Pros: This is a very inexpensive set of microphones.
Cons: Although acceptable, the sound of the TSM411's and the KBM412 are not very good.
CAD PMP 742C 7 PIECE DRUM MICROPHONE PACK
Recording drums well is probably one of the most difficult things to do in a home studio. All too often young musicians who are making home recordings are understandably on a tight budget, and buying a set of microphones that are dedicated to recording the drums can be an expensive proposition. However, if the drum track is muddy or indistinct, the sound of the whole recording will suffer, as it is apt to make the recording sound amateurish. A poor sounding drum track can be a disaster. Fortunately, there are a number of microphone manufacturers who have recognized that that the home recording industry is booming, and as a consequence, there is a need for an inexpensive solution to recording drums. Today, I shall be reviewing an inexpensive, entry level set of microphones that are manufactured by CAD, and have been bundled as the CAD PMP 742C 7-Piece Drum Microphone Pack. CAD makes several different entry level drum microphone packs, but the one that I am reviewing today is perhaps the most versatile and popular of the entry level packs. The CAD PMP 742C 7-Piece Drum Microphone Pack has a list price of $399.00, but it can be had from many musical instrument chain stores as well as large Internet retailers for about $215.00. Sold separately the list price on these 7 microphones would be about $723.00, and the discounted sale price for all 7 microphones would come to about $385.00. As such, the discounted price of $215.00 is a remarkable deal for a microphone pack that has 7 microphones in it. The CAD PMP 742C 7-Piece Drum Microphone Pack comes complete with 4 CAD TSM411 supercardioid dynamic microphones, 1 CAD KBM412 cardioid dynamic microphone, 2 CAD ICM417 cardioid condenser microphones, 4 DMC-1 microphone clips for close mounting on the drums, and a sturdy carrying case.
The CAD TSM411 microphones are best for use with the snare drum, mounted tom toms, and floor tom, and the 4 DMC-1 clips can be used to affix and position the microphones close to the drum heads. The CAD TSM411’s are supercardioid dynamic microphones. This means that these microphones are very highly directional, and reject sounds that emanate from the sides or back of the microphones. They are capable of close recording of drums without clipping, and in a pinch can also be used for micing a guitar or bass cab. Sold separately, each CAD TSM411 has a list price of $99.00, but sells at a discount for $48.75. For a more detailed description of how these microphones sound please click on my review below:
CAD TSM411 PROFESSIONAL MICROPHONE
The CAD KBM412 has a list price of $129.00, but it can be had at a discount for as little as $49.99. The CAD KBM412 is a microphone designed to deal with the lower end of the sound spectrum, and it is designed to record the bass drum. In a pinch it can be used to also handle a floor tom as well as a bass guitar cab. The CAD KBM412 is a dynamic microphone with a cardioid polar pattern. This means that it will be more sensitive to recording sounds that originate in front of the microphone, and will be less sensitive to sounds that originate from the sides or the back of the microphone. For a more detailed description of how this microphone sounds please click on my review below:
CAD KBM412 PROFESSIONAL MICROPHONE
The CAD ICM417’s are condenser microphones with a cardioid polar pattern. Unlike dynamic microphones which do not require a power source, the CAD ICM417’s are condenser microphones, and as such, they will require phantom power in order to operate correctly. The CAD ICM417’s are designed to be used as overhead microphones for recording cymbals, but in a pinch they can also be used to record most stringed instruments, including acoustic and electric guitars. The CAD ICM417’s have a list price of $99.00, but they can be had at a discount for $69.99. For a more detailed description of how these microphones sound please click on my review below:
CAD ICM417 PROFESSIONAL MICROPHONE
O.K., so what are the pros and cons on the CAD PMP 742C 7-Piece Drum Microphone Pack. The pros are the following. If you are a beginner who is trying to put together an entry level home recording studio, and if you are on a very tight budget, the CAD PMP 742C 7-Piece Drum Microphone Pack might be something for you to consider, especially given the remarkably low price for this kit. It would be very hard to find a set of drum microphones that sound as good, or better in this price range. Another application for the CAD PMP 742C 7-Piece Drum Microphone Pack to consider would be to amplify a set of drums for live use. In a live situation for a typical rock gig, one does not require the same level of sophistication and sensitivity that are required from a set of microphones that would be used in a demanding recording situation.
On the other hand, let us also look at some or the drawbacks or cons of the CAD PMP742C- 7-Piece Drum Microphone Pack. To me the biggest and most obvious drawback is that the CAD TSM411’s and the CAD KBM412 do not really sound very good for recording purposes. Well, let me put it like this, they sound O.K. for recording the drums, but that is about the best that could be said. They also do not do a very good job at recording other musical instruments either. However, on the other hand the CAD ICM417’s do sound pretty good, and they were quite acceptable for not only overhead use with a drum kit, but also for stringed instruments such as acoustic guitar, and even some vocals.
The bottom line for me is that I would not recommend the CAD PMP 742C 7-Piece Drum Microphone Pack. The exception to this would be if the microphones were being used for amplifying the drums in a live situation, specifically one that was not being recorded. Although the price is a bargain, the sound of the recordings was not bargain, and as such, I can not recommend the CAD PMP 742C 7-Piece Drum Microphone Pack to anyone, not even a beginner. Why, because if you are a serious beginner at home recording, you will definitely outgrow the CAD PMP 742C &-Piece Drum Microphone Pack. Spend two or three times the money now if you can, and move up to a set of microphones that not only sound better, but which can also be used for other recording purposes without compromising the sound of the instrument being recorded. Yes, I know spending two or three times the money may seem exorbitant at first, but you will be very happy that you spent the money when you hear the sound of the recordings. Plus, you will also have a set of microphones that you can use to record other instruments as well for the same price.
If you would like a suggestion regarding an alternative to the CAD PMP 742C 7-Piece Drum Microphone Pack, I would recommend a set of microphones that I have found to be very good at recording drums, as well as being useful for a number of other recording purposes. I would recommend using a Shure DMK57-52 Drum Mic Kit. The Shure DMK57-52 Drum Mic Kit comes with 3 Shure SM57 Microphones and a Shure Beta52 Microphone, as well as 3 A56D drum mounts, all packed neatly in a road worthy carrying case. For overhead use, I would add 2 Shure SM94’s. If you would like to read a more detailed review on each of these microphones click on the following links:
SHURE DMK57-52 DRUM MIC KIT
SHURE SM57 DYNAMIC PROFESSIONAL MICROPHONE
SHURE BETA 52A PROFESSIONAL INSTRUMENT MICROPHONE
SHURE SM94 PROFESSIONAL INSTRUMENT MICROPHONE
Well I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my review, but now if you will excuse me, I must get back to my practicing.