Now you can drum it up via USB with this digital drum called a Mandala. You can use thousands of samples to make this drum sound like anything from a Zildjian to a steel drum. I will be getting a hands on next week at CES and will be posting a more detailed review. Here’s the official release info:
It?s the remarkable result of a pairing made in musical heaven (read; Laurel Canyon ? engineering genius Vince De Franco and Tool drummer Danny Carey. In its original incarnation, the Mandala electronic drumpad was a niche (some would say ?cult?) product aimed at professional musicians, powered by a dedicated controller and equipped with a $1,000 price tag.
That was then. New for 2008, Mandala 2.0 is computer peripheral, linked to a PC or a Mac through a USB port — and available at a third the price of its predecessor. The unit, from Synesthesia (http://www.synesthesiacorp.com), still looks like a drum — and is in fact the most advanced electronic drum ever devised ? but can sound like any instrument on the planet. Mandala 2.0 delivers astonishing audio range ? via proprietary sampling techniques, derived from more than 100 instruments ? with a drum pad so sensitive it responds to a fingertip touch.