Lumen Handpan (e-handpan)

I saw that on the web :
Don’t know if it’s working well… I guess the feeling won’t be there like an e-drum… But hey it’s cool to have the option ?

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Personally, I’m a bit skeptical about these projects.

There was something similar on Kickstarter a few years ago (Oval). They raised a lot of money (close to €350,000). Not sure if it was successful, but the website is now a “domain name for sale”.

I’m not saying it’s the same for Lumen of course.
I can’t see a price on their website but it’s a cool looking midi controller.
Will it be as powerful as Ableton Push 2 (around €600)? Or better than AKAI APC MINI (€70)?

And I feel there’s something about the sound vibration you can’t recreate with a controller (or in headphones).
Just my thoughts…

When I first saw these projects crop up (Oval and Lumen), I was excited. Back then I didn’t have a handpan and the potential of getting something that didn’t cost $4000+ was alluring.

I believe Oval went under. You can find videos on youtube of some people who got their orders fulfilled and reviewing it. The troubling point I noticed is the clicking sound when you tap it. This is either a physical switch sound or the physical tapping of the person’s fingers or both. This seems a bit distracting. I suppose if you wear headphones and just listen to the line output you won’t hear it.

The lumen pan seems to be using rubberized pads (I’m guessing by how it looks), so maybe you don’t hear tapping noises at all.

The other potential problem (feature???) is the variations of how you can tap a handpan. If these are not accounted for on electronic handpan it will change the playing experience. I’m referring to:

  • shoulder tapping (intensity/velocity)
  • in between the tone fields
  • on the tone field (intensity/velocity & where on the tone field you hit)
  • on the dimples
  • damping effects
  • playing the Gu

I remember seeing that for the Oval they took care of velocity on the tone field.

I’m unsure that all/most of the nuances can be captured. That said, there are many advantages of electronic handpans (never goes out of tune, immediately change scales etc). All of my points above might just be purist arguments. I suspect electronic handpans will become its own type of instrument.

Another thing: In a facebook posting, Lumen shared the cost of their electronic handpan. They said it would be taking preorders for $990. That’s starting to push up against entry level handpans.

When there are Lumen reviews by real people I suppose most of the pros/cons can be revealed.

One final thing, there have been DIY electronic handpan projects. The most notable in my mind is the: Trigalpan


I agree about being skeptical, I am too but it’s great to have people who are searching for new ways of making music. I always liked the search and ideas of new way to make music. I know it can have its limits but its nice to see that it can be done :slight_smile:

I backed this project and waiting for a few years now.
The first units are finally out.
It would probably take another year to get mine but it will be a nice addition to the ones i already have.

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I just saw this come up on my feed:

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