Are you searching for the best kick drum mic to record? Looking to get quality sound output from your kick drum? Or do you want to elevate your studio session or live performance? Maybe you want to find the best microphone tips. Either way, kick drum microphones are the solution.
Granted, the size and quality of your bass drum matter. But when you add a kick drum mic to the equation, you will be much more likely to produce the perfect sound.
Needless to say, bass drums sound better when amplified using a kick drum mic. So why don’t you select the mic that complements your kick drums the most? The good news is that you do not have to break your bank to enhance your sound.
While there exists a wide array of kick drum microphones, not all of them are intended for the same purpose.
In this article, we have sorted through the best drum mics and have gathered the highest quality bass drum microphones that will fit right into your budget. Our picks and tips will make you sound like a pro. Plus, we have a lot of curated advice that will help you choose the perfect microphone for you.
Let’s get started!
The AKG MkII is the classic combination of the original and integrated mic. Its exceptional features and capability makes it our top pick. Undoubtedly, it is a solid option where bass drum mics are concerned.
In This Article
- Top Pick: AKG D112 MkII
- Runner-Up: Shure Beta 52A
- Best Budget Pick: MXL A-55
- Best for Inside Placement: Sennheiser e901
13 Best Kick Drum Mics
Top Pick: AKG MkII
The AKG MkII is no stranger to the world of kick drums. Everything from its mean, distinctive egg-shape to its magnificent sound and rugged design makes it a stalwart mic to remember.
This kick drum mic was created for the purpose of improving standard microphones. And boy! Has it made a solid case for itself! Its evolution has proven revolutionary.
Thanks to its open design, the AKG MkII is capable of handling a frequency of up to 160db without any distortion. Its rugged grille makes it distinct, and gives it a bit of personality.
Even better is the fact that you do not need to worry about the mic slipping. It comes with a tailored response curve that secures it when plugged into a desk or on the podium. It is the true definition of ‘plug and play’. All you need to do is set this mic on the right spot and it will obey.
In other words, the AKG MkII is as good as bass drum mics can get!
AKG MkII’s Key Features:
- Dynamic kick drum mic
- Cardioid Polar Pattern
- Frequency Response: 20 – 17k Hz
- Max SPL: 160db
- Extremely sensitive in frequencies below 100hz at 10cm
Runner-Up: Shure Beta 52A
Are you in search of a kick drum mic with a tailored frequency response? Well, the Shure Beta 52A is your bet. Designed specifically for bass drums, this mic will give you the oomph that you need while you are on set.
You can count on its high sound pressure levels and quality output that you desire. Ideal for studio as well as live performances, the Shure Beta is a workhorse that does not disappoint. It is safe to say that it gives you exactly what it sells.
For the best feedback, this kick drum mic rejects all unwanted sounds. It does this by using its amazing super-cardioid pattern in its frequency range. It’s warm, thump sound is even more admirable.
Highly effective in all situations, the Shure Beta 52A does exactly what it was meant to do- provide special, live sound. A simple glance will tell you that this mic goes above and beyond any other ordinary menu microphones. It is perfect for live performances.
Shure Beta 52A’s Key Features
- Dynamic kick drum mic
- Super-cardioid Polar Pattern
- Frequency Response: 20 - 10k Hz
- Max SPL: 174db
- Advanced pneumatic shock mount system that minimizes transmission of mechanical noise and vibration
Best Budget Pick: MXL A-55 Kicker
The MXL A-55 Kicker will sweep you off your feet. It will certainly complement your kick drums. It will offer that low-end pinch and snap without asking for anything in return.
Don’t let its small-boy-size fool you. This kick drum mic is able to keep up with other upper echelon mics. It will rightfully earn its place as a dynamic microphone, even in professional toolboxes. It has a unique combination of warmth and clarity that will motivate you to use it in any music session.
This unique, well-crafted kick drum mic is durable, dynamic, and heavy-duty. The low-end sound that it provides has plenty of punch. With an output impedance of 300ohms and wonderful menu options, there is little more to ask for… especially for a mic in this price range.
