Articles in Category: english blog


on Sunday, 30 November 2014. Posted in english blog

Learning how to tune a HandPan requires some equipment in order to improve. Our first prototypes series allowed us to determine the tools we need for better results in our work. We decided during the year 2014 to focus on the construction of our own workshop and tools.

Essentials are: a shop press (in red), a stamping tool for centering pieces (yellow) and a tuning stand (gray) ... All in our new shop!


Below, the marriage of a tire fitter, a truck rim, a conveyor motor, concrete vibrator and a roller wheel to give birth to our first metal spinning tool ;)

A few more tools to build and we will be ready in early 2015 for our second prototypes series!

Synthesis about "stretched tuning" 1/2

on Thursday, 16 May 2013. Posted in english blog

A scale is "stretched" when the tunings are set so that each interval and octave is larger than 100 Cents or 1200 Cents.

stretched tuning

1 – This practice of tuning was initially considered by piano tuners. When a note is played on a stringed instrument, components are produced at the same time but for physical reasons, they are inharmonic (the frequencies of overtones depart from whole multiples of the fundamental frequency). The piano tuner therefore uses his knowledge and ear to correct this effect and ensure that the intervals between the notes retain their consistency by performing a stretched tuning. He can not correct all the beats generated by multiple inharmonic but he draws a soft progression of these stretched intervals for a consistent and musical final tuning.

2 - A piano tuner can also look to have fifths without beating across the whole tessitura. He realizes a tuning said "equal temperament with perfect fifths." It follows from this technique a ratio of 2.003875 between octaves (instead of 2.0 - because they are enlarged 1/7th of Pythagorean comma). The tuning becomes stretched in this case too.

3 - Another reason for a stretched tuning is to adapt the musical instrument to his environment and use. For a solo piano concert, the musician may wish to give a brilliant effect to high notes and also fuller sounding bass notes.

4 - Beyond the physical rules governing string instruments and their use, stretched tuning may have another role that interest musicians and acousticians.
Our ears and brain evaluate the pitch of a sound subjectively. We feel that the high notes sound "flat" and the bass notes sound "sharp".
This psychoacoustic effect is such that the perceived tonality matches the real frequency in the area lower than 500 Hz and not beyond 500Hz. Research on this concept can be done from here:


There may be other reasons for this tuning technic and any additions or corrections are welcome.
Unlike the piano tuners, Steelpan and Handpan tuners can control the harmonics during the tuning process. The tuner may therefore choose to stretch the tuning for psychoacoustic reasons (N°3 and 4).

I research now what kind of stretched curves produce what kind of perceived effects...

Tests with bodywork tools

on Sunday, 04 November 2012. Posted in english blog

That's while a concert at the bodywork's workshop H.H. Services we discovered this job and met Hubert and Paul. They are both well-known in the environment of prestigious old cars repairing. We decided to work together to explore their techniques of steel sheets forming and see what could be different and runnable for our tuning work. We used different tools and method like mallet deep drawing, english wheel, and a very old machine named Pfister. Together we made four shells with an original "sea shell" shape. Then, Paul used his knowledge to form tuning rings adapted to this unusual shape.

Following this collaboration, Hubert invited us at the art fair "Résonance(s)" to expose, with their other creations, the prototypes we will be able to obtain with their shaping techniques.

In the thick of it

on Saturday, 07 July 2012. Posted in english blog

Woks are fine but we easily feel limited! We quickly needed our own material. We had to start with a heavy step of tools making. After many months, metal sheets became shells and we could focus on the most important: tuning!

Our first tries ended as "crash-tests"...

After some months of practise and research, we start to understand few rules of the tuning process.

Each step provides lots of surprises and learning. After we glued our first shells successfully, we could test our first prototype. Although it is far from good, that was so formative to arrive at this step!

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