4 Greatest Overhead Drum Mics For a Complete Band Experience

It goes without saying the drums aspects of your band is the hardest and most challenging part to ‘mic up.’ In addition to the actual positioning of the microphone itself, which can prove a challenge in itself, you also need to be aware of the quality and capabilities of the microphone model that you’re choosing to go with.

Consider this. In a typical song, you’ll have the crisp and incredibly sharp notes of the snare, the roaring and eardrum-pounding sounds of the kick drum and the constant rhythm of the mid-range section. Since a drummer’s routine can change in an instant, you need to choose a microphone that can keep up with the pace.

Ideally, for a typical yet professional setup, you’re going to need around four different microphones. To focus on each aspect of the drum, however, two overhead microphones are commonly considered one of the most important elements.

This is because you can hear and receive an overall sound that the drumkit is producing, ensuring you’re delivering the exact sound that you’re looking for. What’s more, the typical condensed overhead microphones that you use can always be used seamlessly for vocals and acoustic work, meaning you’ll have access to a multi-functional microphone, whenever you need it most!

To help you choose the perfect microphone for what you’re looking for, today we’re going to explore four of the best, helping you complete your setup and focus our attention on making the music you love.

Neumann KM 184 MT Stereo Set Condenser Microphone

Neumann KM 184 MT Stereo Set Condenser Microphone

If you’re looking for a premium quality microphone set that will give you every feature and function you could possibly need, there’s no point in looking any further than the Neumann KM 184 stereo set.
Despite the professional price tag, these microphones are one of the highest microphones in the business and are sure to help you deliver the quality you’re looking for, whether you’re at home, in the studio or performing live to an audience.

Thanks to their universal connector design, you can also feel safe in the knowledge that these mics will work seamlessly with any recording or studio software that you’re using. Simply plug them in, and you’ll be ready to go!

In fact, this set is based on the famous KM series microphone, meaning you’ll have access to years’ worth of audio experience in the palms of your hands. With the set, you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits that come with an omnidirectional microphone, ensuring that every beat, kick and high tone is picked up in the best quality possible.

While the microphones may seem small and lightweight at first, the sounds that are picked up from these mics are unparalleled, thanks to the cardioid design held within its durable, long-life casing, proven by their track record of being successfully on the market for over a decade.

With your purchase, you’ll find everything you need in order to setup and start using them straight away and will even receive a hard-wooden transport case, ensuring that your microphones and equipment stay maintained to the highest quality for many years to come.

PROS
  • Comes with superior quality wooden travel and storage case
  • Universal compatible with software and equipment
  • Includes stand mounts and windscreens for optimal quality
CONS
  • Professional, premium price tag
  • Not optimal sound for electric guitars, yet ideal for acoustic sounds

Shure KSM141 SL Dual-Pattern End-Address Condenser Studio Microphone

Shure KSM141/SL Dual-Pattern End-Address Condenser Studio Microphone

If you’re looking for something a little more suited to a lower budget, but still want to perform when it comes to quality, Shure has a solution for you. Founded back in 1925, these studio microphones are the result of nearly a century of audio experience, which is clearly reflected in the quality and performance of the build.

There are both single and paired options available, allowing you to enjoy the product while meeting your sound and operational requirements. Inside the chrome matte, highly durable casing, you’ll find a leading polar pattern switch with a cardioid interior design which all comes together to provide you with a truly outstanding range of omnidirectional pickups and recordings, making these ideal as overhead drum mics.

The microphone itself has been designed to be as lightweight and as unobtrusive as possible, made possible by its ultra-thin design, which in turn is layered with 24-karat gold for a low-mass build with an exceptional transient response.

With an additional subsonic filter built into the microphone which eliminates any low-frequency rumbles that your drumkit may produce (anything less than 17Hz) as well as a three-setting switch pad for customizable recording, this truly is one of most outstanding overhead drumkit mics on available today.

