Couple questions after a week with the Mandalas


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mfaylor
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:56 pm

Couple questions after a week with the Mandalas

Postby mfaylor » Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:48 am

So I've had my 2 mandala drums and synapse for about a week now. Very fun to play. I just have a couple questions that I can't seem to find any answers to online.

First one. Is there something wrong with my edge zone? I have to really whack the hell out of the edge to even get the slightest bit of sound out of it. Center, mid-in, mid-out are solid. But the edge zone is almost non existent and inconsistent. Is this a velocity setting or something like that? If so, what can I do to fix this? I can see on the VB that if I just tap the edge, it shows it triggering. But as I hit harder, the volume stays the same unless I bang it uncomfortably hard.

That's my main concern. There's a bunch of little things too like me having to restart my computer and having to unplug and replug everything in whenever I want to play my mandalas, just so the VB will recognize the mandala. It's very annoying and doesn't seem right.

Then also, where is the synapse software or program? The only cd I got with my order was the VB cd. Does the synapse software pop up when I plug in, say an epedal? I still need to buy an epedal but I wanted to make sure all of this is working correctly first.

So a recap...
What's with the edge zone?
Why is connecting the mandalas such a hassle?
How do I access the synapse software?

I'd really appreciate any kind if help! Thank you!!

launch54321
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:24 pm

Re: Couple questions after a week with the Mandalas

Postby launch54321 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:02 am

The velocity tails off toward the outer edge of the pads and so the way to adjust the feel there is with the velocity curve settings in whatever program you are controlling. If it's the Virtual Brain then you can go under the Shape Tab for the edge zone and change the velocity curve or even draw your own on the Tools page and apply it to the edge zone. If you are using a program like Battery you can adjust curves for any cell.

For connection through your Synapse make sure you have your pads plugged into it then connect the power to the Synapse then connect the USB cable from the Synapse to your computer. Do it in that order. Also if you are Mac look in Applications/Utilities/Audio MIDI Setup in Window>MIDI Window and you will see your pads pop up when you connect the Synapse. There shouldn't be any reason to restart your computer or quit any programs. Just go in the order above and it should be consistent. If anything shows up as 'USB MIDI Device' in Audio MIDI Setup just delete that icon and reconnect.

Synapse Setting software is a download from : http://synesthesiacorp.com/downloads

saucehp
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:45 am

Re: Couple questions after a week with the Mandalas

Postby saucehp » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:07 am

"That's my main concern. There's a bunch of little things too like me having to restart my computer and having to unplug and replug everything in whenever I want to play my mandalas, just so the VB will recognize the mandala. It's very annoying and doesn't seem right. "

I had this issue original myself and still do. The quickest thing to do is create and automation app via Automator on your mac and have it open activity monitor - audio midi - mandala VB. this saves having to click through too much crap. then if you are not getting any connection from the adalas close the app and then quit processes of the midi via activity monitor wait a minute or 2 for it to reconfigure. then rescan devices and open mandala vb again. I have made buttons for all my variations of midi use.
I dont know why but i run into midi issues often on my iMac more often than my older macbook. My td9 via presonus fsmobile sometimes will not respond. I ahve also noted that ableton live always sees my mandalas and td9 even when i replug in i don't have to reset HOwever VB, Battery, Logic and toontrack all have to be reset to see new devices. Yes very annoying.



"First one. Is there something wrong with my edge zone? "

Yes there is. Its made of annoyingly clicky sounding plastic. :-) I ve have added sugru to mine with the intention of finding something more sound absorbant i have seen a few other users doing similar modifications.
In the VB you can adjust the sensitivity of this in the preferences this also may help with your velocity/feel issue. Take note that the base of the mandal then becomes more sensitive as well.
** i have noticed that each instrument/sample responds or at least feels like it responds to velocities differently and have found across platforms a need to settle for a higher velocity than i would like in order to use lower compression settings.

Personal approach note: I have found it more calming and rewarding to treat the mandalas as a single / dual zone pad with cc## control ability and two on off switches - rather than a 6 zone pad. I don't have patience to lay down a grove and hit exact 2 inch zones blindly. Zones 5 and 6 respectively aren't naturally playable in my opinion unless emulating a snare drum - however are these drums not an instrument unto themselves therefore emulation shouldn't be factor.
I use zone 5 and 6 as on off switches for effects or channels allowing me to have theoretically 4 interchangeable sound sources per pad .
For most sounds i have found i'm only using a single or dual zone for percussive sounds to make full use of the cc## approach i use.
**im using ableton live to route all this.

Hope that is of help.