Buying a "Hang Drum" - Second Life Style

Can’t find/afford a ‘Hang Drum’ in ‘real’ life? If the answer is yes, then you’re far from alone. But, should you be a fan of ‘Second Life’, the massive online virtual world created by ‘Linden Lab', that allows ‘players’ to literally live out a second life online, then worry no more. Your search is over. Virtually.

To some, Second Life is not considered to be a computer ‘game’, but rather a ‘virtual world’, due to the fact that there is no set mission, or objective. And ‘players’ live their lives through highly customisable avatars. That, in addition to many other activities, are able to use the game worlds internal currency, the ‘Linden dollar’, to buy, sell, rent or trade land or goods and services with other users.

Virtual goods include buildings, vehicles, devices of all kinds, animations, clothing, skin, hair, jewelry, flora and fauna, and works of art. And now, thanks to (as far as I can tell) a guy called ‘Stuart Grainger’, you can buy a virtual ‘Hang Drum’ for your avatar, within the Second Life world.

Available in mark 1, and mark 2 versions, in a steel, copper, or gold finish, and utilising either slap, edge, or mid, tonal ranges, the Second Life Hang drum are available for the price of L$695 upwards. Which as far as I can tell is around $3 - $4 in ‘real’ money. And like an iPhone Hang app, these virtual Hang drum are actually playable too, using the left mouse button to activate the notes.  Bringing some Tron style Hang-love to the pixelated people inside your computer.

So if you’re a Second Life fan looking to bring a little Hang magic into your virtual life, you can visit the HangDrumSL store: HERE.

Or alternatively, (and it doesn’t seem to be operational at the time of writing), you could try visiting the HangDrumSL website: HERE, for more information.

Genesis HandPan - of Dave’s Island Instruments

Genesis HandPan

Genesis Symphonette

(!) This post may now be out of date - but has been left published for archive purposes.  It may still prove to be of interest, but some (or all) details may now be out of date (!).

An increasingly sweet sounding ‘brand’ of HandPan, ‘Genesis HandPan’, are produced by ‘Dave Beery’, of ‘Daves Island Instruments’ (and SmartyPans). Dave Beery is a professional Pan maker, and tuner. With over fifteen years of experience in his trade. Dave specialises in custom pan creation, and pan tuning. And is also the author of the comprehensive instructional videos: ‘How to Make Your Own Steel Drum’, and ‘Tuning, Tuning, Tuning!’ And the Genesis HandPan has fast become something of a rising star within the world of HandPan.

Not to be confused with the Genesis model of ‘Halo’ produced by ‘Pantheon Steel’, Dave’s Genesis HandPan are (I believe) Crafted from 55 gallon steel barrels, in the manner typical of traditional steel pan. And in addition to the full barrel-sized Genesis HandPan, Dave Beery also offers a smaller, more travel-friendly ‘Symphonette’ model - my personal favorite of the more diminutive-sized HandPan available.

At time of writing Genesis HandPan do not utilize the ever popular heat treatment known as ‘nitriding’, (!update - recent instruments are nitrided) with Dave instead favoring such finishes as brass-plating, and powder-coating. Sized at approx 23.5 inches in diameter, and 11 inches deep for the ‘full-size’ model,(with the Symphonette having an 18 inch diameter), Genesis HandPan are priced around the $1100-$1500 mark (depending on size, finish, and scale). And while custom scales may be possible by contacting Dave, they are as standard, offered in three different sound models:

1. Earth (D) A, Bb, C, D, E, F, A
2. Gypsy (E) A, B, C, D, E, F, G#
3. Asia. (E) A, C, D, E, G, A, C
You can find more information by visiting the Dave's Island Instruments Website:HERE, or you can watch more videos over at their YouTube channel: HERE
Or alternatively, you can usually keep up-to-date on the latest developments over at the forums: HERE

Starseeds Steel Tongue Drums - “They Came From Outer Space!”

Some of you will know that while the word ‘HandPan” has now been widely adopted as the descriptive name for Hang, and ‘Hang-inspired’ instruments, PANArt themselves prefer to refer to their own creation as a ‘sound sculpture’. And while the Hang-inspired instrument group known generally as either ‘Hank drums’, or ‘Steel Tongue Drums’, (especially those made from propane gas tanks) have taken on a fairly uniform style since their creation, the ‘Starseeds’ steel tongue drum range (initially known as 'TerraTonguez'), created by ‘TerraTonz’, a collective of artists, musicians, and tuners, for me, very much step away from being a purely functional tool for creating music, and back into the grounds of being unique, and beautiful, sound sculptures in their own right.

