Soundiron's Bizarre Sitar may not seem so strange at first glance. It has most of the elements found on any other sitar, with it's traditional gourd body, both main playable strings and sympathetic resonating strings, parda (adjustable curved frets), kunti (tuning pegs), dandi (neck), ghoraj (main bridge) all complete with orante hand-painted accents. At just over 24" in length, however, this little beauty is barely half the size of a standard sitar.
Simply being small isn't bizarre by any means, but what is bizarre is how it can achieve such a lush, full-bodied sound while being so small. Intended as more decoration than instrument, we feel this little guy has been highly underestimated. Although soft-spoken and possessing fewer strings than normal (5 main and 6 sympathetic), all this "baby" sitar needed was someone to listen closely. And Soundiron did... Very close.
The Bizarre Sitar includes chromatic plucks as well as strumming articulations. Two main strumming tunings are included, a fifth and octave/unison. An onboard "Speed" slider (MIDI assignable and defaulted to the modwheel) allows you to sculpt the speed of the individual strum from very tight, fast strums to slower, plucky strums. The unison articulation was tuned with strings in unison and in several octaves to give a very full sound. The fifth articulation was tuned with strings in unison and in fifths, similar to the Pancham-Kharaj tuning popularised by Ravi Shankar.
By recording several different strumming speeds for both the fifth and the unison strumming articulations, this library allows you to create realistic sounding strums by adjusting the speed in real-time. The strums are tuned and spread across the entire keyboard, providing deep, droning sounds in the low end and sharp, mandolin-like plucks in the high end.
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