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old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

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old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by Nelson Baboon » Fri Nov 05, 2021 5:17 pm

There was a long thread about these instruments (probably in this sub forum, but can't recall) - i was just looking at it briefly a few days ago.

Rather than start a new one, i thought it would be good to bring it back to life. But i cannot find any trace of it today (very likely user incompetence). I even looked at the historical posts of one member who posted prominently in the thread, but his history contains no trace of it.

i've even found a few references to the thread, but not the thread itself.

Does anyone remember it? I love these instruments (a natural progression from the kalimba/mbira, i think) and i'd love to chat about them. But where is the old thread?

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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by justscratch » Fri Nov 05, 2021 7:09 pm


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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by Nelson Baboon » Fri Nov 05, 2021 7:22 pm

actually, i think that there was another one. This isn't the one i found the other day. (this one came up in my search earlier - sorry - should have mentioned)

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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by JohnLRice » Fri Nov 05, 2021 8:00 pm

I'll "hang" out in this thread if you don't mind? :roll: :hihi: I own two steel tongue drums, a Rav Vast and an EOX Drum. I also have a PANArts Hang® Gede drum FWIW which is non-pitched more or less, sort of like a small metal doumbek or bongo.

Rav Vast is probably my favorite that I've tried, brightest with richest harmonics and longest sustain:
https://ravvast.com/

The EOX has a mellower tone and not as loud but still very nice sounding. The cool thing is you can order custom scales, within reason:
https://eoxdrum.com/

The original makers, wonderfully unique designs but expensive:
https://panart.ch/en/instruments
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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by Nelson Baboon » Fri Nov 05, 2021 8:11 pm

well, i guess we have a new thread, then. Hi John!

I understand that the EOX is the same as Orion. I really do like the sound of some of their videos....

i was looking into the Rav, but i ran into comments about how their support sucks - one person in particular got one with a bad tongue (probably wrong term here) and they wouldn't pay for return shipping. But yeah - they sound nice from what i can tell.

more to say later.

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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by oblis » Fri Nov 05, 2021 9:36 pm

I’ve got two tunings of the Rav Vast, the B Onoleo and E Low Pygmy. As John said, the sustain is really nice on them. The Onoleo is interesting because you can get some dissonant tones out of it as well, but I favor the low tuning of the E Pygmy and tend to play it more. Would like to pick up a handpan one day.

I know there are a couple of different sites that sell them…ravvast.org and some others I think. Its been a few years since ordering, but I vaguely recall reading some online complaints about one of them before choosing the ravvast.com site which had good reviews…though maybe that’s changed.

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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by JohnLRice » Fri Nov 05, 2021 9:41 pm

I had forgotten about Orion, who were actually the original creators of that particular design of tongue drum and then partnered with Nadishana to create a second parallel brand of the same drums for some reason. :hmm: :despair: Nadishana is an expert player and is one of the owners of of big ethnic instrument shop:
https://shop.nadishana.com/

I bought my Rav from them and I was new and confused and thought they were the manufacturers of the Rav Vast line but they were just resellers.

My EOX drum I ordered from the EOX web site with a custom scale as I was trying to pick notes not in my Rav, so as to try to get a full chromatic spread. It kind of works but I wish both drums were the same design so the sound was consistent. There was an issue with my EOX and before they sent it they provided a video, saying they thought the lowest note was kind of dead, but it didn't seem to bad to me. They said they could make another one or send me the first one and refund me a bit of money, so I took the first one. I wish I would have had them make another though because one of the highest notes is very dead and I didn't notice in it in the video, I just thought he didn't hit it quite right.

Sorry, rambling old man alert :foul: . . . I think my point was that when ordering from any of these companies it's probably best to emphasize what aspects of the instrument are important to you so that they get it right before sending it out. Back and forth shipping to such far away places is a killer!
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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by JohnLRice » Fri Nov 05, 2021 9:50 pm

oblis wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 9:36 pm
I’ve got two tunings of the Rav Vast, the B Onoleo and E Low Pygmy.
:tu: My Rav Vast is also the B Onoleo and my EOX is a custom scale. Between the two drums I'm missing C# and G#.

