Top Drum Mic Kits – Guide & Comparison
If you are in a hurry and you don’t have the time necessary to search through all the drum mic kit reviews, here you can find a guide that will help you select the best drum mic kit out there. We have evaluated the quality and value provided by some of the most acclaimed products in this category and we concluded that the Shure PGADRUMKIT7 is the kit that you should be looking for. It consists of seven professional microphones, it offers a clear tone with no noise and it’s highly versatile. If you are unable to find this kit, we recommend the Audix DP7 one.
Our Top Choice
The following tools can be seen in the box: the premium PGA52 Cardioid Dynamic kick drum microphone, the PGA56 for the snare drum, and other mics that are going to transform your concerts into mind-blowing experiences. You'll also receive all the necessary cables and three drum mounts. Moreover, the seller also throws in a case so you can store everything easily.
As a downside, people usually don't appreciate the lack of mounting accessories.
The Shure microphones have always been praised for their unmatched sound quality and durability, and they are tailored for performers of every level. Others appreciate that they don't use a lot of energy to deliver impressive results.
For the right price, this set offers you not one but seven microphones ideal for many types of drums. The collection also contains the famous DVICE gooseneck clips for rim mounting, which are going to save you time when preparing the stage for an exhausting concert. For easy storage and transportation, you also get a heavy-duty aluminum road case that can fit everything comfortably.
As a setback, we'll mention that the cables you'll find in the box are of lower craft quality.
The set is designed, assembled and tested by the brand in the USA, which is a sign of premium quality. The overhead condensers provide detail and dimension, and the mics are ready for recording sessions in the studio and live shows at the same time.
Also To Consider
This kit contains everything an expert drummer might need: the Samson DK707 drum mics, two mic stands, and many other little accessories that are going to save time and money. The seven-microphone set is a collection of professional units designed to provide excellent sound for close-mic performance and for a diverse range of recording environments.
Some buyers weren't too thrilled about the mic stands, as they seemed to have poor quality.
The four Q72 instrument mics and the Q71 kick drum mic are bound to record even the faintest of the notes you play, while the two CO2 pencil condenser mics are ideal for overhead miking. Needless to say, the set doesn't lack in any area.
6 Best Drum Mic Kits (Reviews) in 2020
In order to make the best selection, our team has spent time researching all the consumer reports and professional reviews of drum mic kits, they have analyzed sales figures and they have created this top consisting of six quality and highly sought-after drum mic kits.
- 1. Shure PG ALTA 7-Piece Drum Microphone Kit
- 2. Audix DP7 7-piece Drum Mic Package
- 3. Samson DK707 7-Piece Drum Microphone Kit Tripod Base
- 4. Sennheiser E604 Dynamic Cardioid Instrument Microphone Kit
- 5. Pyle PDKM7 Dynamic 7 Piece Drum Microphone Set
- 6. Telefunken DD5 | Dynamic Drum Microphone Pack
- Yearly Guide & Report
- Frequently asked questions
1. Shure PG ALTA 7-Piece Drum Microphone Kit
Containing seven microphones, this professional kit will provide excellent sound for live performances and studio recordings. The set includes a kick drum microphone, three drum mics, and three instrument ones. In the package you also receive three drum mounts, seven XLR cables, and a stylish carrying case.
The microphones are known for delivering reliability and quality for stage performances and studio recordings. Made to meet anyone’s needs, the set consists of a complete family of different microphones. The design resembles an industrial style, with metallic covering. Microphone feedback and background noise are reduced through the cardioid polar patterns.
The different mics make it possible for the player to obtain versatility in the sounding tone of the drums. A great sound is ensured by the excellence of the drum kick microphone. The drum clips are adjustable and will allow you to set up the mics how you want.
The dynamic microphone is tuned to respond to extremely solid low frequencies and it will capture the power of your source with exceptional accuracy and focus.
Shure microphones are known for their sound quality and durability and this option is no exception and you can expect clean, consistent and long-lasting performance.
