Recording Handpan for YouTube Guide

With more and more indie musicians taking to the YouTube scene to self produce and promote their music, it has become necessary to point out what works and what doesn’t. Whether you’re a professional, an indie, or a rookie you will still want your work to look and sound as professional as possible.

How to record your self on video playing handpan? – A good Camera, good microphone, you and your instrument. – No professional equipment is required these days but the more you spend, the better the materials and end product will be more professional looking to the viewer.

I have decided that there are two people out there. Those that like to get the best from a quick and easy solution, and those that go full tilt, all-in with the required gear. To that end, I try to produce solutions for both thought processes.

Recording Handpan for Video

Knowing about everything you will need is only one part of successfully creating videos that are worth watching.

It is just as important to know what equipment you will need that will make every aspect of your music ring out in perfect harmony without making anything sound fuzzy or tinny.

With the right set-up and the right equipment, everything should sound smooth and graceful. Your handpan playing will sound like music instead of just someone hammering away on instruments in a drafty basement somewhere.

When Do I Need to Record My Handpan and How?

Reason to RecordLevel
Selling a HandpanEasy
Social Media SharesEasy
YouTube ChannelBoth
High-Quality Music VideosAdvanced

Easy – Quick Set-Up

What you will need

  • A Location
  • iPhone or Mobile with Good Camera and Mic
  • Video Editing options [optional]

This is by far the simplest, quickest way to record yourself playing handpan, or just recording your handpan as you play it.

This type of set up is ideal for making those all-important recordings when placing an advert to sell your handpan.

Not only that, but you can also manage everything right from your mobile device as posting to YouTube, Facebook or anywhere else is all in one place.

In-Depth Video Recording Set-Up for Handpan


The first thing you will need to do is find the right location. The area should be a low traffic area and as noise-free as possible. If looking to play in nature, then choose a spot where nature sings loud. Next to water, wind through the trees. morning birdsong perhaps.

An alternative to nature, a basement, garage or spare bedroom would work just fine as long as it is set up properly for noise reduction.

If you have any of these indoor places available to you but still have too much noise around you to get a good recording, you may want to purchase sound-proof curtains or panels that will help break down all that extra reverberation.

Soundproof panels can be purchased through several retailers. Soundproof curtains can be a do it yourself project that requires you to mount thick quilts to the walls and ceiling to buffer the noise from outside.

If you prefer to have a smaller, an in-home recording studio might be worth a try. Audimute has a small pop-up studio kit that can be ordered for four hundred dollars with the option to add more panels and accessories. Either one of these methods is effective and recommended to be done before recording anything.

Once you have sound-proofed your recording space you will want to look into the best equipment that will work the way you need it to without creating too much clutter at the same time.


Although not entirely essential lighting can improve the overall production value of your video of you playing handpan. There is not a single viewer that will watch your video in full or come back for more if the lighting is so dismal they can barely see you or the instruments you’re using.

This means you can’t create beautiful and professional quality music videos without great lighting. The way you decide to light your studio depends mostly on how much space you’re working with and how much you want to spend on good lighting.

A cheap option for lighting can be as simple as having a softbox or two in the room. This ESDDI Softbox Photography Lighting Kit [See Amazon for a current price] is an inexpensive way or producing great all-round lighting for your videos.

The bulbs inside the housings give enough light to make the area look brighter without causing any unwanted glare. This is especially important if you’re using a handpan with a glossy finish.

If you’re looking for more than just simple lighting and intend on creating more creative videos that stand out and look great, you may need to go with a bundled lighting pack that offers more than a few light bulbs.

Using Backdrops in Your Handpan Videos

You might want to check out the features of a 10Ft Background Support System. This lighting system has stand up lights, a lighting backdrop that can be purchased in three different colors, and the stands to put the lights on. The Background Support System has everything you need. Check out availability and current prices

Green Screen

Keep in mind that if you’re going to use something that has a backdrop, you may want to go ahead and get the chroma key type – You know, the green one!

