For a great recording, you need a great setup, and this is where the drum mic comes in handy. Drum mics are essential pieces of any professional’s gear and can drastically change your sound at the drop of a hat. So what do you need to know about drum mics? What should they be made out of? How many channels should you have? We’ll answer all these questions and more!
Every drummer has a different sound they want to capture. Some drummers have a more rock and roll vibe, while others are looking for a jazzier sound. But no matter what type of music you play, one thing is true: your drums need to be appropriately recorded for them to achieve the perfect tone.
What are the best drum mics for recording
Best kick drum mics
- AKG D112 MKII
- Audix D6
- Shure Beta 52A
- Sennheiser E602 II
- Neumann U 47 FET
- Audio-Technica ATM250DE
Best snare drum mics
- Shure SM57
- Telefunken Elektroakustik M80 Dynamic
- Audix i5
- AKG C414
- Beyerdynamic M201TG
- Neumann KM 184
- Sennheiser 421
Best tom mics
- Sennheiser e 604
- Audio-Technica AT4033/CL
- Shure KSM32
- Earthworks DM 20
Best rom mics
- Neumann TLM 107
- AEA N22
- Mojave MA-100
- Neumann U87 Ai
- Beyerdynamic M160
Best kick drum mics
AKG D112 MKII
The D112 MkII is a well-built, easy-to-use mic that will bring out the initial “click” and gentle bump in your sound.
The frequency response of this device reaches down from 20Hz – 17kHz with an emphasis around 25 kHz for bringing out what’s important about those first few notes! This microphone can also give you some extra low-end boost when used at close range (10cm or less).
With a tailored response curve, D112 is pre-EQ’d when plugged into your desk. This means that it will produce kick drum sounds from its placement and not require any further adjustments – perfect for beginners looking to get started quickly!
The D6 is a mic that can handle sound pressure levels up to 144 dB, providing good isolation and easy placement. The frequency response goes from 30Hz – 15kHz with a 60 Hz bump around 2-10 kHz.
The D6 is a mic that will give you the sound and character of your instrument. However, it’s not as versatile, so if an engineer needs to scoop some midrange from drums or bass – they should try something else.
The D6 is a mic that will give you the sound and character of your instrument, but it’s not going to be good for everything. Engineers with specific needs in terms of midrange scooping or drum tuning might find what they need here. Especially since this mic can get really close without sounding brittle or harsh at all volume levels thanks to its flat frequency response curve.
Shure Beta 52A
The Beta 52A super-cardioid dynamic microphone is a high-end, reliable tool for professional purposes. This sleek mic features an effective range that extends up to 10kHz with no harsh peaks or dips in either frequency response–and it’s excellent at handling loud sounds too!
The 52A has an easy to use design that makes it perfect for the individual who needs one kick mic and can’t have any more than that.
It is fat without being too restrained, which will provide you with a nice click when needed; overall this mic has great tightness in sound but some people may not like its versatility as much because of how subjective taste really gets on what type or brand they prefer out there!
Sennheiser E602 II
This mic is an excellent choice for low-frequency instruments. It has been tuned to show boosts at 60Hz and 5-15kHz, which gives it that ‘thump’ while still delivering a good definition of sounds!
The e602 II is a captivating mic with an overall warm feel. The low end shines through clearly without any additional EQing needed to make it sound good. For kicks drums or larger toms, in particular, there’s plenty of extra depth that helps convey just enough sense of space while still keeping things realistic – not many other microphones can do what they accomplish here!
This shows how much care has gone into producing the right tone for each instrument, making them perfect for rock and metal recordings where you want deep rich sounds without sounding too natural.
Neumann U 47 FET
Neumann U 47 FET
The Neumann U47 is a popular mic for kick drums and has been used in many great studios. This large-diaphragm condenser microphone shares its excellent balance response with great dynamics that can handle loud sources easily while producing clear recordings of instruments from various ranges.
The U47 FET is a big, bold microphone that has the tone of voice to match. It’s not as delicate or subtle as other microphones in Neumann’s collection, but it does provide an enhanced sense of realism like many popular products from this company do – which may be why you’ll want one too!
