Many people become paranoid about getting an expensive drum set to achieve the best sound quality. However, only a few people know that the overhead drum mic can also make or break your sound recording.
Hence, in this article, I am doing my best to research, test and hear out user reviews to really help you pick out the right overhead drum mic. While some may ignore it, please take a few minutes of your time to read the seven top drum mics you can choose from.
You don’t know how powerful it is to have the best overhead drum mic in your drum set up.
Here are our top picks for the best overhead drum mics
- Rode M5 Matched Pair Cardioid Condenser
- Neumann KM 184 Cardioid Microphone
- AKG Pro C414
- AKG C214 Stereo Pair Cardioid Condenser
- Shure KSM 137 Stereo Pair
Rode M5 Matched Pair Cardioid Condenser
The Rode M5 is very popular in recording studios because it’s a budget mic and useful for a variety of instruments, not just for drums. It’s perfect for small rooms and studio performances. With its low noise, full frequency response and matching capability, this is the one for many recording artists.
- Great for small room performance and studio use
- Among the most affordable, yet reliable mic
- Although it’s versatile, recording other instruments may sound boxy
- Grill is not durable as it’s made of thin material
Neumann KM 184 Cardioid Microphone
As a serious recording artist, you really want to invest in quality and premium overhead drum mics, like the Neumann KM 184. It’s lauded for its durability, great versatility with superb sound quality.
It captures very crisp and clear tone, at the same time eliminating the unnecessary noise – perfect for your next studio recording.
- Exceptional in eliminating external noise in your recording
- Outstanding sound capture, with great hi-hat response
- Maybe quite expensive compared the other mics of the same capacity
- Can sound a bit harsh and loud at certain upper mid-range setting
AKG Pro C414
This is not just a mic for vocalists, but it’s also a perfect overhead microphone. AKG Pro C414 has a large-diaphragm condenser with 9 different polar patterns for greater customization and versatility. It has a broader dynamic range to capture different sounds clearly.
- Sounds are crisp, clear and very clean
- Feels sturdy and very reliable
- Vocals could be much brighter and sharp, especially the S sound
- Can still hear the noise if you turn the amp so high
AKG C214 Stereo Pair Cardioid Condenser
If you can’t afford the expensive AKG C414, then the AKG C214 is a perfect alternative. Slightly cheaper than its ‘pro’ brother, yet it’s substantially versatile, accurate in recording multiple instruments, and capable of minimizing a great deal of background noise.
And, unlike the Rode M5, this one is designed both for studio and live performances.
- More versatile and great for live performances
- Durable double-mesh grill, but doesn’t affect the sound quality
- Perfect for recording not just drums, but other instruments and vocals
- Heavier than other overhead microphones
Shure KSM 137 Stereo Pair
If you have been to a real recording studio, then, you might be very familiar with the brand, Shure, as recording artists and producers have trusted it over the years.
Speaking of this top brand, Shure’s KSM 137 Stereo pair is the most versatile one. You can change the mic’s volume, its sensitivity, and even the filter to remove the noise and boost the real beautiful sound of your instruments.
- Reliable and quality microphone
- Great adjustability to capture the sound of different instruments
- Microphone mounts are not shockproof, can feel some vibrations
- Captured sounds might sometimes a bit flat
How to Choose the Best Overhead Drum Mics
Before jumping into buying one of the best overhead drum mics above, it’s still very important to choose wisely. What considerations should you have? And, should you just buy any, knowing that they’re really the best?
There are different microphones suited for different recording task and recording environment. So, here are the top three microphones you can use as an overhead drum mic.
They are durable, sensitive, produce great, and detail sound recordings. These are usually of high quality and perfect for recording.
It comes in two and is the best option if you really want to get the most sound you can get from your instruments. These two matched pairs are produced together, so you know they work in singularity for better recordings.
Should you need more sound detail, go for a condenser with a large diaphragm. However, if you are just doing recordings for the sake of doing so, a smaller diaphragm would do.
What is the Best Overhead Drum Mic?
Quick Answer: Rode M5 is the best overhead drum mic. This 1/2″ compact cardioid condenser mic has a 20hz – 20hz frequency that’s perfect for those who are looking for an ultra-low-noise overhead drum mic for studio recording. It’s also heavy-duty, thanks to it’s a ceramic-coated metal body.