Best Vocal Mic For Drummers – Buyer’s Guide For The Singing Drummer

Vocal Mic For Drummers

Adding a vocal microphone to your drum setup can really enhance your live performance with your band. You’ll be able to add extra harmonies, sing main parts, and even interact with the crowd when you’re other band members are busy tuning up or off-stage.

Certain microphone stands can be very annoying and it can be hard to find the right microphone that works for you. We’ve tested and reviewed all the major brands. Read on to find the best vocal mic for drummers.

In a rush? We love the Shure Beta 56A mounted on a stand!


Best Vocal Mic For Drummers – A Quick Glance

Image
Best Value
AKG C520 Professional Head-Worn Condenser Microphone with Standard XLR Connector
Best Feedback Suppression
DPA 4088F - Beige
Sennheiser ME 3 II Dynamic Microphone
Shure BETA 54 Supercardioid Condenser Headworn Microphone, 5' Attached Cable with TA4F Connector...
Audio-Technica ATM73cW Cardioid Condenser Headworn Microphone
Shure BETA 56A Supercardioid Swivel-Mount Dynamic Microphone with High Output Neodymium Element for...
Name
AKG Pro Audio C520
DPA 4088-B
Sennheiser ME 3 II
Shure BETA 54
Audio-Technica ATM73CW
Shure Beta 56A
Headset Mic
Wireless Required
Microphone Type
Condenser
Condenser
Dynamic
Condenser
Condenser
Dynamic
Rating
-
Best Value
Image
AKG C520 Professional Head-Worn Condenser Microphone with Standard XLR Connector
Name
AKG Pro Audio C520
Headset Mic
Wireless Required
Microphone Type
Condenser
Rating
Best Feedback Suppression
Image
DPA 4088F - Beige
Name
DPA 4088-B
Headset Mic
Wireless Required
Microphone Type
Condenser
Rating
-
Image
Sennheiser ME 3 II Dynamic Microphone
Name
Sennheiser ME 3 II
Headset Mic
Wireless Required
Microphone Type
Dynamic
Rating
Image
Shure BETA 54 Supercardioid Condenser Headworn Microphone, 5' Attached Cable with TA4F Connector...
Name
Shure BETA 54
Headset Mic
Wireless Required
Microphone Type
Condenser
Rating
Image
Audio-Technica ATM73cW Cardioid Condenser Headworn Microphone
Name
Audio-Technica ATM73CW
Headset Mic
Wireless Required
Microphone Type
Condenser
Rating
Image
Shure BETA 56A Supercardioid Swivel-Mount Dynamic Microphone with High Output Neodymium Element for...
Name
Shure Beta 56A
Headset Mic
Wireless Required
Microphone Type
Dynamic
Rating

The above table gives a quick rundown of the best vocal mics for drummers available on the market.

We have highlighted our two favorite vocal mics in blue and green. Most drummers opt not to sing, but for those who do, like Carter Beauford and Mike Portnoy, singing can be another added element to your band’s live show.


Should I use a stand-mounted vocal microphone?

If you have an old SM58 lying around, you can grab a boom stand and start singing immediately. However, you will potentially have an issue with the stand getting in the way of your playing. If you opt for a headset microphone, you won’t necessarily have this issue.

Drummer Singing Microphone


Use a stand-mounted microphone if you use it occasionally

If you only sing on certain songs, I would opt for the stand-mounted microphone. You can spin the microphone around and essentially “put it away” for the songs you don’t sing on.

Save your cash and start singing for under $150

Shure SM58S Vocal Microphone (with On Off Switch)
544 Reviews
Shure SM58S Vocal Microphone (with On Off Switch)
  • Frequency response tailored for vocals, with brightened...
  • Uniform cardioid pickup pattern isolates the main sound...
  • Pneumatic shock-mount system cuts down handling noise
  • Effective built-in spherical wind and pop filter
  • On/off switch for onstage control

If you have to spend as little as possible, using a stand with an SM58 is going to be the most cost effective way. Some of the headset microphones on this list are going to be expensive because you will need to have a wireless pack and a receiver.

Be sure to buy the Shure SM58 that includes the on-off switch, especially if there are songs where you won’t be singing. It will reduce stage volume to front of house and reduce the chance of feedback.

Use a gooseneck attachment

If you want to free up the playing space in front of you, a good way to do that is to use a goose neck microphone attachment.

In this scenario, the microphone stand will actually sit behind you and the microphone will come up and over your head.

Use the goose neck attachment to bend the microphone down to in front of your face. Just be careful to not go cross eyed while playing.

Even in this setup, singing while playing can be a little cumbersome.


Using a headset microphone while playing drums live

If you opt for the more expensive solution, you’ll be much more free while playing your drums. Singing is far easier with this setup as you’ll be able to move your head freely around as you please.

Feedback can be an issue with any microphone, but since you are playing drums, it can be very difficult to get right. Many of the microphones we show on this list offer what is called feedback suppression.

If you use in-ear monitors (I highly suggest this), feedback will be no problem. Your vocal mix in your ears will be tough to nail, but it is the optimal solution for a vocal mic for drummers.


Headset vocal microphones do not allow for dynamic singing

Imagine a singer hitting a really high and very loud note. Do you see them backing away from the microphone? I do.

With a headset microphone, this is no longer possible and dynamic singing is nearly impossible. This will require you and your front of house engineer to use a lot of compression on your voice.

Many people who have tried headset vocal microphones do not like them. However, there will always be outliers in anything in the world.


Reality check: heavy hitters beware

If you play hard and really make your drums sing, having a vocal microphone is going to be difficult. If you in ear monitors, you’re going to hear a lot of bleed from your kit on this channel and you’re going to have to leave the monitor level of your vocals down significantly.

If you’re still rocking wedge monitors, you might be alright for hearing your mix, but feedback can sure be a major issue, so be sure to look out.

It’s hard enough to get drum bleed out of a vocalist’s monitor mix, let alone a drummers. The Shure Beta 56A is a solid choice for drummers looking for the most isolation in their monitor mix.

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2 comments
  1. Hi — I know this article is a year old, but I just came across it and had to comment. I’m a heavy hitter and have been described as a “very animated” drummer. When I started singing and drumming a few years ago, I tried every conceivable mic position and microphone out there, and had a horrible time finding any combination that didn’t feed back, get hit by my flailing sticks, or fall over in the middle of a song. All of my problems were solved with a Shure Beta 56A. The boom on a Tama Iron Works Studio mic stand runs a few inches over my head, and a 13″ Proline gooseneck drops the mic in front of my face. The short 56A body is well out of the way of my sticks, and by leaving the top clutch loose on the mic stand, I can easily swivel the mic in or out of the way, even while playing. They solid iron legs on the stand keep it upright at all times; it has never tipped on me.

    Regarding the 56A itself — AMAZING!!! I’ve heard that it has the same guts as the Beta 58A, but I can’t confirm it. Either way, its dynamic range is on par with the 58A, and it sounds just as good to my ears, recorded and live. Even better, the supercardioid pickup pattern does exactly what Shure claims, and it only picks up what is directly in front of the grille. I’ve run wedge and main-size monitors on the floor behind me, multiple shows and venues, big sticks & hard hits — it has never fed back. I’ve also recorded vocals with it, while playing my acoustic drums, in a non-muffled room. All you can hear on my track are the vocals. If you crank the volume with a good set of headphones, you can hear my snare and hi-hat, but they sound like faint reverb echo.

    Added bonus: It’s made to make your drums sound great, so you can mic your drums with it when you’re not singing.

    Hope this helps someone!

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