Dark Arps has released a free sampled Hang Drum instrument for Native Instruments Kontakt.
I decided I should sample the instrument, and brought a few mics, my laptop and interface round to my friend John’s house. I had John play each note around the drum at increasing velocities (quietest through moderate, to hardest), using the flat of his hand, his knuckle or a rubber mallet, so as to capture a variety of tonal characters.
I recorded each strike using an AKG C414B and Beyerdynamic M160, using the mid/side micing technique which produces a recording with a wide stereo image, but which also sums perfectly to mono. Once these differing velocities were captured, I processed the recordings (EQ, compression, noise gate), mixed them and bounced the entire recording to one stereo file, which I then sliced up manually and loaded into Kontakt, scaling the incoming velocities to trigger the recordings of the drum being hit at the respective velocities.
Importantly, I removed the velocity to volume modulation which is typically a default setting for most synths/samplers, as the recording of the lighter velocities are, naturally, lower in volume than the higher velocities.
The 147 MB download is available from Dark Arps at no cost.