$1700 vs $100k of Recording Gear for Drums

  • Posted on: 22 July 2017
  • By: sheldonkreger

Legendary producer Warren Huart shares some great insight on the age old question: Is it the gear, or the player?

Drum mic comparison

In this video, Huart compares an elite, $100k plus microphone and preamp setup alongside Shure's entry-level PGA drum mic pack through a Focusrite Clarett 8prex preamp. The room is at Sunset Studios, which is a legendary LA session factory, and it is truly an amazing space.

If you don't have time for the whole thing, he compares each mic (snare, overheads, etc) and then full kit at the very end.

As Huart discusses, the bottom line is that the drumming, the drum gear, and the room have the largest impact on the quality of drum tracks you will capture. No amount of recording gear can compensate for shortcomings in the drummer, and an inexpensive setup can sound as good as 'the best' when the best talent is playing the drums.

I was saving up money and undecided on tom mics, but after this I decided to get a set of PGA56 and got three of them for way less than $200. Since I'd already purchased a kick and overhead mics, the tom mics were all I needed. But, I think I'll be getting one of the packs when I build my gigging setup.


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Shure's entry-level PGA drum mic pack.
Focusrite Clarett 8prex preamp.

Not used in video, but also recommended:
Shure's classic drum mic pack with three SM57 and a Beta 52 bass drum mic

Huart's Channel