It has a handy quick-release latch that makes setup and teardown very fast so that you don’t need to waste more time than absolutely needed.
The kit has everything you need including mic clips and drum mounts, cables and a portable carrying case where you can store everything neatly.
What makes this option so popular among customers is that you get an excellent sound for an amazingly good price.
The only minor issue with this option is that it is missing a clip which means that you will need 4 boom stands, two for the snare and bass and two for overheads.Buy from Amazon.com for ($499)
2. Audix DP7 7-piece Drum Mic Package
The Audix DP7 is a kit designed for tracking or recording and it provides the highest value when the drum kit is good overall. Made for a seven-piece setup, this one is superior to other kits because it’s a premium model and because Audix specializes in developing drum microphones. If you choose this kit, you will reap the benefits of a reliable set for many years.
Other sets will put together some microphones made for different purposes, but not this one. This set’s included microphones are each made for a specific purpose in drumming. You can find the same mics separately so you don’t have to worry if you lose one — you can always find a replacement.
When discussing accessories, it should be noted that the clips are durable, will not cause problems and they’re also easy to set up. They’ll attach well to any drum kit, will not come in the way of your drum throne and they won’t go loose.
The I5 microphone features a cardioid polar pattern with a linear frequency response and it can reproduce signal at high sound pressure levels very accurately.
The D2 drum microphone has the necessary frequency and sensitivity response to reproduce signals from percussion instruments and drums at a high level of accuracy.
The D6 microphone is suitable for bass cabinets and kick drums and it can remove noise and ambiance caused by other instruments, gear, monitors, and more.
All of the items in this kit are stored in a heavy-duty aluminum road case that is durable yet light enough to make transporting all your gear feel comfortable and safe.
It includes all the gooseneck clips needed for rim mounting.
The quality of the included cables is very low and if you want to get the most out of these microphones you should purchase new cables with superior connectors for better sound quality.Buy from Amazon.com for ($999)
3. Samson DK707 7-Piece Drum Microphone Kit Tripod Base
A compact plastic carry case gives a good look to this set of seven microphones. There are four dynamic tom or snare mics, with fixed stands attachments and four drum mounts. The set also includes a kick drum microphone that has a rubberized stand mount so the unwanted rumble isn’t transmitted to the mic.
The clips can be removed and replaced with others if wanted. Completing the set, there are two condenser microphones built in a pencil style. They can form an overhead pair or they can be used for the high-hats. The clips do a good job to isolate the bad vibrations but they might have issues if the drum set is placed on a wooden floor.
These microphones offer a good sound across the board. The large diaphragm kick microphone gets out a large sound volume and the high frequencies are covered by the quality condensers. For more flexibility, the tom and snare microphones offer two additional tone controls.
This option is ideal for people who are looking for a more accessible microphone kit for live and studio use that offers excellent sound for vocals and a wide range of instruments and drum applications.
The microphones included in the package are of high-quality and you get four Q72 instrument mics, two CO2 pencil condenser mics for overhead miking, and a Q71 kick drum mic.
The kit offers everything you need to get started, including tripods and mic stands, so that you won’t have to waste more time and money looking for compatible accessories.
You can store everything in the included plastic case which is very compact so that you can take your entire recording studio on the road.
The boom stand doesn’t fit the mic properly, and if you want to get the best results and protect your equipment, you will need to purchase another stand.
The clips are a bit stiff and you will need to apply quite a bit of force to make them work.Buy from Amazon.com for ($339.98)
4. Sennheiser E604 Dynamic Cardioid Instrument Microphone Kit
This package includes three Sennheiser E604 microphones. At its core, this mic is one built for a snare drum or a tom and it has a good frequency range, between 40Hz and 18kHz. That means that it’s also suitable for the lower frequency sounds that the kick drum produces.
