Indian-style drone pedals (NOT "Freeze" pedals)

BigSB

Member
Messages
1,590
Just curious... are there any pedals or multi-effects on the market that mimic the drone of the sympathetic strings of a sitar or tanpura?

I know there are electronic boxes made in and sold from India that provide drones, tabla patterns, etc, but they are often pricey for what they are and it's very hard to find reviews by Westerners (i.e. people who are not using the devices in strictly Indo-classical settings).

I would imagine that some of the modulated reverbs on the market would be able to provide some nice sympathetic/harmonic drones, but of course the drones would sound relative to each note played, not to a particular key.

I'm really just curious about how one might use such a pedal in a live-looping or live improv setting.

Thanks in advance!
 

MattLeFevers

Member
Messages
1,992
The EHX Ravish mentioned above is all that comes to mind - I have all kinds of octave and harmonizer pedals but of course the notes A) follow the notes you are playing instead of a drone, and B) would be locked into a Western music scale.
 

Tomo El Gato

Member
Messages
1,817
Ravish is the only pedal (as far as I know, the only device, period) on the market which simulates sympathetic strings - tuned strings which resonate with the notes played.
That's different than drone - those Indian devices you're talking about, shruti boxes, are electronic tambura's. Tambura is a stringed instrument that provides the drone, which forms the constant background in Indian classical music. They are simple devices and are good at what they do.
There are also apps which can provide the drone in selected key, and a whole bunch of free tambura samples on the web.
 

BigSB

Member
Messages
1,590
Ravish is the only pedal (as far as I know, the only device, period) on the market which simulates sympathetic strings - tuned strings which resonate with the notes played.
That's different than drone - those Indian devices you're talking about, shruti boxes, are electronic tamburas.
Also known as tanpura. I'm very familiar with them; I wasn't clear when I said sympathetic strings on one hand and drone on the other. I am very aware that the strings of a sitar perform a much different/harmonic function than the tanpura, which acts sort of like the drone tonic tone on a set of bagpipes.

No sooner did I lay head on pillow last night than I remembered the Ravish from EHX. Even used, they'd be way too spendy for me.

Problem is, around my area you have three different camps/responses when you mention Indian music or Indian influences on your music:

1) the Indian community near me, where there are plenty of actual students of Indian classical music, and no fusion/rock/jam players.

2) the average Indian college student or young adult, who either hates Carnatic music or thinks it's for old people, or only likes it remixed in dance tracks.

3) the clueless who can only think of "Norwegian Wood", if they even think of that.

Of course, not everyone falls neatly into those categories; it's just that an EHX box can and will do what non-existent players cannot.
 

p.j.

Member
Messages
5,138
The Vox Dynamic Looper has some settings that do sympathetic droning in key. Might be woth checking out. Wonerfully powerful looper as well.
 

transmission

Member
Messages
601
Ravish is the only pedal (as far as I know, the only device, period) on the market which simulates sympathetic strings - tuned strings which resonate with the notes played.
That's different than drone - those Indian devices you're talking about, shruti boxes, are electronic tambura's. Tambura is a stringed instrument that provides the drone, which forms the constant background in Indian classical music. They are simple devices and are good at what they do.
There are also apps which can provide the drone in selected key, and a whole bunch of free tambura samples on the web.
Can you recommend any particular apps, sounds interesting?
 

Tomo El Gato

Member
Messages
1,817
Also known as tanpura. I'm very familiar with them; I wasn't clear when I said sympathetic strings on one hand and drone on the other. I am very aware that the strings of a sitar perform a much different/harmonic function than the tanpura, which acts sort of like the drone tonic tone on a set of bagpipes.

No sooner did I lay head on pillow last night than I remembered the Ravish from EHX. Even used, they'd be way too spendy for me.

Problem is, around my area you have three different camps/responses when you mention Indian music or Indian influences on your music:

1) the Indian community near me, where there are plenty of actual students of Indian classical music, and no fusion/rock/jam players.

2) the average Indian college student or young adult, who either hates Carnatic music or thinks it's for old people, or only likes it remixed in dance tracks.

3) the clueless who can only think of "Norwegian Wood", if they even think of that.

Of course, not everyone falls neatly into those categories; it's just that an EHX box can and will do what non-existent players cannot.
I'm still not clear which you are looking for, then? You said 'mimic the drone of the sympathetic strings of a sitar or tanpura' - sitar has both sympathetic and drone strings, tanpura (also known as tambura) has only drone strings.
 

shoepedals

Vendor
Messages
3,792
You could use an epsi convolution reverb for this. You can give it impulses on an SD card and I have done stuff like strum a chord and use that as the impulse. This causes the pedal to generate reverb that is strongest at the frequencies present in the chord. So if you fed it a sample of sitar sympathetic strings, you could do it that way.
 
Messages
893
Boss DD-3 has a hold feature that you can use as a drone. Put it in hold mode, play a note/chord, hold down on footswitch, hear it get repeated for as long as your foot is on the pedal. Note: it doesn't just hold the note, it repeats it so if you played and held a chord the pedal would repeat it (ding-ding-ding-ding rather than diiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnngggggggg)
 

wombat66

Member
Messages
3,085
yeah samvada is great.

Also within Ableton Live there's a resonator plugin which can work in a similar way...
 

Nota

Member
Messages
2,904
I like practicing improvisation over drone type stuff. This isn't exactly on-topic, but years ago I created some "jam tracks" after being inspired by this video. They are simply root + fifth drones, but they're great to jam over. Each one is ten minutes long. You can change the key too - any mode except Locrian!

Sometimes I put one of these on at the same time as a "drum backing track" type thing, instant fun backing track :)

http://www.theholtsite.com/improvhq/audio/10 Minute 5ths/
 

BigSB

Member
Messages
1,590
I'm still not clear which you are looking for, then?
Was looking for something that had either the harmonic accompaniment of the sitar's sympathetic strings, plural, meaning tones, plural, OR the drone of the tanpura which is single-toned.
 

BigSB

Member
Messages
1,590
As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I had totally forgotten about the existence of the Ravish pedal.

I am well aware of the existence of electronic tabla, lehera (harmonium) and shruti (tanpura) boxes, which can vary in quality for the price of a rather expensive-to-me pedal.

Again, where I am there is a substantial Indian population but no one who would probably even imagine an American wanting such a box, assuming the average Westerner would neither know or care how to apply their properties musically.
 

aisling

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,360
Again, where I am there is a substantial Indian population but no one who would probably even imagine an American wanting such a box, assuming the average Westerner would neither know or care how to apply their properties musically.
I get it. Back in the 90's I scored a jerry jones electric sitar that I still have and adore, and was riding the grunge/metal scene in NJ where I was from at the time. I definitely got a few bewildered looks, busting that thing out for shows, but it made for great intros, and breakdowns. I am grateful that my parents exposed me to classical indian raga (along with indian cuisine) during my childhood, that was a great influence to draw upon.
 




Trending Topics

Top