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The world’s first electronic tabla launches in Mumbai, Tabla Touch

British producer Kuljit Bhamra and his team at Keda Music aim to make Indian drumming accessible to everyone

  • Words: Miki Kitasako | Image: Keda Music YouTube
  • 21 March 2024
The world’s first electronic tabla launches in Mumbai, Tabla Touch

Revolutionising Indian drumming, an award-winning British producer Kuljit Bhamra MBE has introduced the world’s first electronic tabla; Tabla Touch.

Tabla Touch offers unparalleled sound accuracy compared to its traditional predecessor, featuring built-in sounds from various traditional Indian instruments such as the Dholak, Khol, Mridangam, Pakhawaj, Gautam, Hang, Tabla Tarang, Manjira, Temple bells, Jhanj and four different tabla sets.

Because of its accessibility, Tabla Touch will allow musicians to venture into the traditional realm of Indian drumming without the necessity for frequent tuning or worries.

It also boasts an instant tuning capability, which allows musicians to transition to a different key during a song effortlessly and can also be connected to a MIDI or computer to create a tabla score in Steinberg’s notation software, Dorico.

There are three versions of the Tabla Touch: Studio, is the most basic of the lot — it encompasses three premium sound banks featuring professionally recorded sound banks of the Tabla, Dholak and Mridangam. The Pro is the premium choice which includes a wooden base and 18 sound banks from four Tabla sets, Dholak, Mridangam, Pakhawaj, Shree Kol and metal percussion such as Jhanj, and Manjira.

Lastly, the Solo version is a single Dyan that is designed specifically for acoustic performances. It comes with a built-in speaker, eliminating the need for external amplification. Its physical resemblance to a tabla sets it apart from the other two, enabling musicians to use it in its traditional seated position.

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Kuljit Bhamra along with his team at Keda Music and a number of celebrities hosted a launch event for the instrument in Mumbai. Established five years ago, Keda Music LTD, a startup at the Central Research Laboratory, was founded with a mission to make Indian drumming accessible to everyone. They have developed a universal Indian drum notation system, alongside an electronic version supported by Steinberg music software.

During the launch in Mumbai, the producer shared “The electronic tabla is a way of celebrating the traditional tabla; it's not a replacement, it is an option. But, it is a beautiful option if you’re carrying 38kgs of tabla and you’re changing the sur on every song.”

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On the big screens, Kuljit Bhamra is known for his role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's ‘Bombay Dreams’ and the movie ‘Bend It Like Beckham’. He is known as one of the pioneers when it comes to the British Bhangra sound.

Along with his role at Keda Music, he is also a professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London teaching Tabla, Indian Rhythms and Improvisation.

Learn more about and purchase Tabla Touch here.

Miki Kitasako is Mixmag Asia’s Social Media and Content Producer, follow her on LinkedIn.

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