In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best preamps for drums that offer stellar sound recording.
I’ve compared sound, features, design, and cost to give you my top recommendations.
What Are The Best Preamps For Drums?
Drum Preamp Reviews
Audient ASP800 8-channel Microphone Preamp Review
In first place, and the winner of the best preamp for drums is the Audient ASP800 8-Channel Microphone Preamp that will drastically improve the sonic quality of your recordings. Engineers and pros around the world love this drum mic preamp.
The Audient ASP800 boasts eight world-class console mic preamps that sound simply phenomenal. For recording drums, this drum mic preamp really is the perfect tool to expand your existing recording interface.
The ASP800 takes advantage of pristine and high-performance Burr-Brown AD converters onboard. The ASP800 offers superb clarity and true to life sound with these class-leading converters, and they will instantly improve both your mixes and your overall listening experience.
This is, without a doubt, one of the best preamps for drums available for the money, and it’s a real audio powerhouse designed to transform your sessions into world-class recordings. It also offers retro channels to color your audio with a range of warm and sparkly tonal options.
The Audient ASP800 results from years of experience in analog design combined with outstanding attention to detail. It’s a powerful drum mic preamp that is also extremely well-built, with rugged all-metal construction and hand-milled aluminum knobs.
For recording drums, the ASP800 offers incredible performance and value. Audient’s acclaimed console-grade mic preamps will help you to achieve the drum tones you’ve always wanted!
- World-class preamps and converters
- Beautifully pristine sound to elevate recordings
- Robust features in an ergonomic 1U rack mount
- Very few negatives
RME OctaMic XTC 8-channel Microphone Preamp Review
The RME OctaMic XTC 8-Channel Drum Mic Preamp offers eight premium quality preamps and AD conversion with cutting-edge technology that has helped make this a staple piece of equipment amongst engineers worldwide.
Included with the XTC are RME’s most advanced preamps that are remarkably clean. They offer low distortion levels with an impressive 85dB gain range too. They offer some of the best sounds when used in conjunction with some of the best drum microphones.
The RME OctaMic XTC is as versatile as a swiss army knife. It boasts eight stellar mic preamps with 192 kHz/24 bit A/D conversion, with full analog or digital input monitoring, and full MIDI remote control via USB.
The XTC can also turn into a full-blown digital format converter. AES/EBU, ADAT, MADI, you name it – the RME OctaMic XTC comes complete with a full spread of digital I/O for your gear. It also features a World clock and MIDI to provide additional connectivity and sync options.
Of all the 8-channel preamps available, few exceed the XTC’s technical performance and comprehensive routing options. It’s the best drum preamp on the market.
- Extremely flexible routing option
- Very reliable and stable while running
- Premium quality, natural non-coloring converters
- Very expensive drum preamp
- Arguably too many features for most home studios
PreSonus DigiMax DP88 8-channel Microphone Preamp Review
Next up for review, we have the PreSonus Digimax DP88 Microphone Preamp that features eight digitally controlled analog XMAX preamps that offer a flawless analog signal path.
The DP88 is an excellent quality preamp at a fantastic price. It’s in the same league as preamps that are far more expensive. The conversion quality of the PreSonus DP88 is incredible. The onboard Burr-Brown converters are amazingly crisp, clean, and offer liveliness at any frequency.
The preamps on this device are super clean, and they sound incredible on any sound source, particularly on drums. The conversion quality is beautiful, and everything sounds rich and full through this drum preamp.
The PreSonus DP88 is the perfect addition to any studio to provide additional inputs and even control the channels remotely. If you are using a drum recording interface with fewer channels, this is a fantastic piece of gear to expand your set up. A noteworthy feature is the phantom power is individually switchable on each channel.
If you are looking for the best preamp for drums, then the PreSonus DP88 is worthy of your investment. It sounds incredible; it’s very intuitive and has a great range of routing options. The digitally controlled XMAX preamps are ideal for drum recording sessions.
- First-rate sounding preamps and converters
- Digitally controlled preamps
- Excellent build quality and value
- No pads for additional dB gain
Behringer ADA8200 8-channel Microphone Preamp Review
The Behringer ADA8200 Microphone Preamp is an affordable drum mic preamp that offers fantastic performance on a budget. It features 8 MIDAS-designed mic preamps that feed into Cirrus Logic converters for crystal clear sound.
This is one of the best drum preamps available for recording drums. The MIDAS preamps are clean and offer plenty of headroom. There is no coloration to the sound, so it’s a transparent signal straight from the drum microphones.
This preamp/ADAT converter beats everything in its price range. You will have to pay a lot more money to receive a higher quality conversion. It’s the best way to expand your interface for the money, and it’s one of the best preamps for drums.
If you want a reliable and great-sounding mic preamp that provides eight analog channels for recording drums, the ADA8200 makes a great addition to any home studio. It’s effortless to set up, and the build quality is rugged, too.
The Behringer ADA8200 offers fantastic bang for your buck and will facilitate drum recording sessions with separate line-in inputs on every channel. For the money, this is one of the best preamps for drums available!
- Very affordable yet reliable
- MIDAS-designed preamps for killer sounds
- Excellent A/D and D/A conversion
- Fewer features than found on more expensive preamplifiers
Focusrite Scarlett OctoPre Dynamic 8-channel Microphone Preamp Review
The flexible Focusrite Scarlett OctoPre Microphone Preamp is equipped with eight award-winning Focusrite preamps that offer good headroom, low noise and distortion, and a tremendously clean sound.
High-quality conversion is essential to achieve stellar sound quality while recording with the best preamps for drums. Thankfully every Scarlett OctoPre comes outfitted with Focusrite’s class-leading 24-bit/192kHz conversion for excellent clarity.
The Focusrite Scarlett OctoPre is perfect for tracking drums and expanding your inputs to accommodate many drum microphones. The drum mic preamp offers headroom to accommodate dynamic mics and overhead mics on any sound source, and there’s phantom power on all channels.
Additionally, the Scarlett OctoPre is also equipped with a soft-knee VCA compressor on every channel for additional dynamic control. It’s controlled with a single knob and has a standard Transparent mode, with stronger compression able to be engaged at the touch of a button.
This is one of the best preamps for drums that’s available today. It offers fantastic performance at an affordable price, and it has tons of expansion capabilities that make it an ideal way to grow a studio for drum recording.
- Award-winning Focusrite mic preamps
- VCA compression on every channel
- Solid performance and build quality
- Worth spending more for Audient ASP800 preamp