This guide features 7-piece drum mic sets because this is the minimum number of mics you generally need to mic a 5-piece drum set for recording or playing large venues.
The mic kits in the $100 to $300 price range below are suited to live use and recording demos. If you're serious about recording then you'll probably want to look at the higher priced Audix and Shure offerings, and if you can afford it then check out the high-end Lewitt drum mic package.
The Best Drum Mic Kits
The DMK-7 drum microphone kit includes four instrument microphones, one kick drum microphone, and two condenser microphones. The DM70 instrument microphones included in this kit have a cardioid pattern that allows close miking and prevents bleed-through from other parts of the drum set. They can also handle up to 140dB SPL which helps in recording the loudest drums without distortion. The DM80 kick drum mic has a neodymium element which delivers maximum output and has a rubber shockmount mic holder that minimizes floor vibration pick-up. The two CM88 condenser microphones are 9-52V phantom powered and have an extended frequency response for transparent and smooth sound reproduction.
- Microphones: 4 x DM70 Instrument Microphones, 1 x DM80 Kick Drum Microphone, 2 x CM 88 Condenser Microphone
- Accessories: Case, Rubber Shock Mount Clip, Windscreens
In their customer and user reviews, a number of people mentioned the microphones from this kit have a solid feel and weight to them since they have a rubber isolation jacket around them. A lot of them said it's a good entry-level kit for its price. Other than drums, this kit has flexibility in providing decent recording for other instruments. Many users said these microphones provided good recording results. They also mentioned the DM70 microphones were the highlight of this kit since they bring out great tonality of toms and snare sounds.
Some users mentioned the kick drum mic didn't provide enough body or depth in regards to sound. Some users said the mounts weren't really that sturdy.
This kit is a good choice if you want affordable durable microphones that get the job done when it comes to recording drums.
CAD Audio PRO-7
CAD Audio is known for offering robust microphones at a low-cost price. The PRO-7 from CAD Audio contains these microphones: one K212, three TM211s, one SN210, and 2 CM217s. The KM212 is a large diaphragm microphone that is designed for kick drums, bass guitar cabinets, and other instruments with low frequency response. It features exceptional transient response with a wide frequency range for precise bass clarity and detail. The TM211s are dynamic microphones designed for toms with attached drum mount clips. The SN10 dynamic microphone is specifically designed for snares with an integrated shockmount clip. It also has a supercardioid pattern with wide frequency response and is even suitable for toms and bongo drums. The CM217 mini pencil condenser microphones come in pairs, and are specifically designed for hi-hats, overheads, and also string instruments. They feature an external 6dB / octave roll-off at 200Hz to compensate for close miking proximity effect. These two condenser microphone need 9-52V phantom power in order to operate.
- Microphones: 1 x KM212 Kick Drum Microphone, 3 x TM211 Tom Microphones, 1 x SN 210 Snare Microphone, 2 x CM 217 Mini Pencil Condenser Microphone
- Accessories: Vinyl Carrying Case with shoulder strap, Integrated Drum Mount Clips
A lot of users gave good feedback on this kit for its value for money. Most of them praised the microphones' robust and sturdy build. They also thought the integrated drum mounts were sturdy, shaped right and allowed for good adjustability. In regards to sound, the SN210 snare mic, TM211 tom mics and CM217 mics all provide clear and accurate response for drum recordings. Some of the reviewers used the CM217 condenser microphone for acoustic instruments, such as piano and guitars, and achieved decent recordings. A few have mentioned that overall this kit works well for both live and studio use.
Many users mentioned the kick drum mic captured minimal lows and weren't able to get a "thumpy" sound when used for recording. These users mentioned they needed to apply a lot of EQ to make it sound less muddy.
This option is a great low cost choice in producing accurate drum sounds without sacrificing quality and is suitable for both live and studio.
The Audix FP7 drum mic package is a definite step-up from the options above. This kit contains the following microphones from Audix's Fusion series: f2, f5 and f6 dynamic microphones and f9 condenser microphones. The three f2s are designed for rack and floor toms. These microphones are also used for brass, woodwind instruments and other percussion instruments such as congas, djembe, bongos, and timbales. The f5 is an instrument microphone with a hypercardioid pick-up pattern that helps minimize feedback. It's designed for snare drums but it's also useful for timbales, bongos, guitar cabinets and acoustic instruments. The f6 dynamic instrument microphone is designed for kick drum, bass cabinets, cajon and other low frequency instruments. This kit also contains two f9 all-purpose pencil condenser microphones made for overheads and distance miking.
