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Full Mandala Kit

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:00 pm
by e11300

I would like to use a Mandala kit with 6 pads and 2 kick triggers(preferable going into the virtual brain) as a live kit .

I previously owned a version 2 pad and had serious problems with latency and sensitivity. Aside from that I really liked it.

Is it possible to have a kit of the above configuration that feels comfortable and has real time response with no perceivable latency. If so, what ios the recommended configuration (what computer, interface, etc) and can this be use as a reliable live kit?


Re: Full Mandala Kit

Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:01 am
by admin
Hello and thank you for your questions. Here is some info for you which hopefully will help...

Latency should never be an issue. That will be a function of your computer and what driver and interface you are using. Always use an ASIO driver if you are Windows. With Mandalas you can get as low as 4ms or less from stick impact to audio out from your machine no matter what software you are triggering (Virtual Brain, Battery, Reason, BFD, etc.) depending on your hardware setup and especially your audio driver settings. Most off-the-shelf Windows PC's/laptops can provide this performance even with no external audio interface as long as you use ASIO4All as a driver. Mac's built-in CoreAudio takes care of that as well. MIDI data exits the Mandala anywhere from .5ms to 1ms after you hit it, so the rest is in the computer.

On the v2, sensitivity was set for very hard playing. Advances have now been made with the membrane technology on the mk2.9 to provide 3 times higher sensitivity than before for soft hits (all 9 bounces now detected when a stick is dropped on the Mandala surface) and still the same overhead for the hardest hits possible. The mk2.9 dynamic range runs from detecting every single bounce of the stick for soft playing to hitting hard enough to break sticks on the hard side.

You can definitely have a kit of Mandalas as you described. The pads are standard USB MIDI controllers and as many as you want can connect through USB hubs to either PC or Mac to trigger any available MIDI software. No special drivers are necessary. Advances have also been made with the mk2.9 USB connection technology so an unlimited number of pads can connect through unpowered USB hubs, even though we recommend powered hubs for extreme cases.

The new Virtual Brain v3 software is built to be triggered by up to 3 Mandalas for complementing an acoustic kit with electronics. Our software is loaded with a large sound library and endless sound making features which highlight the Mandala's full position resolution (0-127 center to edge) not offered by any other pad. If you want to go beyond 3 Mandalas we encourage players to step to programs such as NI Battery 3, as used by Danny Carey on a nightly basis with his 7 Mandalas and a MacBook. Once you become familiar with them, 3rd party programs like that can all take advantage of the Mandala's HD position resolution just as the Virtual Brain can.

Thanks again!

Re: Full Mandala Kit

Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:57 pm
by e11300
Thanks for your response.

So if I want a full kit as described I will need to interface the mandalas to a third party software and then assign sounds to the width and depth of hit manually or is there an interface that connects to the third party software that lessens the tediousness?

Re: Full Mandala Kit

Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:28 pm
by admin
Programs such as Battery 3 are very straightforward as long as the user is familiar with MIDI.

Each 'cell' in Battery is assigned a 'zone' on a Mandala, just as you would with the keys of a MIDI keyboard. Zones are like keys.

Then you drag and drop samples onto the cells to build your kit. You can set the width and depth of each pad to your taste.