Pocket Shruti Box: Tambura

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553 reviews
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About this app

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, 1½ , etc), swarasthanams (e.g. Ma₁/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 Ma₁ (Suddha Madhyamam). Panchama shruti (Pa as first swaram) is most widely used. Madhyama shruti (Ma₁ 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.

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).
Updated on
Dec 20, 2020

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Ratings and reviews

527 reviews
A Google user
March 11, 2019
I've tried about 3 or 4 other shruti boxes, and this one is by far the best. Great clear sound with good options. Clean interface. There customer service via feedback was super listening to me request for more make options. They not only explained things to me about Carnatic music, but they listened to my input and assured me that they're looking into the requested improvements.
42 people found this review helpful
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A Google user
April 17, 2019
I would have given 5 stars but ... The Sruthi is brilliant. But I have a problem with the new update. It only has free playing for 5 minutes, but before it had 15 minutes of free playing (which is not excellent but good upto some extent). It also has some bugs like; if the app is stopped abruptly and we can't replay it immediately, the app would crash and I had to restart the app again. I hope that Kuyil will fix this bug and would try to increase the free playing time again to 15 minutes.
34 people found this review helpful
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April 17, 2019
Non-stop playback is enabled during trial. Later, no restriction on how many times you play; just tap play again. If you like the quality, please support us. It helps us continue developing pro grade carnatic apps. It costs only a fraction compared to electronic shruti boxes. Pls report bugs through app menu (top right), it'll give us more details.
Divya Srikumaran
August 1, 2022
It's really helpful to have your own tambura app. I purchased the paid version. BUT. Most of the time it shows shruti is playing, but no sound is coming out. Can you please immediately look into this issue? Thanks.
17 people found this review helpful
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What's new

★ Bug fixes and performance improvements.
★ Many thanks to our user Balaji who helped by running our audio tests on his device.