The MXL A-55 Kicker is highly popular with all kinds of bass drum and trap-kit players. Everything from is tightly-woven grill to its metallic finish sets it apart from other kick drum mics in its price range.
MXL A-55 Kicker’s Key Features:
- Dynamic kick drum mic
- Cardioid Polar Pattern
- Frequency Response: 30 -15k Hz
- Max SPL 145db
- Useful for other low-frequency and high db. instruments like Trombones, tubas or bass
Best for Inside Placement: Sennheiser e901
It goes without saying that the Sennheiser e90 will give you the most satisfactory sound. This condenser kick mic will make your kick drum apparent. It is specifically designed for studio recording.
Designed for professional use, a majority of audio engineers prefer this kick mic because it captures the clearest kick drum sound. While the Sennheiser e90 is a single-purpose kick drum mic, it still offers great tweak-ability because of its diverse menu.
The Sennheiser e901 comes with a cardioid pick up pattern that delivers natural sound because of its fast response.
Perhaps even better is the fact that this dynamic microphone comes with an extra preamp that will change your whole perception of kick drum microphones.
The Sennheiser mic’s ergonomic design, rugged construction, and rubber pad makes it versatile enough to be used anywhere – conference tables, altar or podiums, you name it! The rubber pad ensures that it does not slip, even with constant vibrations.
Even the strongest drummer will get the most out of this kick mic. Did we mention that it has a built-in XLR cable? As such, the Sennheiser e90 does not require any extra cables.
Sennheiser e901’s Key Features:
- Pre-polarized Condenser Microphone
- Tweak menu options
- Half-Cardioid Polar Pattern
- Frequency Response: 20 – 20k Hz
- Max Spl: 154db
Who Should Buy A Kick Drum Mic?
If you are a recording studio owner, a hobbyist drummer, or an artist who is preparing for a live concert, then you will need a kick drum microphone.
But why are these types of mics necessary when there are hundreds of other available options?
While this is true, the fact that kick drum sets are the hardest instruments to mic is something that you should also take into account. A kick drum mic is specifically created to be used on kick drums.
They can handle the sharp attacks as well as the high volume propensity.
These mics will also level up your audio output, making you sound like a professional. What benefit is a recording studio session or a live concert if you constantly have to deal with distorted sounds? With these microphones, you will never have to worry about this problem.
If you want to be associated with superb sounds, then investing in a bass kick drum mic is a good idea.
Important Features to Consider When Choosing a Kick Drum Mic
The best microphone for your kick drum is just as important as the kick drum itself. We have listed some elite options in this article, but not all of them can complement your drum kit perfectly. There is one that will be the ultimate winner. Consider these important factors when choosing your kick drum microphone, and you will end up with one that is affordable and high quality in nature:
Your kick drum microphone should be compatible with your drum kit. Otherwise, it will not function as intended. A majority of drum kit mics are designed to suit specific brands and drum types. Thus, you should settle for a microphone that suits your drum.
The best drum kit mic will offer a clear and crisp sound that will magnify your performance. If your mic is producing distorted sounds then it may be time to shop for a new one. A great kick drum microphone is an enhancer that will make you sound better.
(Need a mic to record your acoustic guitar as well? Check out our list of the Top and Best Budget Mics for Premium Acoustic Guitar Recordings!)
They say cheap is expensive, but this cannot necessarily be said for all drum mics. There are affordable mics that are higher quality in nature. To ensure that you end up with a spectacular kick drum microphone stand, take time to research your options, and consult online reviews that were written by other buyers. This will offer information on the durability of the microphone you want to buy, its sturdiness and overall quality.The right bass drum mic will make all the difference in your sound. With these considerations, you will find the perfect microphone for your kick drum. The best choice will amplify your drumming immensely.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many mics do you need for drums?
This depends on the type of bass drum kits that you have. It also depends on your setup.
If you are using a standard room with a simple drum set-up, then you can use a variety of microphones. Even up to eight microphones. Too many? Well, this is a decent number because the mics will offer good sound control.
Eight mics will be used on the drums, toms, kicks snares, high-hats and other parts of the drums.
If you are playing or recording in a small room, then fewer mics will do
How do you place drum mics?