“In sound and structure, each Starseed tells a story which simultaneously reflects the hearts of its makers, the spirit of its player and the energy of the ever-shifting world we share.” states the TerraTonz website, and it’s not hard to see that this is true. With each Starseeds drum having its own unique personal name, finish and scale.

Led by ‘C.Panman’, the TerraTonz collective are based in Northwest Georgia, and their aim is to bring the positive vibrations of their instruments to as many people as possible, at a reasonable price. And in addition to their beautiful Starseeds (the ‘Vortex Nebula’ of which is now very near the top of my Christmas wish list), TerraTonz also produce their own HandPans (currently known as the 'UFO HandPan).

For more information, to stare longingly at these magnificent-looking sound sculptures, or perhaps most importantly, to hear them sing, visit the TerraTonz website: HERE.
Or alternatively, connect with TerraTonz via their Facebook page, or via their YouTube channel.

Getting a Hang / HandPan Retuned - ECS Steel Drums

The problem of where to get your PANArt Hang tuned has long been an issue for those who bought theirs within the secondhand market (should they have paid more than the original purchase price), with PANArt having declared years back now, that they would refuse to re-tune any such Hanghang. But recently, with PANArt having now also stated that they would no longer be offering a retuning service for ANY of their creations (at time of writing), this has now become a bigger problem for all Hanghang owners, including now even for those who had previously adhered to all of PANArts guidelines, than ever before.

Which is why, the featured video in this post, will be of great interest to Hanghang owners worldwide (and particularly for those close to, or within Germany). Due to the service it demonstrates, as a way, and potential place, where those whose Hang are now sounding a little worse for ware, can bring them back to the way they were meant to sound (or as close as can be achieved without the aid of PANArt themselves).

ECS Steel Drums

Based in Germany, ECS Steel Drums have been retuning the Hang of those unable to have them retuned by PANArt for a while now. And it seems as if practise, has as it usually does, paid off for them. With several reports stating that not only do Hang retuned by ECS Steel drums sound far better than when submitted to them in their detuned state, but additionally, some have even claimed that when their Hang have been returned to them by ECS, they’ve sung even more beautifully than when they were originally purchased brand new.  

Which when combined with evidence of Caisa Bill retuning a Disco Armonico, and Kyle of Pantheon Steel working his magic on a Bali Steel Pan, both to levels superior to their original state. Means that the generally accepted belief that sending your HandPan back to the original maker for re-tuning, as always being the best thing to do, may not always hold true.

Something that is not only of interest to Hanghang owners, but also to HandPan owners in general, where, for a variety of reasons, not least of which is shipping costs, having a skilled, and competent tuner, a little nearer to hand, could prove incredibly useful.

Have a Hang / HandPan that could use a re-tune: Contact ECS Steel Drums for more info.
More: Steel Pan Makers and Tuners Worldwide

[EDIT] - Discussion on HandPan tuners at HERE

The Easytone PAN - A Meditation HandPan?

[UPDATE] This page can now be considered an historical reference.  A few 'Easytone' HandPan appeared during 2011.  But there was very little information, and while I can't say with 100% certainty, it is my personal belief that Easytone HandPan were actually SunPan, re-named by a YouTube re-seller.

[Original Post - now outdated]

With little more than a single lone YouTube video to go on at time of writing, there is very little to tell about the ‘Easytone PAN’.

What we do know:

* The Easytone PAN appears to be a new HandPan/Hang-inspired instrument.
* It’s sounding good.
* The Easytone PAN video was uploaded by YouTube user ‘Meditationtone’.
* Like the Caisa, and the SunPAN, the Easytone PAN appears to be made in Germany.
* The uploader of the video appears to be selling ‘meditation pans’ that they make, suggesting that they may (or may in the future) also be selling Easytone PANS as well.
* On the users video entitled ‘Meditations Pan for Sale’, in the description we find the message: “Don't hesitate to ask us. “

* [EDIT] The seller now seems to be offering at least two types of HandPan for sale, the Easytone pan (as seen in the video), and a more 'refined', Hang-style HandPan called the 'Pan Harp'.

And currently, that’s about it.

As always, if you're interested in following this, to see if it develops to fruition, the best thing to do is to subscribe to the users YouTube channel. Which you can do: HERE.

© HandPans Magazine