What Kind of Mic Does Drake Use? Exploring Drake’s Microphone Choice for Studio and Live Performances

There’s no denying that Drake is one of the biggest names in the music industry right now. Whether you’re jamming to “God’s Plan” on the radio or streaming “Tootsie Slide” on Spotify, it’s safe to say that he dominates the charts. As a fan, you might have wondered about the equipment he uses to create his hits. In particular, what kind of mic does Drake use to capture his iconic voice?

The answer to that question is a little more complicated than you might expect. Drake is known for using a variety of microphones in the studio, each with its own unique sound and characteristics. From classic models like the Neumann U87 to more modern options like the Shure SM7B, he’s experimented with a range of recording tools. So, if you’re looking to replicate the Drake sound in your own music, you might need to do a little research to find the right mic for you.

Of course, it’s not just about the mic you choose; it’s also about how you use it. Drake is notorious for his meticulous attention to detail, and that shows in his recording techniques. From carefully positioning the mic to adjusting levels and EQ, he puts in the work to get the sound just right. So, while knowing what kind of mic Drake uses is a good starting point, it’s only part of the equation. To truly capture that Drake magic, you’ll need to put in the time and effort to perfect your recording process.

Types of Recording Microphones

When it comes to recording vocals, there are several types of microphones to choose from. Each type of microphone has its own unique sound, sensitivity, and frequency response. Drake’s microphone of choice is the Shure SM7B dynamic microphone, which is one of the most popular recording microphones in the industry.

  • Dynamic Microphones: These types of microphones are often used for recording live performances because they can handle high levels of sound pressure. Dynamic microphones are also known for their durability and affordability. They are not as sensitive as other types of microphones, but they have a warm and natural sound that is perfect for recording vocals and instruments.
  • Condenser Microphones: These types of microphones are more sensitive than dynamic microphones and can pick up more detail in a recording. They are often used for recording vocals in a studio setting because they capture a wide frequency range and produce a clear and natural sound. Condenser microphones are more expensive than dynamic microphones and require a power source called phantom power.
  • Ribbon Microphones: These types of microphones are not as commonly used as dynamic or condenser microphones, but they can produce a unique and natural sound. Ribbon microphones are known for their warm and smooth sound, and they are often used for recording string instruments and brass instruments.

Each type of microphone has its own strengths and weaknesses, and choosing the right microphone for a recording depends on the specific needs of the recording. In addition, microphone placement and technique can also affect the sound quality of a recording. It is important to experiment with different types of microphones and techniques to achieve the desired sound.

Microphones Used by Famous Singers

Famous singers are known not only for their voice but also for their choice of microphone. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Shure SM7B – used by Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, and Metallica among others
  • Neumann U87 – used by Adele, Lady Gaga, and Drake
  • Sennheiser MD421 – used by Freddie Mercury and Bono

The Neumann U87 Microphone

The Neumann U87 is a condenser microphone that has become a favorite of many famous singers. It features a large diaphragm and can handle high sound pressure levels without distortion, making it ideal for recording vocals and instruments.

What sets the Neumann U87 apart from other microphones is its versatility. It has three polar patterns: cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-8. This means that it can be used in a variety of recording situations, whether you want to capture a solo vocal performance or a group of musicians playing together.

Frequency Response Polar Pattern Sensitivity
20Hz – 20kHz Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Figure-8 20 mV/Pa

The Neumann U87 also has a switchable 10dB attenuation pad and a low-frequency roll-off switch, which can come in handy when recording loud instruments or in rooms with a lot of low-frequency noise.

Overall, the Neumann U87 is a versatile and high-quality microphone that has been used by numerous famous singers to record some of their most iconic performances.

