That One (Drum) Mic...
Recommendations for drum recording, straight from the makers’ mouths
Back in our April 2018 issue, we asked over 30 manufacturers what single microphone they’d recommend to a recording singer/ songwriter, and got a whole raft of fascinating answers. It turns out that every company has a different idea of what constitutes “that one mic” that a recording musician needs.
Not content with frustrating the many firms who were desperate to recommend two or more mics for this application, we decided to raise the stakes for this issue’s focus on drum recording, asking the question:
“Which one mic from your product line would you recommend to someone recording drums, and why?”
We had to emphasize ‘one’ and send back submissions from companies that tried to squeeze in multiple models—sorry, folks, but them’s the rules. As a result, the suggestions we got ranged from obvious (a couple of firms only make a single mic, but were eager to suggest applications) to surprising (“Wait, you guys are recommending that one? But what about...?”), but always creative and imaginative.
There are tube and solid-state condensers, moving-coil dynamics, ribbons, and a couple of mics that defy conventional classification. There are overhead mics, kick mics, tom mics, room mics... no specific snare mics, interestingly enough. There are classic designs that have been around for decades, and mics so new we haven’t had a chance to review them—and in one case, that aren’t even on sale yet!
Some suggestions are intended to be workhorses in a variety of applications and others are meant to specialize in unique sound colors. Prices range from affordable to think-twice, and availability ranges from items you can find at any store to rarities that will take a little more searching to obtain.
Whether you’re just getting started with miking drums, or you’re well-versed in the standard techniques and are looking for something new and unusual, there’s bound to be a mic in here that piques your interest. Have fun!—MM