CES 2008: Drum Kits For All

If you've always longed to have your own drum kit, your wish is about to be answered.

The doors have now closed on the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show, but there was one last thing I wanted to mention. Hidden away between the main display area and restaurant at Lunch at Piero’s was a company called Synesthia showing off its Mandala 2.0 High-Def Drum & Synth. I for one, always wanted a drum kit when I was a kid, and unlike some people (yes, I mean you Andy) my parents didn’t indulge me and get me one. As a result, I’ve never really got that need out of my system, so seeing the Mandala 2.0 rekindled that desire.

What Synesthesia has created is a drum pad that connects directly to your computer via USB. The sound can then be pumped directly out of your computer’s line-out or headphone jack to a set of speakers or headphones. But the Mandala 2.0 is more than a digital drum, in fact it has the flexibility to be almost anything. You can load pretty much any samples into the Mandala 2.0, meaning it can sound like a snare drum, a bass drum, or even a piano if you so desired.

Even more clever is that the surface of the Mandala 2.0 can be split into different zones and you can apply different instruments to each zone, effectively giving you an entire drum kit on a single pad. The pad itself is very responsive and easy to play, while the software driving it is simple, yet powerful. You can even upload your own samples to the Synesthesia website and share them with other users.

The Mandala 2.0 should be hitting UK shores soon, so expect a full review as soon as I get my paws (or should that be sticks) on a sample.

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