Pocket Shruti Box: Carnatic Tambura for Android

By Kuyil Free

Developer's Description

Pocket Shruti Box provides high quality Tambura accompaniment for carnatic musicians and students.


Usually shruti box devices and apps merely record a few tambura sounds and pitch-shift them to produce sounds for different shrutis (kattai or mane). To produce good results, many high quality samples of multiple tamburas (of different sizes and tunings) should be recorded, occupying a lot of storage space (potentially in GBs!). Such a size would not be practical. So, compromises will have to be made, ultimately impacting sound quality.

Instead, Pocket Shruti Box uses a physical model developed by researchers at Sonic Arts Research Center, Queen's University Belfast. With this approach, we get authentic tambura sound. This allowed us to craft tambura sound specific for each kattai/shruti/mane, resulting in clear, accurate, and immersive tambura drone across the entire range. This way you get

authentic tambura sound (in small app size)

good clarity even on phone speakers, budget headphones and earphones.

great sound on Bluetooth speakers.

Hear it for yourself.


freq ratios of pure carnatic swarasthanams.

tambura playing cycle widely practiced in carnatic music.

choice of first swarams which are standard in carnatic music system.

carnatic terminology: kattai/shruti/mane (1, 1 , etc), swarasthanams (e.g. Ma/Suddha Madhyamam), etc.


Full range of kattai/shruti/mane from lowest male shruti to highest female shruti. That is, 6 Male (Low A) to 7 Female (High B). Thus, the app can provide accompaniment to all vocalists, and instrumentalists (violin, veena, mridangam, ghatam, flute, chitravina, etc).

Fine-tuning of kattai/shruti/mane. This is useful to match tambura drone accurately to shruti of instruments which cannot be tuned, such as flute, nadhaswaram, or ghatam.

Choice of first swarams specific to carnatic music. First swaram of the tambura pattern can be either Pa (Panchamam) or Ma (Suddha Madhyamam). Panchama shruti (Pa as first swaram) is most widely used. Madhyama shruti (Ma as first swaram) is used in special cases such as playing panchama varja ragams.

Tempo or speed of the tambura playing cycle can be adjusted. In slower tempo, individual notes can be heard more clearly. Faster tempo will give you denser tambura texture.

Playback duration presets. You can play tambura for a specific duration (15 min, 30 min, or 1 hr). This simplifies keeping track of time for classes and practice sessions. We also know that soothing tambura sound is used in meditation. So this feature can also help meditators.

Of course, non-stop continuous playback is also possible.

Background playback, even without screen ON. Saves battery.

Bluetooth connectivity. Connect your bluetooth speaker or headphone for an immersive tambura sound. You never need to buy electronic shruti box that costs you a lot of money!

Wired speakers or headphones work great too.

Lock screen notification. You can control playback without unlocking your phone or tablet.


Connect your speaker for rich tambura sound. No need to invest in electronic shruti boxes anymore.

Activate "Do Not Disturb" mode, if available on your device. This prevents disturbances due to phone calls or notifications. With this, you can use Pocket Shruti Box even for concerts or meditation.


Basic features are always free. No ads ever. The app lets you try even premium features for first few days. Whether you purchase or not, you can use continue to use the app. We hope you'll support our efforts by purchasing premium features, as developing professional audio apps requires dedication, time, and skill. #SupportCarnatic


A Real-Time Synthesis Oriented Tanpura Model. / van Walstijn, Maarten; Bridges, Jamie; Mehes, Sandor.

Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Digital Audio Effects (DAFx-16). 2016. p. 175-182 (International Conference on Digital Audio Effects).

Full Specifications

What's new in version 2.1.1


Release October 19, 2019
Date Added October 19, 2019
Version 2.1.1

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Android
Additional Requirements Requires Android 5.0 and up


Total Downloads 45
Downloads Last Week 1
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