Factors to consider when choosing a microphone

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a microphone that will best suit your needs. Here are the top three factors to consider:

  • Microphone Type: the basic decision you will need to make is whether you need a dynamic or condenser microphone. Dynamic mics are good for louder environments and vocals, while condenser mics are more sensitive and are better suited to quiet environments, acoustic guitars and instruments that require high frequency response.
  • Polar pattern: This refers to the direction from which your microphone picks up sound. Omnidirectional microphones capture sound from all directions, while cardioid microphones have a heart-shaped directional pattern, meaning they mainly pick up sound from the front. There are also supercardioid and figure-eight patterns to consider for more specific needs.
  • Frequency Response: This refers to the range of frequencies that a microphone can pick up. A wide frequency response is essential for capturing a full range of sound. Some microphones are optimized for a certain frequency range, for example, a microphone designed for bass guitars will have a different frequency response range compared to a microphone designed for lead vocals.

Understanding Microphone Specifications

Microphone specifications can often be confusing or difficult to understand. Here are some of the key specifications to look out for and what they mean:

Specification Meaning
Sensitivity The measure of how well a microphone converts sound pressure to output voltage. Higher sensitivity means the microphone will need less gain to reach a good recording level.
Impedance The measure of resistance in the microphone’s circuitry. Low impedance microphones (under 600 ohms) are the most common type found in modern recording studios.
Maximum SPL The maximum sound pressure level that a microphone can handle before distorting.
Self Noise The measure of the amount of noise produced by the microphone itself. A lower number means less noise.

Microphone Accessories

There are a variety of accessories available to help you get the most out of your microphone. Here are some key accessories to consider:

  • Pop Filter: This is a mesh screen that is placed in front of the microphone to reduce the amount of plosive sounds (like the “P” sound) that can cause distortion in recordings.
  • Shock Mount: This is a suspension system that isolates the microphone from vibrations and handling noise.
  • Windscreen: This is a foam cover that goes over the microphone to reduce wind noise.
  • Stand and Boom Arm: A microphone stand or boom arm will provide support and stability for your microphone while you record.

The Importance of Microphone Placement

When it comes to producing quality audio recordings, microphone placement is a critical factor that directly affects the overall sound quality. By placing the microphone correctly, you can capture the perfect balance of sound, tone, and texture from the audio source, resulting in a highly polished professional sound.

  • Distance: The distance between the microphone and the sound source can greatly affect the sound. It is important to find the right balance between the source proximity and the microphone’s distance to get a warm and natural sound.
  • Angle: The angle of the microphone should be adjusted to capture and avoid any unwanted noise or echoes produced by the environment or the audio source.
  • Orientation: The orientation of the microphone is significant for two reasons. First, it determines which direction the mic should be pointed toward, and second, the type of polar pattern required for the recording.

It is also essential to consider the acoustics of the room where the recording is taking place. Every room resonates with sound differently, which can result in a poor-quality recording if not treated optimally. Factors such as room size, reflective surfaces, and the presence of unwanted background noise are among the factors to consider when selecting a suitable microphone placement that provides the best audio quality.

Microphone Placement
Dynamic Microphone Close to the audio source to avoid picking up ambient noise.
Condenser Microphone Requires a quiet and treated environment for optimal sound quality.
Ribbon Microphone Recommended to place at a sound source’s sides to capture a broader sound profile.

In conclusion, understanding the importance of microphone placement cannot be understated in producing a high-quality audio recording. Taking time to adjust the microphone’s distance, angle, and orientation to suit the audio source, coupled with the correct room acoustics, will greatly impact the sound quality of your recording and positively affect the listener’s experience.

Microphone accessories for better sound quality

When it comes to enhancing your vocals, having the right microphone is just the first step. To really take your sound to the next level, consider investing in some quality microphone accessories. Here are a few to consider:

  • Pop Filter: A pop filter is a mesh screen that is placed in front of a microphone to reduce popping sounds caused by plosives. This accessory is a must-have for anyone who wants to create professional-grade recordings.
  • Shock Mount: A shock mount is a device that isolates a microphone from vibrations. This accessory is particularly useful for recording studios that have a lot of foot traffic or other sources of vibrations.
  • Microphone Stand: A microphone stand is the simplest accessory but it is a game changer. This will free you up from holding the mic and let you focus on your performance.

