Best Drum Overhead Mics Under 500 Dollars in 2021

Choosing the Right Drum Overhead Mics for Budget Recording Drum overhead mics are also an integral part of most live drum recording sessions. After all, they ‘re going to record what is the basis of the drum mix.

The glue that brings fullness and balance to the overall drum bus. It’s very important to pick the best drum overhead mics that fit your recording needs.

It seemed unlikely to get a truly professional large-diaphragm condenser microphone for less than $500 just 15 years ago. Anyone who used to attend audio forums during their pioneering days recalls the familiar refrain of recording authorities who were quick to point out that anything less than $1,000 was “fine,” with the qualifying, “for the quality.” Let’s take a look at Sweetwater’s nine best-selling large-diaphragm condenser microphones under $500.

Full Detailed Review Of The Best Drum Overhead Mics Under 500 Dollars

1. AKG D112 MkII Professional Bass Drum Microphone

The AKG D112 has been updated to the new D112 MKII version. This professional dynamic bass drum microphone features a brand-new integrated flexible mount while retaining all of the sonic strengths that have made its industry predecessor stand, The D112 has earned a reputation as one of the best bass drum microphones ever made due to its high SPL, powerful EQ and high performance and bulletproof construction. The D112 MkII can handle more than 160 dB SPL without distortion.

Its large diaphragm has a very low resonance frequency that delivers a strong and powerful response below 100 Hz. Its authoritative low end is complemented by a narrow-band presence boost at 4 kHz that pushes through even dense mixtures and loud stage volumes with a powerful impact.

Pros
  • Large diaphragm dynamic mic
  • Cardioid pickup pattern
  • 20 Hz – 17 kHz frequency response
  • 160 dB max SPL
Cons
  • No as such

2. Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

The Shure SM57 is a music industry staple. You see it all done. Small clubs and 100,000 seat stadiums. This well-known mic is used by legendary artists and the new up-and-comers. What you might not have seen are the thousands of SM57s working behind the scenes in professional recording studios around the world. Actually, you ‘re probably going to find it in more studios than any other mic.

The unidirectional dynamic SM57 set the industry standard by specifying how the instruments should be sounded. This is why it is used by every serious musician or skilled recorder. Its dry , clean sound and its carefully contoured rise make it ideal for a wide range of instrument miking applications , especially guitar amplifiers and drums. The SM57 has a standardized cardioid pick-up pattern that isolates the main sound source and minimizes background noise.

Pros
  • Dynamic mic with cardioid pickup pattern
  • 40Hz – 15 kHz frequency response
  • Includes stand adapter and zippered carrying case
Cons
  • Buy from verified seller only

3. Behringer C-2 Studio Condenser Microphones

The Behringer C-2 small diaphragm condenser mics are relatively inexpensive. When I first bought my pair, I was very impressed not only by their results, but also by the extras they came with. Mic clips, a stereo bar and a hard shell plastic case were all included for a $59.99 rock bottom price! The C-2 appears to be very “plain jane” when you listen to recordings in contrast.  It’s not always a negative thing. Their sound is rather colorless, and the frequency response seems to be relatively consistent across the spectrum. They ‘re not delivering the kind of low-end fullness that some of the more expensive mics do, but they sound great for the money!

Pros
  • 2 matched condenser microphones for stereo studio recording and live applications
  • Ideal as main and support microphones for studio and live applications
  • Cardioid pickup pattern for effective feedback elimination
  • Low-mass diaphragm for ultra-wide frequency response and ultimate sound reproduction
  • Switchable low-frequency roll-off and input attenuation
Cons
  • For studio not live sound.

4. Sennheiser E614 Super-Cardioid Condenser Microphone

The E 614 is a super-cardioid condenser microphone designed for challenging instrument recordings and performance that require extended frequency response, high SPL handling, fast transient response and compact size. Although the overhead miking of the drum was the first design priority,

The e614 also performs very well on percussion setups and fits easily into tight fittings. The E 614 is capable of handling high SPLs and features a medium sensitivity that ensures reduced bleed from other instruments on stage. Due to its excellent acoustic properties, this microphone is also ideal for home recording.

Pros
  • Nearly flat response from 40 Hz to 20 kHz and a supercardioid pattern
  • Designed for demanding applications where extended frequency range, high SPL handling, fast transient response and small size are required
  • Captures the shimmer and the contact of sticks, mallets and hands
  • Phantom powering: 12 – 52 V / 3 mA
  • Includes e 614, Microphone pouch and Microphone clip MZQ 100
Cons
  • Not as such

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, when choosing drum overhead mics, the decision is completely subjective. In my mind, as little as I use drum overheads, I believe that the Behringer C-2’s are good enough for my recording purposes. I really like the sound of the Rode M5, too. Their added fullness would make it possible to get a very killer sound by only adding a mic to improve the blow.