Miking the drums for live playing - medium sized clubs.


Silver Member
I've been searching through threads, and all over the web for the last week. Quite frankly the information out there is often confusing and contradictory.

Essentially, I'm looking to pick up some mic's for my drums, for live work, not recording. Mainly for clubs for the 300-500 people size. Past experience tells me from when I've played larger venues, usually there is an in-house sound guy, and he's always in the past provided the mikes. But the new band I'm auditioning for, told me they like to always mic the drums, and I'd like to know what I should be looking for.

I'm looking for a decent set up for that midrange size 500 person place. From what I've discovered in my reading, that a decent kick mic - say a Beta52a, and SM57 on the snare, and a pair of overhead condensers seems like a good starting point.

I'd like some feedback from the drummers out there who have done their own miking for this size of venue, what from your experience works best? Am I on the right track? Most of my club playing has been completely un-mic'd, and only a kick mic would have been nice to add.

Or should I really look into one of those 7 mic kits out there like Audix or Samson make, and close mic the works?

Thanks for any help you can give.


Senior Member
Well for my i use 3x sennheiser e604 for the toms,a e902 for the kick.
For my snare sm57 [what else haha] is the all-time best for me.
for my overheads i use akg 2x c414`s but they are mainly my studio mic`s .
but i use them live all so.
the e604 is for me the best option ,because they are small and robust, sounding great and the mounting system is superb .
And e902 is for my kick and sound the best .
And the on ebay you find them for a good price .



Junior Member
I'd say that the size of the venue isn't really a factor in what kind of mics you use (as in, one kind of tom mic vs. another), only whether or not you choose to mic your kit at all.

That being said, I'd go with what sdedge suggests above. They're pretty standard mics for drums.


Silver Member
Beta52 for Kick
SM57 for Snare
AT2020's for overheads

A Mackie 1402 will handle up to 6 mics. I would get the 1604 if you plan to move on to micing everything


Pioneer Member
1 overhead mic is probably enough. It’s unlikely that you’ll be stereo through the mains, so no point in micing stereo and dealing with possible phase issues.

Also, I wouldn’t bother with anything expensive or delicate. Live situations can be brutal on delicate mics (see the drunkards’ thread for reasons).


Platinum Member
As I said on the other thread. Try the 57 as an overhead. The balance of drums to cymbals will be better. Condensers typically have too much high end and sound sizzly and pingy on the cymbals while having little body on the toms. Which forces you to individually mic the toms and adds complication. Then get a Beta56 which is a bit shorter and easier to position than the hand held 57 for the snare. The better rejection of the Beta will help you do what you want with the snare although you may find the overhead 57 picks up everything just fine. Especially if you have a snare that projects or play with it prominent in the balance of the kit.


Silver Member
great. Thanks for the advice guys.

Aeolian, using a pair of dynamic overheads is interesting. I don't think I've read anyone suggesting that around the web, but I've been looking at a used Shure mic set that is just a Beta 52 and 3 sm57's, and I was trying to figure out how they would be intended to be used.

I remember back in high school for battle of the bands and things they would just run a pair of 57's or 58's, as far as I remember, back then fairly high overhead, and it was a pretty good sound. Certainly 4 channels is easy to pull off and relatively quick to mike up, and my little mixer for my home PA only has 4 XLR inputs, meaning I wouldn't have to buy anything else.


Silver Member
Oh and Anduin, I totally get your point. In 15 years of bar gigs, I think I've seen it all.
I've had dancers fall / crash into my drums, had my vocal mic bumped into my teeth on more than one occasion, and a couple full out brawls involving almost everyone in the bar except the band. lol. My old Shure SM58 has lasted me 18 years, and despite a touch of rust, and 400 gigs rolling around in the bottom of my hardware case, it's still going strong.