The features of several different video editing apps will become much more fun to play with if you use the green screen.

If you buy the green backdrop and shoot a video of you playing and singing your brand new song then shoot a video of a riverbank with the water behind it, you can make your video really come to life. (Of course, you could also record yourself whilst at the river to save the messing around!)

Once you have the videos you can use the overlay features of your video editing software to put the riverbank footage as the background in place of the green screen.

While it’s true that you can use other colors for your background, green is the best simply because it matches everything in nature. Regardless of your skin tone, hair color or the other colors in the video you intend on placing as your background, the green of the green screen will allow the video to transition smoothly.

With enough practice, even a beginner could learn all the fun and interesting benefits of using a green screen backdrop when setting up lighting. Once you get it down-packed, you can give your videos that realistic yet far away feel that sets it apart from everyone else.

Camera Equipment

Now that you understand lighting, its time to figure out what other equipment you will need. Keep in mind that some of these products can be quite expensive and there are other cheaper alternatives. However, if you intend on producing professional-quality videos it is a good idea to use professional quality equipment.

The best recording equipment can come in the form of a laptop that already has a webcam installed or a digital video recorder that can be connected to a PC later to upload the videos. If you go with the laptop’s webcam, make certain that you have it positioned so that only the area you want to be seen by viewers is in the frame.

Canon Powershot

If you go with the digital video recorder, you will want to make sure it has great resolution and frame by frame capturing capabilities. If your looking for a camera with good quality and features that’s not overly expensive you can purchase a Canon PowerShot [Price on Amazon] This kind of camera is compact and has eight gigabytes of storage. It can also be connected to a personal computer later so that you can transfer your videos and edit them before you upload.

You will also need to invest in a decent tripod to hold the video camera where you want it to be. You will want something that’s sturdy enough to hold the camera, affordable enough to purchase and fits the camera you’re using properly so it doesn’t wobble and make the video look amateur.

Some cameras already come with a tripod that is designed for that specific camera and doesn’t really add much to the cost. The Canon PowerShot has a bundle deal that only costs ten dollars more than buying the camera alone and is still under two hundred dollars.

Sony Alpha a6400

Another camera that is amazing for high-quality videos is the Sony Alpha a6400. It is a very expensive camera [see price on Amazon] but its built-in features more than makeup for the cost. This camera has features for both still life and video capture in Next Gen Speed. Their claims of being the world’s fastest camera is backed up by the reviews of its performance.

The Sony Alpha a6400 has a screen that can be tilted for easier viewing as well as microphone and computer connection capabilities. If the price is not an object for you, this could be the camera you would like for making your YouTube videos.


For recording music from your laptop’s webcam, you will want a great microphone that is PC compatible and has very good sound production quality. The Blu Snowball iCE USB microphone on Amazon is a great choice that can be also purchased at several local retailers like Gamestop, Best Buy or Target.

If you go with the digital camera and tripod, you will want to make sure to get a microphone that will help reduce white noise and provide better sounding audio.

Canon offers a few microphones that are designed for their cameras that are less expensive and produce great sound. Even though most digital video cameras already have a microphone built-in, you will need one that is external because they simply sound a lot better.

The RodeMic Video Go is compatible with Canon as well as several other brands of digital cameras. [Check availability and price on amazon] It offers reduced sound as well as stability that prevents extra noises from any kind of wiggling or accidental bumps. This particular microphone can be found on Amazon for under one hundred dollars.

If you want to use a more compact microphone that can be clipped somewhere on your clothes or slipped into a shirt pocket, you might want to try the Samson Go Mic Mobile LM8 Lavalier Mic with PXD2 Bodypack Transmitter. [Price on Amazon ]. This microphone produces the kind of sound you would want for a YouTube music video. The flexibility is one of the best features of this particular microphone pack.

Mixing and Editing

Some musicians like to do some music mixing and editing during and after playback. It is true that there are a lot of computer programs like MixPad for Windows which typically runs about seventy dollars and is very good and does exactly what its supposed to do.

