Use of Drones

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Stephen David
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Use of Drones

Postby Stephen David » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:58 pm

I am afraid this might be more complicated than I am ready for, but here goes...

I installed "Drone Star" tambura simulater software last night. It sounds great, but seems to require access to the internet to use. I don't like using internet for things I dont need to, since its easy to end up downloading viruses, etc. And the software is a bit clumsy anyway.

So I just took the mpg files and made them longer (~5 Minutes) using WavePad sound editor, then play them through Windows Media (with repeat on).

This is really cool, because now I can have tambura going on behind me while a practice.
:D

Problem is that... I know nothing about tambura or the theory behind use of drones in ICM.

I have enough to focus on just learning sitar. So I dont really want to get involved in the music theory behind selection of drone notes.

I have been testing them note-by-note until I find one that seems to work, and then making a note of using that every time for a specific thaat or excercise. But that is time consuming, and I have a lot more to figure out.

:cry:

Is there any simple way of determining a note to use as a drone behind some raga scales/thaats? (for examples, kirwani, malkouns, desh, etc etc)

Thanks!
Stephen

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nicneufeld
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Re: Use of Drones

Postby nicneufeld » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:23 pm

The simple Sa-Pa drones (usually they are 'P-S-S-'S I think?) work for pretty much anything at first I'd say. I use the Tanpura on the iTablaPro, it gives you two possible tanpuras, usually I set the first for Pa, then sometimes the second for either Ni or Ga (the latter if I'm trying to force myself into a "major" thaat with my head still thinking kemal Ga), if I even use the second tanpura.

There is another nice website that has sampled tanpura WAV files, looped up to 60minutes. Those would be a nice option for a computer...I'll see if I can dig up that website.

EDIT: Haven't found the download yet but here is a nice description:
http://www.tcs.tifr.res.in/~pandya/musi ... node1.html

Stephen David
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Re: Use of Drones

Postby Stephen David » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:51 pm

nicneufeld wrote:The simple Sa-Pa drones (usually they are 'P-S-S-'S I think?) work for pretty much anything at first I'd say.


Actually that fits what I discovered empirically in my tests. One of the Thaat practices I was doing seemed to sound good with Sa and the other with Pa.

Thanks!

Stephen

Stephen David
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:20 pm

Re: Use of Drones

Postby Stephen David » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:57 pm

Actually I dont think I need any further wav/mpg files. These sound great, and can play as long as I want them just using the "repeat" mode of media player.

And if I really REALLY needed the file to play for 60 minutes or more without repeat, its a simple 4 step process via WavePad, starting at 5 minutes to take it to 80 minutes.

First copy to make it 10 minutes, second to make it 20, third to make it 40, fourth copy to make it 80 minutes, etc .

Or alternatively, just keep pasting away, which takes more steps but is faster.

So its no big deal to make them as long as I want them.

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nicneufeld
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Re: Use of Drones

Postby nicneufeld » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:31 pm

http://www.chandrakantha.com/articles/i ... drone.html

This very site actually has a good article on drones!

Basically, Sa should always be present and primary in the drone, and the secondary note is often Pa, but a few raags are better without Pa in the drone, and then secondary could be Ma, Da, Ga, Ni, basically.

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nicneufeld
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Re: Use of Drones

Postby nicneufeld » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:40 pm

I'll throw in a related question of my own for those that may be more experienced...

Someday I might like to have a tanpura as well, to round out an ensemble with something a little more traditional than my iPhone. I've looked at traditional tanpuras, and box tanpuras, and the box tanpura/swarmandal combination. I think the traditional tanpuras are the most beautiful, and the boxed ones are probably the most inexpensive, and with geared tuners and square, compact construction, practical.

Does anyone have any input on the relative sound or volume differences between a traditional 4-string tanpura and a box-design one?

Stephen David
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:20 pm

Re: Use of Drones

Postby Stephen David » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:12 pm

nicneufeld wrote:http://www.chandrakantha.com/articles/i ... drone.html


Duuuuuuuuh....

I should have checked here first. :oops:

In my defense, I thought of this question when I was practicing sitar with the drone files in my music room, which has no internet connection.

But I'll admit I should have checked the ICM writeups on this website first before posting, as it has a lot of good technical info.

:D
Thanks!
Stephen

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povster
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Re: Use of Drones

Postby povster » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:22 pm

Stephen David wrote:I am afraid this might be more complicated than I am ready for, but here goes...

