Best 8-Piece Drum Mic Kits
Audix DP7 Plus
Compared to the Audix DP7 Mic kit, the DP7 Plus features an additional ADX51s Mic for capturing an additional sound source like the hi-hat or as a spot mic for the ride cymbal.
Having a matched set of overheads ensures proper imaging and placement in the mix.
- Mics: 1 x D6 Kick Drum Mic, 1 x i5 Snare Mic, 2 x D2s Tom Mics, 1 x D4 Floor Tom Mic, 3 x ADX51s Overhead and Hat Mics
- Extras: 4 x DVICE Rim Mounts, 3 x DCLIP Microphone Clips, 1 x MC1 Microphone Clip, 2 x WS81C Windscreens, Aluminum Road Case, " How to Mic Your Drums" DVD
Users mention the kit is astounding value. The mics capture drums well with a lively and hi-fi sounding capture quality. The set sounds best for modern sounding drums and miking techniques. The added ADX51s mic also gets used as a mono room mic for gluing tracks together or as a candidate for NY style parallel compression. The included mic clips were also noted to be sturdy and of high build quality.
None that were noteworthy.
For great sounding drums with definition and cohesion, a modern sounding 8 mic set is an absolute must. The DP7 Plus with it's additional ADX51s mic is sure to get you to where you want your drums to sound.
Audix Studio Elite 8
At publication time this was the Highest Rated 8-Piece Drum Mic Kit.
The Audix Studio Elite 8 is a collection of high quality microphones from Audix's upper tier line. 8 microphones including the studio standard Audix D6 Kick drum mic round this set out.
It also includes a complete set of mounts and clips. All mics and accessories fit in a sturdy aluminum road case.
- Mics: 1 x D6 Kick Drum Mic, 1 x i5 Snare Drum Mic, 2 x D2 Rack Tom Mics, 1 x D4 Floor Tom Mic, 1 x SCX1HC Hi-Hat Mic, 2 x SCX25A Instrument Mics
- Extras: 4 x DVICE Rim Mounts, 4 x DCLIP Microphone Clips, 1 x MC1 Microphone Clip, 1 x MW81C Windscreen, 2 x SMT25 Shockmounts for SCX25A, Aluminum Road Case
This set includes several studio standard microphones for drums, especially the D6 Kick drum mic which reviewers praise as one of the best kick drum microphones on the market. Since the set is designed to work together, recordings done with this kit sound cohesive and punchy especially when thumping kick drums are the focus.
Price puts the set out of reach of people on a budget.
If your goal is to get a full set of top-tier microphones for your studio right away, join the upper echelon with the Audix Studio Elite 8.
Best 7-Piece Drum Mic Kits
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 mic 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.
- Mics: 1 x PGA52 Kick Drum Mics, 3 x PGA56 Tom Mics, 1 x PGA57 Snare Mics , 2 x PGA81 Overhead Mics
- Extras: 3 x A25D Stand Adapters, 3 x AP56DM Drum Mount Clips, 7 x XLR-XLR Cables, Case
Many reviewers 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 got great recordings when they used the PGA81's for overheads. Some users said this is a great starter kit since it's easy to set up with the provided mounts and cables. Many achieved great results when they used this in both live settings and in 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.
There were no consistently reported complaints by users.
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 mics in this kit have a clear and flat response, and are able to capture the subtleties of your drum kit in live performances or recording.
The Audix DP7 is built around the legendary Audix D6 Kick drum mic. This doesn't mean they skimped out on the rest of the mics though, as the other pieces of this kit include some of Audix's most popular microphones including the i5 Snare mic.
The other mics are no slouch either with 2 ADX51 overhead mics, and a set of D2 and D4 Tom mics -- all packaged in a sturdy aluminum case.
- Mics: 1 x D6 Kick Drum Mic, 1 x i5 Snare Drum Mic, 2 x D2 Rack Tom Mics, 1 x D4 Floor Tom Mic, 2 x ADX51 Overhead Mics
- Extras: 4 x DVICE Rim Mounts, 3 x DCLIP Microphone Clips, 1 x MC1 Microphone Clip, 2 x WS81C Windscreens, Aluminum Road Case, "How to Mic Your Drums" DVD
One user noted "I expected good, but I didn't expect THIS good". The set receives massive acclaim for its sound quality and overall value for money. It enabled users to get amazing raw tracks right off the bat and made mixing easier for them. A few realized how hard mixing can be with substandard microphones and spending more time fixing things that would have otherwise not been an issue with better mics.
Barrier to entry comes at a steep price for most beginners.
The DP7 is a solid first investment for people new to the craft as it eliminates the headaches of trying to improve upon mediocre sounding raw tracks. Pair this with a great Audio Interface and you'll get a decent head start with your recording endeavors.
sE Electronics V Pack Arena
At publication time this was the Highest Rated 7-Piece Drum Mic Kit.
