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Best Overhead Drum Mics 2024

Good overhead mics can make a huge difference in sound quality. If the overheads are of good quality and well-positioned, you can even get away with a very simple mic setup. Because of the positioning they are built for, especially the condenser varieties, overhead mics stand out for drumming. They ensure that you can hear your cymbals and drums in their entirety. Drummers want a microphone that can accurately pick up sound without being overly sensitive. Overhead drum mics that are designed to be placed over the drums in order to catch the sound precisely are the best.

AKG C214 Stereo Pair Professional Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

AKG Pro Audio C214 Professional Large-Diaphragm...
  • 2 x C214
  • 2 x Elastic spider suspensions
  • 2 x Windscreen

The AKG C214 Stereo Pair has two excellent microphones that are factory tuned for stereo sound capture. In a single-diaphgram, cardioid-only design, each of the mics in this C 214 Matched Stereo Pair uses the same one-inch dual-capsule as AKG’s iconic C 414. What’s the end result? High-detail, up-front sound on both vocals and instruments, with a performance that is comparable to the legendary C 414 B-XLS. The C 214 Matched Stereo Pair is designed for studio recording use, but it can also handle live work.

The cardioid pickup pattern of the AKG C214 makes it one of the best overhead drum mics for isolation. It also has an on/off button, which comes in handy when muting on stage or using numerous microphones. This is also useful if you wish to isolate specific instruments from others while recording live or in a studio. The AKG C214 is a versatile large-diaphragm condensers microphone with a wide range of applications. Many enthusiasts start with dynamic microphones and are pleased with how flat frequency response performs with singing, acoustic guitars, and other sound sources.

The AKG C214 is a more economical variant of the high-end AKG C414, which is widely used as a small diaphragm cardioid condenser. Many parallels exist, including an integrated suspension on one-inch capsules that lowers noise and vibrations caused by mechanical interference sound of your drums. This is the Best Overhead Drum Mic in 2023.

Rode M5-MP Matched Pair Cardioid Condenser Microphones

Rode M5 Matched Pair,Black
  • Small-diaphragm Matched Pair Cardioid Condenser Microphones
  • English (Publication Language)

Take a look at the RODE M5 Matched Pair cardioid condenser mics if you’re seeking for a pair of inexpensive small-diaphragm condenser microphones. These affordable mics deliver performance that goes above and beyond what you’d expect from a condenser mic at this pricing point. M5 microphones are great for recording and sound reinforcement. Guitars, percussion, strings, woodwinds, brass, and other instruments work well with them. This perfectly matched pair is particularly ideal for stereo recording.

The RODE M5 Matched Pair offers remarkable clarity in the studio and live for an affordable price. The M5 Matched Pair is commonly used as drum overheads or for recording high-hats. They’re great for recording guitars, flutes, violins, saxophones, drums, and just about any other instrument. Furthermore, this well matched pair of condenser microphones is ideal for stereo XY and other stereo recording applications.

Finding affordable matched pairs is difficult, but these are consistently paired off the production line, making them excellent studio or home microphones. Rode produces excellent microphones at a reasonable price range. This is a stereo pair of pencil condenser mics, similar to the C-2, that will give you a beautiful overhead recording. These drum overhead mics capture more information in your recording and require fewer EQ adjustments. They record high frequencies so well, these microphones are an ideal choice for studio use. They offer a 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response that can pick up on delicate sounds as well as strong noises (peak SPL of 140 dB), so you won’t need long cables if you’re recording instruments or vocalists.

The impedance is higher than some other types, but this should not impair performance when used with short cable lengths; these mics are expected to cost more because their quality is better than many others at this price point. This is one of the best overhead mics for drums in 2023.

Audio-Technica AT4041SP Studio Microphone Pack

Audio-Technica AT4041SP Studio Microphone Pack
  • Smooth, extended frequency response with a slight rise occurring in the...
  • Ideal for drum overheads, acoustic guitar, piano, horns and under snare
  • Low-mass diaphragm improves transient response, increases response...

The AT4041 pair is by far the best overhead drum microphones pair. These mics produce a clean and pleasant high-end without being harsh. They work well with cymbals, overheads, room mics, acoustic guitars, pianos, horns, and even as a snare bottom microphone. These microphones are transformer-free, which means they have a lower noise floor. Two microphones, two stand clamps, and two windscreens are all included in the protective vinyl case. These drum overhead mics scream quality from every angle.

The AT4041 outperforms drum mic costing twice as much! Its sound is warm, delicate, and sweet, and it brings records to life. It works well with overhead drum sets, acoustic guitar, piano, horns, and under snares. Two AT4041 studio mics, two stand clams, two windscreens, and a protective vinyl storage case are included in the AT4041 Studio Pack for this price tag.

This great drum overhead mic is designed to meet the most stringent acoustic requirements in professional recording, home recording, broadcast, and live sound applications. The AT4041 cardioid studio condenser microphone has a smooth, extended frequency response with a modest rise in the high-frequency area, as well as a transformerless output that can handle extremely high SPL levels.

The AT4041 is a robust microphone encased in a housing of turned brass with black chrome plating each other durability and low reflection, offering a unique mix of acoustic excellence and modest cost. The element back plate has been aged to offer energy stabilisation and holds a fixed charge. The rear plate’s surface is precision machined for optimal charge linearity, which reduces both frequency response peaks and diaphragm break-up distortion.

Shure KSM137/SL Stereo Pair

Shure KSM137/SL Stereo Pair with (2) KSM137, (2)...
  • Highly consistent cardioid polar pattern
  • Ultra-thin, 2. 5 micron, 24 Karat gold-layered, low mass Mylar diaphragm...
  • Class A, discrete, transformer less Preamplifier for transparency,...

