Best Drum Mic

Article Contents

There’s many ways to approach micing up your drum kit with many different mics available to choose to from. When recording drums there’s a few things you need to consider, especially what kind of drum sound you’re going for.  Answering this question is imperative to choosing the right path towards the right drum mic. Do you want an open, airy-sounding Jazz kit, a tight and aggressive Rock kit or a big and smooth RNB kit?  These lists compile the best drum mics out there thanks to their versatility, durability, affordability based upon audio engineering standards and of course their ability to produce a sound you’ll be happy with.

Take a few minutes to read through all the specifics for these drum mics as they’re all different, each with their own unique perks. Every new mic you haven’t heard before is another potential path towards tones you couldn't achieve in the past.  Drum mics are one of the many ways audio engineers are able to get creative so take some time and explore these best drum mic lists.

Best Kick Drum Mic:

The kick drum is basically the heartbeat not just of a drum pattern, but of a song as a whole. If a kick drum is inaudible, listeners have nothing to dictate the groove and rhythm of the song. Having the right microphone in place to capture the low-end thump of this part of the instrument is crucial in obtaining a great drum sound, whether that be in a recording session in a studio or onstage and going through a PA. These are the best kick drum microphones available today, with each one listed here being a dynamic mic capable of being subjected to the rough circumstances that come with being placed directly in front of a booming bass drum and each pick features a cardioid or supercardioid pickup pattern to provide an isolated, direct signal coming straight from the kick. Lastly, each one easily connects to the rest of your recording/sound setup via XLR connector cables.

Audio Technica AE2500 Dynamic Microphone

Audio Technica’s AE2500 is the ultimate kick drum mic, with a low cut filter at 80Hz and a design that was made to specifically and accurately capture the pounding thud that the instrument makes. In addition to being a dynamic mic, this device also can be switched over to having condenser capabilities. Read Full Review

See it at:
    Audio Technica AE2500 Dynamic Microphone

    Audix D6 Cardioid Kick Drum Microphone

    The Audix D6 provides a big-sounding, clean kick sound that is ideal for recording and live performance. No matter where you place this cardioid polar pattern microphone, you can rest assured that you’ll be getting a solid response from a device specifically tuned for the kick drum. Read Full Review

    See it at:
      Audix D6 Cardioid Kick Drum Microphone

      Shure Beta 52A Instrument and Bass Drum Microphone

      When it comes to capturing the low frequencies that come from a kick drum, the Shure Beta 52A is nothing but an alpha in that category. Ideal for stage work as well as studio recordings, this microphone is rugged and features a supercardioid pickup pattern for excellent sound isolation. Read Full Review

      See it at:
        Shure Beta 52A Instrument and Bass Drum Microphone

        AKG Pro Audio D12VR Dynamic Kick Microphone for Drums

        AKG’s D12 VR is a dynamic microphone ideal for capturing the sound of the kick drum. This device houses multiple filters that allow users to maintain a firm control over the audio signal this mic has been designed to work with. Read Full Review

        See it at:
          AKG Pro Audio D12VR Dynamic Kick Microphone for Drums

          Miktek PM11

          Miktek’s PM11 is a supercardioid dynamic kick drum microphone that provides a clear and unfiltered sound of what your signal actually brings to the mix. In other words, nothing gets lost in the signal or cluttered up with additional EQing and sonic tweaks because of the mic itself. Read Full Review

          See it at:
            Miktek PM11

            Best Snare Drum Mic:

            Other than the kick drum, there isn’t anything as essential in capturing the sound of a drum kit than the sound of the snare drum. The two components of the kit have a symbiotic relationship together, and not being able to clearly hear both elements will have listeners struggling to find the rhythm or beat of a performance. Suffice it to say, having a reliable snare drum mic is essential for great recording and live performance experiences. There are a few different microphones that professionals tend to utilize in capturing the sound of this hard-hitting yet nuanced instrument. These are the best snare drum mics, with each one listed here featuring an exceptionally high SPL capability, making it ideal for capturing the high volume sounds of the cracking snare as well as a cardioid or supercardioid design allowing for direct and clear transmission of sound without unwanted bleed-through from the other instruments that sit nearby the snare. These picks also feature durable casings which allow them to be used in the somewhat-volatile position of being placed right above or below the snare drum without running the risk of any incidental damage.

