PureTones Drone

PureTones Drone is a digital Tanpura with controls for fine tuning the strings and adjusting their harmonic envelope. PureTones Drone has been developed using Faust, a functional programming language for sound synthesis and audio processing. This enables skilled Indian Classical musicians to fine tune the harmonic envelope to suit whichever Raga they wish to perform or practice.

Contrary to widely held perceptions, the Tanpura is not only responsible for providing a reference of the fundamental note Sa, but it actually provides a tuning system resulting from string overtones which supports the entire Raga being performed. To understand this better, read this article which illustrates the role of the Tanpura in Indian Classical music.

PureTones Drone Webapp

To listen to the PureTones Drone and to create your own Tanpura tunings, check out the PureTones Drone Webapp. The webapp has been created using faust2webaudiowasm (see Faust Tools for details). Here is a quick user guide.

  1. Click on New Session under Session Controls. This starts a Pa-Tanpura in the key of C.
  2. Select your pitch using the Key, Octave and Cents.
  3. Use Period to control the playing tempo and Level to control the volume level.
  4. There are six tunable strings accessible via the string tabs.
  5. Select which note the string should play and use the Fine Tune and Ultrafine Tune sliders to finetune the pitch of each string. You can also input a number directly into the input boxes, for precise data entry.
  6. Use the Variance and Timbre controls to fine tune the harmonic content produced by each string, and Gain to adjust the relative gain levels of different strings.
  7. If you are familiar with a tanpura, then you should be able to relate the adjustment of the thread under the string, to the Variance and Timbre controls. Variance controls the speed of unraveling of the harmonics, while Timbre controls the emphasis of specific harmonics which may be necessary to support specific notes in a Raga.
  8. When you are satisfied, you can save your tuning to a file by clicking on Save Session which can be uploaded later using Restore Session.

For any suggestions or queries, you can reach us at puretones@sadharani.com.

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