Microphone settings for optimal sound quality

Even with the right microphone accessories in place, getting the optimal sound quality can be a bit of trial and error. Here are a few settings you can adjust:

  • Gain: Gain is the measure of how much an amplifier will increase the volume of a signal. Turn up the gain when the vocal is too quiet and turn it down when it is too loud.
  • Equalization (EQ): EQ is the adjustment of sound so that specific frequencies are emphasized or de-emphasized. That said, make sure that your EQ is adjusted to emphasize the best of your voice.
  • Reverb: Reverb is the echo effect that is added to a vocal to make it sound like it was recorded in a larger space. You can play around with different reverb levels until you find one that works for you.

The Microphone Drake uses

Drake typically uses the Shure SM7B dynamic microphone, which is renowned for its sound quality. The SM7B has a wide frequency response and a cardioid polar pattern, making it suitable for a range of applications. It is also quite popular with podcasters and radio hosts.

The benefits and drawbacks of dynamic microphones

Dynamic microphones like the Shure SM7B are a popular choice because they offer a number of benefits:

  • Durability – Dynamic mics are generally more durable than their condenser counterparts.
  • Less sensitive – Dynamic microphones are less sensitive to sound and less likely to pick up ambient noise.
  • No power required – Since the SM7B is a dynamic microphone, it doesn’t require an external power source.

Despite these benefits, there are some drawbacks to dynamic microphones as well:

  • Less detail – Dynamic microphones may not capture the full range of sound that condenser microphones can.
  • Requires a quiet environment – Since they are less sensitive, dynamic microphones require a quiet recording environment.
  • Slightly less “crisp” sound – Some users report that the sound quality of dynamic microphones is slightly less crisp than that of condenser microphones.
Shure SM7B Pros Shure SM7B Cons
Durable Less-crisp sound
Less-sensitive Requires a quiet environment
No external power source required May not capture full range of sound

No matter what microphone you use, having the right accessories and settings can make all the difference in the quality of your recordings. So take the time to experiment and fine-tune your setup – your listeners (and ears) will thank you!

Pros and Cons of Different Microphone Brands

When it comes to selecting a microphone, there are many brands to choose from. Each brand has its own unique features that can make it stand out from others on the market. Here are some pros and cons of popular microphone brands:

  • Shure: Known for their durability and reliability, Shure microphones are a popular choice for live performances. They also offer a variety of options for dynamic and condenser microphones. However, some users have reported a lack of high-end frequency response in certain Shure models.
  • AKG: AKG is known for their high-quality condenser microphones that are great for studio recording. They also have a reputation for producing microphones with a very clear and natural sound. However, some of their microphones can be quite expensive.
  • Audio-Technica: Audio-Technica offers a wide range of microphones for both live and studio settings at affordable prices. They also have a great reputation for producing high-quality condenser microphones. However, some users have reported a lack of low-end frequency response in certain Audio-Technica models.

It’s important to note that other microphone brands, such as Rode, Neumann, and Sennheiser, also have their own unique pros and cons to consider.

One way to determine which microphone brand is right for you is to consider what kind of setting you will be using it in. If you will primarily be using it for live performances, you may want to prioritize durability and reliability. If you will mainly be using it for studio recording, you may want to prioritize sound quality and clarity.

The Importance of Microphone Selection

As an artist, selecting the right microphone is crucial to capturing your sound accurately. It’s essential to consider your budget, recording environment, and desired sound when choosing a microphone. Additionally, it may be helpful to consult with other musicians, recording engineers, or music producers to get their recommendations based on their experiences.

Ultimately, the right microphone brand and type will depend on your personal preferences and unique needs. Keep in mind the pros and cons of different brands and experiment with different options until you find the one that works best for you.

