Sitar VST / AU / AAX plugin

The SwarPlug synth plugin includes Sitar and over 100 other perfectly sampled virtual Indian instruments. It can be loaded in most VST, Audio Units and AAX compatible DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) like Cubase, Logic, Ableton Live, Protools, FL Studio etc... It also comes with lots of ready-made MIDI loops for each instrument.

About Sitar:

The sitar is a plucked string instrument, widely recognised in Hindustani music. While its exact origins have not been agreed upon, it is seen dating back to some 700 years ago in the Mughal Empire of India. 16th Century Sufi poet, Amir Khusrow, largely contributed to its popularity, and during the past few decades the word “Sitar” has become commonly associated with the Persian word “Sehtar”, meaning three-stringed instrument.

The base and additional resonator are made from gourds, and its neck and faceplate made from wood. It holds a 4-foot-long neck with usually 18 strings — 6 to 8 of which are playing strings and two drone strings. Some sitars, such as the Kharaj-pancham and Bishnupur have seven strings, and the Gandhar-pancham has only six strings.

Close-up of a Sitar neck

The sitar is typically played while seated, held at a 45° angle across the player’s lap. WIthout instruction, learning to twist the playing strings may prove difficult, and the same with fretting or tuning the sympathetic strings. There are specific techniques associated with learning to play the sitar, which involve:

  • Holding the instrument with your entire body.
  • Supporting the neck with your right leg and playing the strings with a Mezrab on the right middle finger.
  • Becoming familiar with the playable strings first, then using the sitar frets to create a range of notes in various octaves.
  • Using your left middle finger to push the strings against the chords.

The sitar resonates a deep, vibrating tone and is usually seen in Hindustani classical live performances. In 2011, at the Pancham Academy of Indian Music, Ms. Renuka Punwani set a Guinness World Record for playing the sitar for 25 hours, consecutively. Renuka was 76 years old at the time.


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