Chances are, you’re not playing the drums just to make noise in your garage and keep your neighbors up until 2am. If you are, we applaud you.
Every drummer, whether you’re a solo act or you play in a group is going to need some microphones at some point in their artistic careers. The purpose is two-fold. If you’re recording, you’ll want a quality microphone set built to pick up on your drums so that your audio engineer and producer can properly mix them.
If you play live, then you need to be able to amplify your drums so that the whole crowd can hear you play. A good microphone set can also help your sound guy manage the volume of each drum. Your kicks might need a little more volume, and you might want your snares to be a little bit quieter.
Each setup is going to be different depending on both the genre of music and venue that you're playing or recording in, but a good microphone set can adapt to any situation. Lately, we've heard a lot about the Shure PGADRUMKIT5, their best-selling 5-piece drum microphone kit. Today, we're going to give it our review.
Shure has been making high-quality microphones for over 90 years, and they aren't going to stop anytime soon. If you walk into any professional recording studio or talk to a sound engineer worth his salt, then they'll have no doubt heard of Shure, and will, more often than not, have good things to say.
In this 5-piece kit, Shure uses their PG ALTA lineup of microphones. These are great microphones for both beginners and intermediate drummers. They offer exceptional sonic quality, without an overly expensive price tag that often comes with high-end microphones.
Let’s take a look at some of the key components and features of the kit.
For the kick microphone, Shure provides one of their PGA52 microphones which is designed to cut out higher frequencies and hone in on the low thump and the resonance of the bass. These work best when placed in close proximity to the kick drum.
Shure provides 3 PGA56 microphones to work with the snare and tom drums. These small microphones can pick up on all of the small, crisp, higher frequency sounds, and also work best in close proximity to the drums.
Finally, included in this kit is an all-purpose PGA57 microphone. This can be used for just about anything. Whether you need an extra drum mic, want something to capture your vocals, or your buddy forgot to bring his guitar mic, the PGA57 can cover all of the extra bases.
One of the biggest problems with drum microphone kits is that the clips are always breaking. Sometimes you’ll spend 45 minutes trying to set up the microphones just right, and then as soon as you start playing, one of the clips or rim mounts snaps in half, violently dropping the microphone on the floor, and bringing your performance to a halt.
These clips are some of the sturdiest we've ever used. After years of use, I could see them needing to be replaced, but you can be certain that they aren't going to snap in half or crack anytime soon.
Shure wanted to make sure that they gave you everything that you needed. That includes cables. This 5-piece kit includes 5 XLR-XLR cables that are each 15 feet long.
You wouldn’t want to purchase this great kit, full of high-quality microphones only to drop or lose them along the way. To keep all your gear safe, Shure includes a durable protective carrying case. Each microphone and its accompanying clip has a special space within the foam-coated case. It looks classy, and most importantly, keeps everything in one place.
Looking at the reviews left by Amazon customers, the verdict is overwhelmingly positive. Considering how picky we drummers can be about our microphones, this speaks well for the kit.
It seems that the main takeaway from reading the reviews was the quality of the product for the money. This 5-piece kit gives you the best bang for your buck, hands down. Many of the customers stated that these microphones performed as well as, if not better than many of the $1,000 kits that they had used in the past.
The one complaint was that some customers wished there were extra microphone clips included in the kit. There are 5 microphones and only 3 clips/rim mounts. While extra clips can be easily purchased, it would be nice if they included all 5 in the kit.
Due to the incredible deal that you’re getting with this kit, it’s unlikely that you’ll find it for sale in your local music store or even from other online distributors. The product that we reviewed was purchased directly from the Shure distributor shop on Amazon. At just under $300, you’re getting an incredible deal on this microphone kit.
If you want to upgrade it to a 7-piece kit, then your total will come out to just under $500 ($200 for 2 extra mics is a great deal). However, for most people, the 5-piece kit will be more than enough to fit all of your basic recording and performance needs.
While you could definitely get some better microphones, the sound quality would only increase by a bit, while the price would skyrocket. The Shure PGADRUMKIT5 5-Piece Drum Microphone Kit is the perfect middle ground.
It offers high-quality sound that doesn’t break the bank. Shure has been making top-notch products for almost a century, so it’s safe to say that they know what they’re doing.
If you're a millionaire rock star, and you want the best of the best, you might want to go purchase the $10,000 microphone kit.
However, if you're like the rest of us, and you just want to have clear, fidelic, and crisp playback without having to pay an arm and a leg, you can't go wrong with this kit. If you treat the microphones well, then they'll last you for years, and provide consistent performance time after time.