Do we have any raga hand drum (Tabla) instrument modules?

With the advent of several raga scales in various modules, such as Seaside Modular’s Proteus and Jawari, I have been having a lot of fun working or generative ragas. Does anyone know of any hand drum instruments modules that were specifically done for raga style music, or work well in that role even if not specifically designed for raga?

At one time I think I used some module for this purpose, but that was probably in V1 and I have forgotten which.

Thanks in advance.

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I don’t know that module.

I would use one of the sample players with some found samples.

Here’s a free pack of Dhol, Dholak, Ghatam and Tabla samples from Goldenchild Audio


I think it was Erica Synths Pico Drums, which I do have in V2, so I will also play with that and see if I can duplicate what I vaguely remember.

“Drums” are definitely candidates for Physical Modeling / Wave Guide Synthesis, because of the dynamics involved.

We do have some Physical Modeling modules in VCV Rack. E.g. Audible Instruments Resonator (Rings), some Karplus Strong modules (like the excellent TyrannosaurusRu Pluck) and Saphire Elastika and Tube Unit.

So, mostly strings, springs and tubes. But…no membrane models (yet) that can behave as dynamic drums…

Some nerdy bits for those who are interested or might even find inspiration for an implementation in VCV Rack (since I don’t have the necessary skills needed myself).

The eigenspectra of Indian musical drums

March 2009 The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

There’s plenty of info on Waveguide Modeling / Synthesis of membranes, ranging from plain physics research to actual code examples and DSP libraries.

Among these, articles by the Godfather of Digital Waveguide Modeling / Synthesis (and many other things DSP), Julius O. Smith III

There are also examples of full implementations, like this one on Github:

An Expressive Multidimensional Physical Modelling Percussion Instrument

and an audio-visual example of this specific example…

DRUMANIA//// teaser - Physical Modelling Percussion Instrument

Bit of a tangent…

In the world of VST Plugins we there is/was Xoxos with several innovative/inspiring Physical Modeling plugins. Not sure what happened to that legacy.

In the meanwhile, as long as Physical Modeling implementations are not available…Wave Tables and/ or FM/PM synthesis might be options.


I dream of having something like this in the rack, but there are other projects to finish before I could get to it!


Turns out that it was the Erica Synths Pico Drums that I had used before for something faintly resembling the functionality of the Tabla. The tiny module allows selection of 2 drum voices with separate trigger inputs and a single mix audio out. The CV input can be set via the right click menu to one of a few functions but I am using the pitch modulation. I’m having some trouble getting the voice selection to be saved so that it is reloaded at the next patch load. I may still be misunderstanding that part somehow.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to what others suggest.

That looks like it would be fun to play with. Yeah, that will be great if someone does a module along these lines some day.

I might be willing to get some finger-drumming controller hooked up, like my Ableton Push.

Together with :

Choose the



I have not used sample files very much at all with Rack. Where do most people put the files in their Rack folders?

I have one disk (ssd) that I have put all my samples on, but if you have enough room on the C drive you can just make a Samples folder in your documents and use that ( or even inside the Rack2 folder ). Just use lots of subfolders, so you can find what your looking for.

TablaTest - 15032023.vcv (6.2 KB)

You have to load the tabla.sfz yourself :wink:


That all worked. Thanks.

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Cool, another (maybe better) way to place the output of the sfz player in the stereo field is by using a Bogaudio mixer :

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Cool. I will have to try that also. I made your previous patch tabla into a selection file and dropped it into my generative raga and it sounds very good. One thing I do not like about using sample players is the difficulty in publishing the patch to the community.

Still would be fun if someone did a tabla module.

I plan on recording the raga and posting the SoundCloud link here.

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You can create somewhat convincing emulations with a Karplus Strong based approach, using Sckitam Waveguide Delay.

Some configurations/models to consider:

Here’s just a quick & dirty Proof of Concept for a Tabla emulation, using Karplus Strong (Tuned Delay). So, more of a string model approach then an actual membrane model approach.

Filtered and shaped noise as an Exciter. A 1 pole Low Pass + tanh waveshaper (that introduces non-linearities and limits signal level) in the feedback path. Inverted feedback signal, to accentuated odd harmonics.

VCA ADH and pitch AD and S&H are triggered from a dual Euclidian Sequencer, occasional pitch bends from a dedicated AD randomly triggered through a Bernouli gate.

Sckitam Wave Guide Delay does the tuning and the delay in samples (although each cable in a signal path also already adds a 1 sample delay).

You can fiddle with the Noise spectrum / EQ and AHD envelope (Exciter). You can fiddle with the Delay in samples, the Lowpas filter and tanh in the feedback patch.

The (maximum) input/feedback levels are critical…things can soon get out of hand. Some fiddling with that is required.


For the quantizer, there is also Probably Note Arabic from Frozen Wasteland. It is for Arabic scale, but well, sound very good with this kind of instrument (personnal opinion). And yes, i’m a big fan of the Frozen Wasteland module !

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by the way, love your patch, didn’t know that this kind of sound was possible with karpus-strong !! thanks !

Would you be willing to make the patch file available here? Otherwise I will create it from your video, but that is usually tedious in one way or another for all such patches.

Thanks for the video. I like it.


I’m all for MORE Physical Modeling / Wave Guide Synthesis in VCV Rack. A huge domain, open to further exploration. Alas, I don’t have the skills to actually implement the abundance ideas.

As stated, this patch just a quick Proof of Concept I clicked together (very) late last night. Somewhat approaching the Tabla sound.

The example is mainly made to inspire others to experiment with the concepts. Not much thought went into the module selection (e.g. the filter/eq) or useability.

But, it could be a useful approach for some use cases.


With some fiddling with the various parameters (noise color/filter/eq and envelopes, distortion) the same patch/structure/model could also emulate a string (e.g. guitar) or tube (e.g. flute) and more. But…it’s all pretty basic from a useability perspective. Fun and interesting nonetheless.

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I’m actually surpised by the positive reactions. The patch is a late night quick & dirty proof of concept. Sure, I can share it, saving you (and possibly others) the tedious work of recreating it from the video images and text.

I guess the best way to share patches is to use patchstorage as the repository? I will create an account there and use that as a public repository.


The simplest way is to just “Upload” the patch file here. That is what I do rather than PatchStorage.