(This is a years-later follow-up to the locked thread at Sitar sounds, please, because some things have changed since then)
We’ve been talking about sitar sounds on a facebook group thread the last couple of days. The thread above comes up in searches, but people were having trouble finding the rig, so I figured I’d post some info here for the next person to search!
The rig you’re looking for is called ‘PITCH Wide Sitar 2’, and it can be found from Rig Manager in the ‘Tutorial Pitch Effects’ rig pack.
Use a piezo pickup (ideal) or the most ‘acoustic-like’ pickup otherwise (on my elite strat I use the middle pickup). Play as close to the bridge as possible.
The KPA can’t create the sympathetic drones from a sitar by itself, you have to modify how you play to get that sound. Use open strings below the string you’re going to use for the melodic part. You’ll need to tune those to match the key, but for starters playing a melody on the G and using the open A and D as drones works well.
Playing lead notes, try putting a very fast bend and back to pitch at the start of each note.
It ends up sounding like this (just messing around, you can hear a couple of instant ‘that’s not a sitar’ moments when I slide, you have to be really careful to avoid some techniques!)
Thanks to Sean Oakes who asked the question originally on the FB group and got me to investigate, and to everyone on the original thread. I own the EHX ravish and this isn’t quite as good but it’s certainly usable.
Tom