Mandala Multi-Zone Digital Drum

Hope you’ve been practicing your paradiddles. Synesthesia today unveiled a new digital drum pad called the Mandala. Compromising the drum trigger itself and a “brain” that handles MIDI configuration and produces sound, the Mandala lets you play either internal sound presets or external MIDI devices and soft synths on an 11″ circular playing area. Pick up some sticks, strike away, and you get 7 independent zones of MIDI data, so you can assemble a very sophisticated performance with this device alone. TOOL’s Danny Carey was involved in the instrument’s development, and the company Synesthesia has a background in building sensors …

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NAMM Drum Heaven: Zendrum Hand Percussion Controller + BFD

One of the most impressive instruments at NAMM this year wasn’t new: it was the Zendrum, a spectacular handmade MIDI drum controller. The Zendrum has been evolving gradually since the 1980s, but it’s brought to life by the latest drum samples in FXpansion‘s BFD drum sample library. That’s the fascinating thing that’s happening: as sample libraries get better, they become more demanding of controllers, and visa versa. Careful velocity sensitivity in the BFD samples (FXpansion were showing a new expansion pack) made the slightest tap on the Zendrum incredibly sensitive and realistic. Shown here: John Emrich, drummer, Zendrummer, and creator …

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NAMM: Korg padKONTROL, Perfect Drum Trigger?

Sometimes you wish you could just take something off the NAMM show floor and put it in your suitcase. Such was the case with the padKONTROL, 4×4 triggering hardware from Korg complete with an X/Y touchpad and incredible customizability. Why am I thinking about this now? Because I sure could use it on some tracks I’m working on at the moment.

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M-Audio News: More Pro Tools Compatibility, Trigger Finger Shipping

One of the hottest pieces of hardware gear covered at CDM (at least according to our hit counts on CDM’s original report) is now shipping. M-Audio’s Trigger Finger, a USB/MIDI control surface with 16 pressure-sensitive drum pads, 4 faders, and 8 knobs, is in stock at major outlets. I’ve tried it, and it feels great. Add in templates for Reason and Live (among others), and I’m completely sold. This thing looks like too much fun. Music123.com has it for US$199; so does Musician’s Friend. In other M-Audio news, Pro Tools now works with all M-Audio Delta PCI and FireWire interfaces. …

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Body Pads: Play Your Thighs [Updated]

Using piezo-electric sensors or specialized drum pads, you can turn acoustic drums into triggers, then convert that signal to MIDI. But why stop there, when your legs are just waiting to be slapped? To use your legs as a trigger, you’ll want a fairly sensitive sensor — standard drum triggers would require you to hit your legs with your sticks. Hard. (Though you might be into that; I don’t know.) The Pulse BD-1 Body Pad Drum Trigger is supposedly designed just for the purpose of strapping a trigger to your body. They’re ugly as hell (check the geeky product shots). …

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