The sE Electronics V Pack Arena is the 7 piece version of their V pack line. This kit enables you to record a drumkit with 2 rack toms and a floor tom with stereo overheads.
The V7 X mic also does a good job for various instruments as well.
- Mics: 3 x V Beat Tom Mics, 1 x V Kick Mic, 2 x sE8 Overhead Mics, 1 x V7 X Snare/Instrument Mic
- Extras: 3 x V Clamps, Flight Case
Reviews praise the kit's versatility and not tuned specifically to tie the kit down to a specific genre of music. The V7 X Snare mic has a rounder bottom end than an SM57 so for thinner sounding snares, this may be a good benefit.
The overhead mics may not be bright enough for vintage sounding cymbals, dulling them.
The V pack arena kit is tailor made for big rock sounds with a modern punchy feel while retaining some vintage warmth.
Best 6-Piece Drum Mic Kit
sE Electronics V Pack Club
At publication time this was the Highest Rated 6-Piece Drum Mic Kit.
While you may have noticed a trend by now with regards to sE Electronics V Pack products, they mostly consist of the same pieces with some mics omitted.
The Club version is a 6 piece mic set that's enough to mic up a drumkit with only 2 toms; a common setup for small venues and home recordings.
- Mics: 1 x V Kick Mic , 2 x V Beat Tom Mics, 1 x V7 X Snare/Vocal Mic, 2 x Se7 (stereo pair) Overhead Mics
- Extras: 2 x V Clamps, Flight Case
Most rock drummers these days are perfectly fine with one rack tom and one floor tom as they use the space vacated by the second tom to move their ride closer and use two crash cymbals. For this setup, a 6-mic pack like the V Pack Club is perfect. As with other kits in the V-Pack line, users love the vintage-modern tonality the mics bring while being durable enough to last years of accidental hits by even the most energetic of drummers.
A 6-piece drum mic kit might feel incomplete for other genres needing more toms.
If you plan to record a modern rock setup with just one rack and one floor tom, get the sE Electronics V Pack Club.
Best 5-Piece Drum Mic Kits
At publication time this was the Highest Rated 5-Piece Drum Mic Kit.
Shure is well known for their road worthy dynamic vocal and instrument mics, including drum mikes. The PGADRUMKIT5 is a bundle of five mics, first of which is a PGA52 kick mic which is fine tuned to handle the punchy sound and harsh lows of a kick drum. There are also three PGA56 mics that are designed to better handle the frequencies of toms, and are versatile enough to work with other percussion instruments. Last but not the least is the Shure PGA57 mic, with its ability to handle the high sound pressure levels of snare.
It also comes with the necessary tools for setup, including mounts, clips and even XLR cables - all of which are packed inside a road worthy case.
- Mics: 1 x Shure PGA52 Kick Drum Mics, 3 x Shure PGA56s, 1 x Shure PGA57 Snare Mic
- Extras: Shure A25D Mic Clip, AP56DM Drum Mounts, XLR cables, Case
Based on reviews, build quality seems to be the standout feature, but there are also many reviewers who commend this bundle for its sound quality. The snare mic in particular, caught the attention of many reviewers, with how it handles both soft and loud playing. Noise rejection also gets a good number of comments, which makes this microphone package easier to manage on the mixing console.
There are a few users who felt that the sound was too flat. To that effect, some recommend doing EQ adjustments before judging its performance, to get the most out of this mic kit.
With its consistent high ratings, and big brand backing, the Shure PGADrum kit5 is highly recommended in this price range.
As the price of drum mics increase, the more specialized the contents of the package are. Case in point is the Audix DP5A which features a dedicated mic for the floor tom and a premium mic for the snare.
While all three tom mics are dynamic hypercardioid, the D4 floor tom mic can handle more lows with its 40Hz-18kHz frequency response, compared to the 68Hz-18kHz response of the two D2 tom mics.
The D6 kick drum mic's frequency response is 30Hz-15kHz and it has a cardioid polar pattern.
Finally, the Audix i5 dynamic cardioid mic handles the snare with its 50Hz-16kHz response.
Rounding up this mic package are four D-Vice gooseneck clips and an aluminum case that holds it all together.
- Mics: 1 x D6 Kick Drum Mic, 2 x D2 Tom Mics, 1 x D4 Floor Tom Mic, 1 x i5 Snare Mic
- Extras: 4 x D-Vice gooseneck mic clips, Aluminum Case
This microphone package gets most of its commendations from drummers who are very satisfied with its overall sound. The i5 snare mic in particular gets a lot of positive mentions, along with the D4 floor tom. Some even report that it sounds so good out of the box, there was no need for any EQ. Drummers also report that because of its good dynamic range, it's not limited to specific musical/playing styles.
Other than a few who feel that the price is outside their budget, there aren't any noteworthy complaints.
If you are looking for a drum mic package that captures more of the nuances of your acoustic drum kit and your playing, then check out the DP5A from Audix.
Best 4-Piece Drum Mic Kits
Contrary to popular belief, you can actually achieve a great drum sound with just 4 mics. The Glyn Johns Technique which usually involves four mics: 1 Snare, 1 Kick, 1 Overhead placed above the snare and one side mic beside the floor tom the same distance from the snare as the overhead. This technique results in a very natural sounding stereo capture that works well for classic rock, indie and jazz.
At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated 4-Piece Drum Mic Kit.
This kit may not have the legendary mics Shure is known for such as the SM57, but the PGA57 is descended from that lineage with a multitude of studios already praising it for it's own accord.
- Mics: 1 x Shure PGA52 Kick Mic, 1 x Shure PGA57 Instrument Mic, 2 x Shure PGA181 All-Around Mics.
- Extras: 3 x clips, 4 x cables, and case
Most praise from the community is for the PGA57 Instrument mic which does a great job of capturing snare drums for lighter music like jazz and indie. While it doesn't have the punch of its older sibling, the midrange clarity compared to the SM57 gives it its own distinct sound. The PGA52 Kick mic also gets praise as a natural sounding, and full kick mic. The PGA181s make for great overhead sounds. Combined, the sound they capture feels warm and natural.
It's not an SM57. People expected the PGA57 to sound exactly like the SM57 and were disappointed. Overall sound is said to be warm but not vintage voiced. This may equate to it sounding dull for some.
The PGASTUDIOKIT4 is a mic kit that is greater than the sum of its parts. The resulting drum sound works best for less modern sounding genres.
sE Electronics V Pack Venue
At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated 4-Piece Drum Mic Kit.
Small venues usually don't need overhead mics, which is why sE Electronics came out with the "Venue" version of their V Pack series. Who's to say it wont work with home recording? Again, with just 4 mics, you can actually record great sounding drums. The V Pack Venue, despite it's minimal content compared to the other offerings in the line, still has the same, high-quality microphones from those packages.
- Mics: 1 x V Kick Mic, 2 x V Beat Instrument Mics, 1 x V7 X Snare/Vocal Mic
- Extras: 2 x V Clamps, 1 x Mic Clip, Flight Case
Reviewers love the versatility of the V Pack and their modern punchy feel with vintage warmth. Having these qualities in a 4 mic setup brings the best of both worlds: Vintage style miking techniques with this mic set,
Price for a 4 mic set may be too high for some.
If you want to commit to the vintage style mic techniques or if you just want to get 4 high quality mics to expand your existing mic locker, the V-Pack Venue is a great purchase.
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, because they include important accessories like mounting clips and cases. Many of these drum mics can also be useful for vocals and other instruments, adding to their usefulness. While most close proximity drum mics are dynamic, there are also condenser type mics used, especially those that are positioned overhead. 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 ambience of the room.
Additional accessories make drum microphone kits more convenient. Most of them come with 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 applicable surfaces. Some have stands that are useful for mounting kick or tom microphones. Another common component included in mic kits are carrying cases, which make storage and transport more convenient. There are some bundles that include XLR cables, but in case you need them, you can see what we recommend in our XLR Cable Guide.
Studio vs Live Setting
Dynamic microphones are the go to mic used in live settings because they can handle large sound pressure levels, they have good noise background noise rejection, 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 the studio, close miking each drum component with dynamic mics give you more control over each drum part, which is important in the production process.
On the other hand, overhead omni-directional condenser mics give you a complete picture of the drum sound, with minimal setup time. The downside to this setup is that it is more prone to background noise, and you don't have individual control over the sound of each drum part.
Best Drum Mic Kit Selection Methodology
This guide was first published on May 11, 2017 written by Denise Azucena, and the latest comprehensive update was published on April 23, 2020 written by audio engineer Raphael Pulgar with contributions from Denise Azucena and Alexander Briones .
We restructured this guide for the April 2020 update by adding categories for 8 and 6 piece kits and removing the 3 piece section - you can see ratings for those in the Music Gear Database.
We looked at all the highly rated and popular options available from major online retailers in the USA and put 38 kits from 19 brands on our short-list for closer examination. Those brands were AKG, ammoon, Audix, Avantone Pro, CAD Audio, Digital Reference, Earthworks, Lewitt, Miktek, Monoprice, Nady, Neewer, Peavey, Pyle Pro, Samson, sE Electronics, Sennheiser, Shure and Telefunken. You can see them in the Music Gear Database.
Then we looked at relevant reviews, ratings and forum discussions about each mic and fed that data into the Gearank Algorithm to produce the rating scores out of 100 you see above, and to report on the experiences of users. Over 2,300 sources were examined during this process.
For more information about our methods see How Gearank Works.