Samson 7kit Drum Mics
This seven-piece drum mic set is one of three kits offered by American audio giant Samson. Specialising in high-tech sound reinforcement, Samson's stable includes distinctive bass amp manufacturer Hartke and digital guitar effects wizard Zoom.
"All the nuances the ride cymbal are captured with accurcary, with the crashes remaining crystal-clear at all dynamic levels."
The 7Kit mic set was launched in 2009, at around the same time that Korg began distributing Samson products in the UK.
Included in the kit are ﬁve dynamic and two condenser mics. The ﬁve dynamic models are for close miking and are dedicated accordingly to bass drum (x1), snare (x1) and tom (x3) applications, while the pair of condensers is for cymbal and general overhead duties.
Also included are four DMC100 mic clips for positioning the snare and tom mics. All of the components come housed in a foam-lined hard case.
Each of the quintet of dynamic mics is preﬁxed with the letter Q, followed by the type of drum it's designed for. With the names being so literal - QKICK, QSNARE and QTOM - there can surely be no excuses for mismatching the appropriate mic to its designated drum.
Like most bass drum mics, the QKICK is oversized in order to house a large diaphragm for capturing low frequencies. A padded collar is permanently attached near to the output socket, which is linked to a pivoting stand-ﬁtting.
The collar is there to isolate and absorb any vibrations, preventing them from inﬂuencing the mic's signal.
The QSNARE and QTOM mics are near-identical models that differ only in the internal mic elements. Sharing the same plastic moulded casing (in contrast to the metal-shelled QKICK) they weigh surprisingly little.
Using the DMC100 clips in conjunction with the QSNARE and QTOM mics is straightforward. The clips clamp on to the rim of each drum in a matter of seconds, and the height and angle can be adjusted independently.
The two CO2 condenser mics are the only mics in the kit that are available to buy separately. Designed to be used as a stereo pair, they also come ﬁtted with the same anti-shock collar found on the QKICK.
In common with the rest of the mics, the pins in the XLR socket are gold-plated for improved conductivity.
We tried the 7Kit out at a gig and also managed to blag some airtime at a local studio. As is customary, the bass drum mic was the ﬁrst to have its level checked. The QKICK got things off to a good start, delivering a fat punch with clear deﬁnition in a live setting.
In the studio trial it fared equally well, producing a thoroughly usable combination of saturated low-end and sit-up-in-the-mix presence.
Further following tradition, attention was then turned to the snare drum. Here, the QSNARE gave quite a thick, middle-y rendering of the snare drum.
Top end wasn't in abundance - something of a boon in a live scenario where a drier snare sound can negate ringing and unnecessary harmonics.
In the studio, a degree of EQing was necessary to shape the sound, with some signal from the overheads being blended into the ﬁnal mix (as is standard recording procedure).
Due to our set-up, only two of the three supplied QTOM models were used. Both toms were reproduced with warmth and clarity, with a good level of attack framing the note. The depth of sound was clearly distinguishable as well, with the larger diameter ﬂoor tom particularly well served.
The pair of CO2 condensers rounded things off with a classy performance. A good overhead mic can pick out a huge amount of detail in a kit, and this is precisely what these two did.
All of the nuances of my ride cymbal were captured with accuracy, while the hi-hats had the sweetest of sounds - metallic without sounding tinny and warm without being mushy - just right.
They were equally accommodating where my crashes and 19" china were concerned, remaining crystal-clear at all dynamic levels. Overheads don't just pick up cymbals; the extra layer of drum sounds they provide can be used to inﬂuence the overall mix, and here the CO2s also proved extremely useful.
In a marketplace where ludicrously cheap sets of drum mics abound, Samson's 7Kit stands out - and not just because of the price.
It's an accomplished and well-packaged product made by a company steeped in professional audio. Each of the mics turns in a decent performance and, in the case of the QKICK and CO2 condensers, something approaching pro-level.
While - as we found out - the kit may contain more mics than you have drums, it does leave room for experimentation.
Clear overhead sound. Good value.
More mics than most people will need.
At this price-point, the 7Kit is well beyond budget territory - but remains considerably cheaper than buying individual mics.
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.