneck. It is fitted with a mount anywhere
shock-mounted clamp made of chromed steel. The clamp has rubberized jaws
and a thumb screw for secure attachment to anything from a drum rim to the
inside of a grand piano. In addition, there is another shock mount that
isolates the gooseneck from the clamp assembly, ensuring no possible
mechanical connection between the mic's body and the mounting clamp.
Perfect For Drums
The ADX-90's clamp cuts back the number of drum stands needed around a
drum kit, which is appealing on a few levels. First of all, there are a
lot less mic stand legs interfering with cymbal and tom stands on the
floor; second, it makes for a better-looking drum kit. Since these mics
are very low profile, they are a natural for drum kits and live stage
sound. Audix was kind enough to send me four of these little jewels, and I
quickly put them to work on a drum session. I mounted them on the first
four tom-toms of a large kit (the drummer happens to use six toms). The
ADX-90's clamped very easily on the rims of the drums and the goosenecks
made it easy to aim the cardioid microphones. Since there isn't an XLR
connector sticking out of the end of the mic itself, there's no concern
that the cymbal will contact the mic when it swishes and tilts--a common
problem with regular mics. If you've have ever had no room to get a snare drum mic placed where you wanted it, then these are the mics for you! You can simply clamp an ADX-90 to the rim on the opposite side of the snare drum. Miking the snare on the
bottom is just as easy as miking on top, and you won't have the mic stands
in the way of the stands for the snare, hi-hats, rack toms, or cymbals.
Love The Sound
For light- to medium-hitting drummers, condensers give me one of my
favorite drum sounds. Condensers are always brighter, so I equalize less
which allows more of the individual tonalities of each drum and cymbal to
be captured. For loud, bashing drummers, the sonic difference can be more
or less lost; dynamic mics might work better for such players. (Hello
Audix! How's about some dynamic versions of these mics?) In my drummer's case, it was a jazz session with light to medium drum intensities, and the ADX-90's were perfect. And that is not to say I wouldn't try them on a hard rock drummer, since the ADX-90's are rated at 135dB maximum SPL and have greater than 25dB of off-axis rejection. At
$199 MSRP each, one doesn't have to fear placing super-expensive vintage
condensers on a kit where the drummer is using a pair of Louisville
sluggers for sticks. My next band recording will see these mics used on
the drums. I like the idea of the off-axis rejection spec; I can keep most
of the cymbals' sound wash out of the tom mics without using downward
The ADX-90's have 50Hz to 18kHz frequency response and a sensitivity of
5mV. You'll only need 9 to 52 volts of phantom powering even though these
are pre-polarized electret mic elements. The phantom is just powering what
looks like an elongated XLR connector/adapter. Audix was smart to put a
mini-connector on the 14-foot lightweight cable that comes from the mic
gooseneck and plugs into the XLR phantom power supply adapter/connector.
You can leave the XLR/adapter in the studio's mic panel and unplug the mic
and cable if you need to.
In The Studio
With good sound and plenty of level coming into the console, I found not
much proximity effect when close miking the toms. The sound might be
described as somewhere between a dynamic and a vintage condenser: Better
low-end than a dynamic but a little less transparency than other
condensers I have used. Using the mics on drums was the first thing I went
for, but I can think of other uses for the ADX-90's. With guitars, for
instance, I would clamp right to the speaker cabinet's edge. On a piano, I
would clamp inside and close the lid, avoiding drum leakage when recording
a live rhythm section.
The ADX-90's are affordable, very practical around the studio, and sound
good. At a suggested retail price of $199, each mic comes with an integral
clamp, foam windscreen, cable, protective carrying pouch, and phantom
power supply adapter.
For more information: Contact Audix at 9400 SW Barber Street, Wilsonville, OR 97070. Telephone them at: 800-966-8261 or 503-682-6933. Web to: www.audixusa.com