Best Mic for Recording Drums: Reviews & Buying Guide

Sometimes it is useful to have microphones that are designed for a specific purpose. For example, if you enjoy making rap music then you will want a mic that can pick up your voice perfectly.

Following on from this, drummers need microphones that prioritize their instrument above anything else. As such the best drum microphones will only pick up the audio that is relevant and may filter out other noise that you do not want so that your drumming is clear on any audio recording that you make and is clearly heard when performing live.

As such, these are the main features that you should prioritize when looking at the best drum microphones out there. Getting a microphone that is uniquely suited to the instrument you play can be really useful. It is designed to pick up sounds that you want, but can also filter out ones you do not want. As such, most drum microphone reviews will reflect this in what they say about certain instruments, helping to give an all-round review of what is best.

As for individual brands, drum microphone reviews will be critical of some and more praising of others. In general Pyle Pro makes for a good drum mic brand, but Shure and Sennheiser again should not be overlooked – their overall quality is not easily matched, helping to make them a really good purchase.

Even if you have to pay more it can work out well as a long term investment, simply because the higher the price tag the better the quality in general, making for a really good, long lasting microphone to use with all your recordings.

Below we have set out some reviews of three major drum microphones, to give you an idea of what to look for:

1. Audix DP7

The Audix DP7 Drum Microphone Pack comes with seven drum mics, an aluminum road case, and 4 D-Vice gooseneck clips. These drum microphones amplify instruments to meet the needs of the artist in the studio and live onstage. The microphones included in this pack are: (1) i5 snare mic, (2) D2 tom mics, (1) D4 kick/floor tom mic, (2) ADX51 condenser mics, and (1) D6 kick mic. This amazing package typically runs between $850 and $1,100.

The i5 snare microphone included with this pack is ideal for top or bottom snare drums, toms, hand percussion, acoustic instruments, and guitar cabs. It has a protective steel grill and responds to frequencies between 46Hz and 18 kHz. The D2 tom microphones are ideal for rack or floor toms and congas. They feature a hypercarioid polar pattern and produce large sound. The D2 mics respond to a frequency between 44Hz and 18 kHz. The D4 kick/floor tom microphone works best for a djembe or floor tom. It is ideal for larger drums and produces a natural sound. The D4 responds to a frequency between 38Hz and 19 kHz. The ADX51 condenser microphone works for overhead applications, such as overheads, cymbals, the hi-hat, and goodie table. It features a carioid polar pattern and responds to frequencies between 40Hz and 18 kHz. Finally, this pack comes with a D6 kick microphone, which is ideal for floor toms, kick drums, djembes, or cajons. It responds to frequencies between 30Hz and 15 kHz and features a cardioid polar pattern.

Features and Specifications

  • Audix DP7 pack includes a snare mic, 2 D2 tom mics, a D4 kick/floor tom mic, 2 ADX51 condenser mics, and a D6 kick mic
  • Snare mic responds to frequencies between 46Hz and 18 kHz
  • Snare mic has Cast Zinc Alloy housing and a black coat
  • D2, D4, and ADX51 microphones have machined aluminum housing and a black hard coat
  • D2 microphones respond to frequencies between 44Hz and 18 kHz
  • D2 microphones have a hypercardioid polar pattern
  • D4 microphone responds to frequencies between 38Hz and 19 kHz
  • D4 has a hypercardioid polar pattern
  • D6 kick mic responds to frequencies between 30Hz and 15 kHz
  • D6 has a cardioid polar pattern
  • ADX51 condenser microphones respond to frequencies between 40Hz and 18 KHz
  • ADX51 has a machined brass housing
  • Gooseneck clips securely hold the microphones in place

Reviews Overview

The majority of reviewers absolutely loved the performance of the DP7 Drum Microphone set. The microphones themselves are said to be sturdy and to produce great sound. When recorded and played back, one reviewer was particularly impressed with the sounds the microphones produced. He stated that the microphone clearly picked up each drum without colorization. The playback was crystal clear and sounded like the drums were being played live.

In addition to the comments about performance, reviewers also loved the price. The price for this set of drum microphones may seem pricy, but they are in the lower price range for this type of set. Most reviewers believed that the cost was definitely worth the quality they found in this microphone set.

Though most reviewers were impressed with the quality of the DP7 Drum Microphone set, there was some negative feedback. The most discussed negative comment about this set was the quality of the included gooseneck clips. One reviewer stated that his were slowly breaking, and they were of poor quality. Another reviewer plays rock music, with a lot of powerful drumming. He stated that the gooseneck clip holding the microphone in place sometimes slips. This moves the microphone and does not give the drum he is playing the right amount of amplification.