It is capable of capturing sounds directly from a specific source, using tight cardioid polar patterns. This makes the mic good at canceling surrounding sounds. That means this microphone is especially good for recording. Although the mic was made for drums, it’s versatile enough to register the sound of other instruments like guitar or bass.
Despite being so small, this microphone model is extremely durable. The shell is made of glass-composite and it will endure drops and stick hits. The clip is detachable and it provides a good amount of movement so you can position the mic how you want. All these features make it suitable for a drum set for kids.
The Sennheiser dynamic microphones are designed for recording snare drums, wind instruments, and toms and you get three mics in a single package.
Each mic comes with a strapping clamp that will let you place it as close to your drum as possible so that you get optimal positioning for excellent results.
The mics are housed in a tough reinforced fiberglass body that is designed to suppress impact noise.
The lightweight voice coil provides a fast transient response and extended high-frequency response between 40Hz and 18KHZ without fear of distortion.
The sound that the E604 produces is similar to that of a high-end studio condenser microphone for a fraction of the price.
While this option does indeed boast a durable construction, the mics look cheap since the fiberglass body looks very similar to plastic.
It can be a bit difficult to assemble the first time but it gets easier with each use.Buy from Amazon.com for ($327.95)
5. Pyle PDKM7 Dynamic 7 Piece Drum Microphone Set
Another seven-piece drum mic kit, this one contains five dynamic microphones, two condenser ones, and accessories for drum mounting. They all come in a lightweight carry case that offers easy transport and the means for a quick setup.
The mics are constructed so they fit all the standard types of microphone stands. Calibrated to capture low-frequency sounds, the big drum microphone is meant to be used for bass drums. The set contains four microphones that are suitable for tom or snare use. Taking care of the overhead sound, there are two condenser mics that are designed to capture sensitive vibrations.
Sound clarity is something that this kit delivers. The bass mic has a good frequency range and it will capture a large array of sounds. These microphones are intended for people that don’t want to make a huge investment in the microphone department and as a result, the quality of the materials used isn’t the highest.
It is one of the most economical drum microphone sets that you can get right now and it performs well for general live performance and casual studio work.
It is designed to work with any set of drums or other musical instruments and the compact size makes it ideal for close recording since you can take the convenient carry case anywhere with you.
Every mic in this set can capture anything from low end to sensitive/flat sounds and it is designed for bass drums and low-frequency instruments.
Compatibility with other drum rims is not an issue since each instrument microphone is designed with the standard 5/8” or 3/8” thread.
You won’t get the best sound out there but considering the price point, the focus of this product is more on affordability.
The plastic mic adapters and stands are cheaply built and can be stretched and bent very easily.Buy from Amazon.com for ($108.67)
6. Telefunken DD5 | Dynamic Drum Microphone Pack
When discussing appearance, this set has a classy look – it comes in different shades, the drum kick mic is black, the snare one is dark grey and the toms a lighter grey. All of them give the feel of sturdiness. The bass mic has a frequency of 25Hz to 18kHz and it can support sound levels of 150dB.
Holding all the microphones, the mounting devices and the cables, the carry case is large and sturdy. The plastic clips hold on great and they are easy to set up; that’s why they are excellent for live performances and they’re a great choice for a beginner drum set.
A focused cardioid pickup pattern ensures that the mics register no unnecessary background sounds. The manufacturer designed these mics so they register as little noise as possible, but that sometimes comes with the disadvantage that they don’t capture the whole volume of the sound. For live sound reinforcement, this kit will work great, but for larger venues, you will need additional overhead drum mics.
If you care about sound and you want to get a premium option for premium performance, this set of 5 microphones will give you clear sound without any background noise.
This microphone pack is designed for kick drums but it can also be used for voiceover work, bass cabinets, and other applications so that you get more value out of your purchase.
You don’t get just the microphone but a complete package that includes a set of quality microphone cables and each one has a right-angle female connector which makes it easier to get the mic placement right.
When paying a premium fee, looks are important and these mics have a classy design and come in different shades.
It is a very expensive kit and it doesn’t come with many accessories included in the package.
It can be difficult to set up but there are many online resources that can help you get amazing results.Buy from Amazon.com for ($1349)
Yearly Guide & Report
A drum kit is one of the most challenging instruments to mic up. When trying to record its sounds, in a live play or in a studio environment, the drummer must make sure that his or her mic kit provides the best sound possible.
How many mics?
Depending on how many drums you have in your kit and how many of them you want to amplify, you will get a kit that suits your needs. Some people like to get everything that they could ever need, and purchase kits that contain mics suitable for any drum, while others will settle for a couple of microphones.
If you are going for price efficiency, getting a whole seven-piece kit will prove a better option in the long run. But you might also want to consider getting a set of three microphones and in time adding some overhead ones to those. Another advantage when buying a whole set is that it comes with all the accessories needed to mount each microphone and most often they all come in a nice suitcase.
Some microphones that come in drum mic kits are also great for recording other instruments, like guitar or bass. Usually, a set of fewer pieces contains dynamic close proximity mics, but the ones with more options offer condenser microphones that are great for positioning overhead and they will make the whole drum set sound more complete.
You must make sure that your kit contains dynamic models because those need to be used for the toms, hats and snare drums. The mics should have a sturdy construction to withstand occasional hits from your drum stick and they need to be able to precisely capture mid-range frequency sounds. These microphones usually come with special modifications that make the drums sound better.
Clips and accessories
A good drum mic kit is of no use if the clips that attach it to the drums are poorly designed or poor quality. That’s why you need to make sure that the clips are easy to install, that they will last for a while and they will not loosen up. The mic mounts enable you to position the microphones closer to the drums and they are attached to the rims or edges of the drum kit. For tom or kick drums some of the microphones come with stands.
The carrying case is another important component, as it provides you with the means of transporting the equipment and maintaining it safe and clean. XLR cables are included in some drum mic kits, to make the setup easier.
Quality and purpose
A set of drum microphones must be intentionally made for recording the sounds that come out of the drums with the best accuracy. The mics need to be able to capture the depth of the original notes and offer quality in recordings and live appearances. That is why you should always invest in a kit of drum mics, and avoid the use of improvisations.
Drum mic kits are particularly useful for those drummers that want to become professionals. Look for the sets with great reviews and if you have the possibility, try some microphones before purchasing them. Although this is a stereo age, if you are just starting to use microphones for your drum kit, you can settle for the sound that you get when using a smaller set of quality mics that don’t include two overhead pieces.
If you intend to make your drums heard in a live environment, the dynamic microphones are the ones you should choose. Make sure to get the best ones you can in terms of reliability and noise suppression. Fortunately, most kits include dynamic models so finding them won’t be a problem. These kind of mics are very versatile so if you have too few of them, you can always switch them around, depending on what part of your drum kit you want to be heard more.
Some drummers like to record themselves while playing. To do that, you need one or two overhead, condenser microphones. Cheap drum mic kits that include such mics are not great for live performances because they tend to capture the sound of the audience as well. But they are made for studio recordings and they excel at that. In addition, they are easier to set up.
Each mic has its mission
The reason why you can find so much variety in drum mic kits for sale is that each drummer likes to make his or her drum set have a specific sound. Some people like to have a kick drum that sounds like it’s louder, while others want to emphasize the mid-range notes of the snares.
Either way, the best mic kits for drums should be able to provide what the player wants. However, it is recommended that you pay special attention to the mic that you want to use for your kick drum. Its ability to capture low-end frequencies is crucial because the kick drum is the one that most often suffers because it can’t be heard.
Fortunately, almost every kit has a dynamic microphone that is particularly made for capturing lower frequency sounds. These mics are designed to accentuate the tones and eliminate the vibrations that make the kick drum sound bad.
The second most important mic is the one that covers the snare. A dynamic model should be used in this case, as well. The sound that good dynamic mics bring out is equally impressive in live performances and in the studio.
