Something I realized as I started recording drums was that your setup can start to get very busy when you add microphones. There are already several hardware stands placed around a drum kit, so adding a few mic stands into the mix can make your setup look fairly convoluted.
Top 3 - Drum Mic Clips & Mounts
The answer to this problem would be getting mic clips for your drums. They stop you from needing stands and they save a whole bunch of space. If that sounds appealing to you, then you need to read on and check out a few of my favorite clips.
Best Drum Mic Clips & Mounts - My 4 Top Picks
1. Audix DVICE
We’ll start off with one of my favorite mounts on the market. The Audix DVICE has a gooseneck that gives it an incredible amount of maneuverability. The gooseneck is basically a long and solid arm that can be twisted and turned in any way.
At first, I thought the gooseneck wouldn’t be very solid as things get wonkier as they get longer. But it somehow manages to stay incredibly secure in place. You wouldn’t think this clip is as sturdy as it is.
With that being said, it can hold several types of mics, even the large and heavy ones. The only issue is that the clip at the top may not be big enough for certain mics.
I found this not to be a big issue as most mics come with clips when you buy them. You just need to swap the clips out and you’ll be good to go.
If you do use the original clip from the DVICE, just know that it’s not the most solid clip out there. I’ve heard a few drummers say that it broke fairly early on. So, I’d suggest getting a higher-quality clip and attaching it to the DVICE as soon as possible.
The main selling point is the gooseneck. I haven’t found any other mount on the market that is as flexible as this one. So, if you’re very particular about the position you want your drum mics to be in, this is the mount for you.
2. Shure A56D
I met a session drummer once who swore by the Shure A56D mic mounts. He told me how these are one of the only solutions that work on every single drum kit. Since drum hardware differs from kit to kit, you get certain mounts that just don’t fit sometimes, especially to toms.
You don’t have that problem with a Shure A56D as the mounting system is so universal that it works perfectly on everything. I’ve even seen drummers attach this mount to a cymbal stand.
Apart from being versatile, I found this mount to be incredibly sturdy. It has a stiff arm that can be locked in very tightly. Your mic won’t move once you’ve put it in position. The mount is a bit heavier than the Audix DVICE, so it’s great for fitting larger mics and keeping them secure.
Since the mount has a stiff arm, it’s unfortunately not as adjustable. Don’t get me wrong, you can set it to several comfortable positions. It just takes a bit of time and frustration to get it there.
I’d suggest getting a mount like this if you have a drum kit that isn’t going to move around much. Once you lock the mics in position, the mounts will keep them there for years without moving. It’s also the solution when you have toms that are difficult to attach mic mounts to.
If you’re going to be setting up your kit with mics at gigs frequently, I think something lighter and more easily adjustable would be a better option.
3. K&M 24030
I like to think of the K&M 24030 as a microphone mount that is simple and effective. It’s a lot less in-your-face than the previous two mounts, making it a great option for anyone that doesn’t want too much attention on their microphones.
It’s a small mount that clamps onto the upper part of the drum rim. I found that this stopped the mount from touching the aluminum hoops of the drum heads, protecting them from getting damaged over time.
Quite a few mic mounts tug on the hoops, so the fact that this mount steers clear of that is wonderful.
Since the mount is small, it has a very clean look. It’s the type of mount that I’d want to use if I had a bottom mic for my snare drum. Most large mounts look fairly obvious underneath the snare, so a small one like this would be ideal.
Overall, this is a fantastic mount to use if you don’t want your microphones to take up much space. I just wish the arm that connected the mic was slightly longer.
The mic comfortably holds short and long mics. However, it’s not ideal for someone who has a long mic and likes to place it fairly far from the drum head. If the arm was a bit longer, it would be the perfect microphone mount.
4. Shure A50D
The final popular mic mount that I think is worth talking about would be the Shure A50D. This mount costs about half the price of all the others, so it’s a great budget option.
It doesn’t have many components to it. Instead, it’s just a hard plastic mount that clips onto the rim of the drum with a bit of force.
I found that it takes a while to clip on comfortably to a drum. But once you’ve got it on there, it feels quite secure. The mount is fairly durable considering the fact that it’s hard plastic. I know a few drummers that have been using these for years.
