Heat Treatments and HandPan Colouration

You may have noticed that while HandPan do come in various different colours, the most common colouration for a HandPan is a blueish / greyish hue - and there is reason for this.  Most (if not all) HandPan undergo heat treatments as part of their creation process, and it is these heat treatments that (unless other means are used to artificially colour the instrument) are responsible for the colour of the HandPan.  

The colouration itself is primarily a side-effect of the heat treatments upon the steel from which the HandPan is formed, with the heat treatments being used to modify the strength of the raw steel, by exposing it to specific temperatures, in a prescribed manner.  And the colour is formed from an oxide-layer that forms upon the steel during the heating process.

As mentioned before a blueish hue is among the most common to HandPan, and we can see from the chart (right) that this occurs at around 575°F / 302°C.  An interesting example of different temperatures used in these heat treatments affecting the final colouration of HandPan can be seen in the work of Pantheon Steel.  Earlier generation Halo all exhibited a strong blue colouration, while more recent examples (at time of posting) display a more golden-brown to purple finish - showing that the temperature of the heat treatments used in the creation of more recent Halo, are somewhat lower.

You can watch a video from Live-MetalArt demonstrating heat treatments upon a HandPan below...

While the following video provides a great introduction into the purposes of heat treating steel, for those wishing to understand the process more fully...

HandPan Studio Recording Session Bundles - Studio Volta Recordings

It has recently been announced that “Hardcase Technologies” have teamed up with “Studio Volta Recordings” to offer HandPan studio recording session bundles.  And while we don’t know a whole bunch as yet about the Studio Volta Recordings themselves, Hardcase Technologies do bring something to the table that could make this an appealing offer for those interested in recording a studio-quality Handpan album of their own, over alternative recording options.

That said, Studio Volta Recordings is based in Florence, Italy, let’s get that out of the way at the start - a beautiful city that will no doubt only add to the experience of recording your album for those able to make the journey (if you’re not already lucky enough to be located nearby), but obviously, travelling to Italy, if you aren’t, isn’t going to be as convenient as hooking up with a local studio, for most.

Those who are able to make the journey however, might find certain benefits at having done so.  Hardcase Technologies, makers of what are generally agreed to be the best hard cases and transportation solutions for Handpan, in the industry, and organisers of such events as the 2013 “Dream Event”, have an increasingly long history of active participation within the world of Handpan.  And, Allessio, of Hardcase Technologies, has proven time-and-time again, that he puts his heart and soul into his Handpan-related projects.

The Handpan sound is notoriously difficult to capture fully with recording equipment, and with studio recording time rarely being the cheapest of commodities, a studio that is already familiar prior to your arrival, with ways and means of best capturing the sounds of singing-steel, could shave a significant cut off of your faffing-around time, allowing you to get straight on with the recording, and as we can see from the videos uploaded to the Studio Volata Recordings YouTube channel, these guys now have considerable experience with recording a number of different Handpan makes.  And to our ears, the results sound very pleasing.

Packages start at 479 Euro for eight hours of studio-time.  And Studio Volta Recordings are able to produce your album for you in either Jewel Box, or Digipack, in batches from 100 upwards.  

For more info you can visit the Hardcase Technologies website: HERE.  Or browse the Studio Volta Recordings YouTube channel: HERE, for more examples of what they have to offer.

© HandPans Magazine