So he thought of an app that could help take the right notes. âI needed something that would say to my students, ‘You’re just a little flat here, a little sharp there.’ But I couldn’t find any application close to what I wanted, “said Ranade, a disciple of Pandit Jasraj.
Thus, without any experience in the design of mobile applications, Ranade, a software engineer by training, set out to create one.
To begin with, he built modules around human characteristics, which would allow the app to adapt to the singer’s mood. “First of all, I wanted to make sure the sound was absolutely perfect. For that, I had to sample instruments and synthesize some of the sound.”
Gradually he added ten instruments like swarmandal, tanpura, surpeti, harmonium, piano, violin, ghungroo, tabla, shaker, manjira and others. âWith all ten instruments playing at the same time, there was a need for an artificial intelligence (AI) at the conductor level, which would ensure that all of these instruments played in symphony. There are now 40-50 types of AI in the app. It took me three and a half years to build it, âsaid Ranade.
âI gave my student a version of the app. She used it for two weeks and with a score of 5% it went up to 80%,â he said. âThen I thought if it helps one person, it might help others as well. So I named the app NaadSadhana and posted it on the App Store,â he said.
To test the app, he recorded a song “Na Corona Karo”, which quickly became a viral hit. âWhat was interesting was that most people thought I was accompanied by musicians when it was just software,â he said. In June of this year, the app won the Apple Design Award for innovation in music, technology, and design.
But Ranade is not yet ready to rest on its laurels. “I want to include some other instruments like pakhawaj, ghatam, guitar, congo, bongo, smart drums etc. in the app. Currently the app supports 150 ragas,” he said. he declares.
For him, one of the most satisfying aspects of developing the app was making it suitable for people with disabilities. âOne day, Amar Jain, a visually impaired lawyer emailed me, saying he couldn’t use the app because it wasn’t fully accessible for people like him. So I spent a month re-thinking and doing a lot of testing while blindfolded and introduced features like auditory and visual cues to guide people with disabilities. He was very happy with it and even recorded a song with the app â, Ranade said.
âI did what everyone should do because music should be accessible to everyone and have different abilities shouldn’t be a barrier to music,â he said.