If you are lucky and your kit contains two condenser microphones, you can use those as overheads for a great, wholesome sound. That is the basic setup of a drum mic kit, but some sets include even more dynamic mics that can be attached to the hi-hats and the toms. With a mic kit that has seven pieces arranged like this, your drumming efforts will be heard brilliantly.
Frequently asked questions
Q: How many mics do I need to record drums?
It’s best to get a kit that includes 7 mics but the answer to the question also depends on the size of the room since in smaller rooms you can get more stage volume out of your drums without microphones. When recording for studio work a good setup depends a lot on what you are trying to achieve.
If you have the time and the ears to experiment with mic placement you can get very good drum records with as little as two or three well-placed mics. This method is also good if you are on a tight budget and you don’t want to go overboard with the money.
With that said, if you have a set with 7-8 microphones, not only will you get a better recording but you’ll get to learn a lot more about the art of recording which in turn will help you achieve even better results. Thus, to summarize, the number of mics needed to record drums depends on your budget and the quality of the sound that you are looking to get.
Q: How do you set up the drum mics for recording?
Setting up drum mics for recording is a real skill and it requires a very deep understanding of musical styles as well as the mechanism of a drum kit. You’ll also need a good ear if you want to get professional results. If you don’t feel confident in tackling this endeavor on your own, it is best to consult someone who does or spend a fair share of time researching.
You need to pay a lot of attention to the kinds of drum heads that you have and how they are tuned since old drum heads can be more difficult to tune and might require replacing before you can record.
You should have a kit that includes a bass, snare, hi-hat, cymbals and 2 toms microphones. Out of these mics, cymbals are the most difficult to control if you are not satisfied with the tone which is why it is best to spend more on quality cymbals if you are on a tight budget.
Q: How do you place an overhead drum mic?
As far as overhead mics are concerned, there are many different approaches that you can take. First, there’s Eddie Kramer’s technique which involves using 3 mics that are positioned left, center and right in a triangle shape over the drums.
The second technique that you can use is Glyn Johns’ which requires you to position 3 mics equidistant from the snare at around 11 and 3 o’clock over the drums from the drummer’s perspective.
One of the most common overhead drum mic placement is having two spaced cardioids placed above the drums over the right and left sides of the kit. You can also achieve better results by gathering an overhead perspective of the entire kit and not just of the cymbals.
In the end, finding the best overhead drum mic technique depends on your experience since only by experimenting you can decide which mic placement gets you the best results.
Q: What is the standard tuning for drums?
There is no standard way to tune a drum since the right way is the one that best suits the player or the piece of music that they are playing. With that said, there are a few practices that should be followed if you want to get a drum to perform at its best.
You need to keep in mind that pure pitches should be preferred since the sound produced is better and our ears prefer a pitch that we can sing to. If the head is fraught with dissonances caused by the tension rod, this can make the drum less distinguishable in a mix.
It is also very important to get quality drums since an instrument that features quality bearing edges, shells and hardware will not only perform better but will be easier to tune and it will stay at pitch for much longer. By following these two simple principles that hold true for most applications you can enjoy better results when playing your drums.
Q: Who is the most famous drum player?
There are plenty of famous drum players out there and picking just one is bound to upset the fans of the others. While keeping in mind that everything is subjective, we feel that Buddy Rich is the person best suited for this title since even decades after his death, he still is the person that most drummers aspire to become.
Buddy Rich is known for his almost superhuman abilities to play the drummer and he was mind-bogglingly strong and fast. His love for drumming had its roots early on since as a kid he used the knife and fork as drum sticks and by age 5 he was already on Broadway playing “Stars and Stripes Forever” on a drum.
His precision, speed, and smooth execution became a standard and Rich’s influence extends from jazz to rock music. Gene Krupa, another famous drum player, called Rich “the greatest drummer ever to have drawn breath.”