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>> Hey! I'm Donald Bell, Senior Editor for Digital audio and MP3 and today we're taking a first look at the Synesthesia Mandala USB 2.0 drum pad. This is a virtual drum pad that comes with both the hardware and the software that you can run to have a really interesting practice pad. It's also really cool to create a solution for musicians who wanna have a tool that can transform a simple-looking drum pad into an instrument that can trigger multiple instruments based on where you hit the drum pad. About 350 dollars comes with a metal bracket mount for mounting this to a drum stand and adjusts to low USB jack on the side. There is no media output. No audio output. This is basically just a dumb controller that you connect to a computer. The computer is in charge of making all the sound but there's a lot of technology that goes in the pad that is pretty interesting. There is, actually, within the pad 7 different zones. If you hit it in a different area of the pad can trigger a different sound or a different sample. Software can detect not only how hard you're hitting the pad but where you're hitting the pad and trigger a sample. Things we like about the Mandala USB pad is that is really well built. The software is pretty deep. You can do a lot with the 2 pieces of software that come with it; one is called the "Beauty" snare drum. The other application that comes with it is this called the Mandala brain. Things we didn't like about the Mandala's pad so much is that the software is a little bit difficult to set up and the other thing that we're less than told about is the fact that it's kind of a close system. There is a USB output on here but you can't use this with the media output with a different desynthesizer or a larger drum rig. If you want to expand on this system, you're probably going to be buying other things made by the same company. But beyond that, it's a lot of fun. It's kind of a high price but if your weekend with a drummer and you love having access to a lot of different sounds, a lot of cool toys, this could be just the thing for you. So, I'm Donald Bell, and that was a first look at the Synesthesia Mandala USB drum pad.
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