Choosing the best kick drum mic for live sound can be interesting, especially when you are preparing for one big event.
You will not just be considering the price, but you will be paying attention to quality. But at some point, this exciting activity can become stressful, the volume of products you’ll be seeing might give you the feeling that finding the best one is impossible for you.
As a drummer, your goal is to get a kick drum mic that will deliver a unique sound that is deep, rich, and accurate.
Both experts and newbies can become confused when making their selection of the best kick drum mic for live sound, they have several features to consider, so many functions to identify, and several other important decisions that they stand to enjoy, or suffer from its lack immediately when they buy one.
To ensure you don’t have such troubles, we will be providing you with some of the essential features you should consider before making your decision; we will talk about how to get the best out of the mic and explore the best options available for you.
Criteria for Selecting the Best Kick Drum Mic for Live Sound
As stated earlier, there are several features to look out for when making your selection, without getting them right, it will be hard to lay your hands on the best mic for your kick drum. Here are some of the important criteria needed to select the best kick drum mic for live sound.
Every microphone you see has a polar pattern. One of the main functions of the polar pattern is to decide the side from which the mic will capture sound. A cardioid microphone, which is grouped under the unidirectional microphone family captures sound from the front and side, all sound from the back or at 180-degree, is rejected.
This makes it one of the best options for kick drum. Super cardioid pattern is also close to the cardioid mic, but they pick sound around 180-degree angle but lack sensitivity on its sides. These are the best options for live sound on kick drums.
For your kick drum for live sound, one thing you should be concerned about is the frequencies. You should opt for one that will pick up the lower ends of the hertz scale, that is the best way to get the best sound when playing.
While you will still get something clear from slightly higher frequencies, those around 30 Hz to 40Hz deliver more clearer sound than you’ll expect. Before you go for a product, ensure you check this out.
SPLs (Sound Pressure Levels)
Sound Pressure Level, measure in Decibels is another important feature to focus on when making your selection. SPL refers to the maximum volume a microphone can take or process. Since kick drum is one of the loudest musical instruments and comes with a heavy punch that most mic cannot handle, you need to pay careful attention to this feature. It is advisable to go for those with SPL around 130dB to 160dB.
When you consider all features, you need to think about your budget. Kick drum mics are offered for varying prices; you should pay attention to this too. For the best ones, they are not expected to be excessively expensive, yet they won’t come for cheap. The products we will be touching in this review are all affordable, that is expected of all top products.
Best Kick Drum Mic for Live Sound
1. Nady DM-80 Drum Microphone – Enhanced low-frequency response for kick drums
This is one of the best kick drum mics for live music, it features a cardioid polar pattern, as such, you can achieve an enhanced low-frequency response, which is ideal for capturing kick drums, bass cabinets, and other sound reinforcement recording applications.
The microphone features a Neodymium element, which improves fast transient response, low distortion, high headroom, and bleeding, which results from other musical instruments around. The microphone comes with up to 140dB SPL handling capacity, which results in a zero-distortion reproduction even when you are working with loud drums and other musical instruments.
The mic features a rugged die-cast body with an internal shock mount and hardened steel grill, which makes the microphone more durable. The microphone features a Gold-plated XLR design, which improves the conductivity of the microphone.
2. Dynamic Condenser Drum Microphone Kit
If you need the best kick drum mic for live sound, then you should make use of this microphone. This high-performance microphone is designed to help capture all sound ranging from low-end punch to both sensitive and flat sound. This is a big drum microphone for kick bass and low.
The microphone is compact and versatile; it is a Pyle Pro drum set microphone kit that is designed for any type of drum and other musical instruments like percussion. The microphone is universally compatible as it comes with a standard thread of 3/8 inch or 5/8 inch, which makes it easier to match all types of microphone stands, standard, and XLR connector.
The mic comes with a convenient carry case that is lightweight, which makes it more durable and perfect for live sound. This wire drum mic kit comes with one bass drum, four small drum dynamic mics, two toms, and snare condenser mics.
3. Shure PGA52-XLR Cardioid Swivel-Mount Dynamic Kick-Drum Microphone
The best kick drum mic for live sound is what you will be holding when you have this microphone in your hand. It is a tailored microphone cartridge design that is perfect for low-frequency clarity. The mic has a swivel joint with a quick release latch that comes with the design related to bicycle component-locking technology, which makes quick and easy positioning easier.
