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sitar without using a sitar

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by stereotypy, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. stereotypy

    stereotypy Member

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    how can you simulate a sitar on your average guitar? i know the dano sitar sami is nothing near a sitar... but is there a way you can get there? maybe with an eq and some kind of a filter... ??
     
  2. Plan9FOS

    Plan9FOS Member

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    I have also wondered that ... Tom Petty, Aerosmith, and Bon Jovi use those great sitar tones on songs, but I can't seem to find what they are using.

    I tried the Swami ... what a POC ... makes any guitar sound like a strings nailed to a piece of cardboard. :jo
     
  3. todd richman

    todd richman Senior Member

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    Actually, muddy on this board did some clips with a Retroman Scram which was very good sitar emulation. Even thought the pedal is not on the Retroman site anymore, I believe that it is still available and sells for around $175.
     
  4. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    You need a Coral Electric Sitar. Old ones are pricey, but Jerry Jones makes a knockoff, and we've got a Rogue knockoff that was a little over $200, Sounds great, and it's the only way to get that sound.Loudboy
     
  5. mcknigs

    mcknigs Supporting Member

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    More of a mechanical solution than an electric one - I've got one of the Rogue electric sitars - the one without the drone strings. Looking at it there's no real difference, functionally, between this and any other guitar that I can see, except for the Gotoh buzz bridge. I don't know if Gotoh sells this separately but if they did you could probably add one to just about any cheap electric guitar and get the same effect. If you're reasonably inventive and handy you might be able to create a way to move it in and out of position so as to turn it on/off.
     
  6. raz

    raz Member

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    I've used the Variax Acoustic for that. Pricier than some of the solutions given here, but a pretty good Sitar simulation and you also get its acoustic sims which are excellent for rock and roll stage use. I paid $750 for mine, used.
     
  7. gtrguy17

    gtrguy17 Member

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    A friend of mine converted an old Dean Z into an electric sitar by putting a buzz bridge on it. I haven't been able to find where you would buy one, but it seems the cheapest route if you can find one.
     
  8. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    There was a shop here in Seattle (Trading Musician) where they were putting the buzz bridge attachment on cheap Dan-Electros. Sounded perfect.
     
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  9. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    Roland guitar synth does a great job. You pump the pedal as you play and the tuning changes are dead on. Fun stuff, but expensive.
     
  10. subversivepinko

    subversivepinko Member

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    I think that technique is a big part of it, moreso than pedals (although certainly they don't hurt).

    For sitar stuff I tune DADAAD and use a lot of open drone strings. Picking close(ish) to the bridge helps for me, and pre-bends used correctly can sounds very sitar-y.

    I think everyone has their own way of doing it, and experimenting with what you already have on hand is the way to go. Even if you don't find the sitar tone you've always been looking for, who knows what else is in there?
     
  11. JamonGrande

    JamonGrande Supporting Member

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    The buzz bridge is going to be the closest to all of the recorded "sitar" tracks out there. The Roland sitar patches are too uniform (it is only sample after all) for my taste. If you get the chance, I would HIGHLY recomend trying out a real sitar; it's like the difference between a plugged in acoustic/electric and an acoustic with no amplification, two very different sounds all together. The bridge (refered to as jawari for indian instruments) is shaped to balance out the amount of buzz (and overtones) versus the sustain and dry tone. Some artists like Pandit Ravi Shankar go for a buzzier, "wetter" tone, while others like the late Ustad Vilayat Khan and his brother Ustad Imrat Khan (my old teacher) go for a drier, less buzzy tone.

    In terms of tuning, a number of guitarists working within the Hindustani tradition would use something like CGCGCF (or any transposition). This places the Sa note (root note) in the "middle" of the fretboard, much like a sitar. Another thing to consider is that on a sitar, the strings closest to the player are actually higher in pitch than the middle strings, much like a banjo's "short" string. These are used for rhythmic punctuations and are never fretted.

    I would love to go on about Indian music if folks are interested, but in terms of a guitar: buzz bridge.

    joe
     
  12. 59Vampire

    59Vampire Silver Supporting Member

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    if you plug cord into the other output on a boss dd3 you can simulate a sitar
     
  13. Moushegh

    Moushegh Member

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    Not to be a wet blanket ... but I had the Rogue SitarGuitar and thought it was junk. :eek:

    EDIT - mine had the 12 drone strings.
     
  14. amper

    amper Member

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    Apparently, this belongs to one "Steve Miller"...

    [​IMG]
     
  15. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    I use a variax
     
  16. 908SSP

    908SSP Supporting Member

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    I use a sitar.
     
  17. mcknigs

    mcknigs Supporting Member

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    I half way agree with you. It's cheap and difficult to get it to sound good, and you'll probably never make it sound great. You can't just pick it up and play it like you play a guitar and get it to work.

    If you look at the very first review of the "Studio Sitar" on Harmony Central (http://www.harmony-central.com/Guitar/Data4/Rogue/Studio_Sitar_Guitar-01.html at the bottom of the page) you'll find my description of what I found worked best for me for getting the best sound out of it.

    Here's a couple demos I did using the thing. Hopefully I won't be flamed for not putting these links under the Gear Page recording section:

    http://www.scottmcknight.com/LMWYTI3.mp3

    http://www.scottmcknight.com/Jack-in-the-Ripper5.mp3

    -Scott McKnight
     
  18. Enjoyer

    Enjoyer Member

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    Dig the demos, Scott. Very cool. Takes me back . . . . . . .
     
  19. einstein

    einstein Member

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    my vintage mutron 3 nails the sitar sound as well as other really neat tones. it is sensitive to the touch as far as how hard the strings are plucked ie the harder you pluck the more exagerated the vocal response is.
    i put a stew mac prs copy bridge on a lp jr and it buzzed like a sitar.
     
  20. UnderTheGroove

    UnderTheGroove Supporting Member

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    I ran across a pedal design called the Jawari a couple of years ago on one of the home-brew type pedal sites. The sound clip sounded passable for a live sitar emulation. I thought about making it, but never got around to it. If you are handy, it might be worth searching for as a low cost solution (I can't remember where I found it).
     

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