Rav B Onoleo: B2, F#3, G3, B3, D#4, E4, F#4, G4, B4

Custom EOX: A2, C3, D3, F3, G3, A3, C4, D4, F4, A4, C5, D5
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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by Nelson Baboon » Sat Nov 06, 2021 12:56 pm

my biggest issue right now is recording these.

i realized that before now, i've essentially only recorded synths and solid body instruments like my violins, and there wasn't really an issue. but i am a total beginner when it comes to using microphones with instruments like these, and even using them with pickups, since these still sound somewhat loud acoustically. How does one accomplish this in a somewhat small room where i cannot play very loud. But even then, dealing with feedback, and the recorded sound (especially if played through fx) being very different than what i am actually hearing.

i'm sure that this is pure beginner stuff, so perhaps it might be best if someone takes the time to pm me with some tips - i don't want to turn this into 'how to record audio in your small home studio' thread. I do have a decent microphone and should have (in a couple of days) a good mic preamp. but i suspect that the basic problems will remain.

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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by JohnLRice » Sat Nov 06, 2021 3:09 pm

I'll post a couple ideas here since others might find it useful or want to offer alternatives but feel free to PM me if you want to discuss in more detail! :tu:

When I bought my Rav Vast Nadishana recommended using an AKG C411 PP vibration pickup. It comes with some black sticky stuff and you just stick it to the wood disk on the bottom of the drum, although sticking it on the metal also works. The sound quality is quite good, noticeably better than piezo pickups IMHO, although the is some bass response roll-off. This pickup needs a preamp with phantom power. These are popular with string players so maybe you already have one for your violin?
https://www.akg.com/Microphones/Condens ... 411PP.html

There is an option available when buying an EOX (and I'll assume Orion) drum for an internal pickup, which I got with mine. It seems to be an array of three piezo pickups connected to a 1/4" jack in the shell. (looks like they used a pickup designed for acoustic guitars) It sounds OK, not quite as good as the AKG, but for processing through effects pedals or modular etc it's perfectly fine.

The best way to record them of course would be to use great external mics and preamps in a good acoustic environment.

And since I get "ideas" and often have to try them, I've done some modifications to my drums. :roll: :hihi:

The wooden disk on the bottom of these drums is easily pried off. By doing this you can close mic with a bit of isolation by sticking the mic directly up into the hole. With the disk off I think you loose a little bit of low end resonance but it's not particularly drastic. Also with the disk off you can put a light in there to look cool for videos. :love:

I went a bit farther and mounted an XLR connector in the shell of my Rav to mount the AKG internally, and I've also tried other mics mounted internally, all in an effort to make live use a little simpler and less fiddly. The hardest part of doing this, besides drilling into shell :eek: is making sure nothing can vibrate or rattle in the slightest because when amplifying and processing the output the slightest buzz can produce undesirable effects in the sound. (I used and XLR passthrough connector so I could just plug different mics into it inside the drum but XLR connects are often not tight enough and certain notes might cause vibrations in them. Better to use a standard XLR panel connector and solder wires to it?)

Sorry . . .this was going to be "quick" but my morning coffee had other ideas! I might as well post some examples:

Rav processed with modular, external mic



Rav processed with pedals, AKG C411 internal





EOX processed with pedals, internal piezo pickup





Hang Gede processed with pedals, external mic
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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by Nelson Baboon » Sat Nov 06, 2021 3:22 pm

don't have a rav. none of the drums i have thus far (1 handpan and 2 tongue drums) have these wooden bottoms. I am not going to get into diy type stuff, and not going to defend my incompetence at it.

I have a single pretty good microphone, and i have a good preamp (channel strip context) coming. It is mono.

looking for simple guidance, not looking to spend hours failing at advance ones to start. But thank you - i appreciate it and will probably pm you.

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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by Flounderguts » Sat Nov 06, 2021 5:31 pm

Good piezo with proper preamp impedance. The issue is mounting them in the best place (I like inside, but it's not always possible) and with a good mounting strategy. On metal, I like carpet tape (2 sided, very thin) that has been warmed with a heat gun a bit...actually, I heat the hand pan.

If no way to get it inside, then I place a small ring (bamboo, as I'm not a fan of PLA) as a spacer around the mic, so I don't bump it with something.

I've had good luck using these PVDF fluoropolymer piezo strips for high-end instruments with multiple harmonics...great for saw, tongue drums, glass armonica, and string bass.



The preamps I use are derived from the Godfried-Willem Raes Logos Foundation design, adapted for my own gear and uses.