The kick drum mic features a cardioid polar pattern, which will effectively pick up sound from the source, and eliminate all unwanted noise. For an inconspicuous visual, the mic comes in an industrial designed black metallic finish.
For improved storage, handling, and transport experience, the microphone comes in a zipper pouch, which keeps the mic safe. Even in the toughest environment, this mic is designed to deliver and work well, thanks to the Legendary Shure quality construction and design.
4. Sennheiser e 902 Kick Drum/Bass Microphone with Mic Stand & XLR Cable Bundle
This is another high-quality kick drum mic option that is designed to help you enjoy every moment you spend drumming. The Sennheiser e 902 is arguably the best kick drum mic for live sound as it delivers the right clear sound.
The mic features a low-profile microphone boom stand, which helps in supporting and positioning the microphone. As such, you can enjoy an uninterrupted play session, and be sure the mic will not wander off while you’re performing.
The mic also comes with a 20 ft XLR cable, which can easily be connected to your recording interface or into your mixing console. To clear your doubts and improve your confidence in the mic, it comes with sonic sense one-year extended warranty and one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
5. Sennheiser e902 Cardioid Dynamic Mic for Kick Drum
This is another high-quality cardioid dynamic mic that easily tops the list of the best kick drum mic for live sound. The mic features an optimized frequency response for your kick drum. The attack of the mic is very fast; as such, it can easily handle live sound.
For ease of use, and comfortability, the mic comes with an integrated stand mount, which will ensure your mic stays in place while you are performing. One other unique feature of the mic is the hum compensating coil that helps get rid of unwanted noises.
The microphone has a sensitivity of 0.2 mV/Pa at 1 kHz, and 0.6mV/Pa at 60Hz. The mic has a frequency response of 40 – 16000Hz. The result delivered by this mic is crystal clear and natural. Hence, it can effectively work with all types of musical instruments.
Tips for Getting the Best Out of Your Kick Drum Mic
Three important things will help you get the best out of the kick drum mic you are buying. This section will deliver these important points to help you get the best out of the product you’ve selected.
Why should you get a kick drum mic and how should you use it?
Drummers, at one point in their career, will have to buy a kick drum mic. This is very important when they want to start recording songs, or when they want to perform live. The noise of the crowd will make it hard for them to hear what they are playing if they do not have a kick drum mic.
With one, it will be easier to know when they start playing badly. Letting your kick drum stand out is one thing that must be on the top of your list as a drummer.
Setting up the kick drum is easy and fast; it is also very easy to use. Most designs come with a plug-and-play feature; as such, you only need to plug the mic cord to the mixer and place the mic either inside or outside the kick drum. This often depends on your preference (we will talk about this later).
What are the benefits of kick drum mics?
There are several benefits attached to making use of a kick drum mic. For one, it makes it easier to identify the mistakes you make while playing, making improvement easier.
Many in attendance are concerned about each sound that comes out of all your equipment, they want to hear the bass and deep sound your kick drum delivers, without a mic, it will be hard for them to hear these sounds. To have a full range of how all your drum kit sounds, you need a kick drum mic.
What is the best positioning for kick drum mic?
While each person will pick the one that is more comfortable for them, some positions will deliver clearer sounds compared to other positions. Two of the popular option are to place the mic inside the kick drum or outside.
When placed inside the kick drum, you get a warmer tone, which also reduces the effect of external noise on the mic. When placed outside, on the other hand, you get a bigger, rich, deep bass drum feel, which many will love.
Which one will work well for you? It is best to start experimenting with both setups before your show. Try different positions, try different settings, both indoors and outdoors, record the sound, and consider the best option for you. When you find the right spot, stick with this spot. It may take time to find the right spot for your setup, but you’ll definitely find one with diligence.
Are kick drum mics different from other mics?
Yes. Kick drum mics are very different from other types of microphones. They are special microphones that come with bass amps, which makes it easier to record the sound you play accurately.
They have specific requirements, unlike other microphones, and come with specific designs that make them the right option for your kick drum. Other regular mics will not be able to handle the sound of your kick drum the way you want.
There are several options available when it comes to selecting the best kick drum mic for live sound. Going to the market on your own might make it hard for you to select the best option, but the details here in this review will help you make the right selection.
We have talked about the important features you need to focus on when making your selection, we have also talked about how you can get the best out of the mic you are selecting, and some important tips on setting up the mic.
This review has also introduced five of the best kick drum mics for live sound, and they are just the right tool you need to make use of for your next event.
They are all affordable and made from high-quality materials; these make them the best mic for you.