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Tanpura robot – “Shanti”

“Shanti” – the world’s first automatic Tanpura robot

“Shanti”, the world’s first mechanical device which automatically plays an acoustic tanpura, giving both musicians and audiences the pure acoustic sound of the tanpura in both practice and performance settings.

Equinoxe inside photo

Check out “Shanti” on youtube!

India’s venerable Tanpura – now with a great new twist!

The soothing sound of the Tanpura, India’s ancient stringed accompaniment instrument, provides a rich carpet of sound on which the musicians recreate the age old tradition of ragas and talas. In recent times many musicians have switched to electronic digital drone devices, which attempt to imitate the sound of a real tanpura. Although these devices are compact, convenient and do not require someone to play them, the sound they produce does not measure up to the real tanpura. But now there is an alternative: Shanti, the Automatic Acoustic Tanpura Player.
Now you can have the real sound of the Tanpura whenever and wherever you want.

Designed and manufactured in Switzerland by Ken Zuckerman and a team of European craftsmen. Protected by international patent laws. 2012 Patent Pending #61473718.

Equinoxe inside photo

Shanti’s new spruce housing produces an even better sound than ever!

February, 2013: It looks almost as if Shanti has flipped her lid! We just finished fabricating a new housing made out of a beautiful old piece of spruce wood, from a 275 yr-old Swiss tree. Not only does it result in a stronger, more resonant and overtone rich sound, but the raised lid, with 2 independently adjustable side flaps, enables the sound to be projected in various directions. And because the sound is captured, amplified and projected through the top of the housing, it is now perceived from a higher point acoustically, as if the tanpura were upright. Tuning the sarod to this rich complex of overtones is more precise, easier and it is almost a musical duet in itself. I am thrilled with this evolution in “Shanti’s” development and am extremely grateful to Rolf Joray, the Swiss master craftsman who has supported me throughout this endeavor with his precise and artistic skills and creative input. We hope to have a model available for musicians in the near future!


The new “Shanti” – with lid closed.


Shanti, with lid raised and back flap down. This position projects the sound both to the right side and outward (to the audience).


Shanti – front view with lid raised, back flap down and front door removed. This enables one to see the rotation and plucking action of the robot and allows for access to make fine adjustments of the plectrums.

Shanti – side view with both flaps down. This projects the full sound to the side, in the direction of the musicians.

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    Nature of Ragas



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    Lute Improvisations
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