GadgetGrrl: Electronic Drum Review - TheStreet

Mandala Drum
$349

Just because you're serious about doing business doesn't mean you can't still get your groove on, and that's where the Mandala drum comes in.

This unique device is a plug-and-play, high-definition electronic drum and synthesizer for your PC or Mac.

The difference between the Mandala and an electric drum pad is that the Mandala has a virtual brain. It actually detects where you're hitting it and determines, on the basis of how hard you are hitting the pad, which triggers to employ.

I especially liked the ability for customization of this device. You can create your own sound triggers, and you don't have to have any musical ability (aside from the ability to hear) to use it.

I've never been able to master guitar, so to be able to play the Mandala and sound like I was playing guitar felt as though I could do something I would probably never get around to doing.

To get started, you might want to plug it into your PC or Mac and play along with one of your favorite tunes. Once you get the hang of it, and it's not difficult to do, it's amazing how many sounds, music and effects you can create. If you shoot company or personal videos, this would make a great asset to your audio/video arsenal.

You'll need at least 1G of RAM to run the Mandala. If you're already familiar with GarageBand or other similar programs such as Logic, Battery or Live, this should be a snap for you to master.

Phantom

$129.95

For even more fun, try out the Phantom Lapboard.

Again, this is a truly unique treatment on a device that many of us have been using for years. However, unlike many other wireless keyboard and laser mouse combos, this one has a keyboard that rotates 360 degrees and can incline on a 22-degree angle. This way, left- or right-handed users can move the board to make it easier to use.

I've never used a keyboard like this, so it's different at first -- but very comfortable, especially for gaming or surfing the Web while relaxing at home. In fact, although it was originally designed for gamers, you might like this for business between games as well.

The Lapboard is currently sold out, according to the company's Web site -- so check back if it sounds appealing to you.

Site to See

Broadway Rush and SRO Policies

If you happen to be traveling to the New York City area, here is a great list of all the do's and don'ts for obtaining last-minute theater tickets. If you also happen to be a student, this site could come in handy. Please note, many of the theaters require a student I.D. and insist on cash payment.

And if you're willing to stand throughout the performance, there may be the opportunity, provided the show is sold out, to do just that.

Diana Forbes is a Los Angeles-based writer and media personality. Her "Gadget Grrl" reviews appear in various national print and online publications, and she demonstrates consumer products on national and local television shows. Click

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