The other critical review was about the i5 snare microphone. A few reviewers were not impressed with this microphone. One reviewer stated that the i5 microphone did not have the fullness expected from a snare/tom microphone. It works well when used with timbales and blocks, but not when used with snare or tom drums.

Pros

  • Sturdy microphones
  • Mics record and amplify music well, without any colorization
  • Very fairly priced
  • Can be used in the studio or on the live stage
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to set-up and use

Cons

  • Gooseneck clips are not sturdy and may break
  • Gooseneck clips sometimes slip when the drum is being played
  • i5 snare microphone lacks fullness

2. Shure DMK57-52 Review

The Shure DMK57-52 includes one beta 52A microphone and three SM57 microphones. It also includes three A56D mounting systems and a carrying case. This set is ideal for use with kick drums, snare drums, and rack/floor toms. This set can be purchased at a deal, with prices normally ranging between $350 and $600.

The Beta 52A microphone included in this set is ideal for use with a kick drum. It features a supercardioid pattern and has a tailored frequency response for use with drums. Additionally, the Beta 52A comes equipped with a pneumatic shock mount to prevent external noise from the microphone being moved.

The SM57 microphone is ideal for use with toms, and it is also the industry standard for the snare drum. The microphone is cardioid dynamic to accurately reproduce the sound of the drums. This is done with exceptional impact and tailored frequency response.

The A56D drum mounting system allows microphones to be positioned anywhere. They can be positioned on microphone or cymbal stands, or even on the drum rims. It can also be used with a standard microphone. The final piece, the carrying case, is a lightweight and safe way to transport the microphones between the studio and performances.

Features and Specifications

  • Weighs just 8 pounds, making it lightweight and easy to carry
  • Includes: (1) Beta 52A microphone, (3) SM57 microphones, (3) A56D mounting systems, and a carrying case
  • Beta 52A microphone is ideal for use with a kick drum
  • Beta 52A has a supercardioid pattern
  • Comes with a pneumatic shock mount to prevent noise from the Beta 52A being moved.
  • SM57 microphones are ideal for use with toms
  • SM57 is also the industry standard for use with snare drums
  • SM57 microphone has a cardioid dynamic pattern
  • All microphones in the set have a tailored frequency response for use with drums
  • Drum mounting system allows microphones to be placed anywhere, for maximum impact

Reviews Overview

The majority of customers who purchased the Shure DMK57-52 Drum Microphone Kit were very satisfied with their buy. One of the best parts about the Shure DMK57-52 kit is the price. Many reviewers stated that the microphones in this kit were high-quality, but they also sold at a lower price than expected. While this may not be the only kit a drummer needs for the whole set, it is a great place to start, especially for the drummer on a budget.

Reviewers of this kit also loved the sound quality of the microphones. One reviewer discussed the sound as clear and bulletproof. The Beta 52 microphone is said to have a great punch, especially when used with a kick drum. Other reviewers liked the versatility of the SM57 microphones. They are able to be used well with guitar amps, cymbals, snares, guitar tabs, almost anything. One reviewer stated that the quality of the SM57 microphones is so good that it can be placed in front of almost anything to get high-quality, useable sound.

Though the microphones themselves received outstanding reviews, customers were disappointed with the included mounting system. One reviewer noted that the system frequently slips. He also has several friends that drum, and they each have the same problem. This is can become an issue if the drummer is recording or performing, because the microphone does not pick up the correct sound if it is out of place or against the drum head.

Pros

  • Set has great quality at a low price
  • Sound quality of the microphones is outstanding
  • Beta 52 microphone has a great punch when used with a kick drum
  • SM57 microphones are extremely versatile
  • Quality allows them to be used with guitar amps, snares, and other musical instruments and accessories.
  • Case and microphones are lightweight, making them easy to transport
  • Easy to use and set up

Cons

  • Mounting system does not perform up to expectations
  • When using the mounting system, the microphone sometimes slips
  • Prevents the microphone from capturing and reproducing clear sound

3. CAD Audio Stage 7 Premium 7-Piece Drum Pack Review

The CAD Stage 7 Premium Drum Pack includes all of the most popular models of microphones designed for use with drums.  The pack includes: (1) D10 cardioid mic, (3) D29 tom mics, (1) D19 snare drum mic, and (2) C9 condenser microphones. The D10 cardioid microphone has a cardioid dynamic design. The tom mics and snare drum mics are also dynamic in design.  This allows them to clearly pick up the sound produced by the drums. The condenser microphones are ideal for picking up overhead sounds, such as those from high hats, cymbals, or other overheads. They are powered using phantom power.

