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Jun 5, 2015 4:16 PM ET

Archived: Oval – The First Digital HandPan: A new electronic musical instrument which allows you to play, learn and perform music using any sound you can imagine

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 5, 2015


Oval – The First Digital HandPan


The OVAL is an electronic musical instrument that connects to an App for smartphone or tablet and it can also be used as a controller connected to a computer. Inspired by the HandPans family of acoustic instruments, the Oval provides total freedom to create sounds and it’s a tool geared towards music learning and performing. It allows you to both change and create sounds and it is also a tool for sharing your compositions with an on-line community of users.

  • Limitless sound. Play any sound you can imagine whilst connected to your smartphone or tablet.
  • The OVAL works via an App but you can also use any MIDI compatible software, whatever you prefer – it’s your choice!
  • Boost your creativity: designing your own sounds, scales and songs. Create your own compositions and use the App’s live-performance mode – it has been specifically designed to get the most out of your Oval.

There are other ways to enjoy music besides listening. You are never too old or too young to experience the awesome feeling of playing an instrument and creating music. We believe that learning music should be fun and instruments have to be made to be ready to play right away. The Oval speeds up your music learning curve by leveraging the power of technology, gaming and sharing with others.

Ravid -who’s a musician and hang performer- was looking for ways of introducing technology into his teaching method and eager to find affordable options for his students, mostly children, to own a HandPan. After many hours of conversation with Alex -who’s a creative technologist- they decided to create a percussion instrument which would have the ergonomics of a HandPan but would be totally digital and open to the possibilities of endless sounds, effects, and total control of the instrument.

And this is how it all started.

  • The external case is made of Solid Surface composed by natural materials –minerals like bauxite, marble and quartz–, natural resins and acrylic.
  • Carefully designed, the Oval is light, portable, durable, minimal, simple and energetically self-sufficient.
  • The OVAL is ergonomically designed and can be played in many ways. Highly sensitive, intuitive, easy, durable and (children-proof) resistant!
  • Designed, engineered and made with care in Barcelona.
  • Multi Sensing Pad with velocity and X/Y location. 
  • Pressure sensitive sensors for higher expression control, more organic sound, and complex possibilities such as using multiple layers of samples. 
  • Illuminated PADS provide visual cues for follow along mode, metronome mode, and musical games.
LED Illuminated PADS
LED Illuminated PADS

The OVAL comes in three colors

  • Glacier White Oval case 
  • Royal Red Oval case 
  • Deep Grey Oval case
  • Dimensions: 420 x 420 x125 mm
  • Weight: 3,1 kg
  • Materials: Solid Surface with acrylic, quartz, marble and bauxite. 
  • Rechargeable long-lasting lithium battery via USB.
  • Class-compliant MIDI over USB connectivity through Lightning on iOS and USB on Android and any other operating system.
  • Bluetooth BLE connectivity with Apple BLE MIDI compatibility on iOS8 and OSX Yosemite 
  • External input for a pedal or external controller 
  • ARM Cortex M3 microprocessor 
  • Bluetooth 4.0 Low energy 

The OVAL is totally MIDI-compatible so you can connect it to any software or device as long as it supports MIDI. It communicates with iPhones, Androids, iPads, Macs and PCs via Lightning or USB. You can use it with your favorite DAW (Ableton, Logic, ProTools, etc). Have we told you that the OVAL App supports OSC too?

“I’m not a musician, I can’t read music and I don’t play any instruments…” We’ve got you covered!
We’ve created an awesome application for iOS which is designed even for those who don’t know theory and can’t read sheet music. We swear that you will play your favorite songs in no time!

  • Download and play the weekly challenges (you’ll get your score, global and local ranking!)
  • Learn music by playing simple songs – go through different methods of learning and get to the next level.

We are pretty much analog meets digital, so besides our fabulous App, we are creating a notebook pack, designed by Ravid. It’s full of handwritten notes, pictures and schematics. The notebooks include exercises – so you will learn all the different ways you can play the Oval. And if you are fortunate enough to own a HandPan, you can use the notebooks too! There are 8 different notebooks, each one matching a different level of difficulty and covering all the steps of Ravid’s method to play HandPans.

After years of playing and teaching, Ravid has created his own teaching method and you can use it to learn music with your OVAL. Through our website and community you’ll be able to download tutorials, share your sounds and compositions and compare your progress with others. We’ll use the power of gamification to provide weekly challenges where you’ll get a score, local and global to compete to be the best OVAL player ever!

  • Meet other OVAL users and performers online and share your improvements, download sounds and tutorials, demos and songs from other users. Sharing is caring!
  • Learn, play, share, create, compete with other users to be the best OVAL performer. Challenge yourself!
  • Play songs with other users
  • Create and share your own songs
  • Upload and share your sound banks
  • Download and play with the weekly challenges and get your score and global and local ranking
  • Learn music by playing simple songs, experiment with the methodology and get to the next level!