For a quicker, easier way, these AXL pickups are easily as good as the Dean Markley and Barcus Berry pickups that are 10x the price. Because they are in a hard case, mounting them on a curved surface can be a buggeroo. 3M high-strength mounting tape is great, and goo gone will get it off pretty easily. I actually use medium gel cyanoacrylate (super) glue, and a drop of debonder to get it off.



I have tried external mics, but I seem to be really good at picking up my heavy breathing, cats meowing outdoors, and my neighbor yelling at his kids when I record that way. Some of my smaller vibration instruments simply don't have the volume to work with low gain, so I prefer the sound quality and the ease of use of the piezos. They are also cheap enough that once I have it mounted in the place that sounds the best to me, I can leave it there, and simply make a new one for the next project. I have a well-developed skill for knocking mic stands over while catching my falling theremins!

Also, having the AXL pickups means that I can plug a wireless mic box on something, if I want to. Absolutely fantastic for small instruments on stage.
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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by @realwiggler » Sat Nov 06, 2021 5:55 pm

A friend of mine uses these

This one is a bit more $ but is magnetic

https://www.etsy.com/listing/845822564/ ... op-1&frs=1

Also this one, cheaper but uses reusable sticker type adhesive

https://www.etsy.com/listing/865591569/ ... f=lx_share

Both sound pretty good with minimal noisefloor.
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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by Nelson Baboon » Sat Nov 06, 2021 6:17 pm

i did splurge and order the first link.....hasn't arrived yet.

i found today, that contrary to some advice online, that i got MUCH better results by putting the microphone closer to the drums. this seems to capture the sustain a lot better if playing certain tongue drums with my hands.

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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by JohnLRice » Sat Nov 06, 2021 6:31 pm

@realwiggler wrote:
Sat Nov 06, 2021 5:55 pm
A friend of mine uses these
This one is a bit more $ but is magnetic
https://www.etsy.com/listing/845822564/ ... op-1&frs=1
wow, that thing looks really cool, I want one just based on how it looks! Kind of like a hydrophone a secret agent would stick on the side of a submarine to spy on them?
il_1140xN.2554874681_mpl8.jpg

or a miniature butane camp stove base?
il_1140xN.2507199638_fqvf.jpg
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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by yeatsvisitslincoln » Sat Nov 06, 2021 6:51 pm

I got an 8-inch Atma Buti tongue drum a couple months ago. They have some different sizes, but the one I got is $144 new. So not much compared to the usual module purchase. I’ve been mic-ing it up with an old SM-57 knock off. It has a hole in the bottom and I just took the rubbery plastic piece out and put the drum on a snare stand so I could essentially get the mic head inside the drum. I will also say I’ve used the same mic for some singing bowls into modular. It’s not great, but I’m usually going for wavefolding or distortion, so getting it pristine isn’t too important to me.


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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by JohnLRice » Sat Nov 06, 2021 6:56 pm

Nelson Baboon wrote:
Sat Nov 06, 2021 6:17 pm
i found today, that contrary to some advice online, that i got MUCH better results by putting the microphone closer to the drums. this seems to capture the sustain a lot better if playing certain tongue drums with my hands.
:tu: I've yet to develop any particular method for mic'ing my tongue drums and every time I record I seem to do things differently. I would guess people are saying to back the mics away because due to the dome shape of many of these instruments the notes closest to the mic might be louder than the ones on the far side or something? But some notes/tongues, especially on my EOX, are naturally louder than others so finding the best mic position can take some experimenting.
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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by JohnLRice » Sat Nov 06, 2021 6:58 pm

yeatsvisitslincoln wrote:
Sat Nov 06, 2021 6:51 pm
I got an 8-inch Atma Buti tongue drum a couple months ago. They have some different sizes, but the one I got is $144 new. So not much compared to the usual module purchase. I’ve been mic-ing it up with an old SM-57 knock off. It has a hole in the bottom and I just took the rubbery plastic piece out and put the drum on a snare stand so I could essentially get the mic head inside the drum. I will also say I’ve used the same mic for some singing bowls into modular. It’s not great, but I’m usually going for wavefolding or distortion, so getting it pristine isn’t too important to me.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CUT41UODsyL ... =copy_link
sounds good! :yay:
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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by scottmoon » Sat Nov 06, 2021 7:40 pm

Nelson Baboon wrote:
Sat Nov 06, 2021 3:22 pm
don't have a rav. none of the drums i have thus far (1 handpan and 2 tongue drums) have these wooden bottoms. I am not going to get into diy type stuff, and not going to defend my incompetence at it.

