The original Optigan owner's manual tantalizingly lists "sitar" as one of it's many featured instruments, but in fact no sitar sounds ever appeared on either an Optigan disc or even the original studio master tapes.
Now Optigan.com has announced that, forty years later, they are rectifying the situation.
Here's what they have to say about the new Sitar Optigan disc:
Since Indian classical music consists of melody and percussion accompanied by drone (ie no Western style chords or harmonic motion), we decided to put various drones on the SFX tabs, tabla loops on the chord buttons, and 37 different sitar riffs on the keys. Given the way the Optigan's sounds constantly loop in sync with each other, this allows for an endless recombination of sitar riffs. For instance, you can play the first half of one riff, then play a different key and get the 2nd half of another riff.
This is NOT a traditional Optigan disc setup. You can't play your own tunes with this disc, rather it's sort of a "raga generator" of sorts.
See the video for a demo of how the new Optigan Sitar disc works!
Pricing and Availability
The Sitar Optigan is available for pre-order for $99.99.