2016 - Master thesis: Lydopptak av handpan – fra akustiske målinger til studio (norwegian)
Master thesis, Julia Sivertsen
“Sound coverage of the handpan – from acoustic measurements to studio”
Handpan is a new instrument made of metal that is played with the hands, and is closely related to Caribbean steel pans. A widespread reputation in the instrument’s interest group says that the handpan is a complex instrument that is difficult to record. This will be investigated in this thesis by making acoustic measurements of a handpan in an echo-free room, and then making sound recordings of the same instrument in the studio, based on the acoustic measurements.
The thesis presents the method for a directivity measurement around the instrument in a horizontal axis with 36 ° resolution between the measuring microphones, and how data from the measurements are processed in Matlab to construct polar diagrams of the instrument’s radiation. The polar diagrams are then used as an aid in the studio to find good locations for microphones, at the same time as subjective testing of different types of microphones and placement of these in a vertical axis.
The results from the acoustic measurements show that the instrument has a radiant directivity in the horizontal axis, with a hint of direction for the harmonics of individual tones. The results from the studio recordings indicate that the acoustic measurements have been useful for finding good microphone types and locations, but that a mixture of such measurement results and testing based on subjective listening is the best for good raw recordings of handpan.