PROS
  • Class A preamplifier for fast response with no distortion
  • Premium, high-quality, durable build
  • Universal compatibility to a wide range of audio software, equipment, and uses.
CONS
  • None!

AKG Pro Audio C214 Stereo Set Condenser Microphone

AKG Pro Audio C214 Stereo Set Condenser Microphone

If you’re in need of a complete set that comes with everything you could need to set up and start recording your drumkits, and even your vocals and other acoustic instruments, feast your eyes on this Stereo Condenser Microphone set from AKG, one of the leading audio brands with over 80 years of history in the industry.

Within your purchase, you’ll find a pair of C214 microphones, plus all the accessories you’ll need for best recording experience, including two elastic spider suspensions for overhead hanging and two windscreens to protect your microphones and to optimize your sound quality.

What’s more, all these pieces come in a hard-aluminum travel and storage case that ensure the long-life of your microphones for many years to come. While some of you may be put off my premium price tag of this set, the performance you’ll receive from them is out of this world.

One of the most multi-featured mid-weight microphones on the market, you’ll be able to enjoy the professional performance that an interior cardioid response system provides, meaning you can enjoy pristine sound quality from every drumming session.

This will also minimize the amount of distortion and unwanted feedback you can get from the background of your studio, or from audio and mechanical vibrations.

If you’re looking for the stats, these microphones have a frequency range of 20hz to 20,000hz and an overall sensitivity of 20 mV/Pa, all managed and powered through the Phantom 12-52V supply, which makes it easy to see why this pair of mics is one of the highest rated sets available.

PROS
  • Complete set with everything you need
  • High-quality condenser build for optimal sound quality
  • Ideal for all kinds of acoustic music, including overhead drum recording
CONS
  • Not an omnidirectional microphone
  • Average 20 mV sensitivity

Nady DMK-7 Seven Piece Drum Microphone Kit

Nady DMK-7 Seven Piece Drum Microphone Kit

Finally, to finish off our list of ultimate overhead drum microphones, we’ve chosen this superior kit that guarantees to supply you with everything you could possibly need for recording and performing, and all for a midrange price.

This outstanding seven-piece drum set comes with not, not three, but four DM-70 microphones, providing with more than enough equipment to position your microphones wherever you need them for optimal recording feedback, allowing you to customize your recording style so you can capture the exact sound that you’re looking for.

However, the kit doesn’t stop there. You’ll also be able to enjoy the lucrative benefits of one DM-80 kick drum microphone for recording pristine deep-bass sounds and, of course, two CM-90 over lightweight, high-performance microphones for complete clarity of sound.

All these professional-level mics also come with all the equipment you’ll need to get started, including mounting clips (although you’ll need to purchase your own clamps, which cost practically nothing) for effortless positioning, all stored safely and securely in a foam-lined storage case. This means you’ll be able to protect and easily maintain your equipment, providing you with outstanding use for many years to come.

When it comes to the microphones themselves, the DM-70’s are suitable for all kinds of drum kit (or percussion, woodwind, and brass instruments) thanks to their cardioid interior patterns and Neodymium elements, ensuring you only capture the sounds you need in a crystal-clear, interference-free format.

Both the overhead CM-90’s and the kick drum DM-80 are built in a similar way, with the DM-80 able to capture transparent and clear bass sounds up to an incredible 140 dB volume range. As another extremely highly-rated microphone set for a good price, there’s no reason why you’d need to look elsewhere.

PROS
  • A multi-functional 7-piece kit for a completely personalized style of recording
  • Outstanding feedback and range response for complete audio clarity
  • Everything you need for a professional recording studio
CONS
  • Mic clamps must be purchased separately
  • Not compatible with guitar amps

Over to You

It goes without saying that there’s never been a better time to invest in overhead drum microphones. There are so many different models and brands available that you’re sure to find the exact mic that perfectly suits what you’re looking for.
Consider your budget and what you’re trying to record, and you can be sure that one of these four sets will be exactly what you’re looking for.

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