I have one of these that came with my Shure SM57 mic and it’s worked perfectly for all the years I’ve had it. The mount may break if you pull it off the drum too aggressively. There have been a few times where I was worried that would happen. Luckily, it didn’t.
I found that heavier mics tend to bounce with this mount, so it’s only a good option for lighter mics. If you don’t mind a bit of bouncing, you could try a heavy mic. I find it very distracting when I’m playing, though.
Overall, it’s one of the best cheap mounts you can get. It’s not very adjustable, but it serves its purpose quite well. I can see a few drummers using these as backup mounts for emergencies. Getting a few won’t be breaking any banks, thanks to the low cost.
Mic Clips vs Mic Stands
If you’re planning on putting microphones on all your drums, you’d need to have about 7 microphone stands set up around the kit. While this isn’t an issue in recording studios, it becomes a bit of a space problem for most drummers in their practice spaces.
So, mic mounts and clips are the best possible solution for eliminating the need for all those stands. I used to have quite a few mic stands set up around my kit. After switching to mounts, I can’t ever see myself going back.
Do You Get a Mic Clip for a Bass Drum?
You could theoretically attach a mount to the hoop of a bass drum. However, you won’t be able to place the bass mic in the best position that way.
If you don’t want to use a boom mic stand for your bass drum, you could get a dedicated bass drum mic stand. They’re a lot smaller and easier to position.
One of my favorites is the MS7920B from On Stage Stands. It’s a boom stand that can be shrunk down to fit nicely in front of a bass drum.
You may be wondering if you can use mic clips for overhead mics to reduce the clutter around the kit even more. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy possibility. The overhead mics are the two mics where using full boom mic stands will be necessary.
If you’re a handyman, however, you could work something out. If your drum kit sits in one position and never moves from there, you could build a permanent mic setup. To do this, you’d need to install a metal bracket into the roof above the drum kit. From there, you could attach mic clips to it and then connect the overhead mics to those clips.
The great thing about a setup like this is that you can also mount lights above your kit, and those are essential if you want to make drumming videos.
It’s essential that you get microphone clips that allow you to position the microphones properly. Not all mic clips are made the same, and certain ones won’t work well for certain microphones. This typically isn’t the case with small microphones. However, larger mics have the potential to not work well with different clips.
If you have large microphones, you need to get the strongest clip possible that has as much maneuverability as possible. That combination will allow you to position the microphones accurately.
Essential Drum Mic Setup
If you’re trying to save as much money as possible, you may be wondering how many microphones and clips you actually need to get a decent drum recording. You’re not alone in thinking this, as it’s something that I heavily considered when I was first starting to do drum recordings.
If want the best sound possible along with the most control over your kit, you’d need to have at least one mic on every sound source. This would mean a mic on each drum, two overhead mics, and a mic near the hi-hats.
However, you can comfortably run a 4-mic setup with the correct placements. This setup would include having two overhead mics, a kick drum mic, and a snare drum mic. You’d only need a single mic clip here, and that would be for the snare drum mic. The kick and overhead mics would need to be placed on dedicated stands.
I’ve been running a 4-mic setup for years, and it’s worked quite well for me. However, I don’t do any professional recordings that require heavy mixing. In that case, you’d need more mics around your kit.
If you want to run a mic setup with fewer mics than that, you’d need an incredibly high-quality overhead mic and a kick mic.
When it comes to varying brands, the differences you get from mic clips are quite minimal compared to drums or cymbals. So, brand choice isn’t a particularly big discussion. Most options that all the brands offer are fairly decent.
However, there’s always something to say about trusted brands, and all the mic clips that I’ve mentioned above are from brands that I firmly trust. If you’re looking around for clips and you’re not sure what to get, know that any clip from Shure, Audix, or K&M is going to be good.
I’ve found myself collecting a few mic mounts over the years. Every mount has the exact same purpose, but not every mount offers the same amount of adjustability and sturdiness.
There’s nothing worse than having to constantly adjust the mic mounts on your drums in the middle of a gig. So, make sure to invest in some high-quality mounts that will last you a long time. It always pays off to spend a bit more on something that will last longer.
All the mounts I’ve mentioned above are great options to consider. If you’re looking to eliminate the clutter around your drum set, I highly suggest getting a few microphone mounts so that you can attach your dynamic mics straight onto your drums.