The 5 Best Bass Drum Microphones [Reviews 2020]
Posted in Recording & Audio Equipment | Last Updated on May 1, 2020
It's very important that you have a good drum microphone, your bass drum plays an important role in your overall sound. We know it's not easy, from too many products by many manufacturers to choose the right product.
If your snare drum sounds fantastic, you may have the most excellent overhead microphones, the amazing sound of your toms, all of this falls into the water if you do not have the good sound of your bass drum. If you have already purchased the entire drum microphone package and you want to change the kick drum mic, or just want to buy a high-quality mic for your bass drum, we have a bit of research and found a few top products for you.
Make Sure To Cover All Base Before You Even Make Your Choice
But first, let's introduce you to some important information, about the bass drum and microphone for it, which would be good you to know.
So, the first thing you need to do is to tune your bass drum properly and after that comes a more complicated part – muffling (damping). Since the bass drum usually carries a lot of overtones and resonance you need to reduce it if you want to achieve the good sound of it. If you have an extra cash to spend, you may want to consider buying specific bass drum muffling products. And if you would rather skip that step, there are many options that cost almost nothing, like your old pillows or blankets.
You need to know that, when you’re muffling a kick drum, the whole point is to control the airflow in the shell. If you fill the whole drum with pillows and blankets, you will totally cut off all air flow in it. Your bass drum will eventually sound dead and flat and believe me, you don’t want that. The trick is to put a small amount of muffling in it. Try placing one pillow or blanket lying down on the bottom of the drum. This way you get bit more control of the air flow, as well as the resonance on the drum head without losing its natural sound. If you cannot get a decent sound right in that way, try moving the pillow around but try to keep it out from touching the batter head.
Now we have come to the point where we need to position the microphone in a right place. That's where you need to experiment to get to the desired sound because there is no one and the only right way to mic it. We will present some basic variants for miking your drum.
1.) If you use one microphone, the best way to get full, rich and deep sounds is to put out of a bass drum, just a few inches from a resonant head. It will require you to have a hole in it. As the microphone is further away from the resonant head, this sound will be deeper and muddier. So, do not overdo it if you do not use two mics.
2.) The second way to mic your bass kick is to put the device inside your drum closely to beater head. This way you will get click, tic, tac, dot heavy metal kick sound.
3.) The third way, and definitely the best way, is to use two microphones. That would be one for the outside, and the other for the inside of the bass drum. This way, you will be able to manipulate the sound easily. You will have a low frequency and a deep sound from a mic, which is from the outside, and you will have that clicky, dotted sound from the microphone that is inside.
Perfect! Every audio engineer will like to work with you and he will be able to give you incredibly good sound. Bass drum microphones should be directional (cardioid), which helps to reduce bleeding from other sounds such as snare drum, cymbals, and toms. Directional microphones also tend to cause the effect of boosting the frequency of the bass when used at a closed distance, which is desirable for the sound of the drum. Larger microphone diaphragms are better for capturing low frequencies.
The Best Drum Mics On The Market
AKG D112 MkII Professional
AKG Company is one of the biggest players in the world of sound. AKG’s microphone is perfect for both live and in-studio performances and is one of the most dynamic sounding mics out on the market. This has a very fast attack and response time which is of very important especially if you are playing with a double bass kick drum pedal.
The polar cardioid pattern will make sure that the AKG D112 MkII will focus only on your kick drum sound source. All the other noise that surrounds it will be rejected. It has a solid SPL capacity of 160dB.
- 160dB SPL capacity
- reproduces natural sound
- dynamic sound
- XLR location
Shure BETA 52A Supercardioid
This cardioid dynamic microphone has a very similar frequency response to the D112. From 20Hz to 10kHz with a boost at 4kHz. The 52A is one of Shure’s affordable mics, and definitely the latest product in their evolution of finding perfect bass drum sound with minimal setup such as EQ, comp, etc. The Beta 52 is best 1 to 2 inches in front of the kick port hole. If you’re looking for more dot, click, point it directly where the beater strikes the drum head.
- well balanced EQ
- studio-quality performance
- rejection of unwanted noise
- high gain before feedback
- might sound too “EQ’d”
Sennheiser e902 Cardioid
This kick drum mike is the excellent selection for anyone that's trying to mix quality sound and durability. This mic is capable of discovering your kick drum sounds within milliseconds, providing you the sound with no delay. Having a microphone which will represent you and your performance is a very important part of playing. Sennheiser does that with their fast response time. The stand mount is already integrated into this mic design and as is common with the Sennheiser, you get a shocking ten-year warranty.
The mic is also capable of recording different instruments too, just like the bass horn, bass guitar etc. If you choose to invest in this product, you'll even be getting a bag to assist keep your new mike safe and sound when you aren't using it or when you are traveling. It weighs only 440g, which makes it the perfect travel companion. Being a part of Sennheiser’s Evolution series, you'll be able to make sure that this mic can offer you the most precise sound you'll possibly ever ask for. It’s the perfect product to use for recording or playing live due to its compact size, engaging features, and durability.
- fast attack
- 10-year warranty
- frequency response optimized for kick drum
Audix is a brand that supplies all music stores and online sellers with great products that can last a lifetime. The Audix D6 has phenomenal clarity. If you want a crisp but also a deep tone of your kick drum, the D6 might just be a perfect choice. The D6 microphone can handle very high SP levels without having distortion sounds.
If you are metal, hard rock drummer, this mic is all you need for your bass drum. The hyped sound profile of the D6 makes it’s perfect to use it on drums that don’t have a hole. This mic also handles floor toms and bass cabs and it isn’t picky when positioning is concerned.
- provides lots of attacks
- hyped EQ
- high SPL without distortion
- positioning can be tricky
- clicky sound (this is a con only if you want more punchy, boomy sound)
Sennheiser e602 II Evolution Series
Sennheiser’s E 602-II and his ancestor, E 602, are certainly a well-liked alternative once it comes to cost-friendly kick drum microphones. This model, E 602-II, maintains the slick style and most of the characteristics that made the original such a successful product. However, it slightly alters the frequency response for a 'deeper' sound. This dynamic cardioid mic is pushing towards low-frequency instruments.
With a frequency response from 20Hz to 16kHz, shows some sensible boosts around the 60Hz and 5-15kHz regions, which provides it some good 'thump' sound while still delivering definition (click). If some additional budget is accessible to you, Sennheiser also offers the E 902. That could be a viable alternative to the not so expensive aspect of things that should give a step up in quality of your sound.
- sound quality
We hope that this information has been useful to you and that you will wisely choose the microphone you will buy. Keep in mind, experiment and find your sound.