Quick Start: Lumen Handpan
Welcome to the quick start tutorial on how to use your new Lumen Hanpdan.
Like with any musical instrument, it will take at least a small amount of patience and learning to understand how to play notes and keys, and how to make music.
Our goal with this guide is to help you get started with your Lumen Handpan in less than 30 minutes.
The Lumen Handpan is an electro-acoustic hand pan with 9 touch pads and a digital interface (electronic), with a built-in speaker and batteries so it can play music all on its own (acoustic).
The Lumen Handpan has several professionally recorded instruments onboard for you to choose from at the touch of a finger. Instruments range from Hang and Halo handpans to Marimba and Mbria percussion instruments.
As you tap the touch pads, the Lumen Handpan will play the notes you strike, as if you were playing the original instrument.
Let’s jump into the Quick Start on your Lumen Handpan journey 🙂
Quick Start – Basics:
- The Lumen Handpan has 9 tapping pads that play tones or notes or audio clips
- The instrument playing surface is similar to most traditional hand pan layouts
- The centre tapping pad (ding) represents , and the outer pads represent [1 – 9]
- The outer pads start at , being the bottom outer pad closest to you
- The pads alternate left & right moving up to 9 at the top pad
1st Time Use: Remove The Safety Pin
Before you use your Lumen Handpan for the first time, flip the instrument upside down and gently remove the safety pin (under the sticker: “remove to activate”).
The safety pin keeps the battery safe during shipping and should be removed to allow the battery to power the unit.
Once the safety pin is removed…
- Place the Lumen Handpan on your lap, or comfortably in front of you on a stand or table
- Rotate the instrument so that the opening in the centre circle is facing you
- There is a small LED screen between the opening in the circle
The Lumen Handpan will power up in roughly 12 seconds.
During this time, please avoid touching or putting pressure on any of the tapping pads, as the instrument calibrates itself for pressure sensitivity.
Once the loading screen disappears, you’ll be ready to play by tapping on any of the pads.
- The Lumen Handpan uses a digital touch navigation interface
- The outer ring around the centre ding pad is called the Touch Navigation Ring
- You can make selections by clicking or swiping with your finger
- You can click anywhere on the centre ring for the digital interface to respond
- Swiping left and right is continuous, so you can continue scrolling further left and further right, by replacing your finger at the start of the direction you wanted to scroll
- A normal click will get you into the basic menu
1 Click: Changing Volume:
The first click will open the volume setting, where you can scroll left to decrease or right to increase the volume of the Lumen Handpan.
This setting will affect both the onboard speaker and the stereo audio output.
2 Clicks – Changing Key:
As you scroll left or right, you can tap on any pad to hear the change in half-step increments.
When you change your key, you are changing the root note key at the centre ding.
All the other pads will be in the same key range, according to your scale.
Imagine this like a piano, where scrolling left and right is like moving left and right on the piano keyboard. The piano keys represent the tapping pads on the Lumen Handpan.
You have 9 tapping pads available so it would be like having a combination of 9 piano keys.
Here’s another example of changing keys:
3 Clicks – Changing Scales:
The third click will open the scale setting, where you start on the default scale for the instrument selected.
As you swipe to the right, you scroll through scales in alphabetical order.
When you change your scale, you are changing the layout of the notes on the tapping pads.
All pads will be in the same scale range, according to your key.
Imagine this like a traditional hand pan layout.
If you select the major scale; your root note and key will be the centre ding pad.
All the surrounding pads will move up the major scale, starting with the pad closest to you.
The scale moves up by alternating left & right, and all notes will be in the correct key and scale of your choice.
Here’s another example of changing scales:
4 Clicks – Changing Instruments:
The fourth click will open the instrument setting, where you start on the instrument currently selected.
Your Lumen Handpan comes with several instruments built-in.
As you swipe right, you scroll through the available instruments on your Lumen Handpan, according to the order they were saved.
When you change your instrument, you are changing all the pads on the surface to correspond with the instrument of your choice.
All pads will be in the selected instrument, and you can change the key and scale at any time.
Imagine this like swapping one instrument for another instrument entirely.
In the traditional sense, this would be like picking up a guitar, then putting it down to sit behind the piano, then moving to the drums, and then picking up the hand pan.
For more information about your Lumen Handpan, please refer to our User Manual.
We hope this Quick Start guide helps you get the most out of your Lumen Handpan, and sets you on the path to explore instruments, keys, scales, percussion, and all the sounds that let you Drum Your Own Way.
You can plug into external audio equipment like amps, mixers, earphones, powered headphones, and soundcards using the standard ¼ Jack stereo TRS plug.
You can plug into Midi interfaces with the (included) Midi USB cable, to connect with your favourite DAWs, such as ProTools, Logic, Ableton Live, Fl Studio, GarageBand, and more.
For more information about the importance of Keys in music, read our article about Changing Keys on the Lumen Handpan.
For more information about the importance of Scale in music, read our article about Changing Scales on the Lumen Handpan.
Keep an eye on our social pages for updates, tips, tricks, and showcases of our community.