Cascading harmonics for better sustain…

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Further deepening of tuning methods and note positioning has brought up the idea that a ‘perfect’ scale for a given handpan should cascade harmonics to the next note. A handpan with axis pointing to ‘no where’ would give out a very clean pitch note, one could say dry note. On the other hand notes where axis point towards its ‘natural harmonic’ being fundamental, second or fifth would sound richer with harmonics and sustain.

Finding theΒ  balance between dissonance and cascading harmonic sustain is the new area’s makers game… what is your favored scale on the handpan ?

Check out this fine example of concept here

Let’s have a look at this image below that represents a 7 notes scale where the ‘domino’ harmonics are the driving factor for positioning on the instrument = inline with each others harmonics so to match the natural tuning string like patterns in the steel.

There has been since this interesting cascading harmonic idea new intuition : perhaps the sound that comes from the stretching of specific areas of the tones boarders during tuning is not cumming from the note’s shape itself but more likely a combined effect of stress waves across the hole instrument. This to say that the notes seems to catch the waves present in the shell – just like a fishing net πŸ˜‰ So when you tune the notes borders and flat surface you are actually ‘calling’ in specific tension lines that you activate.

Conceptually, this ‘basket/note’ idea seems like the better visualization required when tuning as opposed to the idea of the note shape ‘holding’ the sound. Imagine a basket with holes all over it and fruits inside. The fruits are not the ones you need to tune to get the sound because on a handpan the fruits are scattered around the basket – the holes in the basket are you with the ball pin pulling in the waves that have the sound wave you are looking for.

This explains who and why, as you are tuning, each notes interact with each other’s harmonics. I find pretty amazing that when tuning you can switch on and off those shell tension by finding where they come in and out of your note. Using a small ball pin hammer and a good harmonic tuner will allow you to explore this for yourself πŸ˜‰

So lets imagine a note field that is a G4 at its 1st note then a G5 at is 2nd and the harmonic 5th D4 as it 3rd. Many brand name handpans will focus tuning on making those 3 ‘vibration strings’ as loud as possible and blocking the other ‘dissonant’ waves. What if a tuner would indeed tune at a high standard those 3 fundamental notes but also call in the other notes that are on the instrument ?

To me it seems obvious that a perfect ‘handpan’ would have each tone fields sound waves tuned at a ‘none audible’ level for humans but never the less present. I have come across during tuning such ‘universal’ notes that i randomly got right where the tuner just lights up bright on 16 harmonics levels… how to get all the notes on a scale ‘right’ seems like the goal and the key to the handpan’s merge with it’s universe… or the tuner’s πŸ˜‰