Pipes is the latest product from Synesthesia Corp, the minds behind The Mandala, The Eyris, and the Dimension Beam. Pipes is the culmination of years of research and development on sampling, triggering and creating the most original, unique music via the smartest tools. 

Because Pipes is something bigger and bolder, aimed at a much wider audience, the team behind Pipes has decided to crowd source the capital needed to deliver the most robust and feature-filled product possible. This is more than just an instrument, it's a collaborative computer built on an open source platform, capable of enhancements and upgrades via new software which can be developed both by the manufacturer and the community of Pipes users. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to develop and ideate with consumers as we grow. 

Watch the live demo from the 2018 NAMM show to see and hear Pipes in action!



The NAMM show was a great success, many audio professionals were impressed by what they saw, and feedback was overwhelmingly positive! We're hard at work finishing up the programming necessary to deliver the best user experience we can imagine.

We have a complete working prototype called The Black Box, with a 5" touch screen running the latest version of PipesOS. It has almost all of the functionality promised in the version we'll release when we hit our goals. What's missing is the custom hardware enclosure and the assignable, variable infinity knob/button. Short of that, everything else is almost ready to go.

We have three new t-shirt designs and you can sport these right now by heading over to our Threadless store. Help support Pipes and look cool in one smooth move. 


The Team


Vince De Franco


Vincent De Franco’s career straddles 25 years of engineering advanced sensor technologies, as well as collaborating with some of the world’s most renowned musical artists, to test and develop the inventions that are shaping the modern musical frontier.

Inventions and Technologies

De Franco is the inventor behind the Dimension Beam (later licensed to Roland Corp. as the D-Beam) which was first popularized by artists such as U2, Peter Gabriel, Yes, Stevie Wonder, and TOOL. The Dimension Beam was immediately adopted by artists of all mediums, including visual architect Marcos Novak who used the technology in his installation at Venice Biennale, Greek Pavilion in 2000 – a project that De Franco also consulted on.

His works have also spanned into the field of psychology, including collaborations with the renowned Dr. Timothy Leary developing software and online systems such as ConsciousNet, Leary.com, and research for the book Chaos & Cyber Culture.

The Mandala

De Franco’s true passion is to apply his technologies and expertise to mainstream music. His skills as an engineer helped make tracks and albums by Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Prince, Mariah Carey, and Seal. He’s also produced, audio engineered, and performed on tracks and albums by TOOL, as well as played with them live in concert as a synthesizer player. 

It was while working with TOOL’s drummer Danny Carey that De Franco conceived of and created the Mandala, the only electronic instrument of its kind that senses both strike position and the intensity with which it is struck. 

The Mandala translates touch and movement into control signals for producing sound, and radically changes the way people learn to play an instrument by tapping into their intuitive musical abilities, as opposed to traditional methods for learning to play an instrument.

Pipes Midi is the latest groundbreaking creation from De Franco. It is THE sound engine for all music makers. From perfectly sampled instruments to new sounds of your own imagining, Pipes is a tool that translates your expressions and inspirations into sound. 


Luke Henderson


In 2007, Vince brought on Luke Henderson, a good friend and financier. Luke had been an equity trader on Wall Street for 15 years and was looking to get into venture capital when the opportunity to build the Mandala Brand lured him to the West Coast.

After Wall Street, and prior to answering the call to California, Luke set out on an adventure to sail around Cape Horn. He found a steel hulled, 36 foot sloop in Cape Town South Africa called The Shangri-La that would carry him across the South Atlantic and around the continent of South America in 2005.

Always up for an adventure Luke settled in Los Angeles to help Vince De Franco create new products and instruments for musicians, while focusing his efforts on bringing order and scale to the musical Instrument industry that he sees as inefficient, fragmented, and rudderless.


Cosmo Jones


Cosmo is a partner at the New York based ad agency The Boathouse, leading brand campaigns for both established clients like Apple, RCN, and Nike as well as disruptors like Vroom, Betterment, HitRecord and now Pipes. 

Cosmo has a background in both traditional product design as well as digital design, all of which is brought to bear in order to create the branding, marketing collateral, website, and UI/UX touchscreen designs for Pipes. He is also a founding member of Xomad, the leading influencer marketing agency.

In addition to his design and marketing skillset, Cosmo is an avid circuit bender enthusiast, as well as a former touring musician for artists like Scott Weiland, Macy Gray, The Adolescents and more. He is the founding member and majority shareholder of BedrockLA, East LA's biggest and best music services company, taking up 40,000sf and serving 2500 musicians every week. Bedrock boasts a Grammy award, and Cosmo has a collection of Webbys, Daveys and an Emmy nomination for his design work. 


The Advisors


Chris Pitman


Chris is a long time friend of Vince and Synesthesia and has advised their creations over the years, including offering his expansive real world knowledge and experience as a top keyboard and synth player to the functionality and presentation of Pipes..

One of the top synth players today known for his work with Guns N Roses and Tool, Chris has consulted for many of the top companies creating synthesizers and keyboards. His real world knowledge of producing and touring for long stints provides valuable feedback in creating the best possible product to endure whatever he decides to throw at it.


Danny Carey

Drummer / tall person

Danny has been a key player in the the creation of Synesthesia technology from before the company was formed and continues to inspire creativity in the company by way of his intense knowledge of sound creation and its application to Pipes.

When Danny is not playing with Tool you can find him playing with VOLTO! and numerous other collaborations, as drummers with skills like Danny are always in high demand. 


Morgan Hendry

rocket surgeON / top secret badge holder

Morgan has been involved with Synesthesia's Mandala Drum since its early days and has applied his rocket scientist drummer and synth knowhow to the feature development of Pipes.

We're not even kidding a little. Morgan is an Astronautical Engineer working for a big rocket laboratory you've heard of for sure. He's also a drummer, and an analog modular synth wizard when he isn't building machinery that lives in outer space and on other planets. 


Garth Hjelte

king of sample conversion

Garth was instrumental in the technical aspect of defining the MDA digital container file format spec and writing code for the MDA compiler, and he is making the compatibility of other sample formats and sample collections with Pipes a reality.

Garth is the founder of Chicken Systems which provides samples in both grilled and fried formats. Actually, no chickens are harmed in the creation of software which lets you maximize your sample capabilities. Check it out...


Ryeland Allison

PRODUCER / engineer / writer / player

Ryeland’s lifelong passion for all things musical and technical has made him a great ally and collaborator with Vince and Synesthesia since the early days. Several Tweakers in Pipes even contain the spirit of Vince's sound programming concepts dating back to their two man electro-rock experiment called Engine Ear.

From huge selling sonic sample libraries to production and compositional tasks at Hans Zimmer's Remote Control Productions to pop star remixes and live tours, Ryeland is a force in the world of sound and music!