Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 19, 2013.

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Convert drum and guitar pedals to USB MIDI to control audio software and plugins. Includes 6 USB inputs. Output fully configurable.

Mandala *SYNAPSE* Hub

For Drummers...AND Keyboard/Synth Players, Guitarists, Composers, DJ's, Singers...

No need to purchase a full-scale electronic drum brain anymore just to connect electronic drum pedals and/or a controller pedal to your computer across USB.  Now there's the Synapse.  Synapse accepts two electronic kick pedals, one electronic hi-hat pedal and one controller pedal and turns their output into USB MIDI so your playing can be sent straight into your computer to control any program you want.  As a bonus there are also six USB inputs to merge all your other USB equipment into the stream (hint: build a full kit of Mandala Drums!).  Actually, you can use those inputs just as you would any standard USB hub (printers, peripherals, etc.).  The Synapse internal USB merging is done by way of a high quality hub that we've integrated into Synapse circuitry.

Mandala Drum and friends such as Danny Carey [Tool drummer] and Ryeland Allison [Composer/Producer] have been playing handmade Synapse pedal technology for years.  It's been working so well and offers such super-low latency that now we want to share it with you, so pledge away and when we reach our funding goal we will have the circuit board professionally fabricated and mounted in a snazzy enclosure to withstand the perils of the stage and studio.

Any electronic kick or hat pedal or controller (volume) pedal that we know of will work with the Synapse.  Each 1/4" pedal input is tunable both digitally and mechanically to the sensitivity you desire, and the MIDI output (note number/velocity curve or controller number) of each pedal is definable by the user with a simple included computer utility application (PC & Mac).

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Here's a demonstration of Synapse setup and usage:

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SCENARIOS

1.  Home Studio Composers - Electronic musical equipment is offering musicians lower costs, more effects, bigger sounds, and the ability to record it all in a home studio.  Now use your feet to trigger sounds and alter effects while your hands are busy playing.

2.  Drummers - Danny Carey says "Any good drummer plays music.  He doesn't just play beats, and he participates in the musical experience."  Danny plays seven Mandala Drums and two e-pedals mixed in with his acoustic drum kit on tour and in the studio.  Synapse is devised from the circuitry that helps him incorporate all his equipment into his vast setup which includes the very best acoustic and electronic gear.

Danny's electronic pedals running through original Synapse circuitry
Danny's electronic pedals running through original Synapse circuitry

3. Guitar Players - If you ever play your guitar through your computer or just straight into your computer (plugins, MainStage, Guitar Rig, etc.) you know how important it would be to have a controller pedal to affect your sound as you play.  Synapse lets you connect any standard volume pedal to your computer and use it to control realtime effects by way of MIDI control input to your programs.

4.  DJ's - For most it's got nothing to do with two turntables and a microphone.  You want the newest tools of the trade integrated into your performance.  Synapse allows you to play USB instruments and use foot pedals to trigger and affect sounds so that you can perform at your highest level.

5.  Singers - Are you sending your vocals through any computer programs to liven up your sound?  Now connect a controller pedal and alter your signal as you sing.  Assign the pedal to different parameters of your effects program to do things like increase reverb, bend pitch, add saturation, etc.

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SPECS

Inputs: two 1/4" inputs for electronic kick pedals, one 1/4" input for electronic hihat pedal, one 1/4" input for controller pedal (most volume pedals work as controller pedals), six USB inputs, one power input (power supply included).

Outputs: one USB output

Size: 4.7" x 4.7" x 1.5"

Weight: ~1.5 lbs

Software: (PC & Mac) downloadable utility allows users to customize Synapse MIDI output of each pedal (eg. note number/velocity curve or controller number). Settings will save to internal Synapse memory.

Here's Danny Carey [Tool] successfully testing the new Synapse circuit:

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HOW WE PROCEED

Upon reaching our funding goal we will proceed by having our Synapse circuitry layout fabricated and assembled by Novodyne Electronics and our enclosures machined by SC Tech and then painted by ColorTec (all local Los Angeles companies).  Then we will assemble and test and ship each unit just like we have done successfully for many products in the past such as the Eyris, Mandala v1, Mandala v2 and Mandala mk2.9.  The entire process should take approximately 8 weeks from funding.

Synapse and all its Pledge Rewards make for great holiday gifts.  We won't be able to ship before the holidays but we'd be happy to notify that special gift recipient by sending them a verification of your pledge on their behalf.  Email us the details (who you are and who gets the gift) at ksgift@synesthesiacorp.com.  Thanks.

