WHEN IT comes to bang for the buck in the mic world, look no further
than the drum pack. The typical pack contains several dynamic mics
for close-miking—one voiced for kick, one for snare, and others for
toms—and usually a small-diaphragm condenser or two for use as
overheads. Two of the products in this article diverge from the formula.
Manufacturers often repackage existing products from their
line in a way that makes a drum pack more affordable because
everything you need is included: Without even counting the
accessories and carrying case, it’s cheaper to buy the mics in one
of these configurations than to purchase them individually. As a
result, drum packs are an efficient way to assemble a collection of
mics for stage, studio, classroom, and houses of worship—anywhere
you need to balance cost with convenience. Of course, any of these
transducers can be put to work on other instruments—guitar and
bass amps, brass, vocals, and percussion. And many of these mics
have been around for years, so they have passed the test of time.
This article is by no means an exhaustive list. Some of the
manufacturers in this roundup offer more than one package, and in
those cases, I chose the kit that seemed the most representative. The
products are listed in order of street price, from low to high.
Keep in mind that sound quality isn’t necessarily tied to price
when it comes to a drum mic. An inexpensive kick or snare mic can
be just as effective as a high-ticket item depending on musical style
and personal taste. Look no further than the ubiquitous SM57, which
streets for under a $100, for proof of that.