Synesthesia on Wednesday introduced Mandala 2.0, a new drum and synthesizer that plugs into a Mac or PC’s USB port. It’s coming Nov. 1 and will cost $349.
The developer has included 3,000 samples of a Black Beauty snare drum and a library of sounds of more than 100 different instruments – four gigabytes, all told.
While the Mandala 2.0 can, of course, be played with drumsticks, the surface is sensitive enough that you can also play with your fingertips, according to the developer.
While all drum pads register percussion, the Mandala 2,0 knows where it’s been hit and how hard – it features 128 concentric rings from the center to the edge, each offering a variation in sound. You can assign seven different zones with different instruments, if you want. It’s this sensitivity that causes Synesthesia to bill the Mandala 2.0 as a “high-def” drumpad and synthesizer.
The device works off-the-shelf with Mac and Windows music software including Garageband, Ableton Live and Native Instruments‘ Battery and Reaktor, and also includes software that lets players synthesize their own sounds and work with up to five separate pads. More than 100 presets are included.