The rich midrange makes vocals sound warm without being woolly, while substantial upper ranges help cut through even when positioned close by so they don’t take over all frequencies at once.
The ATM250DE is a microphone that combines perfectly aligned condenser and dynamic capsules to offer the “best of both worlds.” Using its hyper-cardioid tone, it takes advantage of punch while also capturing more body in sound.
With frequencies ranging from 40Hz-15kHz with an average articulation at 20 Khz, this mic will satisfy all your needs! The ATM250DE offers a 10dB gain pad and 12 dB/octave low-cut filter at 80Hz for those looking to make their mic more unique. If you’re up for something different than the standard condenser mics, then give this one a try!
Also, be sure to check out either the AE2500 orACAM200, as they have extended low-end frequencies with cardioid polar patterns on both dynamic/condenser capsules.
Best snare drum mics
The best snare mic of all time!!
If you’re looking for a standard dynamic mic, the Shure SM57 is your best bet. This reliable workhorse of a mic has been used on countless recordings and live performances since its release in 1965. It has a 5-15k frequency response, which translates to crisp highs and punchy sounds.
This mic is a classic for a good reason. The cardioid dynamic pattern makes it versatile and easy to work with, whether you’re recording guitar amps or vocals in close proximity – through its most common application may be on snare drums! It captures loud sounds well, so it’ll provide excellent results when miking up your kit without sacrificing any detail at higher frequencies.
Telefunken Elektroakustik M80 Dynamic
This beautiful microphone is perfect for any recording session.
It features a lively sound with prominent midrange and smooth top end and the ability to handle loud sounds without distortion or feedback from your audio source!
This dynamic supercardioid mic also has an extended frequency response range of 50Hz up until 18kHz, so you can ensure that all frequencies come through clearly on whatever instrument/instrument combination is being used in conjunction.
The Audix i5 is often recommended as an “immediate alternative” to the SM57.
This cardioid dynamic microphone has a frequency response of 50Hz-16kHz, with its notable peak at 5 kHz, and can take up 140 dB (SPL).
Its small footprint, along with well-balanced features, make it perfect for any home studio or budget-conscious mic kit, including those that are limited funds!
The i5 is an excellent all-around mic, great for recording vocals or instruments in the studio. It has a sturdy build quality and good audio performance, making it perfect if you want to record snare drum while also filling in as another dynamic mic on stage when needed!
The AKG C414 became one of the most popular microphones in audio history, and with good reason. The man who would later found Audio Engineering Associates, Gary Oscarnik, released the AKG C414 in 1953. This mic was a hit from day 1, and its high-quality brass capsule made it one of audio’s finest ever created.
The release also led to another highly acclaimed line from Akg that would eventually result in our current iteration. The c414 studio condenser microphone.
When it comes to microphones, this one’s a winner. Not only does the C414 have some of the best polar patterns you’ll ever use, but it also features crystal clear sound and an incredible character that any other mic can’t beat in its class!
This mic has 5 polar patterns:
Beyerdynamic M201TG Dynamic Hypercardioid Microphone
It’s a tough call, but if I had to choose one mic that rivals the popularity of an SM57 when it comes to snare drums, then this would be our choice.
The Beyer M201 TG is not your ordinary dynamic, hyper-cardioid microphone; its elegant design with various frequency response capabilities makes for great sounding equipment while also handling loud sounds without sacrificing detail or quality in other areas as cymbals and hi-hats.
It has enough gain on tap, so you won’t need another stand-alone source unless recording at higher volumes outside, in which case there are plenty out there nowadays like Audio-Technica’s ASR7 Dynamic Headphone Amplifier.
Neumann KM 184
It’s been a hard-to-come-by mic for drummers, but it sounds great and takes loud sources surprisingly well.
The Km 84 is an impressive dynamic microphone that has been known to be used in live performances due to its small footprint on snares or any other instruments you need microphones near! It deals with frequencies up to 20kHz, making this bad boy perfect if your band plays anything from jazz tunes, drums skins, percussion, etc.
