INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: SwarShala Software

 

Author Message
Billy
SwarShala Software Jul 11, 2003 02:55 p.m.


I had posted the below, and gotten the reply, in another topic on changing tarbs. Sorry about that, it should be a new topic, so I've copied these messages to here:



Also Jeff, I was thinking about your Raagini tanpura machine, and it got me thinking about a software solution. Has anyone used Swarshala software to build accompament? I searched and found a lot of messages on these boards posted by someone I assume is one of the authors of the software, but I was looking for some real reviews by a player not connected with the company. The software is a bit pricey to me, though compared to an electric tanpura and/or tabla, is probably a good deal. But with the electric units, I assume the various rags are built in, while with Swarshala, you have to build them yourself. Is this correct?

If everyone hasn't noticed by now, I'm a computer "nerd", and find that the software solutions give more flexibility, and if I had a choice between equal hardware vs software solutions, I will usually go for the software, if I can afford it. At this point, I'm not really needing either solution, but if I can afford it I want to get Swarshala sometime in the future not only as a possible way to build accompament for sitar, but as a way to dig in to learn ragas.


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Namaste',
Billy Enigmar Godfrey
Date: Jul 11, 2003 on 09:44 a.m.




Danimal 3. Re:Swar Shala (was Changing Tarbs)


This should be a new topic, but since you asked, I do use the SwarShala software instead of an electric Tanpura/Tabla. I purchased the oftware back in 1998 (it was called TaalWizard back then) and it was cheaper than it is now...but the new version packs a lot more features, so the price hike is probably
Heres what I do: I set a "loop" at a given theka, tuned to my sitar's Sa (C#) and/or play a loop of a tanpura tuned to my Sa as well. I export the combined wav file, make a bunch of duplicate files and burn one HUGE wave file (10-20 minutes) onto a CD-R. I can then play the CD while I practice.

Pros:
1. For me, low price (I purchased the software awhile back, and it's certainly less than a $250 Tabla Machine and a $250 Tanpura Machine)

2. Very authentic sound (it's a sample) and a HUGE range of thekas, fills, etc.... that give a variety the machines don't have

3. The people at SwarShala are really nice and get back to my emails quickly

Cons:

1. You have to spend some PC time making the loops, tuning the software, etc..... This takes away from practice time, but once it's done (theoretically), it's done.

2. You need a bunch of CDs at different tempos, thekas, tunings, etc.......this can (eventually) lead to you having a big library of CDs (which take a lot of time to burn). Label clearly!

3. Even with the library of CDs, you still cannot "on demand" turn the tempo up or down a few beats/second to accomodate your mood at the time. Plus, if you decide to switch from Tintal to Ektal, you have to dig out another CD.


Overall: Well, it works fine for me. If I had $500, I'd get the machines, but for now, for a fraction of the $$ and a little time on my part, I have a very, very good tabla/tanpura practice setup. I've even made some "concert simulation" CDs where it starts out w/ 10 min. of Tanpura (for Alap), then the Tabla comes in at a slow tempo for 10 min. and then goes to medium and fast for the the final Jhala...it's a pretty cool way to practice for 30 minutes!

Personally, I'd rather put the $$ savings toward a new sitar, and that's exactly what Iplan to do.

Dan

Date: Jul 11, 2003 on 10:17 a.m.



Namaste',
Billy Enigmar Godfrey
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