Best Overall: Rode NT5
Some may refer to these cardioid condenser microphones as "pencil mics" because of their diminutive size. It contains a bipolar output buffer and an active J-FET impedance converter. These mics have a gold-sputtered 1/2-inch capsule and gold-plated XLR 3-pin connections, which greatly reduce unwanted noise. In terms of low self-noise, these mics are the best you can get for using as overheads. They are even sturdy than the reliable C2s, withstanding sound pressure levels of up to 143 dB if necessary.
Best Ultra-Thin: Shure KSM137/SL Stereo Pair
These microphones' low-mass diaphragms, which are coated with gold, are responsible for their extended frequency response and high clarity. There's a transformerless pre-amp inside, which provides excellent responsiveness with almost no distortion. The gold plating on both the internal and exterior (3-pin XLR) connections aids in keeping noise to a minimum. This area has a very efficient cardioid pattern that effectively eliminates off-axis noise. Compared to the other microphones I've evaluated, the KSM137s sound almost completely unprocessed.
It's an Ea7 condenser microphone made in Austria. This microphone has a pad of +20dB, three frequency select switches, and five polar patterns choose switches. Without risking hearing loss or distortion, this device enables louder volumes at improved signal-to-noise ratios. Turning the equipment into stereo mode separates the central capsule into left and right high-definition cardioid microphones.
Best Easy to Setup: LyxPro SDPC-2 Stereo Pair
The new LyxPro SDPC2 pencil condenser microphones are an industry first in design and construction quality. One of the many deluxe options available on these mics is worthy of a lyrical ode: Three interchangeable capsules are included in the package to quickly switch between pickup patterns. A godsend in the studio and on the stage, the switchable polar pattern allows for instant transitions between omnidirectional, cardioid, and super-cardioid polar patterns with the turn of a single knob.
Best Sound: Samson C02 Pencil Condenser Microphones
The C02 has a cardioid polar pattern and a low-mass capsule that allow for precise recording of a small area immediately in front of the mic. The microphone's polar pattern filters out background noise and prevents feedback so that only the source of the sound can be heard. The C02 can record instruments like drums and cymbals without distorting, as they can withstand sound pressure levels of up to 134dB SPL. When purchased together, these small-diaphragm microphones make stereo miking easier and more affordable than ever before.
Last update on 2023-01-29 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
Are overhead mics necessary for drums?
If you place the overheads properly, you won't need any near microphones, and the drums will still sound rather accurate. Among all the drum mics, the placement of these is the most crucial. When possible, it's best to avoid using the room mics.
What makes a good overhead mic?
A high-quality overhead microphone should pick up every little detail of the drum kit's sound. Sound engineers will often employ overhead drum microphones to capture a more authentic and organic drum set sound.
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