            Shure SM57 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

            The Shure SM57 is one of the most commonly used microphones for a variety of instruments, including the snare drum. Despite its ubiquity, there really are few mics that offer up such a great sound with rugged build and affordable price tag. Read Full Review

            See it at:
              Shure SM57 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

              Neumann KM184 MT Cardioid Microphone

              Neumann’s KM184-MT can’t even be limited to just being classified as a snare drum mic, but that doesn’t mean it can’t handle that specific task exceptionally well. Providing a sound free of coloration and heavy on full frequency response, this is ideal for those wanting to have their snare cut through the mix. Read Full Review

              See it at:
                Neumann KM184 MT Cardioid Microphone

                Miktek PM10 Microphone

                Coming straight out of Nashville, Miktek’s PM10 dynamic supercardioid mic is an ideal device for capturing the cracking sound of snare drums. Place it in the studio or put it onstage; either way, you’ll be satisfied with the accurate and cutting sound that this mic brings to the table. Read Full Review

                See it at:
                  Miktek PM10 Microphone

                  Sennheiser e604 Mic Dynamic

                  There’s no room for delicacy in the world of snare drum mics. You need something that can not only capture the sound of the instrument, but also handle the loud volume and rugged use that the snare’s environment often encounters, and the Sennhesier e604 microphone has more than what it takes to fulfill all of those roles. Read Full Review

                  See it at:
                    Sennheiser e604 Mic Dynamic

                    Beyerdynamic TG-D58C Condenser Clip-On Cardioid Microphone

                    Beyerdynamic’s TG D58c microphone provides plenty of detail and depth, which is important for an instrument like the snare drum. Building on the original design of the Opus 88 mic, this device offers an increased SPL, making it ideal for live performances. Read Full Review

                    See it at:
                      Beyerdynamic TG-D58C Condenser Clip-On Cardioid Microphone

                      Best Tom-Tom Mic:

                      Toms can often be the most neglected components of the drum kit when it comes to recording. Some people tend to just slap whatever microphone they are using to record their snare on the toms, while others don’t even mic them up at all, relying on the overhead microphones to do their part in capturing their sound. While these methods can sometimes work, having a dedicated microphone for recording toms is the surefire way to get the most accurate sound out of these thundering instruments. When picking up toms signal, it’s important to grab the attack and resonance that the drums naturally make, while at the same time avoiding too much bleed through from the other parts of the drum kit which sit in such close proximity. These are the best tom-tom microphones available, with each one listed here being able to either be clipped to the drum itself or mounted on a stand, they each offer a cardioid design for direct and isolated sound reproduction, and lastly they're lightweight and easy to travel with, each weighing in at less than one pound.

                      Audix f2 Dynamic Hypercardioid Instrument Microphone

                      There are many microphones that exist that can work well with toms, but not many that are made specifically with them in mind. The Audix f2 is a dynamic microphone whose hypercardioid pickup pattern provides superb isolation and feedback control, making them perfect for rack toms. Read Full Review

                      See it at:
                        Audix f2 Dynamic Hypercardioid Instrument Microphone

                        Sennheiser e604 Mic Dynamic

                        Sennheiser’s e604 dynamic microphone is built for rugged performance and environment and can handle an intense amount of volume and sound; all of this makes it ideal for toms, and even better for use in a live environment. Read Full Review

                        See it at:
                          Sennheiser e604 Mic Dynamic

                          Shure SM57 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

                          Shure’s SM57 is one of the most commonly used microphones for a variety of instruments, including the tom drum. Despite its ubiquity, there really are few mics that offer up such a great sound with rugged build and affordable price tag. Read Full Review

                          See it at:
                            Shure SM57 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

                            Miktek PM10 Microphone

                            Miktek’s PM10 dynamic supercardioid microphone is built to work great with tom-tom drums. Much like the build of the mic itself, it’s sensitive yet rugged in the way that it captures the sound produced by the instruments it records. Read Full Review

                            See it at:
                              Miktek PM10 Microphone

                              Beyerdynamic TG-D58C Condenser Clip-On Cardioid Microphone

                              The Beyerdynamic TG D58c is a microphone that offers plenty of detail and depth for instruments like the tom-tom drum. Building on the original design of the Opus 88 mic, this device offers an increased SPL, making it ideal for use in live performances. Read Full Review

                              See it at:
                                Beyerdynamic TG-D58C Condenser Clip-On Cardioid Microphone

                                Best Cymbal Mic:

                                Engineers utilize overhead microphones to capture the sound of not just cymbals, but of the entire room/drum kit as well. This can often be a tricky task to pull off, as landing in that precise spot between accurately capturing the individual cymbal sound and avoiding significant bleed-through from other components such as the snare or the kick (which are usually already being recorded through their own dedicated microphones) is no easy feat.

                                The ideal cymbal mic can capture the full frequency spectrum of cymbals, from the brash high-end to the more resonant lows, while at the same time dodging a cluttered sound that would result from using one microphone to transmit the sound of the whole kit. We've chosen the best cymbal microphones on the market, with each one listed here having an SPL handling of at least 134 dB to be able to handle the loud, thrashing sounds of cymbals, they each feature a tiny build at less than two pounds, and they all have a cardioid/supercardioid polar pattern for capturing direct, precise sounds from whatever it;s pointed towards.