A kick drum mic can be placed in the following ways;
- Halfway inside the drum for a little less attack on the beater
- Near the head for a sharp attack from the beater
- Near the outside stand head for a boomy sound
The best way to set up your mic on your drum kit will vary based on how many mics you’re using, and the makeup of your drum kit. Learn more here about how to set up your kit with the right mic to get the best sound.
Do kick drum mics need phantom power?
The word ‘phantom’ means that the microphone is using an unseen source of power. The top kick drum mics in this list, like the AKG MkII, do not need phantom power because they are dynamic microphones. If the mic you are using to capture the sound from your kick drums is a condenser microphone, you can learn how to power a condenser microphone here.
Other Recording Mics Reviewed
Though we’ve given you a ton of choices above, we found a lot of other qualifiers in our research. What follows is a list of some mics we think are great, but that just didn’t make our Top list.
This mic delivers one of a kind clarity and punch for all drummers. If you plan on doing a lot of live gigs, you will appreciate its menu options and sturdy build. It suits an array of recording styles.
Sennheiser e602 Key Features:
- Compatible with low frequency live sound sources
- Incredible response time of 20Hz
- Fast transient response
- Built-in stand mount
Its frequency response is optimal for a bass drum sound. It can be laid down on any surface without the necessity of a stand, and works with a standard XLR cable.
Sennheiser E901 Key Features:
- No stand needed
- Frequency response optimized for bass drum
- Standard XLR plug
- Capable of handling very high SPLs
From the onset, this mic will prove its capabilities. It is quite the workhorse and does not shy away from the loudest of attacks. In addition, the Audix D6 is compact and easy to position. Its high frequency response allows it to handle the highest sound pressure levels.
Audix D6 Key Features:
- Cardioid pattern
- High frequency and transient response
- Lightweight and compact
- Balanced output
Combining both condenser and cardioid features, this microphone can be used onstage by drummers or in a recording studio. It can detect every kind of low frequency and handle the loudest attacks. It gives you the options of a loud or mid-punchy response.
Shure Beta 91 Key Features:
- Half-cardioid, half-condenser
- Signal-to-noise ratio detection
- Common mode rejection
- Two response variety options
Additionally, the microphone also has three response options that will sculpt your production sound even more. With a mic stand, it can be placed on any surface. You can never go wrong with the AKG VR.
AKG VR Key Features:
- Sound filtering options
- Operates with or without phantom power
- Clarity filters
- Ultra-thin diaphragm for huge sounds
Alternate Budget Picks
Boasting a large dynamic, the microphone offers a full sound. Needless to say, the sound quality will meet, and even surpass your expectations. The CAD D12 has high frequency response that will allow drummers a great sound output. It comes with a lot of compatible mounts and an easy set-up process. It is versatile, sturdy, and has an abundance of pleasant characteristics.
CAD Audio D12 Key Features:
- Distinctive design
- Heavy-duty chassis
- Large diaphragm for full sound
- Internal shock mount
Well-designed to accommodate a live performance or studio recording, the microphone provides great sounds for bass drums. It can also be used as a voice microphone. As such, you will be getting two for the price of one.
Beyerdynamic M 88TG Key Features:
- Well-defined hyper-cardioid characteristics
- Accurate responses
- High bass production
- Hum-bucking filter
As a new arrival in the Telefunken family, the microphone stand comes with the latest inventions. Studio engineers, recording artists or drummers will appreciate its low frequency response.
Telefunken M82 Key Features:
- High boost function for better attacks
- Low frequency response
- Large diaphragm for massive sounds
- Rugged shell for durability
We hope that these microphones will help you take a step forward and appreciate your musical sound even more. While every mic will not work for everyone, there is certainly one special one for you in this list.
The AKG MkII stands tall, in any class for your kick drum. It is high quality and also has impeccable sound and capabilities. For that reason, it has earned our ‘best pick’ title.
Thanks to the great value that it offers, the Shure Beta 52A is also a top contender. It will get the job done.
We hope you will pick the kick drum microphone that speaks to you the most.
We wish you a delightful sound experience!