Micing tabla for maximum volume

Lisa Lane-Collins

Dec 9, 2012
Adelaide, Australia
Hello, I’ve been working with a Sufi band and the tabla are a constant vexation. Does anyone have any tips or tricks for getting them over the rock band volume of the rest of the stage?

Last show I used beta 57as on an almost horizontal angle (trying to reject the foldback). It was stable ish but super hot and on the edge of darkness. And you could hear the tabla when the rest of the band got going, just. I’d like to do better.
Did a small tour years ago combining dance performers from India, two tabla players and a Norwegian black metal band.
Put the monitors behind the tabla players and use a microphone with a tight pattern really close to the tablas.
Beyer M201 or DPA2011 would be my first choices, but a B57a isn't wrong either.

It was an interesting tour....
Tablas, congas and bongos all have the same issues. They’re quiet, and players are subtle, so my live technique is to get almost any mic in very close, too close even, to get the most level from the skins, and then use much more savage Eq than you’d usually use to restore some of the tone. Not at all perfect, but it gives you more fader travel and less spill in the channel, so it is at least, there in the mic.
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Thank you for all the suggestions, I’ll try again next gig with some of these and some different mics. Sounds like it caaan be done!
I mic tabla using simple solution - 2 x SM57 on dual mic clip adapter with single stand, I also tried all sorts of lavalier mics, which woks too, but a bit tricky to attach the mic to a tension rope wire. The later is better in case the drum is moved. I hope it helps