Best Mics for Kick Drums and Bass Guitars: Raise Your Sound Quality With These Mics

MXL 770

So you’ve got your next hit in your head already.

You know the sound you’re looking for, now you just need it to come out as awesome as it does in your head.

Any real musician knows that this can only be done when you have the right equipment. 

Having the wrong equipment will leave you confused and frustrated as to why you’re not achieving that sound you’re looking for.

If you know you have an amazing sound but just need the right equipment, keep reading because in this guide we’re going in-depth on the best mics for kick drums and bass guitars and giving you the scoop on not only our top picks but exactly what attributes separate the good quality mics from the bad ones.

 
IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS 

 

Shure BETA 52A Dynamic

  • Pattern: Super Cardioid 
  • Connector Type: XLR
  • Price: $
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Audio D6
  • Pattern: Cardioid
  • Connector Type: XLR
  • Price: $
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Sennheiser e602 ii Dynamic
  • Pattern: Cardioid
  • Connector Type: XLR-3
  • Price: $
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 MXL A-55 Kicker
  • Pattern: Cardioid
  • Connector Type: XLR
  • Price: $
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Shure BETA 91A
  • Pattern: Half-Cardioid
  • Connector Type: XLR
  • Price: $
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The Top 5 Best Mics for Kick Drums and Bass Guitars

The Shure BETA 52A Dynamic Microphone is specifically designed for bass instruments and produces a high-output that delivers studio quality and exceptional rejection to outside sounds.

This mic comes with a shock mount system that effectively minimizes transmission of vibrations and mechanical noise and a neodymium magnet that produces a high signal-to-noise ratio output.

You also don’t have to worry about this mic slipping from high vibration or heavy bass because of the slip-resistant stand adapter and with the steel mesh grille this mic is protected from the everyday wear and tear that can come from extensive recording sessions and touring.

An overall excellent mic for kick drums and bass guitars.

What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like

The Audix D6 is another great choice for kick drums or bass guitars. This mic includes 14dB of boost at 60Hz and is tailored to tackle low-frequency response instruments.

This mic is very responsive to transients because of the VLM diaphragm and is able to sound great no matter the position it’s in. The VLM technology also makes this mic ideal for live stages and studio sessions both.

The cardioid pickup pattern effectively rejects external sounds while keeping the sound of the kick drum completely pure and clean and the 30Hz-15kHz frequency responds well to big jumps where you need it for the lows without sacrificing the attack.

What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like

The Sennheiser e602 ii Dynamic Microphone is great for those live performances because of the fast transient response that it has, along with a low frequency extension. This mic is able to provide complete isolation from on-stage signals while also being able to still be highly effective for sound reinforcement and other recording applications.

The cardioid dynamic component of this mic allows for it to capture that deep bass that you can feel. This mic being lightweight makes it perfect for taking on the road and can be used for both stage and studio purposes.

This mic also comes with a protective pouch for better protection while traveling around.

What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like

If you’re looking for a dynamic drum mic that is great for low-frequency instruments, the MXL A-55 Kicker is a good choice. This mic not only has durable construction but it also is super compact and easy to carry around with you in tight spaces, which makes it great if you’re on the road a lot.

The robust low-end sound that is included in this mic makes it great for all genres of music and low-frequency instruments.

The cardioid pattern picks up the best sound while minimizing bleed at the same time.

A great quality mic that can serve anyone from top artists and engineers to beginner artists.

What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like

The Shure BETA 91A is a microphone that is loaded with features that any musician would love. It includes a 2-position contour switch that maximizes clarity and produces a studio quality sound.

The wide dynamic range ensures that it can perform in high SPL environments and still maintain the same quality output.

This mic has an integrated preamp paired with an XLR connector that not only ensures a quick and simple setup but also reduces the amount of stage clutter you’ll have.

The durability of the Shure BETA 91A is unmatched because of the die-cast metal construction and the steel grille. A mic that should definitely be considered if you’re a serious music creator.

What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like

Important Factors To Consider When Choosing Mics for Kick Drums and Bass Guitars

Frequency

The frequency response of a microphone directly refers to pitches that a mic can precisely represent.

Human hearing can range anywhere from 20Hz being the lowest to 20kHz being the highest and with kick drums being able to easily reach down to 20Hz it’s important to choose a microphone with an accurate frequency response and a mic that is specifically designed for drums can effectively do that.

Look out for a mic that can get down to a low number of Hz, so everything can be heard.

Positioning

While this may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re choosing a microphone, ot’ll play a critical role after you choose one.

The positioning of your mic is going to be one of the biggest determining factors in the overall sound quality.

The poor position of a mic can not only result in not being able to be heard but can also capture other noises you wouldn’t want to be heard.

Microphone Type

The actual type of microphone you have can also be a huge contributing factor of the sound you get from it. Certain types of mics work better with different instruments.

Dynamic microphones are used for loud sounds and live instruments and they also happen to be both cheap and efficient, mainly because they don’t need a power source but the con is that they are not very sensitive to quiet sounds.

Condenser microphones are able to capture much quieter sounds with a higher degree of accuracy.

You’ll need a power source for this type of mic and it can range between 9 and 48 volts and can either be powered by batteries or phantom power.

Recording Style

Are you pre-recording your music in a studio or are you performing live? This matters when choosing a mic because some mics are designed specifically for live performances while others aren’t.

Dynamic microphones are the most commonly used microphones for live performances because they are thin, light and respond quickly to changes in sound pressure.

They are also less expensive and can handle extremely high SPL’s.

Condenser mics are found mostly in recording studios because of their ability to accurately capture and follow sound waves and pick up lower sounds that wouldn’t need to be picked up during live performances.

3 Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Positioning for a Bass Guitar and Kick Drum?

If you have a low-end kick drum the best placement is going directly at the hole, which is placed on the outer side of the front head although It is possible that you may receive some bleed from the snare drum and cymbals. 

When recording your bass guitar the first piece of equipment you need is an interface. Next you’ll need a software that can record the audio. Macbooks have GarageBand already installed on them which is great if you’re just getting started.

If you’d like a more premium option there are other softwares out there like Logic Pro X and Pro Tools that are great options. You’d then plug your guitar up to the interface and adjust your gain levels to your liking. Miking your amp is also an option if you’re looking for a really natural sound.

How Do You Mic a Kick Drum Without Holes?

The best way to mic your kick drum if it has no holes is to place your mic up to the resonance head as close as you can without it being touched by the drumhead while being played.

Do I Need To Spend A Lot Of Money For Quality?

You can find a great kick drum and bass guitar mic starting in the low 100’s but of course the more you pay for quality, the more quality you’ll receive, so when choosing a drum, understand your budget and then look for that blend between quality and what you have the budget for.

Final Thoughts

There you have it. 

These are our recommendations for the best mics for kick drums and bass guitars, When compiling this list, we considered some of the most important attributes and characteristics that a mic should have which are things like frequency, the actual type of microphone, your recording style and positioning. 

With every mic on our list ran through this criteria, our top recommendation is the Shure BETA 52A Dynamic.

It’s high signal-to-noise ratio along with its ability to reject outside sounds makes it perfect for recording both kick drums and bass guitars. 

We hope this guide can point you in the right direction and get you recording your next masterpiece sooner than later.

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