Best Drum Mic Kit [2020 Version]

If you are in a hurry and want to know the best drum mic kit, it’s the Shure DMK57-52 Drum Mic Kit

Drummers have to deal with a lot of factors to microphone their stuff. Guitarists and bass players, for example, easy: they need to deal with themselves and maybe an amp. But a drummer is different. What works on a snare drum is not what works on the bass drum or even your floor tom. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there: genres and playing style differ significantly on which microphones to use, how many of them and its positions.

How to get the Best Drum Mic Kit?

Different kits come with various drum mics; in this article, you will understand how you can buy yours depending on your use.

Microphones: dynamic or condenser?

The two main types of microphones you will find for your drum kit and how they work.

Dynamic microphones

These are real warriors, they can have been known to survive drops, stomps, and the inevitable stick hit unscathed. 

Simple designed and rugged built; they are mostly used in snare drum, bass drum, and toms. They can withstand high sound pressure levels, making dynamic microphones them ideal for recording loud sounds or use in a live setting.

It works like a reverse speaker. The diaphragm is directly attached to a metal coil, which is suspended between two magnets. When the diaphragm moves the coil, it also moves up and down, producing a small AC current, mimicking that of the sound wave sent out of the microphone into a preamplifier.

Condenser microphones

Those are more common to be found in overheads, hi-hats, and snare bottom. Those operate via the electrostatic principle (stationary electric charge), and they consist of two charged plates: a movable plate and a fixed backplate, like a capacitor. The sound waves hit the front plate, which vibrates the space between the plates, producing a signal sent to the mixing board. And then require an outside power source (called phantom power) to charge the plates and boost the output signal. 

Without the amplifier, the microphone’s output signal would be so low, and it wouldn’t be useful. These microphones are usually lightweight, as there are no coils involved. They are much smaller and sensitive than dynamic microphones.

Clamp Durability and Stability

A clamp holds the microphones, so it stays in place while you are playing drums. Its stability and durability are essential for many reasons.

Just imagine this: you are recording your best drum take and then go to the recording to suddenly find out that the clamp loosened, and the mic was resting on the drum head for the whole time. You lost your take, because of a single plastic clamp. Infuriating, isn’t it?

Or another situation: you are playing with your band, audience of 400+. You hit your microphone with your stick (God forbid), the clamp breaks, you end up with your snare drum sounding like trash for the rest of the session. 

And those are more common problems, but specific problems can also get in your way, like an audible resonance from the drum shells into the mics making your drum kit sound bad.

So, to avoid any headache, look up for the clamp’s material, ones that provide more stability are rubberized, and you need to test each mechanism as they can also come with a loose screw or something else. If your best drum mic kit doesn’t provide a good one, you might want to consider various clamps, like those made by Gibraltar, and Latin Percussion.

Microphone Durability

Remember those stick hits we just talked about? Yes, microphones need to handle those. 

If you play in live sessions and travel a lot, these microphones need to handle even more. General use or even abuse: handled by people, dropped by people, and even being stepped on. We have the weather issue, traveling from 100-plus degrees down to negative temperatures, sometimes within days from each other.

If you feel mic’ing your kit isn’t enough for live performances, check our article about the best drum triggers.

What Genre are you playing?

This factor is more critical if you play in live sessions; if it’s a home studio or average drum recording, you can skip it.

The search for the best drum mic kit is also based on the music genre you are playing. Playing a rock/metal set up, you are most likely to buy a dynamic mic for each drum, and many times under and over a snare drum. In Jazz, the emphasis is more on overall kit sound; you need some good overhead mics and a couple of individual mics for snare and kick.

You need to be cautious with overhead microphones as they can pick up a lot of bleed from other instruments on stage, so don’t position them as high as you would in a jazz kit.

Among the variety of drum mic kits on the market, here are the best options:

Budget Option – Pyle Pro PDKM7 7 Piece Drum Microphone Kit 

Key features:

  • Connectors: Standard XLR
  • Comes with condenser microphones: Yes

The first drum mic kit we are reviewing today is made by Pyle, an American company founded in the 60s and known for its high-quality advanced woofers.

I’ll start by saying that this is the best drum mic kit if you are on a budget and wants to record in a studio or home studio. It features a good sound quality, balanced with a fat low end, warm with decent mids, and muted highs.

The big drum microphone is worth the kit by itself, a bit flat, but on the other hand features a Great pickup quality, low peak tendency, reasonable threshold, and quick response. The small drum microphones (tom and snare) are suitable for mid to high frequencies only, so you’ll have an excellent sounding snare and toms, but the floor tom is kind of sloppy because of its pickup in lower frequencies is close to flat. The two condenser microphones can do the job pretty well, surprisingly good pickup from low frequencies to high frequencies. 

