I invented the Manta in 2008, and first released it as a product with my company, Snyderphonics, in 2009.
I described the technology involved in this paper for the NIME conference, Snyderphonics Manta, a Novel USB Touch- Controller
It is also described in my dissertation, "Exploration of an Adaptive Just Intonation System".
The Manta appears in the pieces Concerning the Nature of Things, Undeciphered Writing, Modules, all of the exclusiveOr albums, and much of my own improvisation work.
Featuring 48 touch sensors in a 6x8 hexagonal array, the Snyderphonics Manta is a striking controller option for the aesthete electronic musician. Inspired by the arbitrary surface design philosophy of Don Buchla, the controller uses a grid of touch sensors to revolutionize the way the musician interacts with their instrument—using velocity and polyphonic aftertouch to create a completely individual playing experience.
The Manta also includes four touch-sensing function buttons along with two touch sliders to enable even more options to explore. Additionally the buttons and hexagonal touch array feature red and amber user-assignable LED feedback which gives yet another layer of depth and interaction to the instrument.
The Manta produces serial data as a HID device giving the unit absolute flexibility to work with any software of the artist's choice. Use it with a dedicated Max/MSP object, or simply use the appropriate conversion software to translate the MIDI, OSC, and more—thus making the Manta one of the most innovative and interesting interfaces around.
Jeff Snyder Manta / MantaMate improvisation excerpt from October 2020.
Jeff Snyder dual Manta / MantaMate improvisation excerpt from November 2020.
Sam Pluta and Peter Evans improvisation performance at Roulette (Pluta playing the Manta)
Modules live performance. (Pluta playing the Manta)
Jeff Snyder shouts about the Manta over the din of the Superbooth modular synthesizer tradeshow.