- Microphones: 3 x f2 Rack and Floor Tom Mics, 1 x f5 Snare Mic, 1 x f6 Kick Drum Mic, 2 X f9 Overhead Mic
- Accessories: 6 x DCLIP - Heavy duty mic clip , 1 x MC1 - Nylon mic clip, 4 x DFLEX - Dual pivot rim mounted clip with extra wide butterfly jaws, 2 x WSF9 - WSF9 Windscreens, Aluminium Road Case
A lot of users found this kit to be a great deal in terms of quality and budget. These users mentioned the microphones were easy to set up and produced natural sounds while recording their drum kits. Some mentioned this is a good starter kit for those who want to use these mics in a studio setting. Some praised the f9 overhead microphones picking up great overhead recordings. Some reviewers used the f9 as a hi-hat mic and it still performed well. The f2 and f5 microphones provided tight sound recordings. Richard Alan Salz, audio engineer and owner of Vermont Audio Labs tested out the f2 microphones on his toms and mentioned in his review that the "toms sounded punchy and fat; they were better than average when it came to rejecting leakage." In his Modern Drummer review, Mark Parsons compared the Audix D6 from the f6 kick drum mic and said it was "still in the “pre-equalizedconcert-ready” neighborhood of the D6, but it had a bit more midrange punch, and the fundamental resonance was at a slightly higher frequency." Both experts and users agree that there's very little EQ needed to get a good drum mix when they used this kit overall.
Some users found the kit's drum mount clips felt less sturdy and restricting. Some also mentioned they felt a bit flimsy and not as durable as they would have liked.
Despite the drum mount clips feeling a bit less sturdy than some liked, the microphones on this kit are of exceptional quality that provide natural sound recordings of drums.
Shure are one of the biggest names in microphones and they've priced the PGADRUMKIT7 for the home recording market. This kit includes their PG Alta series that have a sleek black metallic industrial design and cardioid polar patterns that reduce background noise and feedback. It includes one PGA52 and three PGA56 drum microphones along with one PGA57 and two PGA81 instrument microphones. The PGA52 is a dynamic kick drum microphone designed mainly for the kick drum and for low-frequency recording and performing applications. The PGA56s are dynamic snare and tom microphone made for close-miking percussion applications. The PGA57 is a dynamic cardioid microphone that recreates acoustic drum performance and recording while the two PGA81 are condenser cardioid microphones used for sensitive acoustic instrument recording and performance. This kit also comes with stand adapters, drum mount clips and XLR cables.
- Microphones: 1 x PGA52 Kick Drum Mics, 3 x PGA56 Tom Mics, 1 x PGA57 Snare Mics , 2 x PGA81 Overhead Mics
- Accessories 3 x A25D Stand Adapters, 3 x AP56DM Drum Mount Clips, 7 x XLR-XLR Cables, Case
Many reviewers generally gave positive reviews for the microphones' quality and the kit's price overall. The microphones in this kit have a clear and flat response. A lot of people used the PGA81 and got great recordings when they used them for overheads. Some users thought this would be a great starter kit since it's easy to set up with the provided mounts and cables. Many users achieved great results when they used this for both live settings and studio recordings. Miguel Monroy said in his Modern Drummer review that they tested the PGA56 tom mic on maple toms. He said whether they were "playing heavy, thunderous tom patterns or light, articulate fills, the PGA56 captured everything flawlessly. They also delivered a true, accurate representation of the toms." Multiple experts concluded the PGA57 has a mid- to low-frequency extended response compared to the Shure SM57.
In the sub $500 price range this kit provides the best microphones that are great for both live settings and studio recordings, and other accessories that complete your whole set up. The microphones on this kit have a clear and flat response, and are able to capture the subtleties of your drum kit in live performances or recording.
Lewitt DTP Beat Kit Pro 7
The DTP Beat Kit Pro 7 from Lewitt is a high-end set of drum mics recommended by audio engineers for professional use. It contains a dual-element cardioid DTP 640 REX, three DTP 340 TT dynamic microphones, two LCT 340 condenser microphones and one MTP 440 DM cardioid dynamic microphone. The DTP 640 REX kick microphone is used both as a dynamic and a condenser microphone. It has switchable frequency response settings for a rich or flat sounding kick drum. The three DTP 340 TTs have supercardioid polar patterns that accurately captures the sound of drums and percussion instruments with maximum isolation of instruments in studio and live applications. The LCT 340s condenser microphones have two interchangeable capsules: one cardioid and one omni. This allows easy switching of polar patterns. The MTP 440 DM is great for miking snare drums, amps and wind instruments. This kit also has a selection of shock and drum mounts.
