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Kickstarter: Oval - Digital Handpan

In a sea of half-assed crowd-funding cash-grabs, Oval stands out immediately in my mind as something genuinely new and exciting. This handpan controller instrument features USB MIDI, and Bluetooth 4.0 Low energy MIDI for directly connected to iOS devices. They are even offering an iOS app that will teach you how to play it. This is seriously tempting.

Now get ready for the gut punch, because you'll have to be willing to bet $445 upfront on whether or not you're going to like this. After the first 250 units are sold the price goes up to $557. And they are selling in a hurry. The campaign just launched and is already at $65,000 of their $110,000 goal!

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.


  • 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

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.

Reader Comments 5

I'm in!

June 02, 2015  | person_outline hypnosapien

This reminds of the 'Alphasphere' product which was being promoted recently.

Personally - I have a problem with these circular & spherical designs and would be more comfortable with a linear 'grid' layout.

Handpad looks like it has 8 touch pads. I would prefer these to be in a flat 4*4 grid.
If any shaping - maybe concave (curved inwards), or sloped upwards.

In the case of Alphasphere, trying to play the surfaces of a 369 degree 'ball' seems silly to me!

June 02, 2015  | person_outline Mick

Possibly adding of oilproof, durable material would be cool too.
Or like... Like a 16 pack of midi sensors that u can stick to anywhere via bluetooth so that live electronic performances can seem more interactive?

There are sonmany cool midi controllers out here currently offering something different but this is boring

There has been stuff already like this like midi Mandalas, semi circle shaped drum tablets by like Simmons or wtvs. There have beenmono colored squishy keyed keyboards. And that recent 2 or 4 sensor thing that was posted seemed like the most interesting physical midi thing that has been posted so far.
I get weirded out by how many recently credited "new/innovative" designers FORGET to look back on whats already been moreso done.

This is cool, but we really got to see more designers delving a bit more into the parameters they currently have available ?

June 02, 2015  | person_outline Design seems a bit frivolous?

Slick video. I can see why the pledges are rolling in. Never actually shows the device doing anything. Oh, a drummer likes it. Well, that's all the endorsement I need. Not.

June 03, 2015  | person_outline notBlownAway

No doubt there's a market for a multi-touch MIDI control surface (QED, iPad). Somewhat comparable gear (Roland Octapad with QuiccoSound M1 for bluetooth MIDI = $699 + $45 +$?? for portable power source) doesn't look as cool though. This product is for afficionados I'd guess.

June 03, 2015  | person_outline a1

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