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Sep 9, 2019 - 1:59:53 PM
25 posts since 5/25/2015

Hi. I'm interested in trying playing along with a shruti box and wondering if there are any places to source used models? Also does anyone else use any other "drone" instruments as accompaniment, either acoustic or electronic?

Sep 9, 2019 - 3:55:14 PM

511 posts since 5/19/2018

I’m actually amazed that the instrument Shruti Box even came up on this forum.

As I think of it, might really work well with some very arcane playing styles.

Your best bet for Shruti box of any kind would be the all great and powerful Amazon or the lesser eBay.

Sep 9, 2019 - 4:09:30 PM
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52369 posts since 12/14/2005

I haven't SEEN one in 40 years, but, here it is, for those of us who want to know:

 

Sep 9, 2019 - 5:48:22 PM
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1144 posts since 2/9/2007

There are all kinds of Android apps made to do harmonium/shruti-box (and/or tanpura) drones for Indian music.

Sep 10, 2019 - 1:41:27 AM

25 posts since 5/25/2015

Thanks for the replies. I've heard them being used with banjo in a few places (e.g. the new House and Land album) and really like the sound. Operating them with a foot pedal while playing looks really cool. It looks like there are plenty of new ones for sale on Amazon/eBay - the simple ones are just over £100, so not too bad, but the ones that can be foot operated are £3-400. I'm about to spend some money on a vintage banjo restoration project, so no spare funds at the moment.

I've thought about using phone apps with a speaker and I've tried some the Android shruti apps but was a bit disappointed in them; they sounded artificial and some of them didn't seem to keep the notes going continuously. There is an iPhone app that looks much better, so I'm hoping someone ports that to Android. I will maybe give some of the harmonium apps a try and see if you can get continuous notes - thanks for the suggestion.

Sep 10, 2019 - 6:45:40 AM
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Players Union Member

ndlxs

USA

347 posts since 9/26/2006

You can certainly find cheaper Shruti boxes, but I like these: plus, you can buy a foot pedal designed for them, too.

shrutibox.co.uk/

Sep 10, 2019 - 9:09:46 AM

1248 posts since 2/10/2013

I have used recordings of Sruti Boxes when playing fiddle. The fiddler Darol Anger sells the CDs. A Sruti box works fine with fiddles. I have never tried using it when I play banjo though. Since the banjo is a fretted instrument, and the fiddle unfretted, intonation is usually not a problem when playing banjo. But it can be a major problem when playing fiddle.

Sep 10, 2019 - 12:44:27 PM
Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14504 posts since 3/27/2004

quote:
Originally posted by gentrixuk

Hi. I'm interested in trying playing along with a shruti box and wondering if there are any places to source used models? Also does anyone else use any other "drone" instruments as accompaniment, either acoustic or electronic?


If you poke around on Youtube you can often find "backing tracks" with just about any instrumentation you might want:

https://youtu.be/S1vjxuIgbPM

Sep 11, 2019 - 9:49:07 AM
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40 posts since 10/26/2018

I use an Android app called - Dhwani Tanpura. It is pretty full function,can play the tonic without other notes (some tanpura apps do not give that option) and plays continuously. It is not exactly a shruti box but has the same vibe.

Sep 11, 2019 - 11:16:03 AM

25 posts since 5/25/2015

quote:
Originally posted by WVDreamin

I use an Android app called - Dhwani Tanpura. It is pretty full function,can play the tonic without other notes (some tanpura apps do not give that option) and plays continuously. It is not exactly a shruti box but has the same vibe.


Thanks. That's a nice app. Lots of options and no adverts! One other thing I have just been trying is using the ModSynth app to create synthesizer drones. You can set the keyboard to "sustain" to keep the notes sounding. Not really a traditional sound but I liked it!

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