Something disappointing about this mic kit is that some reviewers complain about poorly-built hardware. Inserts may not fit well on microphones, and as the clamps are made of rigid plastic and not rubberized, so they only last a few jam sessions – you should get a separate set of those for durability. The carrying case isn’t really protective, as anyone that owns the same kit can open it (master lock).

Shure microphones sound better? Yes, they do. But if you want the best drum mic kit for the money (the cost per microphone is pretty low) and don’t mind experimenting with EQ and compression, those are definitely for you. You can quickly get clean recordings as long as you have a decent sounding mixer. 

What’s in the Mic Kit:

1- Microphones

  • One bass microphone (PDKM-7A)
  • Four snare/tom microphones (PDKM-7B)
  • Two condenser microphones (PDKM-7C)

2- Extras (holders and more)

  • Two condenser microphone holders
  • Four thread inserts (3/8-inch and 5/8-inch threads)
  • Four 3/8-inch threads
  • Four clamps for snare/tom microphones
  • Two windscreens for condenser microphones
  • One carrying case

Pros:

  • Best drum mic kit if you are on a budget

Cons:

  • Hardware that comes with the kit isn’t durable
  • Not recommended to live sound reviews

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Best Drum Mic Kit Overall – Shure DMK57-52 Drum Mic Kit 

Key features:

  • Connectors: Standard XLR
  • Comes with condenser microphones: No

This is a well-known drum mic kit by Shure, an American company founded in 1925. The microphones that come in this kit are the standard mics for live performances. As a drummer myself, I like those, and probably after reading this, you’ll understand why.

It’s well-known among musicians that the SM57s (snare/tom microphones) are terrific mics. They feature a well-balanced sound, built sturdy, and very versatile. When used in a snare, they impress an excellent tone and attack (and picks the hi-hat flawlessly). A fun fact is that I’ve seen people using those mics for almost anything, violin, guitar cabinets in live shows, and other instruments.

The BETA 52 (kit’s bass microphone) is one of the best kick mics out there, and it’s an industry-standard bass drum mic that is great for applications from rock to Jazz. It’s pretty well built, sounds accurate, clear, and packs a nice punch for the kick drum.

Unfortunately, something disappointing about it is that it suffers from the same low-quality clamp issue as the Pyle Pro Kit (reviewed above). We recommended you to get a separate set of those for durability. 

This kit costs more than its competitors (including most of this roundup review). Still, it’s worth it, you are paying more for a lot fewer problems when recording, and it’ll never be a waste of money if you’re a gigging musician as they are pretty versatile. 

Overall, an excellent investment as they are high-quality and will last for a long time. 

A good tip is to get these with a pair of MXL 606’s condensers for overheads if your goal is to mic your drum kit on a budget.

What’s in the Mic Kit:

1- Microphones

  • One bass microphone (BETA 52A)
  • Three snare/tom microphones (SM57)

2- Extras (holders and more)

  • Three clamps for snare/tom microphones (A56D)
  • One carrying case

Pros:

  • Recommended for the average live performer and sound engineer
  • Very sturdy microphones
  • Great sound quality
  • Versalite 

Cons:

  • Hardware that comes with the kit isn’t durable
  • More expensive than competitors

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

CAD Audio Stage7 7 Piece Drum Mic Pack

Key features:

  • Connectors: Standard XLR
  • Comes with condenser microphones: Yes

Made by Cad Audio, an American company established in 1931, this is a very nice reviewed drum mic kit, affordable one (but don’t seem cheap at all).

This is a reliable option if you are looking for mics to use in your home studio. Tom and snare microphones perform well with good tones. The D10 bass microphone has a deep low thump, nice for live shows. A great surprise is the C9 condensers mics, very sensitive to cymbals’ high frequencies, and provide a crisp, sharp response in the mix.

The microphones are pretty sturdy, and It’s integrated clamps handle well after a few uses but aren’t very versatile as they are made for snares and toms only.

Some drummers complained about the size, snare and tom microphones are bigger than most competitors and can be hit when playing.

Overall, it’s a perfect drum mic kit for the money, great for your home studio, and works fine when in live sessions. Obviously, you can’t compare its sounds with more expensive microphones (like the Shure kit above), but in the end, they get the job done pretty well if, as in the Pyle Pro mics, you don’t mind spending some time experimenting with EQ and compression.

