Friday, May 23, 2008

Synesthesia Mandala Drum

Synesthesia Corporation's Mandala Drum is an electronic drum pad and synthesizer that detects both where and how hard you hit it to trigger and control a proprietary set of instrument and drum samples.

You can play the highly sensitive pad with drumsticks or fingers and hands. The Mandala is more expressive than any electronic drum pad currently available, with up to 7 concentric strike zones, 128 concentric data rings and over 1,000 different strike positions.

There are 2 different versions. The original Mandala 1.0 for $999 comes with a standalone drum brain with built-in sounds and effects and a MIDI out to transmit multi-channel MIDI to external equipment.

The new Mandala 2.0 USB sells for $349 without the brain. The plug-and-play pad comes with Virtual Brain software for Mac/Win that has a wide variety of sounds and presets, including drums, vibraphone, tablas, piano, synths, guitar and a 3,000-hit Ludwig Black Beauty snare library. You can load your own samples and control 3rd-party sequencers and plug-ins, like Logic, Battery, BFD, Live, Reason, GarageBand, etc.

The system was developed by Vince DeFranco and Danny Carey from Tool. Drummers Matt Chamberlain, Lol Tolhurst, Pat Mastelotto and Will Calhoun also use the Mandala.

For more info, videos and the Mandala store, visit

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