Comparison Table of Popular Microphone Brands

Brand Strengths Weaknesses
Shure Durable, reliable, widely-used for live performances Lack of high-end frequency response in some models
AKG High-quality condenser microphones, clear and natural sound Some models can be expensive
Audio-Technica Wide range of microphones for both live and studio settings at affordable prices, great for condenser microphones Lack of low-end frequency response in some models

As you can see, each brand has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Use this comparison table as a starting point to guide your microphone selection process.

How to troubleshoot microphone issues during a performance

As a performer, one of the worst things that can happen during a show is a microphone malfunction. It can set you off course, ruin your performance, and damage your reputation. But with the right preparation and troubleshooting techniques, you can avoid these issues and put on a flawless show. Here are some tips:

  • Perform a mic check: Before the show begins, make sure to do a mic check to see if everything is working correctly. Check the volume, clarity, and overall sound quality to make sure everything is to your liking.
  • Check the cables: Sometimes microphone issues stem from a loose or damaged cable. Make sure to check the cables before the show begins to ensure that they are connected and in good condition.
  • Change batteries: If you’re using a wireless microphone, a common issue is a dead battery. If you notice that your mic is losing signal or sounding weak, replace the batteries as soon as possible.

If you’re still having issues during the performance, don’t panic. Here are some additional steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue:

First, try adjusting the EQ on your soundboard. Make sure the levels for bass, midrange, and treble are balanced. If the issue persists, try tapping the mic or gently blowing into it to see if that will fix the problem.

Another option is to switch mics if you have a backup available. If not, try using a different cable or a different channel on your mixer. Finally, if none of these methods are working, consider taking a break and allowing some time for the sound technician to adjust the levels or troubleshoot the problem.

Issue Solution
Mic is producing feedback Reduce volume on the mic or adjust the EQ on the soundboard
Mic is producing static Check the cables and connections, and adjust the EQ on the soundboard
Mic is not producing any sound Check the cables, batteries, and connections

Remember, microphone issues can happen to anyone, even the biggest performers in the world. The key to a successful performance is being prepared and knowing how to troubleshoot any issues that may arise. With these tips and techniques, you can ensure that your performance runs smoothly and that your audience enjoys every moment.

What Kind of Mic Does Drake Use?

1. What type of microphone does Drake use for recording?

Drake is known to use the Neumann U87 microphone for his studio recordings. This is a popular choice among many musicians and is known for its warm and smooth sound.

2. Does Drake use a different microphone for live performances?

Yes, Drake typically uses the Shure SM58 microphone for his live performances. This is a dynamic microphone that is known for its durability and ability to handle high sound pressure levels.

3. Why does Drake use different microphones for studio recording and live performances?

The Neumann U87 is a highly sensitive microphone that is designed for use in a controlled studio environment. The Shure SM58, on the other hand, is a more rugged microphone that is designed to withstand the rigors of live performance.

4. Are there any other microphones that Drake has used in the past?

While Drake is known to prefer the Neumann U87 and Shure SM58, he has also used other microphones such as the AKG C414 and the Electro-Voice RE20 in the past.

5. What is the price of the Neumann U87 microphone?

The Neumann U87 is a high-end microphone that typically retails for around $3,000 to $4,000.

6. Can I use the same microphone as Drake for my own music recordings?

While the Neumann U87 is a great microphone, it may be out of reach for many musicians due to its high cost. However, there are many other great microphones on the market that can produce similar results at a more affordable price point.

7. Where can I purchase the Shure SM58 microphone?

The Shure SM58 is a widely available microphone that can be purchased at most music stores or online retailers.


Thank you for taking the time to read about what kind of mic Drake uses! Hopefully, this article has provided some helpful information for aspiring musicians or anyone curious about Drake’s recording process. If you have any further questions or want to learn more, please feel free to visit our site again soon. Thanks for reading!