If money is no object, then which mic would you use for...


Silver Member
I know this kinds of questions have been asked before, but I like updated answers. I realize that with money as an issue most drummers and sound guys would choose a sm57 for a snare drum. What I was wondering is, if you had unlimited funds, what would you choose for snare mic, tom mic, bass mic, and over heads (or any others?).

Durability is obviously a great feature, but for this answer, I really just care about what you think gives the best representation of sound. thanks!

Of course, you could also list your favorite mics for the money too!


Boom, I have access to just about any microphone I want from the 85 plus in my personal collection. Most of the time, but not all, I choose these for my own kits. Sometimes the size of the kits will also influence what mics I'll use here at my home studio or when tracking other drummers in commercial studios. Most microphones are isolated on "shock" mounts.

Bass Drum resonant, Electrovoice RE20. If I'm working in a studio that has one and not many studios do, I'll choose a Neumann U47 fet for miking their resonant head.
Bass drum batter, when needed, Sennheiser 416 shotgun
Snare batter, Audix I5, Shure SM57 or Beta 57
Snare bottom, when needed, Sennheiser MD441
Rack toms, usually SM57 or Neumann TLM 102
Floor toms, always Sennheiser MD421
Hi hats, AudioTechnica ATM 33R or AKG 460
Overheads, (2) AKG 414 ULS
Room microphone, Neumann U87 or Neumann TLM 170

I use these for recording in a controlled environment. For gigs the overheads are usually Shure SM81's and of course no room microphone.



Platinum Member
You can get away much cheaper, replacing the Neumann U87 (or 2, if you'd use them for overheads) by Oktava ML-319 which sound good in stock condition or superb if you send them in to Michael Joly to get them modified. After the mod they'll easily compete with about any hi-end mic out there. I have 2 ML-319's with Michael Joly Premium Mod and have stopped thinking of Neumann & al. They sound so crystal clear. Once I visited a band rehearsal and they had a Shure or AKG drum mic set put up but were not satisfied with the sound. Just for comparison we set up my 2 modded Oktava MK-319's and they provided a far better sound than all those other mics in combination.

Check him out (listen to some sound comparison samples):

The Oktava MK-012's are good and affordable small condensers. You can also have them modded by Michael Joly.


Silver Member
thanks Dennis and Arky for your replies. Just the kind of stuff I was looking for.

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I'd like a number of re-built Telefunken U47 microphones for everything. As overheads, on toms, snares, outside my non-ported bass drum heads. So I'd need at least eight of them.

The last re-built Telefunken U47 my friend bought cost $12,500.00. So I'd need about $100,000.00 just for the mics. Of course, I'd need some vintage API mic pres to go with these mics, too. A Neve console and some LA-2A compressors should complete the package.


Senior Member
it always depends on the situation. (type of sounds desired really)

but for polished rock type thing...

neumann u67's for overheads
neumann km 84 on hats (and ride if it needs one)
sony c37 and sennheiser 441 on snare top
neumann km 84 snare bottom
josephson e22s on toms/floor toms
neumann fet47 and EV re20 on kick
gefell um 70 for stereo room
and an AGK c12 somewhere close to the kit to capture the kit as a balanced whole.

for a stax/motown type of vibe...
RCA 77 capturing snare
akg d12 (not d112) or RCA 44 on kick (probably like 2 feet back) and thats it. no overheads. (ok maybe a km 84 for an overhead just to be safe)

how about what i actually have to work with...
oktava mk319's for overheads
sm 57 snare and under snare
sennheiser 421 for tom/floor tom
akg d112 for kick
Cascade Fathead for room or a Crown PZM for a room


Junior Member
If money were no object, you want choices for each song, drum kit, and desired sound when finished. So you need choices:

Overheads-pairs: Coles 4038, KM54, 414(old copper caps), U87, U49, U67, RCA 44, Royer122, Sony C800G, schoeps.

Kick: AEA-RU4, D12E, D25, B52, RE20, MD421, AT ATM25, SM7B, M88, PR40
+ Sub kick
+ U47FET/U95S/C37A for outside

Toms, lets say 4 each: SM57, MD409-U3, AA CM47, Sony CV-300

Snare: SM57 (Old Unidyne III), MD431, MD409-U3, AA CM28, KSM8, KSM9, KMS105.

Ride/Hats: This is where things get crazy....no best answer because that is dependent to the other choices made. In general SDC on top or long ribbon under are the first two things I would try

Lets get reasonable, times have changes and new manufacturing processes have improved things. If you want a decent set of mic's for a reasonable cost, easy to transport, and sounds good when done:
Kick: ATM25
Snare: SM57
Toms: e604
Overheads/hats ride: Line Audio CM3

And if you really want studio mics and a single config that's nice:
Overheads: Coles 4038
Snare: SM57
Toms: e906
Kick: ATM25, B52, Audix D6, AKG D12
And get at least two SDC
One sub kick mic.
One LDC for mono overhead or in front of kick or room. Picking them is where the shopping fun is.


Gold Member
I'd contact mic the top head bottom head and shell, then use a condenser mics starting a few inches away stepping back several feet each time(in stereo), then use a 32 track daw to record each one. During mixing I would pan between the mics to give different types of movement effects.


Senior Member
Why not?

All depends on what the kit is and what's going on in the mix, but with a balanced drummer on a well tuned kit, three U47s or 4038s positioned well will capture a beautiful tone.

If we're doing close mics as well, can't go wrong with a 57 on snare, md421s on the toms, and an re20 on kick.