I have a single pretty good microphone, and i have a good preamp (channel strip context) coming. It is mono.

looking for simple guidance, not looking to spend hours failing at advance ones to start. But thank you - i appreciate it and will probably pm you.
A lot of pros swear by these. https://zeppelindesignlabs.com/product/ ... icrophone/

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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by Pugilistas » Sun Nov 07, 2021 4:33 am

I used PZM mics on my tongue drums for a couple of recording sessions, and they worked fairly well. They will have room ambience, of course.

Oh, and if you want to explore wooden tongue drums, these guys are the best, with consistent quality and good tonality. High dollar though. Used to find them cheaper on ebay and goodwill, but folks seem to have gotten wise. ;)
https://www.hardwoodmusiccompany.com/

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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by Nelson Baboon » Sun Nov 07, 2021 4:48 pm

i find myself tempted (since some stuff has sold) to get that 'one more' item. I don't have anything in the tongue pan category (i guess the rav vast is the most popular example of this).

i'm not going to go for the Vast for a couple of reasons. One is that they seem to be getting a very bad rap right now for their support, though there is a place on Etsy that seems to have a good rep for selling used ones. But the second reason (and this is probably a bit of a psychological flaw on my part) is that they are just so popular. I started looking into alternatives, and there are a few.

the one that attracts me is the YW Pulsar. I have actually preferred the sound from the videos i've heard, but they have this great site where you can start with one of their scales and then design your own from it. And play it.....i love the idea of taking one of the scales that i like and then adding some jarring dissonant notes. Naturally one doesn't have to play them, but i think i'm going to spend some time today doing this, and buying one.

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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by JohnLRice » Sun Nov 07, 2021 7:10 pm

Nelson Baboon wrote:
Sun Nov 07, 2021 4:48 pm
the one that attracts me is the YW Pulsar. I have actually preferred the sound from the videos i've heard, but they have this great site where you can start with one of their scales and then design your own from it. And play it.....i love the idea of taking one of the scales that i like and then adding some jarring dissonant notes. Naturally one doesn't have to play them, but i think i'm going to spend some time today doing this, and buying one.
:tu: I really liked that same feature of the EOX (and Orion) sites! And I've recommended the EOX site before to a couple folks looking for tongue drum sounds to sample. :hihi: :ninja:

The YW Pulsar design looks nearly identical to the EOX/Orion, I wonder if they are related? Oh, OK I'm recalling now that I had come across them after I ordered my EOX and I even had a conversation with the main guy from Pulsar, if I'm remembering correctly he claimed that the Orion/EOX makers had seen his design when he was just starting out and copied it. Of course anyone can claim anything but I got the impression that he was legit and felt bad that I hadn't discovered his drums first and bought one from him.

Here's a video you might like to watch where a player compares two pairs of drums, both old and new Pulsar and Rav Vast:
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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by Nelson Baboon » Sun Nov 07, 2021 7:17 pm

yeah. already saw that video. i didn't design a custom scale for the orion.....but the orion (except for their new tongue pan) seems to be more along the lines of the 'traditional' tongue drum, and smaller than a tongue pan. So i don't think it's the same as the pulsar, unless i'm missing something. Well, the orion seems to be somewhere in between, i guess, but it just doesn't look to me like the pulsar is at all a copy of that.

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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by JohnLRice » Sun Nov 07, 2021 7:27 pm

This guy says in his video he can help with Pulsar questions and maybe provide a discount?


I really like the look and sound of his 13 note drum:
E2-Ab2-B2-Eb3-E3-Ab3-Bb3-B3-Eb4-Gb4-Ab4-B4-Eb5
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Re: old handpan, hangdrum, tongue drum thread?

Post by Nelson Baboon » Sun Nov 07, 2021 7:31 pm

too late on the discount.....btw - it does look like both the orion and the pulsar are called 'tongue pans', so they are indeed more along the lines of the vast than your typical tongue drum. In any case, they sound different to me. it's probably not too late to design a scale for the orion - i'll look into that. he seems flexible, and i doubt he's started on mine yet.

i designed a wacky scale for the pulsar, starting with the pygmy and added some 'interesting' additional notes.

these discounts are usually 5%, which aren't that much anyway. i'll take a look. maybe it isn't too late.

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