- Microphones: 1 x DTP 640 REX Kick Drum Mic, 3 x DTP 340 TT Supercardioid Dynamic Mics, 2 x LCT 340 Pencil Mics, 2x LCT 340 OC Omnidirectional capsules, 1 x MTP 440 DM Snare Mic
- Accessories: 2 x LCT 40 WS Windshields, 5 x DTP 40 MTS Shock Mounts, 4 x DTP 40 MT Drum Mount Clips, 1 x MTP 40 MCS Shock Mount, Padded black carrying case
Many users found the mics in this kit to be of great quality and praise them for their versatility. Most of these users were able to use these in both in a studio or live setting. Users found the microphones provided clarity and flat frequency response without using much in the way of compression and gates when recording. A lot of reviewers favored the DTP 640 REX Kick Drum Mic, which has two built-in capsules that captures better low frequencies and subtleties in the bass drum. In his Mixdown review, Rob Gee mentioned the kick drum presented a "thumping dynamic microphone capsule that really delivers the punch and force of the kick as well as an electret condenser that adds clarity and definition to the snap and extended low frequency response that this microphone is capable of capturing. "
This kit is a good investment if want good quality performance and recording of your drums. This is also a very versatile drum microphone kit as you can record many other instruments with its dynamic and condenser microphones.
This is where we sometimes present additional items that didn't quite make it to our main set of recommendations but which some people will find helpful. In this case it's a budget set of drum mics which are quite popular.
Pyle Pro PDKM7
This is a budget option which is quite popular despite some of the cheaper materials used. The PDKM7 from Pyle Pro Audio contains five dynamic drum microphones, two condenser microphones and drum mount accessories. It includes a lightweight carry case that protects the microphones and allows quick setup and safe transport. Each microphone is made to fit the standard thread 3/8" or 5/8" to match all types of microphone stands. The big drum microphone is intended for bass drums and low frequency instruments which is tuned accurately to capture low-end punches. The four small drum microphones are suitable for snare and tom use. The two condenser microphones in this kit are designed to capture sensitive and flat responses, which makes them suitable as overheads for cymbals.
- Microphones: 1 x Big Drum mic, 4 x Small Drum mics, 2 x Condenser mics,
- Accessories: 2 x Condenser Mic Holders, 4 x Thread inserts (3/8" and 5/8" threads), 4 x 3/8" threads, 4 x Clamps for snare/tom mics, 2 x Windscreens
Reviewers mentioned the microphones produce flat response sounds. They also mentioned the sounds the microphones produce were clear with little EQ needed. Many praised the affordability and quality of this kit. Some users mentioned the bass mic has a good pickup quality with good threshold and response. Some users say the small drum microphones produce clear sounds for toms and snares since they are generally in mid to hi frequencies. The condenser microphones generally have great low and hi frequency response.
A few reviewers found the plastic fasteners to have a build that's aren't as durable as they would have liked, but that's to be expected at this low price.
This kit is a good starter kit if you're on a tight budget.
Things to Consider when Choosing a Drum Mic Kit
Microphones and Uses
It's more affordable, to some extent, to get a drum microphone kit over buying individual drum microphones. Drum microphone kits tend to have a mixture of microphones specifically designed for drums, and microphones that are useful for vocals and other instruments. Most of them come with a combination of dynamic and condenser microphones. Dynamic microphones are ideally used on the snare, toms, and kick drum since they offer a good mid-range frequency response and have a sturdy build to withstand occasional miss-hit. They also tend to be pre-EQ’d to make each miked drums sound better. Condenser microphones usually come in a pair and are often used as overheads or room mics to capture the wide frequency range of the cymbals and ambiance of the room.
Additional accessories along with a carrying case make drum microphone kits more convenient. There are kits have drum mounts, which are integrated clamps that enable you to fasten the microphones directly to a drum. These mounts enable you to "close mic" a drum, and are attached to the edges, rims and other surfaces or hardware that are found on acoustic drums. Some have stands that are useful for mounting kick or tom microphones. Others have XLR cables so you won't need to purchase cables separately., but if you do then see what we recommend in our XLR Cable Guide.
Studio vs Live Setting
The drum microphone kits we have featured have the enough microphones to cover an entire drum kit needed for studio use. Dynamic microphones are also used in live settings because they can handle large sound pressure levels and are less prone to feedback. There are instances, mainly in large venues, where condenser microphones are used to achieve better detail live performances. In this case, unidirectional condensers are used with tight a cardioid pattern.
We looked at all the drum microphone kits containing 7 mics available from major American music gear retailers and selected the 11 most highly rated options for further analysis. This involved pouring over reviews and the results of studio tests by owners, users and audio engineers. We then processed all this information with the Gearank Algorithm to produce the scores out of 100 you see above and selected the 5 most highly rated options, along with a budget alternative, to recommend above. For more information about this process see How Gearank Works.