Earthworks DK7 Drum Mics Review

Earthworks DK7 Drum Mics Review

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Earthworks has meticulously designed the DK7 drum mic kit to deliver outstanding performance right out of the box. These microphones capture a remarkably true-to-life natural sound from a drum set. It’s the perfect tool for drummers or recording engineers who want to achieve a highly professional sound.

Earthworks DK7 Drum Mics

Key Features

  • 2 x SR25 condenser mics
  • 4 x DM20 condenser mics
  • 1 x SR20LS condenser mic
  • Comes with mounting hardware
  • Cardioid polar patterns
  • +30dB of rear-side rejection

Scores

Sound Quality
5
Build Quality
5
Ease-Of-Use
4.5
Value
4
Overall
4.7

94/100

The DK7 by Earthworks is a luxury drum mic kit that includes a selection of seven specifically chosen condenser microphones.

Each microphone is designed to capture a specific part of an acoustic drum kit with remarkable clarity and efficiency.

Compared to other drum mic kits I’ve used in the past, the Earthworks DK7 is in another league of performance sonically.

In this review, we’ll explore all of the features and sound capabilities of the Earthworks DK7 drum mic kit to help you determine if it’s worth the investment. Read on to learn more!

Earthworks DK7 Drum Mics Ratings

Sound Quality

5
5/5

Build Quality

5
5/5

Ease-Of-Use

4.5
4.5/5

Value

4
4/5

7-Piece Mic Kit

The Earthworks DK7 is a premium-quality 7-piece microphone set, which is conveniently packaged as it includes all of the microphones you need to record an acoustic drum kit. 

It’s quite common for microphone kits to be of lesser quality than an assembly of individual mics, but that isn’t the case here. Earthworks have carefully selected each microphone for a specific purpose so that you get a well-rounded drum sound. 

The specifications of each of the seven drum mics, which consist of three different types, are slightly different from one another. For example, the SR20LS has a sensitivity of 8/mv/Pa, while the SR25 is rated at 20mV/Pa. 

Although the differences are subtle, this allows you to position certain mics on your toms, snare, kick, or other drums to ensure that you get the perfect sonic definition between them when capturing the whole kit simultaneously. 

Another advantage of purchasing an all-in-one drum mic kit is that you never need to worry about forgetting certain components or misplacing them, as the whole set can be easily kept in one piece and transported in the same case. 

Recording Quality & Clarity

Drums can be played in an almost limitless number of ways and styles, so having microphones that can capture all of the different sounds with clarity and precision is essential. The DK7 drum set has all of the qualities required for clear, defined drum recordings. 

The DK7 drum mics deliver an absolutely stellar performance. The sound quality is sublime, and the sounds you hear are of a very natural quality. When listening back to recordings, it sounds almost as if the drum set is right in front of you.

One of the things that stood out to me about the Earthworks DK7 drum mic set is the way it can separate each drum when recording the whole set. This makes it considerably easier to mix the recording and prevents it from sounding muddy. 

The cardioid polar patterns of each of the seven mics included in this set ensure that minimal spill is picked up from the sides of the capsule. 

It also helps to reduce the chance of phase cancellation, which most drummers or recording engineers will know can be a serious issue. 

These microphones do an excellent job at handling extremely high SPL levels, so no matter how much velocity you like to play or record drums with, these mics will avoid being pushed into clipping or digital distortion. 

Live Drums

Earthworks designed the DK7 drum mics predominantly for recording a full acoustic drum kit in a studio environment, but they’re also highly capable for live performances. 

The DK7 kit works equally well on stage as it does in the studio. This is because the main qualities of the microphones carry over to a live setting very well, such as the way they handle dynamics. 

Due to the high SPL handling capabilities of each microphone included in the DK7 set, you can position them very close to the skin of the drum when playing live. This ensures that the full attack and sustain of the drum hits can be played through the PA speakers. 

Also, the DK7 drum microphones are brilliant at isolating the sound of the drum they are positioned in front of. This is ideal for live performances because you want to minimize spill as much as possible to avoid feedback or problem frequencies. 

The quick impulse response of the DK7 drum microphones is really what makes them a standout performer. The sound engineer will be able to blend the drum sound with other instruments, particularly the bass guitar, to create a punchy, full-bodied rhythm section. 