The NEW OVAL App offers multiple functionalities so you can play, learn and share your music in a simple, fun and intuitive way:

  • Upload your own sounds and play them in different scales 
  • Add effects 
  • Use it for live looping, recording sounds on the fly and layering them. 
  • The App is like a mini 4 track sequencer 
  • Adjust the PAD’s sensitivity 
  • Download other user’s songs 
  • Do the weekly challenges to access more sounds and features 
  • Upload your own songs

The OVAL is inspired by the hang, a melodic percussion instrument created in Switzerland in 2000. In the german dialect of Bern, “hang” means “hand”, because it’s meant to be played with the hands. The hang is made of steel and is the result of a research on resonant percussive instruments, like the steel drum, traditional from Trinidad and Tobago, and the ghatam that has its roots in India. Other similar instruments have appeared after the hang became internationally successful, such as the Bells, the Halo and many more. They all are part of the big HandPan family, and now the Oval joins it.

Most traditional instruments are linear, think of a guitar, a flute or a violin. The handpan is meant to be performed in circles. The interface doesn’t have a beginning or an end, so you can join musical notes together in a fluid way. The notes have a radial position and are equidistant from the Ding, the central note that sets the tone of the scale.No matter how you play, you are able to perform beautiful melodies every time. The OVAL takes the design, ergonomics and musical qualities of the handpans as an inspiration to create an electronic instrument that can be as simple for a beginner to start exploring music as a means of expression, and as complex as a professional musician wants to make it, as it allows to change sounds and scales, layer samples, real time looping and go wherever the imagination takes you.

The full retail price for OVAL will be 599€ or more, so you’re getting a deal by supporting us on Kickstarter. We will not be selling OVAL Instrument in retail until all Kickstarter rewards have been shipped.

For the last two years we’ve been developing different prototypes of the Oval, and now we are completing the development of the final prototype. We’ll present it during the Kickstarter campaign and we want you to be a part of this work in progress.

  • We have a BETA version of the first App which includes some of its final features
  • We have developed new sensors and a new physical design for the PAD to improve sensitivity, responsivity and resolution. 
  • After the campaign we will be ready to develop our first production release.
  • Development of the new Mobile and Web platforms.
  • Finalize the design of the 3rd generation of instruments.
  • Sourcing material and components for the Kickstarter batch.
  • Production tooling.
  • Electronics and firmware refinement.
  • Testings and certifications.

People from all around the world have been asking us about the OVAL. For the moment shipping is only available for Europe, USA, Canada, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. For these countries shipping will be added to the rewards. If you live in other countries, please ask us, as other prices may apply and you will be charged the shipping rate, right before your Oval ships. Taxes, duties and other fees that may be applicable to your zone, are your responsibility.

Each reward tier may have a different estimated shipment date. Please be aware that for reasons beyond our control, the shipping date may shift. You can request a full refund up until your OVAL has shipped by emailing oval@ovalsound.com

WE ARE THE OVAL TEAM. Our team is composed by musicians, graphic designers, industrial designers, electronic engineers, filmmakers and communicators. We want to make electronic instruments that sound good, look good and feel good. We are immensely thankful for the small, but engaged, community that we have already built around our dream, with your support we can make it real, and grow our community even bigger. 


You can leave your questions, comments and suggestions on the comments page or you can drop us an email at oval@ovalsound.com

Don’t forget to hit the like button on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and be up to date with the latest information.



Tooling and Molding can be challenging. Creating a big mold is expensive and waiting lines at local purveyors can be up to 3-4 months, for this reason, we have to hire an expert in process engineering. To closely supervise manufacturing we have to work with local suppliers, that we can monitor constantly to avoid delays. We care about local manufacturing it allows us to make better products.
There can also be delivery delays for the availability of components, to minimize this we have backup suppliers and we order components in advance.


We want the sensors to be as sensitive as possible, this means that we have to go through a phase of adjustments and calibrations when developing the sensor and the PAD to meet the minimum requirement or sensitivity and responsivity levels. This is one of the most challenging parts of the project.
Design adjustments for the case production and the mold are required to optimize manufacturing costs and assembly time.
Adjustments in the electronics have to be made to optimize the performance of the product general quality, resistance and reliability.


Sometimes the unexpected happens, and there are many things beyond our control. Suppliers may miss a deadline, a machine may start malfunctioning or a shipment can get lost. Those things can cause delays, Nevertheless, to minimize any setbacks and inconveniences, we are going to work with the most reliable suppliers, manufacturing plants and shipping agencies, to ensure you get your OVAL as soon as possible.

Contact Information:

Oval Sound

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