The Shure KSM137 is a high-quality microphone that may be used onstage or in the studio. This small-diaphragm end-address condenser microphone features a gold-layered, low-mass Mylar diaphragm for enhanced transient response, as well as a transformerless preamplifier for ultra-transparent audio reproduction. The KSM137’s cardioid polar pattern is extremely stable, providing excellent isolation, while a built-in subsonic filter minimises unpleasant low-frequency rumble. The KSM137’s outstanding feature set is rounded up by a 3-position pad and a 3-position highpass filter. The KSM137 has the coveted triad of adaptability, durability, and precision, making it a fantastic choice for both live and studio use.

The KSM137 was designed with over 90 years of microphone-building knowledge in mind, and it shows. Its 2.5-micrometer, 24-karat gold-layered, low-mass Mylar diaphragm provides excellent transient response, while its Class A, discrete, transformerless preamplifier provides incredible transparency, lightning-fast transient response, near-zero crossover distortion, and minimal harmonic and intermodulation distortion. The KSM137’s outstanding build quality is enhanced by premium electronic components such as gold-plated internal and exterior connectors.

The Shure KSM137 has all of the professional features that you’d expect from a microphone of this class. Mechanical vibration causes a sub-17Hz low-frequency rumbling, which is eliminated by a built-in subsonic filter. A 3-position pad (0dB, -15dB, and -25dB) for managing high-SPL sources is also included, as is a 3-position highpass filter switch for decreasing stand-vibration noise and counteracting proximity effect.

Neumann KM184 MT Stereo Set Condenser Microphone

Neumann KM 184 MT Stereo Set Condenser...
  • Omni Directional
  • Based on the famed KM series
  • Versatile applications

Neumann is known for their high-end microphones. These are the greatest sounding drum overhead mics for the money, and they’ll give you the best drum recordings. The KM184 mics are industry standard and have been used on many records.

Your cymbals will gleam, and your drums will have a large, full sound. Many engineers swear by these microphones and utilise them in a variety of applications. They’re exceptionally detailed mics that can take a lot of SPL. These microphones sound great on acoustic instruments as well asdrum set.

The Neumann KM 184 Stereo Pair is a great example of this. Do you want to record percussion, cymbals, or brass instruments using a microphone? The Neumann KM 184 Stereo Pair can easily handle high sound pressure levels, up to 138dB before overloading. It’s also quite quiet, which makes it ideal for catching the subtle nuances of acoustic guitars and orchestral instruments. You get the classic Neumann sound as well.

Lauten Audio LA-120 Small Condenser Microphone Pair

Lauten Audio LA-120 Small Condenser Microphone...
  • Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone Pair with Interchangeable Cardioid...
  • Lowpass Highpass Filters

The Lauten Audio LA120 is a high-end tiny diaphragm FET condenser microphone with pressure-gradient capsules that can be swapped out. Instead of making sacrifices with one capsule, this feature allows each capsule to be fine-tuned individually.

Low and high cut filters are controlled by switches on the mics’ sides, allowing for greater adaptability. Its compact size also makes it easier to install, particularly in more complex drum arrangements. It’s great for spaced pair, XY, and ORTF stereo mic approaches, not just for overheads, but also for acoustic guitar, ambient mics, and more, thanks to the capsules’ adaptability and available filters.

The Lauten Audio LA-120 is a small-diaphragm FET condenser mic with pressure-gradient capsules that can be swapped out and an ultralow-noise JFET amplifier. The LA-120 comes with both cardioid and omni capsules, as well as a lowpass and highpass filter (switchable between 10kHz and 15kHz) (switchable between 50Hz and 150Hz). This feature set gives you a lot of options for studio and live sound applications.

The LA-120 is a pair of workhorse microphones that may be used on drum overheads, acoustic guitars, strings, brass, percussion, and a variety of other instruments. The sound quality of the LA120 has been praised not only by seasoned ears, but also by those who are new to the recording industry. The transformerless construction improves the accuracy of the collected sound while maintaining excellent dynamics. The built-in high cut filters effectively filter away piercing cymbal highs, making it an excellent choice for modern rock recordings with a lot of bright and fast crash cymbals. The Lauten Audio LA120 is a versatile, do-everything selection beyond use as overheads if you want a premium level mic pair without spending astronomical amounts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are overhead drum mics?

Overhead drum mics are microphones specifically designed for capturing the overall sound of a drum kit from above. They are placed above the drum kit to capture the cymbals, toms, and the overall ambiance of the kit.

How many overhead mics do I need for my drum kit?

The number of overhead mics you need depends on your preferences and the size of your kit. Many drummers use a pair of overhead mics (stereo miking) for a balanced stereo image, but some use a single overhead mic for mono recording. Some larger kits may benefit from more mics.

What’s the difference between dynamic and condenser overhead mics?

Dynamic overhead mics are durable and handle high sound pressure levels well. Condenser mics are more sensitive and capture fine details, making them suitable for capturing the nuances of cymbals and high-frequency content.

How should I position overhead drum mics?

Overhead mics are typically positioned in an XY, ORTF, Glyn Johns, or spaced pair configuration. Experimentation with mic placement can help you find the best position for your drum kit and the sound you want to achieve.

What types of overhead mics are available?

There are various types of overhead drum mics, including condenser mics and ribbon mics. Condenser mics are popular due to their sensitivity and high-frequency response, but ribbon mics are favored for their warm and smooth sound.