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sitarman

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Reply with quote  #16 
As much as I am a supporter of electronics used to enhance and expand the sound in order to make it available for larger audiences. I DO NOT mean to say that intentionally altering the sound of a sitar with electronics is a good thing. There's nothing wrong with creating a new instrument that sacrifices some qualities of the acoustic for the sake of new qualities in electric mode. That's what happened to guitar many years back in order to be heard with big bands- acoustic guitar and electric guitar are quite different animals now. You wouldn't use an electric in Bluegrass music and you wouldn't use an acoustic in Hard Rock, at least not without losing the qualities you need. Competing with drum set? Yes, a pickup will make you loud enough to do it but then are you really playing sitar music? Sitar used with fusion or rock ensembles never sounds like Indian music and never has the subleties live that sitar performances require to be truly Indian music. So in speaking of amplifying sitar it really has two subtopics-Indian music, or western music. If Indian music, the least alteration to the natural sound the better, and if western fusic (fusion, etc.) do whatever it takes to be heard.
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Andius

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Reply with quote  #17 
Guys

WOW, nice posts: where to begin? :? First:

Haldamos: MANY thanks for that link to Shujaat with the ovation sitar. (clap, clap, clap) My thoughts, you ask. Very surprised at the clarity (even the tarafs). Suppose its like when the first "electric" guitars came out. Strident, loud, clear but lacking a certain warmth/depth and complexity that is maybe only achieved acoustically? But I was impressed nonetheless. Age old dilemma of mass/commercial appeal as opposed to a limited physically present audience. But as you say, who knows what will be possible in the future.

Sitarman: Yeah, hit the nail on the head. Could we be witnessing a divergeance here? Julian Bream and Eric Clapton sitar-wise?

Interesting Times!

Coyootie: Stravinsky on tambourine? :twisted:
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Mr West

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Posts: 38
Reply with quote  #18 
I´ve heard classical sitar recitals both with pickups and microphones. Most of the time the microphones are superior, but not always.

This is one way to make it sound great with a new swedish pickup that is really linear:
http://www.jamshop.se/html/ehrlundacoustic.htm

The secret is to find the right placement on the sitar. I´ve heard rumours that Gaurav Mazumdar would use this rather than a microphone in the studio!

Contact me if you want to know more...
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rex@sitar.co.za

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Posts: 674
Reply with quote  #19 
Clown wigs and pink dresses?? I think we're all a little behind the times in this forum!! It's old news:



Regarding the Soundcheck file, the photo on the website doesn't show Shujaat playing an Ovation - it looks like his old Rilkhi Ram. Was the photo from a different show?

The whole pickup/mic thing is not necessarily about better or worse sound - it all depends on the context. As many other have pointed out, mics capture the acoustic space of the instrument, which is usually desirable for classical music. Pickups don't do that, but that might actually be a good thing in the context of a band, as it is with the case of electric guitars. Acoustic guitars don't make for good lead instruments as they tend to sound too thin and get lost in the mix. It was only with the invention of the electric guitar that guitars came into their own as solo, lead instrument. Arguably a good electric guitar pickup gives the instrument a greater dynamic range and presence than an acoustic guitar - but the sound is, of course, totally different. So, it all comes down to context and intent.

Rock sitar doesn't yet exist as a definable style in popular music (..it's almost certainly coming though!) so our point of reference for what we're used to hearing at the moment is classical sitar. It could be that what we now may regard as bad sound from a cheap sitar pickup could actually become the killer future sound of "rock sitar" (the same way poorly made, cheap tube amps became THE sound of rock guitar when they were overdriven beyond what their circuits could handle.)

- Rex
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Andius

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Posts: 84
Reply with quote  #20 
Rex,

Fascinating concept, a Rock Sitar. Maybe the Ovation is just the start; we do seem to be seeing the evolution of such an instrument. And 10 years from now? Picture the scene:


The Hall is packed. All are waiting breathlessly for the arrival of JimBob and the Rasas. He walks on stage with his new "meendomatic" sitar. Looks like the latest rock guitar, bright blue with metallic sparkles, except for the neck. Very slimline. No resonators of course; this baby is pumped straight to the amplifier. He fiddles with the five knobs on it, then adjusts the settings on the amp. Suddenly the hall is filled with an almost deafening roar as he starts. The giant speakers are clamped down to avoid jumping. The taraf box is working well (electronic gizmo replacing the old-fashioned taraf strings). The atmosphere is truly electric...........

Hmmm, wonder if it will be like this? Maybe I should check Nostradamus for any suitable prophecy :wink:

Andius
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rex@sitar.co.za

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Posts: 674
Reply with quote  #21 
You got it, Andius!! That's very funny! We laugh, but, yes, all it would take is one 17 year old playing around in his garage with his dad's dusty old sitar (cracked tumba, of course, missing and rusty strings) some $2 pickups and a collection of junked effects pedals who happens write a hit song with the new must-have sound of the year. I really do think it's just a matter of time before the sitar really hits the mainstream... probably in a way that we won't expect.
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