Classical Indian Music On iPad + Animoog

Sunday Synth Jam: This video, via Navneeth Sundar, captures a live performance of Shri. Lalgudi G. Jayaraman’s Desh Thillana composition.

Sundar, a composer and pianist from Chennai,  recently discovered that the touch screen provided by the Apple iPad works well for performing Carnatic music (South Indian Classical Music).

The app used in this performance is Animoog. This particular patch, created by Navneeth, is specific to a particular ragam or scale, which in this case is the ragam Desh.  Its parameters can be tweaked to suit other ragams.

Sundar is joined by Sumesh Narayanan and Harihara Sharma.

via CDM

20 thoughts on “Classical Indian Music On iPad + Animoog

  1. Not to take anything away from this great recording and performance, Animoog did make this type of sound & style a bit easier by allowing the sound to be constrained to that one scale. Thus, the runs and some faster things were very tight sounding. Those trilly, melismatic embellishments were VERY skillful.

    Those percussionists had some serious chops as well.

    My only criticism about the Animoog part of it, is that the sound was not very dynamic– either with amplitude or timbre.

  2. Not my scene… no wonder I don’t like Animoog. Was feeling guilty for not using it for my darkpsy tracks, but there are others who apparently are finding novel uses for it.

  3. Fantastic. Thanks for posting this. It’s a pleasure seeing what different musicians are doing with my favorite app! Now if iTabla Pro would just go on sale…

    1. Not sure if that’s a racist question or just clueless.

      India has a well-educated public, a strong middle class and they are a huge market for Apple. The percent of people that live in poverty is about the same as it is in the US – which is not what a lot of people would assume.

      Also – you can run Animoog on an iPad 1, which is about $100. But even a brand new iPad would be a cost effective option, compared to traditional Indian instruments.

      1. It’s neither a racist question or clueless question, and to attack my post as such is comical.
        Are there two countries called India?

        1. Sorry if it chaps your backside, but to suggest that Indians can’t afford to buy iPads or anything else is racist, or jingoistic at best.

          It’s interesting that you copy and pasted a World Bank report from 2013,,when their corrected figures from 2014 show show India’s poverty rate at 180 million out of a 1.25 billion population – about 14%.

          And you know what the poverty rate in the US is? 14.5% (

          So it’s offensive to suggest that Indians can’t afford to buy things when, statistically, poverty is just as common in the ‘developed’ US as it is in India.

          China is now the biggest market for Apple devices and India won’t take long to catch up with and pass the United States, too.

    2. Yes, there is definitely a growing market for iPad in India. more by population size than by percentages. No, poverty levels are not at all similar to the US.

      1. By Dean Nelson, New Delhi2:06PM BST 18 Apr 2013
        While new figures show that the number of those in extreme poverty around the world – surviving on 82 pence per day or less – has declined significantly, India now has a greater share of the world’s poorest than it did thirty years ago. Then it was home to one fifth of the world’s poorest people, but today it accounts for one-third – 400 million.
        The study, The State of the Poor: Where are the Poor and Where are the Poorest?, found the number of extremely poor people had declined from half the world’s population in 1981 to one fifth in 2010, but voiced concern at its increase in Sub-Saharan Africa and continuing high level in India.
        World Bank president Jim Yong Kim said while the overall decline was “remarkable progress”, the remaining 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty was “a stain on our collective conscience.” His colleague, World Bank chief economist Kaushik Basu, who until last year was economic advisor to Indian prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, said the figures called for the world’s wealthier countries to do more.

  4. I wonder if that tanpura drone track was generated by Bheema Pro? That is a beautiful sounding little app.

    Gotta say again, those drummers are great.

  5. I want that patch!!!! This will go great with drum jam! Very cool ! Btw- those negative comments have no place here, I’m sure the percentage of the population you think may have trouble affording an iPad probably has a higher percentage of its population that know how to use and code an iPad than the U.S. and other countries.

    1. Music from world traditions is not about a patch. It’s about developing skills over a period of many decades, under the tutelage of a master.

      Of course the ignorant white cultural perspective is “gimme dat patch, I gonna be a indian musician!” believing that music is about pressing buttons and clicking the mouse in mod players for the terminally unskilled like users of Ableton Live.

  6. I think it’s cool that these (obviously very skilled) musicians are experimenting with combining ancient instruments with modern tech. Even if it doesn’t sounds as great and dynamic as the real thing, it’s still interesting, and mostly because they are so skilled to begin with. I just hope they never decide that they need a DJ, an MC, or a DubStep remix!

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