July 2, 2008
Synesthesia Releases ‘EZ Version’ of Mandala’s Virtual Brain Software
Stepping Stone Approach Brings Electronic Drumming and Music Within Anyone's Reach - No Computer or Audio Knowledge Necessary
Edge Communications, Inc.
Synesthesia Corp. (http://www.mandaladrum.com) today announced the release of a new EZ Version of its Virtual Brain software, designed to allow anyone - even those with no musical or technical knowledge - to be able to make music using the company's wildly popular, patented high-def drum and synthesizer, the Mandala 2.0. The EZ Version will be available starting Thursday, July 3.
"If you can listen to a QuickTime movie or iTunes on your computer, then this software will make sound for you - there's nothing more you need to do except install it onto your computer," said Vince De Franco, Synesthesia founder and CEO, and inventor of the Mandala.
The software comes with 75 presets offering pre-arranged musical combos, with self-explanatory names like piano only, piano scale, piano and bass, snare only, snare + position pitch, snare + velocity pitch, etc.
The software automatically detects and configures the Mandala. With the "help" function activated, the EZ software provides rollovers to explain everything that appears on the screen, helping users change the pre-configured settings if they want: they can choose instrument combinations (drawing from sounds and instruments that are built into the computer already), configure up to four different zones of sound across the drum pad, choose scales, modify sound effects and more.
The EZ Version also has:
-- 175 instruments and drums (accessed from within Windows or Mac operating systems)
-- One operating window for ease of use
-- 21 musical scale choices, and nine scale pattern choices
-- Three different adjustable sound effects: pitch, pan and modulation
-- The ability to alter sound effects with strike position and velocity
-- Graphic representation of zone strikes and position ring strikes, so users can see the various zones of sound across the drum pad
-- Ability to save new presets
-- A panic button to immediately stop all sound
-- A "Get Started" button takes users directly to the Mandala Virtual Brain EZ Webpage for help and updates
"There are a lot of features in our standard Virtual Brain software that only advanced players would want to use," said De Franco. "So we've created a lighter version that streamlines the core function of the software, while maintaining the features that have made the Mandala so popular with beginners and pros alike."
Both the EZ and Standard Versions of the Virtual Brain software will be included with every Mandala; both are available online for free download at http://www.mandaladrum.com. In fact, even without buying the Mandala, anyone can download the software and tinker with it - on its own, or with other PC or Mac-compatible musical devices.
Whenever they're ready, players using the EZ Version can step up to the standard version of the Virtual Brain software. It includes 10x more sound effects, can handle up to five different drums plugged into the computer, increases the range to seven configurable zones of sound per drum pad, and comes with a custom library of professionally produced, proprietary sound samples derived from more than 100 other instruments. It's professional audio software, allowing players to synthesize a host of new sounds and expand their drum kits and sample libraries at will.
Synesthesia also is producing a series of video tutorials for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. The company will make them available on its website and on YouTube later this year. The series of videos will walk users through the entire process of using the Mandala - from physically connecting the drum to a computer, to using the EZ software, on through to setting up advanced audio techniques using the pro version of the Virtual Brain software.
The Mandala 2.0 retails for $349, and is available online at http://mandaladrum.com. Each Mandala is hand-crafted and thoroughly tested before it is shipped.
Synesthesia Corporation (http://www.synesthesiacorp.com) is exploring new sonic terrain with the Mandala(TM), its patented high- def drum and synthesizer - the only electronic drum that faithfully emulates an acoustic drum, and then transcends it. A new kind of synthesizer, the Mandala offers the world's fastest trigger, precise strike detection across the entire pad, and a musical range so wide it can be the top of the line Black Beauty(R) Snare Drum or virtually any other instrument imaginable. The Mandala plugs into PC or Mac via USB cable, and works seamlessly with most major mixing programs. Co-developed with professional drummer Danny Carey of Tool, Mandalas are used by professionals and hobbyists the world over. Vince De Franco - inventor, physicist and musician - founded Synesthesia to develop his state-of-the-art electronic sensor technology and to use it to create products that inspire imagination and exploration. Based in Laurel Canyon, Calif., the company currently has several other products in development.
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