The functions on this type of mixer are usually limited to use after the audio has already been recorded. If that’s all you need for the mixing process, MixPad might be your best bet simply because of all the vibration and echo features available.

If you’re not exactly computer savvy you may want to go old school for the mixing process and use an external music equalizer.

An external equalizer can be adjusted while playing or set up before the initial recording and even after. The RZ062 Equalizer is a great mixer that has a lot of features for changing the tone, distortion, and vibration of the music. This particular equalizer costs about two hundred dollars and is well worth the cost simply because of all the features and sound effects.

Editing Software

When everything is said and done, your music studio is set up with noise reduction and you have already mixed and recorded your video, you may need to make further adjustments.

In order to do this, you will need video editing software that will enhance your video with better quality without reducing the clarity of the video or the audio.

When the video is in this stage of production, you want the foreground and background to look crystal clear to the viewers. Simply put, you want your handpan to look as beautiful as it sounds without any haze or extra light bouncing off its shiny surface.

There are several different video editing software programs to choose from. Which one you need will all depend on how extensive you need the features to be. What you use should fit your price range and be worth the money you spend on it.


If you want a video editor that is both cost-effective and useful and you intend on editing your videos on your iPhone, iMovie might be a good choice because it is free in the Apple store.

iMovie is used by a lot of YouTubers because it is free for in-home use although not for business use and has a lot of editing features.

A few of the features are transition effects and the duration desired, adding text, animations, and titles. You can mix tracks or add choral, distortion and several other sound effects.

Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe carries one of the more mainstream video editors called Adobe Premiere Pro.

This particular video editor allows the user to edit footage from any format. One of the best features of this one is that you can work on your video without having to stop and restart the project over and over again. Adobe allows for audio editing as well as video so all aspects of a music video can be polished until they work together smoothly.

The only possible downfall is the price, Adobe Premier Pro costs about twenty-one dollars per month. Even with the price, the extensive features would be well worth the cost because the controls are so easy to use and if you have a problem, Adobe has great customer support services.


Movavi is another video editing app that can be used on your computer to enhance and edit videos. This one is much more cost-effective, it only costs forty dollars for the suite. It has a lot of the same features that Adobe and iMovie without the phone data and monthly bill.

Whichever equipment you choose to use is completely up to you and goes by what you need and what you can personally afford. Remember that something expensive is not necessarily the best and something being a little bit cheaper does not mean it is made cheap.

Have Fun making Handpan Videos

The most important thing about making music videos for YouTube or for any other purpose should be the fun of making music and sharing it with the world. The point in making these videos is to share them so that others can enjoy them but you shouldn’t have to empty your entire bank account to do it.

The list above shares some of the more widely used equipment for audio and video effects and home studios. That does not mean that you should run to the local music store and order every product on this list.

Don’t be afraid to compare prices and keep your spending to a minimum so that you can still get something else if you need to.

It doesnt have to be the best, but make it OK at least

In the world of video production, the overall quality of the video is what your viewers are going to judge your work on. Its sad but true, first impressions really are what stick in the mind. If your first viewer watches your video and finds it amazing, they will tell a few of their friends and possibly share it on social media.

The great thing about YouTube is people still do not expect professional-quality video. Yes, there is a lot of it about and the biggest YouTubers have great equipment to produce them, but in general, people do not expect it.

Sound and lighting are the most important part, professional presentation skills are not essential on YouTube

If you use equipment that doesn’t work right, your video has poor sound quality or the lighting is so poor as to not be able to see you or your handpan, people will not stick around to watch and bounce off somewhere else They certainly won’t share it

The cold hard truth is when people see something they like they share it with the people they like and respect. If they see something that is of poor quality, looks or sounds terrible they may not.

With that in mind, purchase what you need first and save money for the equipment you really want later. This is especially important for people working within a tight budget. If you pay attention to the equipment you purchase and make certain they are compatible with one another and your lighting is great, your recording sessions should go so smoothly that you won’t have to second guess your skills when you post your music videos on YouTube.

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