I need to record a tabala which is as mentioned in the title is a form of percussion instrument extensively used in Indian classical music. I don't have a studio set up so trying to set up one at home. I have a little budget concern hence chosen affordable microphone and audio interface.

I already had a bad experience, as I purchased a condenser microphone and a phantom power supply to record audio and realised condenser microphone are way too sensitive to tabala and had to return them. Now I have decided to buy a SM 57 dynamic microphone I got to know that dynamic microphones don't need phantom power but I need an audio interface to connect it to my mac.

So I have chosen Scarlett solo USB audio interface. This has an optional phantom power supply which I can turn off, but will it really work well with SM57 or do I need an XLR to USB converter?

1 Answer 1


Sandeep, both the SM57 and the Scarlett solo are solid pieces of gear. Never recorded a tabala, but I'm thinking you'll want to leave yourself generous amounts of headroom when setting levels through the chain to preserve all those lovely high-frequency transients.

  • Thanks a lot for the answer :) I am little confused, what did u mean by "when setting levels through the chain" you are talking about input gain and sample rates ? If yes, sure Ill try all combinations :) But do u think these two devices are compatible with each other ? Have u tried it before to record? Thank u for your time :) Hence up vote :)
    – Sandeep Bhandari
    Mar 27, 2017 at 6:21
  • 1
    Ah, yes. If the tabala is the percussion instrument I'm thinking of, the sound, if viewed on an oscilloscope, would show a little "spike" at the leading edge of each strike. That's a very brief ("transient") burst of high-frequency energy, like a "tick" sound, that briefly achieves a higher sound-pressure level than the rest of the note. That transient gives the sound a lot of it's character, but it doesn't read on relatively slow measurements like most level meters so there's a risk of clipping it off. So record relatively low, say 50%, and then you can process the sound later.
    – acb
    Mar 27, 2017 at 17:16

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