Many factors go into getting the best sound from your bass drum: Its size and quality matter, as do your bass drum pedal and your technique. Add a good kick drum mic to the equation, and you’re well on your way to producing a sound that’s just right. While we can’t help you with tuning and other factors, we’ve researched some of the best kick drum mics on the market, plus we’ve curated some tips for choosing the one that’s right for you.
Quick Links: Our 5 Top Picks:
- Audix D6 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
- Nady DM-80 Drum Microphone
- Sennheiser e602 II Evolution Series Dynamic
- Shure BETA 52A Supercardioid Dynamic Kick Drum Microphone
- Shure BETA 91A
You might already know that bass drums sound best when amplified via cardioid (directional) microphones designed to minimize the risk of bleedover from other sound sources. Here are a few more things to keep in mind.
- Kick drum specific –No surprise here – the best kick drum mics are purpose-built to amplify bass drums. It’s true that you can get passable results with other setups however that can take quite a bit of finagling.
- Ease or difficulty of positioning–There’s plenty of action near your feet when you’re drumming, and it can be frustrating to position certain mics inside your bass, particularly when they’re mounted on stands and you’d rather not have them positioned toward the front of your kit. The good news is that many manufacturers have taken positioning into consideration when creating new designs. The best kick drum mics are easy to set up, and they’re just as easy to adjust so you can get the sound you want.
- Durability – Did we mention that there’s a lot happening down there near your bass drum? You’d hate to lose an expensive piece of equipment to an accident. Be sure to choose a kick drum mic with a good reputation for durability
With these and a few other factors in mind, we’ve assembled this list of 5 great kick drum mics worth considering.
|Brand||Model||Package Weight||Average Rating||Price|
|Audix||D6||1.85 pounds||4.7 / 5 Stars||Check|
|Nady||DM-80||13.3 ounces||4.7 / 5 Stars||Check|
|Sennheiser||E602 ii||1.35 pounds||4.8 / 5 Stars||Check|
|Shure BETA||52A||2.4 pounds||4.5 / 5 Stars||Check|
|Shure BETA||91A||3.5 pounds||4.3 / 5 Stars||Check|
Tips for Choosing the Best Kick Drum Mic
There are many factors that go into selecting the ideal microphone for your bass drum. Here are just a few to keep in mind as you consider your options.
- Technical aspects:Many microphones look similar, but their capabilities differ. Mics that aren’t specifically designed for kick drums tend to fail, simply because they can’t handle the unique sound profile. For example, most instrumental mics are short on frequency response, and they aren’t designed to provide tonal accuracy at the low end of the bass pitch spectrum.
- Sound Pressure Level:Most vocal and instrumental mics can’t handle the loud sounds produced by a kick drum (well over 120 decibels in many cases) and this leads to distortion. Kick drum mics are built to provide accuracy even at high decibel levels.
- Price:In many cases, the more you spend, the better off you are. We’ve got great news for you: Unless you’re setting up a kit for recording and you need the very best kick drum mic on the market, you can easily get a great sound with a mid-range model. Keep in mind that you still get what you pay for in most cases; cheap mics tend to have shorter life spans and more pain points than their pricier cousins. Compromise is the word of the day here.
With some thoughtful sound engineering, a good-quality drum kit, and a reliable kick drum mic like the popular models we’ve reviewed here, you’ll find that you get a great sound from your bass, minus the distortion that can occur with a sub-par mic.