just jumping back in here-- haven't been doing a ton of bhangra lately but i've been working w/ sehgal a bunch over the last year; the amount of artists and his backlog of great music is INSANE.
for dayan-bayan balance yeah, for me it always comes down to the basics-- the player, the drums, the mics, the placement, and ultimately their place in the tune. I know sehgal's had luck w/ a single 57; i tend to like 2 mics, either SDC's or dynamics like the 57. tabla's tones are always much lower on the eq spectrum that you figure, so if you're multitracking you can put the high side of the dholki above it. really, with all this multi-layered punjabi stuff, having a sense of what instrument(s) will be driving the arrangment can make things work much easier.
speaking of which, the modded mercenary 57 is totally rocking my world for dhol/tabla/dholki; nice top end, headroom for days and a nice beefy tone, I just had to give my friend's one back... dammit, now i gotta buy at least one!
shan, i'm quite curious about your tumbi stand. didn't we chat about dhol stands a while back? i've had luck w/ using a jr.-sized keyboard stand but you definitely do lose tonality.
are people seeing mostly large-sized dhols in the studio, or are you using gujrati dhols, or wooden dhols of that size?
and back onto the never-ending quest to get that elusive, amazing dhol sound...