RiyazStudio - for Tanpura and Tabla accompaniment

I recently tried out the RiyazStudio software, which is a nice little software for Tanpura and Tabla accompaniment. If you are practicing indian classical music at home and would like some accompaniment in tanpura and tabla, then this would be a right fit for you. You can vary the pitch, the tuning, the taal and the tempo. Here is the link to the website:


RiyazStudio combines tanpura and tabla machines in a responsive and easy-to-use PC-based practice environment for North Indian classical music. RiyazStudio uses real tabla loops - 150 of them - in contrast to often mechanical sounding tabla machines that set individual tabla bols at rigidly set intervals. Whatever pitch you sing or play at you'll have a choice of different tabla tunings in the main talas. You can even adjust the tabla style without changing speed.
Overall I like this software and am planning to buy it. It costs close to $40. You can get a free temporary license and use it for 30 days before actually deciding to buying it. Some of the features would be disabled in the free temporary license. And if you actually buy it during the trial period of 30 days, you get a $5 discount. I don't sing, but I am planning to use it in some of my compositions.

According to their FAQ, they seem to support only Windows PC. So if you have a Mac, I am not sure if their suggested workaround would work.

Update (Sep 11, 2008): It seems if we want to use these samples in our recordings, then the license doesn't permit it. Here is an extract from their license agreement:
This license agreement grants permission to use the supplied sound samples for practice purposes. Distribution or broadcast of these sound samples or recordings derived from them is not granted by this license; contact us at support@riyazstudio.com if you wish do this.

Telex Pandians Theme Music

Telex Pandians is the name of a cricket team in our office. I had composed a small theme music for this team, the theme being "Terror". This was used as the background music for their flash based website. Here is the piece, let me know your feedback.

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The Rap was sung by my colleague, Naveen.

Not exactly remixes

Here are a couple of songs in recent times, which are not exactly remixes but are inspired / lifted from old songs.

1) "Ah mudhal akku thanadaa" from Jithan

This is one of the few kuthu songs that I like. Music is by Srikanth Deva. Only later did I realize that the full tune is lifted from an old MGR song: Koduthathellam Koduthaar. They have changed the time signature to 6/8 (kuththu beat) and have written new lyrics for it. I have overlapped both the songs and you can listen it below. You can listen to the new song on the left channel and the old one on the right.

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2) "Jalsa" from Chennai-28

Some couple of lines alone remind you of the popular old song "Senthamizh then moziyaai". Listen to the mix below.

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I used Audacity, the free audio editor and recorder, to mix these tracks. I had to change the pitch so that both the songs overlapped are in the same shruthi. Because of this, the voice would have changed. Now-a-days, with the help of technology, the tempo of a song would be constant through out the song. But in those days, the tempo has to be maintained manually and hence the tempo will not necessarily be constant throughout the song. Because of this, I also had to alter the tempo in various places. I will also post a series of articles on this blog on how I do sound editing.

Learn more about ragas

I stumbled across a site www.sawf.org when I searched for information on raag Jog and recently for raag Shree. There is a music section in this site and there is quite some information available on certain ragas on this site. A raag is not just about arohanam and avarohanam. The various prayogas of the raag are explained along with some sound samples too. I found this very informative and I believe you will too.

Here is the music section of the site:


Speaking about ragas, I will write a series of posts here on certain ragas and how some of the music directors have used the raga in film songs. I will be focusing mostly on tamil film music, since that is what I know. I will also keep a focus on present day music directors and hence I can write about only a handful of ragas. Please keep in mind that since it is film music, don't expect too much classical adherence to the raga.