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...And here's Danny using his original Synapse circuitry while warming up for a Tool concert:

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The following are legitimate risks that may effect the completion of the Synapse Kickstarter project:

1. Force Mejeure - Conditions beyond Synesthesia Corporation's control including but not limited to acts of God (including earthquakes and tidal waves), government restrictions (including the denial or cancellation of any export or other necessary license), wars, insurrections and/or any other cause beyond the reasonable control of the party whose performance is affected.

2. Supplier risk - Synesthesia has worked previously with all involved suppliers in producing finished products for the mass market. Synesthesia has also taken the precaution of having more than one supplier for each component. However, there is always a possibility that the production plan will be affected by trouble that arises in connection with the procurement of components.

FAQ

  • We've attracted some new people to Kickstarter with the Synapse, so we should give some explanation of how it works. You pledge money to help us make the Synapse a reality, but you only get charged the amount of your pledge IF we reach our funding goal of $12,000. Amazon, acting as the bank, will charge you on the final day of our project and then release the money to us so we can build and ship the Synapse units and other rewards to you, the "Backers". In the unlikely event that we do not reach our goal, you do not get charged.

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  • Most standard eKick and eHat pedals (such as any that work with Roland and Yamaha and Alesis eDrum modules) will work well with the Synapse. Send those pedals through a Synapse to trigger samples in your favorite audio software.

    Most any standard volume pedal can connect to the Synapse Controller Input (and the Hihat Input!) and the Synapse will convert those pedals into MIDI controllers to control all of your favorite audio software such as effects plugins in Logic, ProTools, MainStage, LIVE, etc. Controller pedals are great for guitarists, bass players, keyboard/synth players and singers to control their sound in realtime as they perform.

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  • Two reasons:

    1. SYNAPSE will be the only brain/hub type device on the market that accurately converts controller/eKick/eHat pedals into USB MIDI as well as merges up to six USB devices and sends all of it straight into any popular audio software by way of USB.

    2. Because it is the future! A laptop computer equipped with workstation programs and software plugins can make for a powerful recording studio right in your own home. Music production software has been one of the fastest growing segments of the musical instrument industry and it has changed the way we create, edit, and share music. The simplicity, variety and affordability of electronic and USB MIDI instruments combined with software and sound libraries is helping fulfill the world's desire for more and more music in our everyday lives, from hobby to livelihood.

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  • MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It is a specification designed in the early 1980s by Dave Smith as a way to digitally represent musical information. MIDI is a construction of digital patterns that represent musical hardware events like "key up", "key down", "controller pedal position 0-127", etc. and MIDI is a part of almost all electronic instruments and effects and audio programs in existence. We respect MIDI because it allows all kinds of musical instruments and controllers and computers to connect and speak to each other, but we are excited at the thought of what is to come beyond MIDI.

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  • Yes, everything on our Kickstarter page will be under the same terms as our standard warranty statement found here: http://synesthesiacorp.com/warranty

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94
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$18,258
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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    1 backer

    You will receive Limited Edition Mandala Drum stickers and our personal thank you in print! Free Shipping in USA.

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    You will receive a pair of Limited Edition Mandala Drum drumsticks and our personal thank you in print! Free Shipping in USA.

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    5 backers

    You will receive a Limited Edition Mandala Drum T-shirt, Limited Edition Mandala Drum stickers, and our personal thank you in print! Free Shipping in USA.

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    11 backers Limited (14 left of 25)

    You will receive one Danny Carey [drummer for Tool!] drumstick previously played to destruction by Danny himself, Limited Edition Mandala Drum stickers, and our personal thank you in print! Free Shipping in USA.

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    You will receive a first edition Mandala *Synapse* hub before they are available anywhere else and our personal thank you in print! Free Shipping in USA.

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    You will receive a first edition Mandala *Synapse* hub before they are available anywhere else and our personal thank you in print! Free Shipping in USA.

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    4 backers

    You will receive a first edition Mandala *Synapse* hub before they are available anywhere else, a Limited Edition Mandala Drum T-shirt, Mandala Drum stickers, and our personal thank you in print! Free Shipping in USA.

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    8 backers

    An important part of the Synapse ecosystem is USB instruments. You will receive a Mandala Drum mk2.9 USB instrument (including: drum pad, Virtual Brain v3 software, standard drumsticks and USB cable), Mandala stickers, and our personal thank you in print! Free Shipping in USA.

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    12 backers

    You will receive a first edition Mandala *Synapse* hub before they are available anywhere else, a Mandala Drum mk2.9 (including: drum pad, Virtual Brain v3 software, standard drumsticks and USB cable), a Limited Edition Mandala Drum T-shirt, Mandala Drum stickers, and our personal thank you in print! Free Shipping in USA.

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Funding period

- (45 days)