I installed "Drone Star" tambura simulater software last night. It sounds great, but seems to require access to the internet to use. I don't like using internet for things I dont need to, since its easy to end up downloading viruses, etc. And the software is a bit clumsy anyway.


Hey Stephen. That was my original take as well, but I tried Dronestar with my computer off the internet and it still worked fine (I uplugged my DSL modem).

It's using an HTML page as the interface but is apparently stand-alone and does not require access to the internet to run.
...Michael
Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
Panini - the official bread of ICM

Stephen David
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:20 pm

Re: Use of Drones

Postby Stephen David » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:34 pm

povster wrote:but I tried Dronestar with my computer off the internet and it still worked fine


Hmmmmmm... when I ran it and it appeared to connect to the internet, I assumed that was the only way it worked. Didnt try to run while disconnected. (sometimes when you do that, and it wants to go online, an app will hang or take a very long time realizing there is no internet available).


Anyway, I will try this again when I get home tonight.

Thanks!

Stephen

CheesecakeTomek
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Re: Use of Drones

Postby CheesecakeTomek » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:42 am

Also, can't you just download dronestar? I definitely see that option when I go to the website. :)

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povster
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Re: Use of Drones

Postby povster » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:50 am

CheesecakeTomek wrote:Also, can't you just download dronestar? I definitely see that option when I go to the website. :)


You can download it and I did and then tested. It extracted into two folders: one for the PC and one for the Mac. I think what may cause confusion is that the main DRONESTAR file is an HTML file. To run it you double-click that HTML file, so it can look like it needs the internet. As I said, I shut off my DSL modem and verified no web connection and it still worked fine. PS - it does, on my computer, ask if I want to run Active-X, which I okayed.
...Michael
Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
Panini - the official bread of ICM

CheesecakeTomek
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Re: Use of Drones

Postby CheesecakeTomek » Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:30 am

Aha, gotcha.

btw- panini :wink: me like :)

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povster
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Re: Use of Drones

Postby povster » Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:15 am

CheesecakeTomek wrote:Aha, gotcha.

btw- panini :wink: me like :)


Between Panini and Dasani we have the upper half of the scale covered! Now if only someone would come out with Regama cookies!
...Michael
Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
Panini - the official bread of ICM

CheesecakeTomek
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Re: Use of Drones

Postby CheesecakeTomek » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:19 pm

MaMa ReGa's Pancakes? :shock:

Stephen David
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:20 pm

Re: Use of Drones

Postby Stephen David » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:03 pm

povster wrote:what may cause confusion is that the main DRONESTAR file is an HTML file. To run it you double-click that HTML file, so it can look like it needs the internet.


Yes, I downloaded and installed the software on my computer, but when I double-clicked on the HTML file, it appeared to connect to the internet. So I assumed that was necessary.

I got busy last night and didnt get to try this again. But after these discussions and also reading the stuff about drones on this website, I am not so sure anything but an mpg/wav file is really needed. Why the software?????

For example, if you only need a single drone ("Sa") or even a two note drone ("Sa-Pa") and there isnt a lot of variety, why need software?

As I mentioned, I used wavepad editor to combine the left and right channels, and the "hi" and "lo" notes all into one file, so that (for example) Lo Sa was on the left channel and Hi Sa was on the right channel. Then I extended the length to 5 minutes and brought it into Windows Media player and played it with repeat on. So it just keeps playing Sa (hi and lo stereo) over and over until I shut it off.

Works fine that way. I fooled around with Norwegian Woods, WithinYouWithoutYou, and some Thaat practice last night with either Sa or Pa in the background and it worked fine.

I guess it could get monotonous... but thats what drones are for. I could probably take the smaller files and edit something like "Pa-Sa-Sa-Sa" as nicneufeld suggested earlier.

But that would still be pretty easy to do. And you would only have to do that once for each note combination. (which luckily, arent a lot) I am not trying to simulate a Tambura virtuosa here, which the software probably can't do anyway. Just wanting some kind of drone background.

Maybe I will change my mind after really testing it out. But I am not so sure whats gained by using the Dronestar application, other than to get the wav files and a fancy interface. When I originally tried it, it didnt look like the software provided much more functionality than I already can get as I am currently using it. Just a keypad that let you choose a note.

Tx
Stephen


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