The first Snyderphonics product is the Manta, a touch-sensitive interface for controlling music or video.   Each sensor in the hexagonal array knows exactly how much surface area your finger is covering, and this data can be routed to any audio or video parameter you choose.

photo credit: Vlad Spears

For instance, you could assign each sensor to a note in a musical scale, and route the surface-area data from each sensor to control the volume of that particular note. Play a chord, and you can control the volume of the different notes of the chord independently with your fingers. Alternatively, you could set each sensor to correspond to a video file, and fade between videos dynamically with your fingers.

The Manta also outputs centroid data to turn the Manta into a large X-Y multitouch surface, for applications that don't require discrimination between discrete sensors. For instance, you could have the Y axis be pitch, the X axis be timbre, and the size of the point of contact (determined by whether you have your finger or your whole hand on the surface) be the volume of the note, and have a very hands-on performance synthesizer.

The Manta also features LED backlighting on each sensor, and all of these LEDs are controllable from the host computer. In addition to giving additional feedback when a sensor is pressed (the default setting), this allows you use the sensors as displays for information the computer is using, like the current stage of a step sequencer. All 48 hexagonal sensors and the four circular function butters have LED backlighting, and each of the two touch sliders has an 8-LED indicator strip. All of these 68 LEDs are controllable from the computer.


* 48 touch sensors in a 6 X 8 hexagonal array - each sensor can independently send both continuous control data and note-on/off events with velocity sensitivity simultaneously

* 2 assignable touch sliders

* 4 assignable touch-sensing function buttons with LED feedback - can be either momentary or latching

* USB device, showing up as a HID (Human Interface Device) to the operating system, and therefore will operate on Mac OS X, Windows (XP or Vista) and Linux without special drivers

* USB bus-powered - no additional power supply is needed. Peak current requirement is around 400mA, so if it's powered by a hub, the hub will need to be plugged in

* 68 user-controllable LEDs

* sturdy handmade wooden casing

* slim profile, 9.75" X 11.6" X 11/32" with no protruding knobs, buttons or sliders - fits in most laptop cases even with a laptop

* comes with a protective padded sleeve case

* low latency operation - around 5 ms

* completely made in the USA - including PCB fabrication, assembly, and woodworking

* electronics made to ROHS specifications (lead-free and without hazardous substances)

The Manta is easy to use as an input for software like Max/MSP or Supercollider, and a free program is provided with the Manta that allows any sensor to be routed to any MIDInote or continuous controller for interfacing with standard software like Abelton Live, Kontakt, Reason, Logic, or Digital Performer. The current run of Mantas is sold out, as of December 2014. A new run of Mantas is scheduled to come out in the Spring of 2015. order page.