This mic also won’t give out much background noise, which makes capturing those juicy fill super easy as you can hear each hit 100% clearly. The story of the Km84 is a little more recent than many other microphones. Like its predecessor, this mic still has Neumann’s know-how and quality at heart.
This mic has a long history of use in recording studios and sound reinforcement. Many people love it for its iconic look, but not everyone loves how sensitive it can be to noise.
It’s a well-known fact that the mic has high SPL tolerance and can also be used for electric instrument cabinets, but it isn’t great on kick drums.
It still manages to sound better than most SM57s out there! Beyond any reasonable doubt, this mic has the worst clip of any common microphone and possibly ever designed. It’s hard to use; unreliable – it breaks extremely easily!
No standard clips made fit with these mics either, so you’re stuck using a special case for your precious gift from above or paying an exorbitant price if you want one quickly enough when they break in general public usage (which is much too often).
Best tom mics
Sennheiser e 604 Cardioid Dynamic Mic
The e 604 is a dynamic mic that delivers great quality for such an affordable price. It can deliver both attack and sustain, making it perfect for toms or other drum types with fast strokes like snare drums!
You can easily create deep tom sounds without having any issues when using this merchandise in your setup because of its clips on design which makes positioning easy as pie; no matter where you put them, they’ll always have good sound capture capabilities.
That means there won’t be anything holding back how awesomely clear all parts will come through during playback. These mics pack some serious performance punch into these mics.
The AT4033 is a cool mic that does well for drums. It has an 80Hz roll-off switch which helps with reducing self-noise and eliminating bleed from other sources around the kit; both features are important when you’re trying to record your drum parts without disturbing anyone else in the room! The shock mount can be tricky, but once it’s set up correctly, this will isolate your instrument perfectly. Hence, no sound carries over into adjacent mics or instruments on stage – perfect if any cymbals are getting too loud during recording sessions! The AT4033 is a near-perfect microphone for home recordists and the one mic I feel like can be recommended to damn near anyone recording music. It’s relatively inexpensive – new ones being about $400.
The Shure KSM32 is a Dynamic Microphone that uses the latest technology in sound engineering. It’s designed to produce crystal clear, high-quality recordings with minimal background noise and distortion even at louder volumes – perfect for instruments such as drums or guitars.
It’s perfect for drum recordings, where you need every decibel your mic captures!
The whole microphone weighs 490g (1 1/4 pounds) and measures 187mm long by 56mm wide when fully extended from its base anchoring plate; it can be shortened below 200 mm without compromising performance because of advanced engineering design features found within this product.
It is a superb microphone with an eye-catching vintage design. Its smooth, full sound makes it appropriate to use in many different situations where classic Neumann U47 and 87 mics would be used.
Earthworks DM 20
Earthworks have been making condenser mics since 1997.
We were pleased with the Earthworks DM20 microphone. It had a nice, clear sound that made my drums come alive in a way they never have before!
The top end is extended but not so much as to cause any problems. And because there’s no 3kHz bump on these microphones either- the only thing boosting those frequencies are some other components like Omni capsules or larger diaphragm plates
For example, you can hear just how many details get through between batters when recording an acoustic guitar without them being lost due to excess bleed at higher pitches.
DM20 is a powerful cardioid mic that easily handles high SPLs, and its output isn’t too harsh for preamp inputs. Earthworks Mics are made in the US, which offers a 10-year warranty on all products
Best overhead mics
Drum overheads can make a substantial difference in the recording process; that is why we decided to cover the whole topic in a separate in-depth article.
Check the full article about drum overheads here.
Best room mics for recording drums
Neumann TLM 107
When it comes to microphones, Neumann knows their stuff.
The company is one of the world’s leading producers and innovators with over 50 years worth of experience under the belt when it comes down to sound quality for professional recording devices like drums or guitars.
Neumann is known for its high-quality microphones. With the U 87 being one of those that many people in history have critically acclaimed, Neumans created an affordable mic to match without compromising quality.
The TLM 107 provides a very smooth and linear EQ curve for most frequencies up to 8 kHz, which helps make recordings sound great. A slightly boosted high end makes this mic perfect for capturing that pristine quality we all know from vinyl records!
