Mic'd Up Home Kits

Neal Pert

Well-known member
I do occasional home projects and for that I'll put close mics on the toms and such. Under normal circumstances I play with overheads and a bass drum mic through a little mixer and I listen through headphones. it's super-helpful to know how to get a sound, how to balance your sounds, etc., and the little configuration REALLY helps one hear if you're hitting something too hard or whatever. The only time my kit will be fully mic'ed when NOT recording is, well, in the aftermath of a recording. I'll get lazy and leave everything set up until I have to pull the drums out for a gig or whatever.
I'm doing recording now for my project but I like practicing with the mics and IEM because it sounds like it's coming through a nice PA at a cool venue. When I'm playing along to something on Spotify it sounds like I'm onstage with the band, and when my brother and I are working on our songs it sounds nice and professional. Better than whatever bleeds through the headphones or earplugs.

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
Answering two points - 1) not being able to hear the drums properly with hearing protection and 2) performing better with a crisp clear drum sound. Sure, it's only human. But 9/10 your onstage sound won't ever be as perfect. I have conditioned myself to play at the top level with enthusiasm even if I can't hear my own drums well. Secondly, you never get your hearing back. Once it's damaged, it's damaged.
Even in arenas of 3,000 to 5,000 I don't use IEM's, I play with -25db protection in ears. I have external monitors and only really have my bass drum in there, as well as the main people in the band I need to hear (lead guitar, vocalist).
For the amount of time I'm playing toms I don't need to hear them perfectly. Amplified cymbals and snare are extremely dangerous to your hearing.
The worst aspect of home amplification is the amount of time you are exposing yourself to high volume.
Most people play a 1hr to 1.5hr show? Practising at home, or playing along to tracks, you can be doing that for 2 to 5 hours a day.
You don't want tinnitus - believe me.


Silver Member
If I’m just practicing some patterns or whatever, I don’t even bother turning on the power switch to fire things up. Basic hearing protection is fine.

If I’m playing along to tracks/click, or doing a live band rehearsal, then I’m wearing IEMs and reinforcing with overheads and bass drum mic. Some of that is to keep room/stage volume low. Some of it is the practice how you perform mantra.


Platinum Member
We must practice the ineffables, such as micing, if we want to deliver at recording or larger venue playing.

Wish I had a large area to play in to practice arena type settings...but I doubt I will have a need at this point : )


Silver Member
1) It gives me a better sense of what a kit sounds like out front
I have an EAD-10 and love to play with the interface with its many sounds. The reason Vader gave is spot on for me. That way if/when I use this live, I know what the audience will hear.

To me its just a good prep so there's no confusion when it's gig time.


Gold Member
I began recording myself to improve my playing. I ran a PZM mic into a Boss Jam Station JS-5, which fed the audio and my drums into the headphones. I recorded myself playing along to the on-board tracks.

Ever since then, I prefer to hear my kit in better balance with the music, so I mic (usually) two overheads, snare & kick.

I work on keeping a consistent volume and this helps. My weakness is playing a note too loud compared to the basic groove.


Senior Member
As others have said, having it mic'd allows you to hear the drums properly with hearing protection. Plus you can mix in whatever music you are playing along to at proper levels instead of sort of taking what you get through the muffs or IEMs. I mic'd my stuff to do some recording, but I use it all the time for practicing too.

Rock Salad

Junior Member
I have done it in order to learn how to make good sound with close mics. It's different than acoustic, or even room mics. It was kinda shocking the first time, to hear what I know would have sounded fine with a room mic turn to mush through a close mic.