The CAD Stage 7 set also comes with a vinyl carrying case and strap. This allows the pack to easily be transported between studio sessions or live audio concerts. It can typically be purchased for $150 to $400. Additionally, the D29 tom mics and D19 snare drum mics come equipped with integrated mounting systems. This allows them to easily be positioned on a drum, without the need for assembly.

Features and Specifications

  • Dimensions of this set and carrying case are 13” x 4” x 11”
  • CAD Stage 7 set weighs just 4.6 pounds, making it light and easy to carry.
  • Includes: (1) D10 cardioid mic, (3) D29 tom mics, (1) D19 snare drum mic, and (2) C9 condenser microphones
  • D29 tom mics and D19 snare drum mics have integrated mounting systems
  • D10 microphone is cardioid dynamic in design
  • D29 and D19 microphones have a dynamic design
  •  Condenser microphones are ideal for high hats, cymbals, and other overhead sounds
  • Condenser microphones are powered using phantom power
  • CAD Stage 7 set includes a vinyl carrying case with a strap for easy storage and transportation

Reviews Overview

Customers who purchased the CAD Stage 7 drum microphone set were nothing less than satisfied with their purchases. This kit is said to have great sound quality, without a high price. If these microphones were purchased separately, they would run at a much higher cost. Some of the microphones included in this seven-piece kit can run $100 to $200 each, making the kit an amazing deal.

Many of the customers who purchased this set were also impressed with the ease of which the microphones can be set up. The integrated mounting systems of the microphones make set up a breeze. These microphones also work really well when performing live.  One reviewer stated that the D10, D19, and D29 microphones are really all that is needed to make the sounds of the drum powerful and clear. He also stated that the condenser microphones were an added plus to the kit, and they also work well. Another reviewer also used the drums for live shows. This reviewer was impressed with the integrated mounting system, which held the microphones firmly in place.

While reviewers of the CAD Stage 7 microphone kit loved the quality, there was some critical feedback. A couple reviewers were impressed with most of the microphones. However, they found that the kick drum mic did not provide the powerful sound they were expecting. One reviewer was able to correct this problem by adjusting the equalizer.

Pros

  • Very low price
  • Great sound quality
  • Set is ideal for both performing live, and for recording in the studio
  • Integrated mounting systems make set-up easier
  • Mounting system is stable and does not slip after the microphone is put in place
  • Microphones in the CAD Stage 7 set reproduce the sound clearly and powerfully

Cons

  • Kick drum microphone is not as powerful as some would like

4. Pyle-Pro PDKM7 Review

One of the great things about the advances in recording technology is the ability for people to create their own recording studios in their own home.  Instead of having to pay exorbitant prices for recording sessions at professional studios, people can invest in some high quality microphones and create their own recording studio.  When it comes to microphones for drum sets the Pyle-Pro PDKM7 stands out as one of the best that people can buy.

The Pyle-Pro PDKM7 microphone wired drum kit with accessories provides a person with the equipment they need to get a professional quality recording at a fraction of the cost of renting a studio.  The kit comes with everything that is needed to record the music that is created by the full drum set.  The recordings that this microphone creates will give a person a great feel for the beat of the drums, the ring of the cymbals and the punch of the snare.

The microphone is designed to be able to pick up the low end sounds in addition to the overhead and cymbal sounds that drummers want.  The kit comes with all of the mounting pieces that a person will need to attach the microphone to most standard drum sets.

The microphones included in this kit are compact enough to be placed close to the drums.  This design is perfect for capturing the sound that is produced by the drums with a life-like quality.  When these microphones are properly placed on the drums, a person can be assured that their recordings will sound the best that they possibly can.

For less than $150 a person will have the microphones they need to create their own recording studio.  Instead of having to pay for every session, a musician will be able to record their music as often as they want at any time that they want to.

Features and Specifications

  • The kit is a seven piece set that includes everything a person will need to record their drums
  • The compact design of the microphones allow for close micing
  • The low end punch is easily captured by the high performance microphone
  • The flat response microphone picks up the overhead and cymbal sounds the drum set produces
  • The mounts that are provided will fit most standard drum sets
  • The kit comes complete in a case that makes transporting and storage easy

Reviews Overview

When people read customer reviews for any product they will usually see at least a few negative reviews.  This is not the case with the Pyle-Pro PDKM7 drum kit.  It received a rating of 4.8 out of 5 and showed no negative reviews.

The people who have bought this kit talk about how well it has performed for them.  They rave about the high quality for the sound that these microphones produce for such a bargain price.  People are using this microphone kit to record music in their own home and are consistently impressed with the results.