If you decide to use this drum mic kit for live performances, you’ll also benefit from the fact that they can be used to record the live sound directly from the desk with excellent clarity. 

Mounting & Build Quality

Regardless of how good a set of drum mics sound, if they are lacking in build quality, they’re not going to be a wise investment. Earthworks have ensured that the DK7 set is equally capable in both of these respects.

These microphones included in the DK7 set are of considerably high quality. The metal units are sleek and streamlined but feel weighty and substantial. 

Each of the seven condenser microphones included in the DK7 kit has been built to withstand the inevitable rigors of recording, touring, and rehearsing. 

It’s common for drum mics to be dropped or accidentally hit with the stick from time to time, so ensuring they won’t break easily is extremely important. 

The DM20 microphone is particularly durable, and this is the most likely type of mic to get struck by a stick. It is enclosed in a rugged metal chassis so that the inner components are fully shielded from damage. 

The Earthworks DK7 comes with RimMounts, which make it easy to attach each mic to its designated drum. These mounts clamp securely onto the drum shell or can be mounted on a mic stand easily. 

The microphones need to be secured so that they will not move during a recording, as this could negatively affect the overall sound. Having these RimMounts at your disposal will prevent this from occurring. 

Versatility

The DK7 kit is specifically for drums. Nevertheless, you can use these microphones for other instruments and vocals, as they are all cardioid condenser mics with extensive frequency responses. 

The SR20LS condenser mics included in this set can handle very loud sound sources without clipping or becoming distorted, and therefore you might have success recording guitar amplifiers with these mics. 

Also, the SR25 condenser microphone has an impressively wide frequency response which spans from 20Hz-25kHz. Therefore, recording high-pitched vocals, or instruments like violins that produce high frequencies is possible. 

Investing in the DK7 will expand the options you have available when recording. Although it’s designed for drums, I’m sure you’ll find many other uses for the individual microphones, and the whole set as a collective. 

Most of my favorite mics to use when recording has been discovered when I’ve placed them in front of an instrument or device they’re not necessarily intended to be used with. 

Experimenting with different uses for the DK7 mics may get you the guitar amp recording you’ve been looking for, or the vocal sound that you desire, in addition to excellent drum recordings.

Verdict

The DK7 by Earthworks is without a doubt one of the best drum microphone sets in its price range. With seven high-quality condenser mics, you can achieve remarkably clear, detailed recordings of your entire acoustic drum kit. 

Each of the seven mics included in the DK7 package has been specifically selected by Earthworks so that they can combine with the other mics to capture the various sounds and frequencies that a drum kit produces. 

In addition to their fantastic sonic qualities, these drum microphones are incredibly roadworthy. This is an essential attribute when you’re investing significant amounts of money on drum mics, as there’s a good chance they will be subjected to some wear and tear, especially if you use them often. 

They are also highly capable in a live music setting. While Earthworks have designed them predominantly to be used in the studio, these mics can help you to achieve a powerful live drum sound with an abundance of definition. 

Furthermore, the seven condenser mics included in the set all boast extensive frequency responses and the important ability to handle high SPLs. This means you will likely have success experimenting with using them to capture other instruments or even vocal tracks, along with drums. 

What Comes In The Earthworks DK7 Drum Mics Box?

The Earthworks DK7 box contains everything you require to get recording straight away. There’s a hard case for transportation, a total of seven windscreens, three MC1 mic clips, four RimMount mic clips, one SR20LS mic, two SR25 mics, and finally, four DM20 mics included.

  • 1x SR20LS mic
  • 2x SR25 mics
  • 4x DM20 mics
  • 4x RM1 rim mounts
  • 3x MC1 mic clips
  • 4x Windscreens
  • Durable case
  • Instruction guide

Earthworks DK7 Drum Mics At A Glance

Pros

  • Captures acoustic drum kits with stunning clarity
  • Suitable for drummers of all genres or styles
  • Prevents spill from other drums from entering the mic capsules
  • Can also be used for live drums, or recording other instruments

Cons

  • All microphones are condensers with no dynamic mics
  • Requires seven channels with +48v phantom power
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