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Lewitt Audio is a relatively new audio company hailing from Vienna, Austria – a city which plays host to some of the most pioneering audio companies around today. Lewitt has been at the forefront of some rather ingenious microphone designs over the past decade or so, with products such as their prized LCT 1040 microphone and the company as a whole breaking the conventional model of microphone design, with a distinctive flare for adaptation.
With a wealth of individual condenser and dynamic microphones in their already impressive range, it seemed only a matter of time before Lewitt Audio introduced a drum mic package, and sure enough that’s what I got the opportunity to take for a test run – the new Beatkit Pro.
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The Beatkit Pro is a seven-piece drum microphone package with all the trimmings, including mic mounts, clamps, windscreens, and an ostensibly bullet proof mounded transport case. The microphones included in the set are the DTP 640 REX, MTP 440 DM, three DTP 340 TTs, and a stereo pair of LCT 140 AIRs. Straight off the bat, the Beatkit Pro is impressive with its array of mics and accessories, going beyond what would be defined as standard. What’s more, these microphones certainly wouldn’t be limited exclusively to drums but can be thrown in front of numerous other sound sources, making this mic kit a great live or studio confidante.
Perhaps a little bold, but I’m going to say the Beatkit Pro could almost stretch itself to being an eight-piece kit, and I say this purely because of the DTP 640 REX. For those unfamiliar with this rather unique microphone, its design implements not one, but two phase aligned capsules – a dynamic and a condenser. The five-pin connector on the body of the mic splits out to the included DTP 40 TRS Y cable, allowing each capsule to be sent to individual preamps on a console or audio interface, essentially giving you two microphones in one housing.
The frequency response of the DTP 640 REX ranges from 20Hz-16kHz for the dynamic capsule and up to 20kHz on the condenser. Sensitivity when running flat is rated at 0.4 mV/Pa (-69 dBV/Pa) for the dynamic and 2 mV/Pa (-54 dBV/Pa) for the condenser. Max SPL at 0.5% THD and 0dB attenuation is 150dB SPL, so needless to say, the DTP 640 REX can take a fair walloping and the pre attenuation pads with options of 0, -10, and -20dB helping keep unruly sound sources in check.
There are three distinct sound characters available too. The default position is flat, the second position boosts the low frequencies from the dynamic capsule while the condenser stays flat, and the third position engages both capsules, with the dynamic boosting between 4-6kHz and the condenser extending the low frequency response. Having these distinctive flavours available in the mic itself is pretty unique and allows for a fair bit of tonal shaping without needing to reach for an EQ. I’d see this being particularly useful for those recording straight into an audio interface wanting to be able to shape the sound source a little on the way in.
The MTP 440 DM is the Beatkit Pro’s dedicated snare mic. With a frequency range of 60Hz-16kHz and a rated sensitivity of 2.5mV/Pa (-52dBV/Pa) and focused cardioid polar pattern, the MTP 440 DM is a great companion for snare, bringing a punch and snap which is rather gratifying. The three DTP 340 TTs do a solid job of capturing toms while the stereo pair of LCT 140 AIRs are a great choice for overheads, with a few sneaky switches on the chassis of the mic offering a -12dB pad, an 80Hz high pass filter, and a sound character switch, giving a little boost to the top end if required.
I decided to test the Beatkit Pro in a live setting, miking up a kit for a couple of hard hitting indie rock bands.
Setup was relatively quick and easy and although the clamps for the DTP 340 TT mics were rather difficult to wrangle into position with their rigidity, they might soften and flex a little over time.
After adjusting mic gain, pulling a sound from the Beatkit Pro was lightning fast, particularly being unfamiliar with both the mics and the drum kit.
The DTP 640 REX was a treat to dial in, finding a nice blend between the dynamic and condenser capsules. I would happily use this mic to cover both kick in and kick out duties, with the detail, attack, and depth of the condenser and the roundness and punch of the dynamic.
The MTP 440 DM placed on the snare top immediately provided plenty of body and snap, requiring very little additional processing and sat in the mix nicely. Nothing spikey or any glaring overtones here. I used the DTP 340 TT on rack, floor, and snare bottom – all of which benefited from this microphone’s honest capture, providing plenty of tone and detail to the respective sounds sources. I was particularly impressed with the depth of the floor tom that was reproduced. Although a little light in the hand for my liking, the LCT 140 AIRs for overheads sat well in the mix, with a nice amount of detail and dare I say air, albeit without needing to engage the sound switch on the mic.
Overall I found the Beatkit Pro great to use, with dialling in a satisfying drum sound being very quick and easy. The overall presentation and amount packed into this kit is impressive, especially given the very reasonable price point. Special mention has to go to the DTP 640 REX – what a cool design and solid sound signature. There’s plenty to play with in the kit, producing some pleasing results. A drum mic kit packing plenty of punch indeed.