Pros

  • Low cost allows people to create their own recordings for a fraction of the price of professional recordings
  • High quality of recordings using this microphone kit
  • Easy to mount on drums and easy to store when not in use

Cons

  • The mic screw heads are 3/8” and require an adapter to fit the standard 5/8” thread in the United States

5. Shure SM57 Review

Shure is a well known brand, but when it comes to any large brand name that features a number of products, at times it can get quite confusing in distinguishing between all of the products on offer. The Shure SM57, however, is an easy step up from its predecessor, with obvious differences in overall quality. If you are looking for something that is well-designed and with brilliant value for money, you have really found it in the Shure SM57. No matter what you need to use it for, the Shure SM57 will cater to your needs.

The Shure SM57 itself is simply a brilliant all-round quality product. If you are looking for a handheld microphone that is dynamic and features cardioid aspects, there is nothing more that you would need than what the Shure SM57 gives you – it simply covers all bases.

With a frequency response from 40 to 15,000 Hz it covers a huge range of variables. It is also designed to be incredibly durable, no matter what you are using it for. This is obvious from the get go, simply because it is made of incredibly good quality materials, so that it will last. As well as this it comes with quite a long warranty, helping to make it a good investment.

Features and Specifications

  • 6.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 inches in size
  • Weighs just 10 ounces, helping to make it lightweight and easy to carry around while performing, no matter what you are using it for
  • Brilliant price for what you get
  • Incredibly versatile – can used for both speeches and recording music, helping to make it ideal for anything you could want
  • Sound quality is brilliant regardless of what you use it for

Reviews Overview

As with all Shure microphone products, reviews are consistently positive. For the Shure SM57 in particular, all reviews are positive, at either 4 or 5 stars – over 80% being the latter. This is a clear testament to the overall quality of the Shure SM57.

Pretty much all agree that it is brilliantly versatile – being used in a number of recording studios, stages and the like, it is popular due to the fact that it is a really good microphone. Pretty much everyone uses it, simply because it is such a popular and brilliant mic, versatile in any situation you can think of.

Others recommend it over any cheaper models, simply because, while under $100 (approximately) is nothing for a good quality microphone, the Shure SM57 is even better.

Pros

  • Brilliant quality overall
  • Great price for all the features you get
  • Built to last – is incredibly durable

Cons

  • Not specific to a niche meaning it lacks individual features, but this is no bad thing – for the price the Shure SM57 is a brilliant option

6. Sennheiser 421 Review

There are some people who will search for a dynamic microphone based on the price.  They think they will get the quality that they need from a microphone at the lowest possible price.  When it comes to microphones people often get what they pay for.  Some people might think that a cheap mic is okay, but professionals will spend a little extra money to get a quality microphone such as the Sennheiser 421 Cardioid Dynamic Mic.

The cost of this microphone can approach $400, but there are many features for this microphone that make it very attractive for some people.  The microphone is one of the best that a person can get for recording guitars and drums thanks to its large diaphragm.  It is also a very good microphone to use with instruments, group vocals and radio broadcasts.

The original Sennheiser 421 set the standard for microphones that professionals turn to and this Sennheiser MD 421 II has followed along with the standards that the original had set.  It has been upgraded to use the new technology that is available and still maintain the highest quality sound.

The microphone is made out of materials that are designed to last and be durable.  A person can pick up this microphone and trust that it will work every time because of the way it is built.  The addition of the five position bass roll off switch allows the user considerable flexibility.

The people who buy this microphone will quickly discover that it is the workhorse that will fit all of their microphone needs.  It will replace the older microphones that they have gotten used to and surprise them with how much better it works.

Features and Specifications

  • Professional quality microphone that is built to be used frequently
  • Five position bass roll-off switch
  • Microphone provides great feedback rejection
  • High quality sound reproduction
  • Pronounced directivity makes the microphone easy to use

Reviews Overview

The people who have bought the Sennheiser 421 have given it very high marks in their reviews.  They give this microphone a rating of 4.8 out of a possible 5.  The majority of these users are professionals that depend on this microphone to help them do their job well.  They consistently talk about the high quality of sound that this microphone produces and the fact that it is something that every professional must have.

People who do not need a microphone to perform their job might believe that they do not need a microphone of this high quality.  It is true that many people can get by with cheaper and lower quality microphones and be very happy with them.  The only problem is that if they ever use this microphone they will quickly discover how much better they can make things sound.  It might be worth the extra price that a person has to pay for a microphone that not only provides great sound, but also that will last for a long time.

Pros

  • Professional quality microphone
  • Great sound quality
  • Made to last a long time and perform well for a long time
  • Uses the latest technology

Cons

  • Price is high for amateur users
  • More microphone than some people need

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