The 8 Best Bass Drum Mics

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This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in February of 2018. Whether you're looking to capture the sound of your kick drum live on stage or in a studio setting, the bass mics on our list will provide you with the means to hear that desirable punch and resonance. Their cartridges are tuned to pick up low frequencies, so many of them can also double as microphones for bass amps, heavy brass, acoustic guitars, and, in some cases, even vocals. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Lewitt Reference Class Dual Element

2. AKG D112 MkII Professional

3. Sennheiser e901 Boundary Layer

Editor's Notes

April 24, 2020:

While you might be interested in applying a little natural distortion to your bass drum sound, either through compression or tube-drive effects, there's a good chance that you'd prefer to have total control over that change in tone, and that capturing as clean a drum sound as possible is preferable to you. To that end, we saw fit to remove the Electro-Voice PL33, the distortion of which may have been overlooked in a raucous live setting for a punk band, but could be compromising to the sound of other live genres, and possibly destructive to the final product any musicians sought out in the studio.

In its place we added the Sennheiser e901 Boundary Layer, which is a class of condenser microphone that was sadly underrepresented in our last ranking. These mics live in the floor of a kick and pick up a world of tones and overtones from inside the instrument. They tend to lack some of the punch you get from positioning a dynamic mic just outside the kick's sound hole, but combined with one, they give you a lot more color to play with in post production.

Special Honors

Miktek Audio T200 If you're looking for something applicable to live use without necessarily having the frequency response to bring out the lowest of low tones in a studio setting, this is a fine choice. It can handle tremendous sound pressures, and its high end doesn't suffer from that agonizing click you usually have to mix out for the sake of an audience's ear drums.

4. Beyerdynamic M88 TG

5. Shure Beta 52A Supercardioid

6. Audix D6 Dynamic Cardioid

7. Sennheiser e602 II Evolution Series

8. Shure PGA52-LC Cardioid

Daniel Imperiale
Last updated by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel Imperiale holds a bachelor’s degree in writing, and proudly fled his graduate program in poetry to pursue a quiet life at a remote Alaskan fishery. After returning to the contiguous states, he took up a position as an editor and photographer of the prestigious geek culture magazine “Unwinnable” before turning his attention to the field of health and wellness. In recent years, he has worked extensively in film and music production, making him something of a know-it-all when it comes to camera equipment, musical instruments, recording devices, and other audio-visual hardware. Daniel’s recent obsessions include horology (making him a pro when it comes to all things timekeeping) and Uranium mining and enrichment (which hasn’t proven useful just yet).

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