AEA N22 Active Ribbon Mic
The AEA N22 brings the ribbon mic sound of the old into modern times while still being affordable for all.
The sound of the microphone is so clear and natural. You can’t help but fall in love with it. You’ll be able to hear everything from deep bass sounds all the way up through those high-frequency tones that make your ears perk when they’re around human voices or instruments like pianos!
Though the usable frequency range is quoted as 20Hz to 20kHz, an upper -3dB point appears around 12 kHz and drops away smoothly at 13 dB down from there.
Pure aluminum Corrugated Ribbon just 1.8 microns thick and 2.35 inches long has been protected behind fine gauze to mitigate any breath or other air movements.
This means it can handle sound pressure levels up 141 dB.
The MA-100 is a great mic for recording drums!
The sound of the Mojave Audio MA-100 makes it an excellent choice when you need detail and clarity. It captures every hit of the kit, from delicate cymbals to booming bass drum, all while keeping that resonant ring we love so much but still letting go with some powerful low-end booms.
It will capture fills on toms and rack tom with clarity.
The small-diaphragm and tube combo is a winning combination in microphones, giving you better sound quality than other types of microphones.
Neumann U87 Ai
The Neumann U87 has been the go-to mic for decades. It was first introduced in 1986 and didn’t spend long on this earth before being replaced by its successor, the Ai model from 1986!
It’s safe to say that these mics will never be going out of style any time soon.
The Neumann U87 is a versatile mic that can be used in many ways thanks to its three polar patterns (Omni, cardioid, and figure-8). It also comes with low-cut options for when you need specific sound quality.
The microphone has gone through testing, so it’s guaranteed a high standard of audio engineering will meet all your needs.
AEA R88 – Stereo Ribbon Microphone
The R88 is a match made in heaven for AEA’s RPQ preamp. Together, they are unbeatable when it comes to sound quality and usability!
The mics open up, and the soundstage is bigger. CurveShaper adds air without harshness. The details sound amazing!
The dual functionality of the mic means you can record in different stereo configurations, either Blumlein or M&S stereo recording configurations.
The ribbon provides a warm, pleasing sound with crisp transients and natural dynamics. The microphone also has superbly well-focused stereo imaging, which makes it an excellent package for anyone who appreciates this type of mic or prefers fixed position mics in their production because they don’t need to move anything around!
Beyerdynamic’s M160 has a hypercardioid pickup pattern that focuses on the mid-range. This means that it will pick up everything around you evenly, making for an even sound in your mix while reducing feedback when playing back recorded vocals or instruments with lots of low-end content.
The M160 has two ribbons, mounted back-to-front just 0.5 mm apart! The use of the second ribbon is said to increase microphone sensitivity and reduce noise for an improved capture rate with lower distortion than other mics in its class; this mic measures at 1mV/pa without any additional modifications needed on your end.48
It’s unidirectional; meaning that it only captures sounds from one direction.
Condenser vs dynamic mics
There are two types of microphones: condenser and dynamic. A condenser microphone usually contains a capacitor charged by an external power source (phantom 48v or batteries).
Dynamic microphones don’t need this charge; they use the sound coming from the direction they’re pointed at to ”move” a diaphragm inside their cartridge. These mics work best for live shows where there’s lots of low-end content.
A huge bonus of using dynamic mics is that you can use them with your smartphone’s recording app because they don’t need external power like condensers.
The diaphragm of a condenser microphone can follow the sound waves more accurately than a dynamic mic.
Large-diaphragm models can cost significantly, though they often record with improved frequency response and detail.
Condensers offer much better audio quality than dynamic microphones because they have a wider frequency range and can handle higher volumes. They also produce less noise, making them perfect for live performances or recording vocals with lots of detail.
When it comes to recording drums, the type of mic you choose can make a big difference in the final sound.
Dynamic mics are great for live performances and on-the-spot recordings because they are more sensitive and don’t require much gain from your preamp or interface.
Condenser microphones provide a clearer sound with better depth but often need an external power source like phantom power if you want them to work without distortion. If this sounds complicated, let us know what questions you have below! We love hearing from our readers 🙂