At the end of the night recently I found myself sitting cross-legged with something that looks like a metal UFO sitting on my lap. We had come back to a friend’s house after a night out and, during a lull in the conversation, he produced an unusual looking metal drum, similar in tone and character to a Caribbean steel drum. This beautiful musical toy was in fact a “hang drum” (pronounced “haang”) and despite it’s appearance and tone, is a very modern instrument, first designed and manufactured in Switzerland in the 1990s. Slapping or tapping the different divots around the outside of the metal drum produce different tones within a scale, rich with harmonics.
I decided I should sample the instrument, and brought a few mics, my laptop and interface round to my friend John’s house. I had John play each note around the drum at increasing velocities (quietest through moderate, to hardest), using the flat of his hand, his knuckle or a rubber mallet, so as to capture a variety of tonal characters. I recorded each strike using an AKG C414B and Beyerdynamic M160, using the mid/side micing technique which produces a recording with a wide stereo image, but which also sums perfectly to mono. Once these differing velocities were captured, I processed the recordings (EQ, compression, noise gate), mixed them and bounced the entire recording to one stereo file, which I then sliced up manually and loaded into Kontakt, scaling the incoming velocities to trigger the recordings of the drum being hit at the respective velocities. Importantly, I removed the velocity to volume modulation which is typically a default setting for most synths/samplers, as the recording of the lighter velocities are, naturally, lower in volume than the higher velocities.
The result is a great sounding virtual instrument which is very easy to play. All the notes are tuned and harmonically sympathetic with each other so you can pretty much mash the keyboard and something interesting will emerge. White notes from C3 upwards produce tones along the scale, black notes in between produce flams, and the octave below (C2 to C3) have some simple arpeggios, played by John. Pitching down or up, or reversing, or adding a LPF filter with a quick envelope to close it, or modulating the release time, all produces interesting results. Click the media file on the right to hear a little ditty I knocked up using this instrument, and a beat from Maschine.
I have of course made the instrument available for download. Please click here to download the instrument and samples. If you’re a Kontakt user, you’re ready to go. Otherwise, you’ll find the component samples within the folder. If you’re building the instrument yourself, please note, you will need to trim the sample start points as they all have a little pre-roll at the beginning. Also the notes themselves are not labelled in a musically correct fashion, rather the notes are labelled A01, 02 03 and so on for the “lowest” tone (the tonic of which is C) up to H01, 02 etc for the highest tone. The instrument itself is in the key of C.
I hope you have fun using this instrument!
Amazing so kind thank you
this is very kind of you man. thank you
Thank you for this!!! A wonderful instrument and a wonderful pack!
Thanks for this. Could you clarify what kind of licence you are offering the samples under? Do you have any restrictions other than attribution?
no restrictions whatsoever, have at ‘er!
Thanks, just what i was looking for!!!
Thanks a lot, beautiful samples, but i can’t open the .nki, surely because i’ve only Kontakt 3 🙁
So, i go to work immediately !
Hi, also a big thank you for your work and offering it for free download!!!
My problem is though, that I can’t open it either…. I am using Kontakt 220.127.116.1116
Can someone leave a response/solution here? Anyway, Thank you!
thank you so so much <3
made an instrument rack with these samples and I'm happy as fuck!
Wonderful. Thank you very much.
Hey guys, I wanted to thank you again for the sounds! Here is a release including your hang that went live this week. Exclusive on Beatport from Haustronaut Recordings.
Great samples, thanks a bunch!
Cheers brother 🙂
Absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much!
I was wondering if you could tell me how the samples are mapped in Kontakt
I only have a Vista Laptop with Kontakt 4 so your nki file does not work
I would however still be able to map the samples in and create my own K4 instrument
Thanks a bunch
You, sir, are a legend. Thank you very much for sharing this!
How cool is this! Thank you so much for setting it free, too.
Looking forward to using it.
I just learned the name of this drum after hearing someone play it almost 5 years ago. So stoked to load these into my MPC, thank you so much!!
Thanks a lot. That’s awesome.
This is awesome guys thanks so much for the samples! Ive recently started a Hang drum blog because of my passions.If anyone is interested about hang drums i’d love some feedback. http://www.hangdrumworld.com
Thanks a bunch
Still downloading, but wanted to say thanks for making this available for us for free. I only just discovered the Hang and immediately thought it sounded amazing and was disappointed to find out how difficult and expensive it is to become an owner of one. Hopefully this will satisfy that desire a bit.
Thanks a lot, beautiful samples, but i can’t open the .nki, surely because i’ve only Kontakt 3 ?
So, i go to work immediately !
im so happy very much thanx man
Thanks heeeaps 🙂 Appreciated!
Darkarps!! you are awesome for creating these samples! they sound amazing. please add me to your mailing list/ newsletter. also, if there is any way I can support what you’re doing or help you out, let me know. these samples you created saved me!
i have use your samples in maschine 2…. it’s great … because every hand pad is unique , i think that eacht of them should do like you, and share the sound of their instrument… great Idee …
Thank you so much for doing this I will use them in Novation Circuit and Abelton Live 10 …when I make a track will definitely post thanks again. <3
Thanks so much for the samples, they sound really good. Anyone any idea why I can’t get them to work with the mpc 500? Many thanks!
IOi! this is amazing!! Just what I needed! Just wish I could also play with the sweeping noise you have in the flourish! If you ever decided to update this, add that i think many would love it. Cant really ask for more though since its free.
Even after almost eight years since this was posted the samples sound amazing. Thank you so much for making this available to anyone!
hey Alex thanks a lot man, this thing got some mileage haha
I think that was probably something from Damage (Kontakt instrument)
Thanks for these samples! I spend way too much time creating a nice preset for Bitwig Studio. Just point my preset to the samples you downloaded from here: