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Frequently Asked Questions...
Technical fixes:
Why is there both a drone and a tanpura?
The continuous drone is there to add "body" to the tanpura sound - to root you even more firmly in the tonality into which you place your notes. If you sometimes find the strokes of the tanpura distracting, you might even use the drone on its own.
Do I have to tune the drone, tanpura and tabla separately?
No - the single tuning control controls them all. We have left open the option for fine tuning the tabla but you're unlikely to want to use this.
What if I reformat or change computers? Do I have to buy another registraton key?
You don't have to buy anything beyond your initial two computer registration key to keep RiyazStudio running on two computers.

If you reformat or reinstall a computer, and you've been using a recent version of RiyazStudio (August 2008 onwards) then our system will recognize your computer when you register again, and you won't  have "used up" an extra computer licence.

If you change computers (or you reformat having used an older version of RiyazStudio) and if you've used up both your computer licences then the registration system will allow you to unregister an old computer, so freeing up its licence to use again.
Do I get free upgrades?
Minor upgrades are free (by download). Major upgrades or add-ons (like RiyazStudio Semi-Classical) won't cost more than the price difference.
There are so many "tabla sample groups". Which should I choose?
Try them all. You'll soon find the one that sounds best at your pitch on your sound system - and RiyazStudio will remember it between sessions. Whatever pitch you play or sing at, make sure you try the E tabla samples, which come over very well on many sound systems - even when played significantly below their recorded pitch.
Will RiyazStudio work on Mac or Linux?
RiyazStudio works only on Windows - or emulations of it - which need to be installed on the computer.

A basic way of running Windows on a Mac is through the Mac's BootCamp option:
Once installed, you choose on starting the computer whether to run as a Mac or Windows PC.

A more seamless way to run RiyazStudio on a Mac is via Windows installed under a "virtual machine" running within the Mac OSX environment such as "Parallels Desktop" (which works even with the most recent M1 Macs).

Unless you have other Windows programs that you want to run on your Mac, it could be easier and cheaper to dig out an old Windows laptop to run RiyazStudio.

Does it need a powerful computer?
RiyazStudio runs on Windows PCs running Windows 98, ME, 2000, NT , XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8, 10 (for x86, Intel/AMD) and 11 - but not Windows RT (for ARM; the low powered tablet version of Windows 8).

Whilst RiyazStudio needs Windows (or an emulation of it) it doesn't need a new computer. It will be perfectly happy on a fairly old and slow PC just as long as you can spare a few GB hard disk space for the tabla sound samples, and the computer isn't hamstrung by malware/viruses.

What does matter is the quality of your sound system - a cheap pair of small PC speakers or a laptop's built-in speakers won't do you or RiyazStudio justice. If a better quality sound system isn't available then a pair of headphones (although inconvienient for practicing) could give a better idea of what RiyazStudio should sound like.
Will you convert RiyazStudio for mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad or Android?
It's possible - but there's still a lot of additional development on the Windows platform that we'd like to complete first.

But for the time being... if you install the Chrome Remote Desktop app within the Chrome browser on your PC, and install the Chrome Remote Desktop app on your mobile/tablet, then on your mobile you can remotely control and hear your PC playing RiyazStudio.

This may provide acceptable sound quality on your mobile if both mobile and PC have a good WiFi connection - but you might experience occasional sound dropouts that make it less than ideal.
On Android phones and tablets the sound quality (with a slight time delay) from the PC can be dramatically improved by streaming the sound with SoundWire - as long as both are connected to the same WiFi network:
  • Install the SoundWire app on your Android device.
  • On your computer download and install the SoundWire Server from https://georgielabs.net/ (allowing it to access both private and public networks in Windows Firewall)
YouTube tutorial:

On the app, try using 256 Kb/s sound compression (requires a low cost upgrade to the full version) to reduce the demand on your network, and adjust the audio buffer size to avoid audio dropouts.

Continue to use Chrome Remote Desktop to control your PC, but with the volume on the PC muted - that way you'll get to hear the sound from just the SoundWire app, not Remote Desktop as well!
Should I use RiyazStudio for all my practice?
No - it's important also to have regular sessions with a real live tabla player.
RiyazStudio won't interact with you or respond to you.
Can I install RiyazStudio on a computer without an internet connection?
Yes - just email to ask us for our offline registration instructions.
I've downloaded the installation program but when I run it it says it's "not a valid win32 application" or "checksum mismatch"
The installation program hasn't been fully or properly downloaded.
Try downloading again, but if this keeps happening, download on another computer and copy the installation program over on a memory stick.
My anti-virus software says the installation program contains a virus
Occasionally we get a "false positive" (where an anti-virus software's latest virus definitions find a match in harmless software).
So what should you do?
  • Do let us know what your anti-virus package is, and what virus it thinks it is has found so we can investigate - and if all looks clear we'll ask the publishers to fix the "false positive" in their next update.
  • Try downloading the installation file on a computer that uses another anti-virus package.
    Then (having assured yourself that it doesn't contain anything evil) you could copy the file and install it on your computer having temporally disabled the virus protection.
    With any luck, the pattern that your anti-virus was detecting will be present only in the installer.


An alert: "Windows protected your PC" is blocking me from installing RiyazStudio
If Microsoft Defender SmartScreen blocks the installation program from running, click the "More info" link, then select the "Run anyway" option.

If you don't get this option, click the start button and type "Reputation-based protection" and press enter, then try disabling "Check apps and files" or "Potentially unwanted app blocking".

