Drums alone sound awesome, but if you really want them to shine, you need the right microphones to help you project the sound in the right way to your audience.
Below, we show you some of the best drum mics and offer you a few tips that will help you choose the right ones based on where you’re performing and the drums that you have in your set.
Before you choose a drum mic, here are a few things to consider:
- Where You Perform. Playing your drums at home or in a garage is quite different from playing them on a stage.
The type of microphone you choose will depend on where you will be performing and if you will be recording.
- Type of Drum. Bass drums and kick-drums need a different microphone than your cymbals, snare drums and tom-tom drums.
We show you some great kits and individual mics on our list below.
Top 6 Drum Mics Complete Chart
The performance location makes a big difference in the type of microphone you choose.
- Live. For live performances, a dynamic mic is an excellent choice.
They are versatile, which means that they work well for drums, vocals and other instruments that you play. A dynamic microphone will work well with most parts of a drum set if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on equipment by buying individual mics for each drum.
- Home/Studio. For home or studio recordings, a pair of matching condenser mics are your best bet.
For beginners or those who are looking for a large variety without investing a lot of money, a mic set is ideal. Check out numbers five and six on our list above.
Types of Mics
Above we mentioned the two different mic types: dynamic and condenser.
- Dynamic Mic. These have a thin diaphragm and copper coil inside. Once sound enters the mic, it’s converted into electrical energy. The sound vibrates the diaphragm and the copper coil, causing it to move up and down, thus creating an electric current.
- Condenser Mic. These use a capacitor inside to convert sound waves into electrical energy. You’ll find them with both large and small diaphragms, smaller ones being preferred in live performances.
The microphone’s distance from the drums and the angle that you position it at will have a huge impact on the overall sound.
It may take a few test runs to get it right, sop just be patient as you find the sweet spots.
Top 3 Best Drum Mics Reviews
If you’re just starting out on the drums and you don’t want to invest a lot of money, the GLS Audio ES-57 is the best drum mic for those on a budget.
This is a dynamic mic that has a surprising amount of punch for the price. It has a frequency response of 50 Hz-15,000 Hz, sensitivity of -72dB at 1,000 Hz and it’s unidirectional, meaning that it will pick up the exact sound no matter which way it’s placed.
Use it for drums, vocals or any other instruments in the band until you are ready to upgrade to more serious equipment like the next two on our list.
For more professional-quality drum and percussion sound, try the Shure SM57-LC mic.
This offers you uniform cardioid pickup pattern that will isolate the main sound source and reduce background noise, it has a pneumatic shock-mount system that cuts down on handling noise and has a frequency response of 40 Hz – 15,000 Hz.
Clean reproduction of all of your jam sessions! Great for tom toms and snares.
If you’re looking for something to use with kick-drums or floor tom toms, try the CAD Audio KMB412.
This dynamic cardioid mic is specifically designed for bass drums and all other low-frequency sources. It has a large diaphragm that will deliver response with sounds as low as 25 Hz, a cardioid polar pattern that focuses on the desired sound and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
You can also use it with bass and guitar amps, so if you need a versatile microphone to add to the collection, this is the one you want!