What’s in the Mic Kit:

1- Microphones

  • One bass microphone (D10)
  • Three tom microphones (D29)
  • One snare microphone (D19)
  • Two condenser microphones (C9)

2- Extras (holders and more)

  • One carrying case

(clamps are integrated on the microphones)

Pros:

  • Great for a home studio
  • Excellent price

Cons:

  • Size can be an issue as some say they’re bigger than most competitors
  • Aren’t really versatile

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Samson DK707 7-Piece Drum Microphone Kit

Key features:

  • Connectors: Standard XLR
  • Comes with condenser microphones: Yes

Created by Samson Technologies, an American company started in the 80s that has grown from a small two-person operation to a worldwide enterprise. This drum mic kit is made intended for professionals.

Snare and tom mics have decent clarity, perform really well as they have plenty of sensitivity of low to high frequencies, so when you mount them on floor tons, they don’t lack any tonality. The Q71 bass microphone has solid deep bass with a decent attack. This is another reviewed mic kit that the condenser mics are a great surprise, the C02s feature great sensitivity, smooth highs, and you can hear the cymbals just fine with no lacking frequencies.

A really nice feature is that the clamps (or rim clips) fit very well snare and toms’ rims. These aren’t going anywhere when playing/ recording.

If you like organized setups, with this kit, you are in heaven. Not only all seven microphones come with its velcro strap with extra seven velcro straps (with all XLR cables included).

Some reviewers complain that the condenser mics don’t fit the stands included in the kit. But a solution they found is that the adapters threaded into the base of the mic clip that needs to be removed before the clip will easily fit the threaded post. You can use a penny or sizeable flat blade screwdriver to unthread/remove it.

Overall, if you are looking for a complete kit with decent quality and price, this is the one.

What’s in the Mic Kit:

1- Microphones

  • One bass microphone (Q71)
  • Four snare/tom microphones (Q72)
  • Two condenser microphones (C02)

2- Extras (holders and more)

  • Two tripod base mic stand with a fixed boom (for condensers)
  • One low-level tripod mic stand with a telescoping boom (for the bass mic)
  • Four tension-mounted clamps (for snare and toms)
  • Seven swivel-style mic adapters
  • Seven XLR mic cable 20 ft.
  • One carrying case

Pros:

  • Sound really well
  • Durable and stable clamps for snare and toms

Cons:

  • Condenser mics don’t fit the stands included in the kit

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Best Performance – Audix DP7 7-Piece Drum Mic Package

Key features:

  • Connectors: Standard XLR
  • Comes with condenser microphones: Yes

Designed by Audix, an American company (like all mic kits’ manufacturers reviewed today) based in Oregon that specializes in the advancement of the professional audio industry, this 7-piece kit is the only kit you need as it even comes with condensers (in contrast to the Shure kit we reviewed).

The i5 snare microphone works amazingly well (some drummers dare say these are better than the SM57s from Shure). The D6 bass microphone captures the bass drum well. The D2 and D4 work great on toms and floor tom, respectively, and they are relatively small, so they don’t get in the way when playing. The two ADX51 condensers are great overheads; they can be used to mic hi-hats and are designed to handle a wide variety of studio and live applications.

This is a drum mic made with attention to detail and quality. An example of this attention is the drum clamps; they don’t scratch the kit and are versatile.

Overall, if you are looking for an outstanding mic kit for live performances and recording, you found it. If the business is sound quality, this is the best drum mic kit we are reviewing today. Those sound amazing right out of the box even before you EQ anything. 

What’s in the Mic Kit:

1- Microphones

  • One bass microphone (D6)
  • One snare microphone (i5)
  • Two toms microphones (D2)
  • One floor tom microphone (D4)
  • Two condenser microphones (ADX51)

2- Extras (holders and more)

  • Two tripod base mic stand with a fixed boom (for condensers)
  • Four clamps for snare and tom mics (D-Vice)
  • Three heavy-duty tension fit mic clips (for other mics)
  • One carrying case

Pros:

  • Well-made drum clamps
  • Amazing sound
  • Relatively small mics so they are not entirely in the way

Cons:

  • Most expensive drum mic kit reviewed in this article

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Conclusion

And finally, the winner of this roundup review is the Shure DMK57-52 Drum Mic Kit. You can get better sound with others like the Audix. But what makes the Shure the best mic kit is its versatility some engineers claim they can mic an entire stage using only SM57 (microphones that come on the mic kit for the snare and toms) and get usable sound. Another great feature of this drum mic kit is its bass microphone, simply superb, if you’re having trouble getting a punchy, defined bass drum and just can’t find the right settings on your mixer, buy this kit and don’t look back. It’s the best bang for your buck. It would never hurt to have a kit like this in your mic locker.

Table of Contents

Share this post
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *