The 12 Best Overhead Mics for Drum Recording

Overhead Mics for Drum Recording

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When it comes to capturing the full spectrum of a drum kit’s sound, investing in quality overhead microphones is paramount for any aspiring drummer or recording enthusiast. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore The Best Overhead Mics for Drum Recording: 12 outstanding overhead microphones that excel in reproducing the brilliance and nuances of a drum kit. Additionally, we’ll address some common queries regarding the suitability of different microphone types for drum overheads.

What Mics Are Best for Drum Overheads?

Selecting the best microphones for drum overheads involves considering factors like sensitivity, frequency response, and durability. Here are twelve exceptional options to consider:

Audio-Technica AT2021

**Pros**: Known for its clarity and low noise, the AT2021 is a versatile condenser microphone suitable for capturing drum transients.

**Cons**: Requires phantom power, which might limit compatibility with certain setups.

Shure SM81

**Pros**: Highly sensitive with a wide frequency response, the SM81 excels in reproducing the subtleties of cymbals and drum shells.

**Cons**: Relatively higher price point compared to some other models.

Neumann KM 184

**Pros**: Renowned for its transparent sound reproduction, the KM 184 is a small-diaphragm condenser microphone ideal for capturing drum overheads.

**Cons**: Comes with a premium price tag.


**Pros**: A versatile large-diaphragm condenser microphone with multiple pickup patterns, providing flexibility in capturing drum kit nuances.

**Cons**: Higher cost may be a consideration for some.

Rode NT5

**Pros**: Budget-friendly small-diaphragm condenser microphone known for its clear and detailed sound quality.

**Cons**: May lack some of the features found in higher-end models.

Beyerdynamic MC930

**Pros**: Delivers exceptional transient response and low self-noise, making it a solid choice for drum overheads.

**Cons**: Requires phantom power and comes at a moderate price point.

Sennheiser e614

**Pros**: A rugged, compact condenser microphone with a wide frequency response, suitable for drum overheads.

**Cons**: May not offer the same level of sensitivity as higher-end models.

Audix ADX51

**Pros**: Exhibits a natural and transparent sound quality, making it a reliable choice for capturing drum kit nuances.

**Cons**: May require additional processing for certain preferences.

Electro-Voice RE20

**Pros**: Known for its robust build and smooth, flat frequency response, the RE20 is a dynamic microphone with versatile applications, including drum overheads.

**Cons**: Heavier and larger compared to some condenser models.

Shure KSM137

**Pros**: Provides a detailed and accurate reproduction of high-frequency sounds, making it an excellent choice for cymbals and drum overheads.

**Cons**: Requires phantom power and comes at a moderate price point.

Blue Microphones Bluebird SL

**Pros**: Versatile large-diaphragm condenser microphone known for its clear and transparent sound.

**Cons**: May be on the higher end of the price spectrum for beginners.

Royer R-121

**Pros**: A ribbon microphone known for its warm, natural sound reproduction, suitable for capturing the nuances of a drum kit.

**Cons**: Requires careful handling due to the ribbon element’s fragility.

Can You Use One Overhead Mic for Drums?

Using one overhead microphone for drums is possible, especially if you’re working with limited equipment or seeking a specific sound. However, using two overheads (a stereo pair) provides a more balanced and detailed representation of the entire kit.

Can You Use SM57 for Overheads?

While the Shure SM57 is a versatile dynamic microphone commonly used for instruments and vocals, it’s not typically recommended for overhead miking of drums. Condenser microphones are generally preferred for capturing the full frequency range and nuances of a drum kit.

Are Ribbon Mics Good for Drum Overheads?

Ribbon microphones, like the Royer R-121, can be excellent choices for drum overheads. They offer a smooth, warm sound and can capture the natural character of the drum kit. However, they require careful handling and may not be as durable as some other microphone types.

he Best Overhead Mics for Drum Recording

We hoop this post gave the information on The Best Overhead Mics for Drum Recording. Incorporating a top-notch overhead microphone into your drum recording setup can significantly elevate the quality of your recordings. Whether you’re seeking clarity, warmth, or versatility, the right microphone can make all the difference. Keep in mind your specific recording environment, budget, and sonic preferences when making your selection. Happy drumming and recording!

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Ori Meidan

As an advocate drummer with a passion for rhythm and beats, I am excited to share my knowledge and insights through a blog post crafted specifically for all the beginner drummers out there, helping you embark on an exciting journey into the world of drumming!

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