                                Shure SM81 Instrument Microphone

                                There are few cymbal mics that offer as much flexibility in sound and performance as the Shure SM81. This cardioid condenser microphone’s frequency response can be altered via a bass roll-off switch, and its unidirectional build ensures that you’ll be capturing all of the sound that your cymbals can produce. Read Full Review

                                See it at:
                                  Shure SM81 Instrument Microphone

                                  Sennheiser E614 Super-Cardioid Condenser Microphone

                                  Sennheiser’s e614 microphone is a great tool to use for recording cymbals/overheads on a drum kit. Its supercardioid design and moderate sensitivity is ideal for ensuring precise isolation and avoiding the dreaded bleed-through. Read Full Review

                                  See it at:
                                    Sennheiser E614 Super-Cardioid Condenser Microphone

                                    Rode NT5 Condenser Microphones Pair

                                    Recording cymbals requires clear and detailed microphone performance which is why there are few tools for the job that are as great as the Rode NT5. This small diaphragm condenser mic tout a high SPL handling, great frequency response, and a small size that allows you flexibility when incorporating them into your setup. Read Full Review

                                    See it at:
                                      Rode NT5 Condenser Microphones Pair

                                      Samson C02 Pencil Condenser Microphones

                                      The Samson C02 cardioid condenser microphones are ideal for capturing the sounds of cymbals both onstage and in the recording studio. This pair is available at an extremely consumer-friendly price, and offers a precise supercardioid pickup pattern that gives a detailed and accurate sound. Read Full Review

                                      See it at:
                                        Samson C02 Pencil Condenser Microphones

                                        AKG PERCEPTION 170 Professional Instrumental Microphone

                                        The AKG Perception 170 small diaphragm condenser microphone offers great response and performance for use with cymbals, percussion, and other instruments. Its modest price makes it great for those shopping on a budget, or for beginners who are looking to acquire their first cymbal mic. Read Full Review

                                        See it at:
                                          AKG PERCEPTION 170 Professional Instrumental Microphone

                                          Best Drum Mic Kit:

                                          If you’ve done even just a little bit of research into what it takes to record the several different components that make up a drum kit, you no doubt understand that it’s an endeavor that requires multiple microphones to get the job done. While building piece by piece is an approach that some prefer, the truth of the matter is that getting everything all at once is not just a great way to get started immediately, but also a method that can be very cost-effective, too. For many, the most reasonable and logical way to go is in getting a drum mic kit, which contains all you need to get started in recording the kick, snare, toms, cymbals, and more. These are the best drum mic kits available, with each one listed here featuring no less than three microphones designed to capture multiple components of the kit, each includes a case to easily protect and transport the gear, and they all come with clips to assist in easily setting them up into your performance/recording setup.

                                          Audix DP7 7 Drum Microphone Package

                                          Audix has built its name on building high-quality, application-specific microphones for a variety of uses. With their DP7 drum mic kit, they assemble some of their best pieces of gear to provide a one-stop shop for those looking to cover all their bases in the drum recording process. Read Full Review

                                          See it at:
                                            Audix DP7 7 Drum Microphone Package

                                            Samson 7kit 7-Piece Drum Microphone Set

                                            They say seven is the lucky number, but luck has nothing to do with the performance and quality of the Samson 7Kit drum mic bundle. This collection offers a microphone for the kick, snare, three for the toms, and two C02 pencil condenser mics. Read Full Review

                                            See it at:
                                              Samson 7kit 7-Piece Drum Microphone Set

                                              Dynamic Drum Microphone Pack

                                              The Telefunken DD4 drum mic kit pares down its setup to a simple 4-mic package, but it’s amazing what you can do with so few tools when you’re dealing with expertly crafted mics like these. Great for live or studio use, this package also comes quipped with a hardshell flight case to easily transport your setup. Read Full Review

                                              See it at:
                                                Dynamic Drum Microphone Pack

                                                High Definition Drum 3 Microphone Recording DrumKit System

                                                Earthworks’ DK25/R DrumKit System is an ideal setup for recording specific components of your kit. This package includes three microphones and a unique Kick Pad that enhances the sound of the bass drum. Read Full Review

                                                See it at:
                                                  High Definition Drum 3 Microphone Recording DrumKit System

                                                  Sennheiser DRUMKIT600 Drum Microphone Package

                                                  Sennheiser’s e600 Drum Pack offers a variety of tools to work with in recording your drum kit, making it great for live sound reinforcement and studio recording sessions alike. In this package, you’re getting four e604 cardioid tom/snare microphones, an e602 dynamic kick drum microphone, and a pair of e614 supercardioid overhead mics. Read Full Review

                                                  See it at:
                                                    Sennheiser DRUMKIT600 Drum Microphone Package
                                                    Leave a Question or Comment