What Mic Does Drake Use? 2018 Edition

What Mic Does Drake Use

What He Uses:

Affordable Alternative

Aubrey Drake Graham, or simply Drake, has been one of the most popular rappers for almost a decade now.

Starting as an actor on a teenage TV show called Degrassi: The Next Generation back in the early 2000s, Drake started his career in show business. However, after 7 years on the show, he decided to focus more on his musical career and started it by publishing his debut mixtape named Room for Improvement.

Over the next 10 years, Drake released 4 albums, as well as an EP and 3 commercial mixtapes. With millions of fans worldwide, it’s safe to say that he managed to break through the oversaturated music market with his original implementations of different genres such as rap, R&B, and dancehall. He collaborated with stars such as Rihanna, Big Sean, Kanye West, and many more. Each song that he featured in was a well-received hit, both by the audience and critics.

Besides the fact that Drake definitely has talent and knows how to use it to please the fans of his music, the production of his songs is untouchable right now. This leads a lot of people to ask the question:

What mic does Drake use?

Noah ‘40’ Shebib, a well-known hip-hop producer and engineer talks about the equipment that he and Drake used for recording his albums in this video (at 16:48).

The microphone Drake uses is the Neumann TLM 103.

What makes this mic so special that Drake decided to use it?

First of all, let’s take a closer look at the specs and features it offers.

Neumann TLM 103

Pros

  • Studio-grade audio quality
  • Very sturdy and solid
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    Pretty much no noise is present
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    Comes with handy accessories

Cons

  • Expesnive
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    No pop filter included

A big diaphragm allows the microphone to perform with much less noise than small diaphragm ones. Basically, when no sound is present around the mic, you can barely hear the hum of the circuit inside. This produces recordings that are much cleaner before editing and mixing.


The fact that it’s a condenser mic and not a dynamic one gives you the ability to work with and record much more audio detail.


Sure, dynamic microphones offer a wider range in terms of volume, but in a proper studio environment, the discreet details mean much more than volume.


When it comes to recording vocals, a cardioid polar pattern is the way to go. This type of microphones focuses only on the audio coming from a single angle, while the rest gets cancelled out. The TLM 103 is known for offering excellent noise rejection of any unwanted sounds.


  • Large diaphragm condenser microphone
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • 20Hz – 20kHz frequency range
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    High feedback suppression
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    Low noise levels (7 dB-A)
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    Included shock mount and carrying case

While the 20Hz to 20kHz frequency range is pretty common amongst microphones, the fact that the TLM 103 offers a truly flat frequency response makes it perform so nicely.


This way, the vocals you record are capture as they are, they sound natural, and make room for any processing in the mixing and production phase. With amazing feedback suppression features, this microphone can be easily used for live performances as well as recording in the studio.

Over $1000 price range! 

So, how much does it cost? Well, let’s just say that it’s somewhere under $1500.


It’s pretty obvious that the TLM 103 is meant for either professionals or semi-professionals looking for a top-notch mic.


Whether it’s for recording vocals in the studio, simple home recording sessions, or professional broadcasting, the TLM 103 while expensive, is as good as it gets in this price range.

Bottom Line: Buy if you have the means and want the best on the market. 

But let’s say you’re looking for the best microphone for recording vocals, but just don’t have that much money to spend.

A great alternative to the TLM 103 which won’t burn a hole in your pocket is the Shure SM7B.

As a part of the well-known SM family, the SM7B offers amazing build quality and performance, much like the rest of the models from this lineup. Unlike the SM57 and 58, the 7B focuses on vocal recordings and has been used by artists such as Serj Tankian, Michael Jackson, and Sheryl Crow.

What’s really great about this microphone is its ability to accurately pick up naturally portray deeper vocals, which makes it great for rap as well as heavier genres such as rock and metal. The SM7B is a dynamic microphone, unlike the TLM 103. However, users often compare the features and audio characteristics of the 7B to condenser models that generally cost more. No matter how loud you blast your lyrics, this mic will pick them up, with little to no distortion.

Included with the SM7B are a pop filter as well as a mount.

Pros

  • Solid build quality
  • Handles loud audio sources pretty well
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    Close to flat frequency response
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    Affordable

Cons

  • Noise canceling can sometimes get in the way

The SM7B by Shure is basically the best you can get if you’re on a relatively tight budget.

So, what are your thoughts? Would you rather go for the Neumann TLM103 or the Shure SM7B? Are you an aspiring singer/studio engineer that is looking for the best bang for the buck, or a top-notch professional microphone? Whatever the case might be, I truly hope that you found this article informative and that it helped you in finding the right mic for your needs.

Thank you very much for reading, and I’ll catch you in the next one!

About the author

Glen Parry

My name is Glen Parry. I've been in the audio world for over 15 years. This includes guitar, keyboard, ukulele, speakers, headphones and everything else that comes with it. I spend all my free time on music production and jamming with friends. I hope to use this site to share my experience and help anyone looking for solutions to audio related problems.