Handpan vs. RAV Drum 2019: Identical Scale Comparison


What are the similarities and differences between handpans and RAV drums? They are both made of steel and they both sound amazing, but one has a longer sustain than the other, and there is quite a different character to the sound. In this video we compare the newly updated 2019 RAV Drum with an Aura Handpan in the same identical Celtic Minor scale. We actually used both the B Celtic Minor and D Celtic Minor versions of both Aura and RAV, so you will see 4 different pans in this video. This is a literal side by side comparison where we play each pan note for note and compare how they sound.

If you haven’t already seen the first comparison we did between RAV Drums and Handpans, check it out here:

The Handpan or “hang” is a convex steel drum played with the hands and tuned with multiple notes. Each handpan is tuned to a particular scale such as major, natural minor, harmonic minor, hijaz, mixolydian, etc. Sonically the handpan is an overtone-emitting instrument that has the capacity to create many layers of sound and ethereal effects and works very well with drone instruments. Originally called the hang (pronounced “hah-ng”) the handpan was invented in 2001 by a little company in Switzerland. The instrument has fantastic resonance, overtones, and subtle variations in sounds beyond the tonal field base keys and can be played upside like an African Udu. Handpans are rare instruments with very few makers and even fewer makers that make quality instruments so it is a very expensive instrument and difficult to obtain one.

The handpans used in this video are Aura Handpans in the keys of B Celtic Minor and D Celtic Minor.

Order Aura Handpan: https://didgeproject.com/product/aura-handpan-various-scales-raw-steel/


RAV Drum (aka RAV Vast) is a revolutionary new instrument that fuses the concepts behind handpans (hang drums) and tongue drums (traditionally made of wood). Perfectly cut steel tongues vibrate harmoniously together to create an ethereal sound perfect for meditation, relaxation, and other mystical music experiences. RAV was invented in 2013 in Russia. Conceptually the RAV uses cut keys as opposed to the hammer tuned Hang drum, which is not cut or welded in anyway. The RAV has a deep resonance and profound reverb effects where the sound lasts for a long time while the Hang drum sound goes for a much shorter duration. This allows for a lot more space between key strokes in the RAV because the sound carries so long without losing the rhythm, which can make for more experimental playing in some respects than the Hang or handpan. The fullness of the sound and the duration of each key stroke makes the instrument very meditative to play because it renders itself to slow playing but of course can also be played very quickly and rhythmically. The backside of the RAV is not as accessible or resonant as a handpan but can still be played rhythmically. The price of a RAV is 1/3 the cost of a Hang and is also generally easier to play than the Hang for most people. It is also a much more durable and sturdy instrument. The handpan can be knocked out of tune with too hard of a hit and over time may need to get tuned up regardless while the Rav does not and is almost impossible to knock out of tune.

The RAV Drums used in this video are in the keys of B Celtic Minor and D Celtic Minor.

Order RAV Drum: https://didgeproject.com/product/rav-drum-aka-rav-vast-metal-tongue-drum-various-scales/



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Matt Bazgier
Originally from Poland, Matt (Mateusz) Bazgier is multi-instrumentalist and music producer, currently living and creating in New York with the Golden Drum community. Under the guidance of Maestro Manuel Rufino, Tito La Rosa and Elders of many traditions, he studies the use of sacred music in many forms. His music is deeply rooted in a world of spirits and is treated as a spiritual practice. “I understand sound and music as a tool to create energy, transform, heal and communicate with the higher planes. I am particularly interested in combining styles and musical worlds to discover new musical grounds. Music is my way of service to the world.”