Handpan Accessories - Microphones for Amplification
Some snapshots of the Big Shot contact mic by K & K sound on Isthmus Handpans.
For live handpan amplification, we would like to share a microphone setup we have used. With one quarter-sized contact microphone, your whole handpan can be amplified. When placed on the instrument bottom below the Gu (soundhole), the microphone picks up vibrations to output through the surface of the steel. Admittedly, the sound output from any amplifier will change the user and listener experience. This may or may not be your thing, but it can help the handpan music carry in loud areas. The one we have used is called The Big Shot, from K & K sound. It is affordable and works well.
Attach the jack near the Gu. Add support for the jack with duct or gorilla tape. It may not be pretty, but it works! Use the double sided light adhesive that came with the K&K microphone to stick the contact mic portion to the handpan. Experiment for the best placement. Add two pennies ontop of the mic portion to enhance the sound. Removing the contact mic and jack is tricky and best done with the help of a small sharp edge like a razor blade. (If you are worried about disrupting the surface of your instrument, this setup may not be right for you). Use isopropyl alcohol or acetone to remove bits of remaining adhesive, and you are back to acoustics.
Thanks to Shlomo for these tips. Find him here: shlomocalvo.com