Audio-Technica’s ATM350D is the drum variant of its popular multi-instrument ATM350a condenser mic.
Launched in 2016, the ATM350D features an increased SPL (the dynamic range that a mic is capable of handling) over its predecessor and a brand new mounting assembly.
In some situations size does matter and the ATM350D is about as discreet as it’s physically possible for a drum mic to be. The pint-sized capsule is barely over a centimetre in diameter and is located at the end of a wirey gooseneck, which can be bent in any direction.
The other end of the gooseneck locks into the new UniMount clamp. This both hooks into and slots over a tension rod of your choice making a rock-solid mounting that is quick to snap into place and remove. This combination provides complete flexibility, ensuring that the mic can be placed in a spot where it is unlikely to be on the receiving end of a stray stick.
While Audio-Technica almost certainly had the live market in mind for this mic we were lucky enough to blag some studio time, which is a far sterner test. Four ATM350D mics were sent for review, so we miked a four-piece kit, placing them on the snare, rack tom, floor tom and kick (not strictly recommended but worth trying anyway). The only additional mics used were two condenser overheads and no EQ was employed to colour the sound.
From the off, the sheer accuracy and clarity of sound they captured was nothing short of exceptional. The snare was crisp and warm, the toms were open and rounded and even the kick drum came across strongly (certainly a useable signal that could be shaped as desired).
As the mics are cardioid in pattern they only focus on the sound they are facing, so sound-spill from the other components is kept to a minimum - which is a boon as much in the studio as it is in a live setting.
These drum mics are also breathtakingly sensitive: we went from full-on, stick-shredding playing to whisper-quiet brushwork and everything was relayed faithfully with the drums sounding utterly natural wherever they were on the dynamic spectrum. A truly impressive piece of kit and hard to fault.
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