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Real World Gear: Drum Kit Microphone Packages

The latest on the tools assembled to “capture the kit” and a look at several models.

Drum microphone packages (as well as mics specifically designed for drums) have been around for a while now. It was in the early 2000s, though, that I was part of a team at Audix that helped create the drum microphone package as a product category and began to get drummers (and, of course, drum shops/departments) to understand the importance of how their kits were miked.

Shortly thereafter, it seemed like everybody and their sister was releasing a drum microphone package, from the exquisite to the cheap imports (which, honestly, left some folks wishing the drums were not miked). One of the things that happened along the way is designers began to think about the needs of drummers (and the reality of what can happen when a fast moving piece of wood makes contact with the body or, more intensely, the microphone element itself) and of engineers.

At present, several classic manufacturers have drum mic offerings, along with some newcomers. I’ve recently reviewed the DPA package, but let’s a look at some of the many excellent choices both drummers and engineers have.

Personally, I’ve used a lot of different mics on drums over the last few decades; I have my go-tos and favorites, of course, but it’s really a buyers market right now. There are several choices in this article and, as always, it often comes down to personal taste. I mean, I love Devil’s food cake but I also love German chocolate, red velvet, and 7-layer cake, depending on what else is on the menu. All of the mics listed here will produce good results, it’s just that what you like may be different from what I like. Have fun exploring all the choices!

A quick aside; I know it should go without saying that all the condenser models listed require 48-volt phantom power, but I can’t tell you the sheer number of phone calls I received while working for Audix from folks who had bought drum mic packs telling me the condensers weren’t working.  So, here’s the blanket statement: All of these condensers require phantom power, and further, some of the kits are composed entirely of condensers.

Note: I picked one offering from each brand, based on some suggestions from merchants who sell them, but be sure to check out each manufacturer’s website for other options and price points.


1 x 4055 Condenser Kick Drum Microphone
1 x 2012 Compact Cardioid Microphone
2 x 2015 Wide Cardioid Condenser Microphones (Stereo Matched)
3 x d:vote CORE Instrument Microphones (Extreme SPL Version)
3 x MicroDot Cables (CM2218B00)
3 x Drum Microphone Clips (DC4099)
3 x Adapters for MicroDot to 3-pin XLR (DAD6001)
1 x Carrying Case

Notes: All mics are condensers; the case is a genuine Pelican with cut hard foam; the overheads and kick drum mic come with a locking clip to securely hold them in place; and the snare tom mics are low profile to avoid impact. U.S. MAP: $5,100. (The author recently did a Road Test review of this kit — go here to check it out.)

Sennheiser e 600

1 x e 602-II Dynamic Kick Drum Microphone With Integral Mount
4 x e 604 Dynamic Tom/Snare Microphones With Attached Mount Clamp
2 x e 614 Pre-Polarized Condensers Microphones For Overhead/Hi-Hat With Clip
1 x Carrying Case

Notes: Sennheiser really set the standard for tom mounts, the original design has been very influential; the e604 is very low profile; the e 602-II kick mic has an integral clip, which is becoming more common. U.S. MAP: $1,049

Shure DMK57-52

1 x Beta 52 Dynamic Kick Drum Microphone
3 x SM57 Instrument Microphones
3 x Drum Mounting Clips
1 x Carrying Case

Notes: In many ways, this is still the industry standard, very rider friendly; the Beta 52 was one of the first large-frame mics for kick drum on the market. U.S. MAP: $439

Audix DP7

1 x D6 Dynamic Kick Drum Microphone
1 x i5 Dynamic Snare Microphone
2 x D2 Dynamic Tom Microphones
1 x D4 Dynamic Floor Tom Microphone
2 x ADX51 Studio Condenser Microphones
4 x D-Vice Rim Mount Lips
3 x Mic Lips For ADX51 & D6
1 x Carrying Case

Notes: The original Audix kit came out before the company introduced both the D6 kick mic and the i5 snare mic; this is the current evolution with two condensers for overheads as well; the case also has some empty slots in the foam to allow for kit expansion. U.S. MAP: $1,049

Telefunken DC7

1 x M82 Kick Drum Microphone
1x M80-SHB Snare Microphones
3 x M81-SH Tom Microphones
2 x M60 FET Overhead Microphones
2 x M 761 Elastic Mounts
1 x M 782 Stand Mount
4 x M 784 Metal Drum Mounts
4 x M 785 Plastic Drum Mounts
7 x SGMC-5R XLR Cables
1 x HC87 Carrying Case

Notes: Telefunken has taken the rare approach to include rubberized shock mounts with the condensers; the snare and tom mics have the “SH” in the nomenclature, which means “short barreled” versions of the successful M80/81 series vocal mic. U.S. MAP: $2,395

Peavey PVM DMS-5

1 x PVM 321 Kick Drum Microphone
1 x PVM 325 Snare Microphone
3 x PVM 328 Tom Microphones
4 x Drum Mount Clips
4 x Mic Cables With 90-Degree XLR Connector
1 x Mic Cable With Straight XLR Connector
1 x Carrying Case

Notes: Every mic has a supercardioid polar pattern; both the PVM 325 and PVM 328 offer a stated 134 dB max SPL. U.S. Price: $299.99

AKG Concert 1

1 x D112 MKII Dynamic Kick Drum Microphone
2 x C430 Miniature Condenser Microphones
4 x D40 Dynamic Instrument Microphones For Snare And Toms
1 x Aluminum Carrying Case
1 x H440 Adapter Plate
1 x Stand Adapter
1 x Carrying Case

Notes: This package includes the hard-rock legend (and instantly visually recognizable) D112 for kick drum, and all the mics are designed to take significant impact (from stick strikes). U.S. MAP: $957

SE Electronics V Pack Arena

1 x V KICK Kick Drum Microphone
1 x V7 X Snare Microphone
3 x V BEAT Tom Microphones
1 x sE8 Matched Pair Overhead Microphones
3 x V Clamp Mounting Clamps
1 x Carrying Case

Notes: A relative newcomer that’s making waves, the tom and kick mic have integral clips and the V7 snare mic is also very vocal friendly. U.S. MAP: $1,099

Earthworks DK7

1 x SR20LS Kick Drum Microphone
4 x DM20 Snare/Tom Microphones With Rim Mounts
2 x SR25 Overhead Microphones
1 x Carrying Case

Notes: All mic are condensers and offer equal frequency response across the polar pattern; Earthworks mics are easily identifiable by their bright chrome finish; the rim mount system is  unique. U.S. MAP: $2,999

Heil Sound HDK-8

1 x PR 48 Kick Drum Microphone
2 x PR 22 UT Snare/Hi-Hat Microphones
3 x PM 28 Tom Microphones
2 x PR 30B Overhead/Utility Microphones
3 x HH1 Tom Mounts
2 x HM Microphone Clips
1 x Carrying Case

Notes: The mics have a distinctive red grille and come with a unique mounting system; the PR 22  can also double as a vocal mic if necessary. U.S. MAP: $1,499

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