We receive many questions about difference between RAV and a handpan. And we get that – if you're new to the game, it's kinda overwhelming. So, for all of you who's still wondering:
- Construction. Well, you can see the difference on the pic. RAV Drum fuses the concept behind handpans and tongue drums. The instrument uses cut keys as opposed to the hammer tuned Handpan, which is not cut or welded in any way.
- The sound. Handpans have a more percussive nature with a bit more brighter metallic sound while RAV is more a melodic instrument thanks to its super long sustain. The thing is, each RAV tongue has 4-7 notes tuned into it – that's where the sustain comes from. RAV has a deep resonance and profound reverb effects where the sound lasts for a long time while the Hang/handpan sound goes for a much shorter duration.
- Tuning. Handpans may go out of tune once in a while. RAV doesn't need to be tuned up ever. Well, there are exceptions of that rule, but unless you're going to hit your RAV with some kind of heavy stuff, it's going to be okay
- Durability. RAVs are more durable. It's a fact. Our drum doesn't suffer from hot weather (some handpans do), which makes it a more durable instrument for travelling and use outdoors.
So, it's like that. If you have any suggestions to this list based on your experience, write it down in the comments. We're interested in hearing your opinion!
Hang/Handpan vs. RAV Drum Comparison
The modern steel pan instruments know as handpans are growing in popularity due to their beautiful harmonic resonance and wide range of applications as hand percussion instruments. In this video we compare a Hang (Invented in 2001 by PanArt, the originators of the handpan) and a RAV Drum (invented in 2013). 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 Hang scale used in this demo is tuned to the D Hijaz scale.
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 Drum scale used in this demo is tuned to the G Minor Pentatonic scale