The Electronic Sitar Controller

Kapur, Ajay and Lazier, Ariel J. and Davidson, Philip L. and Wilson, Scott and Cook, Perry R.

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This paper describes the design of an Electronic Sitar controller, adigitally modified version of Saraswati’s (the Hindu Goddess ofMusic) 19-stringed, pumpkin shelled, traditional North Indianinstrument. The ESitar uses sensor technology to extract gesturalinformation from a performer, deducing music information suchas pitch, pluck timing, thumb pressure, and 3-axes of head tilt totrigger real-time sounds and graphics. It allows for a variety oftraditional sitar technique as well as new performance methods.Graphical feedback allows for artistic display and pedagogicalfeedback. The ESitar uses a programmable Atmel microprocessorwhich outputs control messages via a standard MIDI jack.