Before you run the installation program, do scan it with your virus checker for reassurance.
(right click on the program, then select 'Scan selected items for viruses', or similar)
When I try to run RiyazStudio I just get a message"This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer"
Programs can be prevented from running if they've been added to a key called DisallowRun in the Windows Registry. This may have happened to RiyazStudio's container program mshta.exe

Open regedit by clicking your start button and typing regedit and pressing enter.
Find \HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\ and delete the key called DisallowRun (or delete its mshta.exe entry).
When I try to run RiyazStudio I just get html code, or the message "not a valid win32 application" or (on Windows 8 and later) "This app can't run on your PC"
We've addressed this problem on 64-bit computers by adding an alternative desktop link for launching RiyazStudio: "RSWin10Link"

But if you have this problem with an earlier computer, read on...

Occasionally a computer forgets or doesn't know how to open RiyazStudio. To fix this:

Right-click on the RiyazStudio icon (or menu item) and select "Open With": "Choose Program...",
and then select "Microsoft (R) HTML application host" to run it.
Tick the checkbox "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" then click OK.

If you need to "browse" for this program it's called mshta.exe
and lives in C:\WINDOWS\system32 or C:\Windows\SysWOW64

Or if that doesn't make any difference - try this...
Select the 'Run' option from the start menu, then copy, paste and run this (the whole text of the next line):
C:\Windows\SysWOW64\mshta.exe "C:\Program Files (x86)\RiyazStudio\indexPitchDroneTalaSF.hta"
[The latest RiyazStudio installations setup a "RSWin10Link" desktop shortcut that does just this]
I've got my registration code but I can't register RiyazStudio...
If a security setting might be blocking registration - or if the registration page just isn't opening please try registering directly using Microsoft Internet Explorer:

Run Microsoft Internet Explorer and turn off its 'protected mode' - as shown here:

(this will allow RiyazStudio's reg info to be properly stored in Windows versions since XP)

Open and register in this registration page (in Internet Explorer):

Once registered successfully, turn Internet Explorer's protected mode back on.
Or a few computers require RiyazStudio's folder to be given higher "Permissions":
Launch FileExplorer and navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\ then right click on the RiyazStudio folder and select Properties.
Select the "Security" tab, click "Edit", and in the box that pops up, select "ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES" in the top frame, and activate "Full control" in the bottom frame and click "OK" to implement the change.
RiyazStudio shuts down when I play tanpura
On a minority of PCs, playing the tanpura update (that now comes with the Swarmandal) makes RiyazStudio close, sometimes with the error message: "Microsoft (R) HTML application host has stopped working", sometimes with no error.

To fix this, please reinstall the Swarmandal update (no need to download it again - or uninstall anything) this time selecting the 'BugFix' option on installation (you'll see this in a checkbox towards the end of the installation).
The percussion bell isn't sounding any more
You may have repeatedly pressed Ctrl-Z in RiyazStudio's window.
(RiyazStudio's keyboard shortcuts)
Try pressing Ctrl-X repeatedly, to increase the volume, or open the metronome volume controls by clicking the icon to the right of the bell, tambourine, metronome icons.
RiyazStudio used to work, but now I get a "Script Error" on opening it
You can get a script error if you partially reinstall an earlier version of RiyazStudio over RiyazStudio while it's running. So always download the latest versions, and close RiyazStudio before running the installation program.
Or RiyazStudio's "cookie", in which stores its settings, may have become corrupted.
You can reset RiyazStudio's settings simply by holding the Ctrl key and clicking the Refresh button.

Or if this doesn't fix it, delete RiyazStudio's cookie and reset its settings:
1. Close RiyazStudio and open Internet Explorer.
2. Use the Tools menu to select Internet Options.
3. Select the General tab.
4. Click the Settings button in the Browsing history section.
5. Click View Files.
6. Make sure that Details is selected on the View menu.
7. Delete the RiyazStudio cookie you find there:
RiyazStudio/ Cookie:yourusername@~~local~~/C:/Program%20Files/RiyazStudio/
Another thing to try is to uninstall RiyazStudio and then install the latest version(s) into a slightly different location, such as:
C:\Program Files (x86)\RiyazStudio2
RiyazStudio sounds weird or is silent
Your computer may have the wrong sound card driver installed, preventing RiyazStudio's pitch changing routines from working properly.

If your computer has been reinstalled, please visit the sound card manufacture's website to download and install the correct drivers.

Or try switching to an alternative playback device, then open RiyazStudio. If you don't have an alternative playback device, you can add one by plugging in a very cheap USB sound card.
The volume of the tabla in comparision to the tanpura is very low, and I can't make the tabla loud enough. What should I do?
Download and install the latest version of RiyazStudio. Since July 2009 we've included a "boost Tabla volume" function in all versions, making the tabla louder and emphasizing its melodic character (at the cost of some nuance). For partially "boosted" tabla, just reduce the tabla volume slider. At 1/4 or less, it is "unboosted".

if at full volume the tabla is distorted...
One side effect of this louder tabla is that on some computers running under Windows XP, the Windows mixer "Wave Volume" level should be no higher than 50% to avoid distortion.
The volume of the tanpura drops while the tabla is playing
Your computer sound system is automatically adjusting the volume level.

To disable this function, right click the speaker icon in the taskbar, left click "Playback devices", select the currently active audio device and click the "Properties" button.
On the "Enhancements" tab check "Disable all enhancements" (or uncheck just "Loudness Equalization" or "Volume Normalization").
Alternatively, on the "Advanced" tab uncheck "Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device".
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