Best Drum Mics For Live Sound: Read Before You Buy!

What looks like a Snare drum press conference is actually a microphone shootout conducted by Nashville veteran engineer, Lynn Fuston

Live performances can be the most captivating way of portraying your music to your audience. However, without good mics, the most amazing drum set can sound horrible.

After hours of research,  speaking with audio professionals, we’ve decided that the Shure DMK57 makes the best drum mics for live sound with the least hassle.

The DMK57 is solidly built and easier to set up on your drum than most of the competition.

If you’re an enthusiast, you might be able to get better results by putting time into a different, likely more expensive microphone but Shure DMK57 puts the fewest hurdles between you and an ear-pleasing sound.

Best Drum Mics For Live Sound

Shure DMK57 – Best Drum Mic For Live Sound Click here to buy on Amazon
Shure SM57 – Best Multi-purpose dynamic mic For Live Sound Click here to buy on Amazon
AKG D112 MkII – Best Bass drum mic For Live Sound Click here to buy on Amazon
Shure Beta 52A – Best kick drums mic For Live Sound Click here to buy on Amazon
Audix i5 – Best Snare Mic For Live Sound Click here to buy on Amazon
Audix D2 – Best Toms mic Click here to buy on Amazon
AKG C 451 B – Best Overhead mic For Live Sound
Click here to buy on Amazon
picture of the Best Drum Mics For Live Sound


The best drum mic kit for live sound: The first drum mic kit on our list is DMK57 a high quality packaged selection of microphones and mounts, specifically designed to offer a core package of microphones for recording and performing drummers at a very great price.


The Shure DMK57 box contains Three SM57 Microphones and mounting hardware to attach the SM57s to snares or toms, One Beta 52A Microphone, Three A56D Mounting Systems, Carrying Case.

The DMK57 isn’t everybody’s pick for the best sounding drum mic for live performance, but that’s par for the course when it comes to audio critiques.

Microphone Techniques for Live Sound Reinforcement

You work hard to make your drumming great. Make sure it’s heard correctly.

Utility Microphones for Live Sound

Shure SM57 – Multi-purpose dynamic mic

Shure SM57 one of the most-used professional microphone of all time, This mic is generally placed between the hi-hats and the small tom-tom about 1 or 2 inches from the snare drum head.

The good thing about this mic is that you can use it in every place you wanted and work very well. The SM57 is a dynamic microphone with a cardioid, directional pattern.

Dynamic mics sound different than condenser mics, which are better for capturing high and low frequencies.

AKG D112 MkII – Best kick drums mic

The next up on our list is the MKII dynamic mic can handle more than 160dB SPL without distortion. The large diaphragm has a very low resonance frequency that delivers a solid and powerful response below 100Hz.

The AKG D112 is a well known as a kick drum microphone. One of the unique features of this AKG mic is the built-in windscreen inside the capsule to protect against popping.

The biggest problem with the original D112 was the stand mount. Fourntantly the company fixed this problem with MKII and now it comes with an improved new integrated flexible mount.

In addition, the low end of the MkII is complemented by a narrow-band presence boost at 4 kHz that punches through even dense mixes and loud stage volumes.

Shure Beta 52A – Best kick drums mic

The Shure Beta 52A provides superb attack and “punch”, and delivers studio quality sound even at extremely high sound pressure levels.

The Beta 52A is a high-quality microphone designed with tailored frequency response specifically for kick drums.

Pro Tip: For a tight, punchy sound a microphone inside the bass drum will give you more attack. For a warmer sound, a mic just outside the drum will give a better result.

 Audix D2 – Best Toms mic

The lightweight Audix D2 is an excellent choice designed for miking instruments with a percussive nature such as rack toms, congas, guitar cabinets and brass.

Speaking of the technical details, the mic comes with a wide frequency response of 44 Hz – 18 kHz and the ability to handle SPLs of 144 dB.

Transformer less design, low impedance, and balanced output ensure that the D2 hypercardioid instrument microphone will perform interference-free.

 AKG C 451 B – Best Overhead mic

AKG c451b  is an industry standard for a variety of studio applications.

If you are looking for the best for a good drum overhead, then the c451b is a very good choice. What makes AKG451 great for live sound is the flat frequency response which keeps the live performance sounding natural.



Audix i5 – Best Snare Mic

The Audix i5 is the ideal mic for snares, guitar cabinets and other instruments due to its ability to handle high volumes without distortion. Furthermore, the frequency of this mic is 15 Hz – 16 kHz the lows are some of the best we’ve seen. The i5 instrument microphone is sturdy, compact and easy to position.


This is the Audix i5 Instrument Microphone


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Christopher Cortez

Christopher, is a professional drummer, singer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and also the lead editor of TopDrumGear based in California.

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