Experimental: The Snyderphonics Birl

February 10, 2014 · Posted in Uncategorized 

BIRL wind instrument prototype by Snyderphonics.
Development by Jeff Snyder and Danny J. Ryan.

A little explanation:

Super quick rough edit to show to some people I know, I’ll edit a real demo together at some point.

It is designed to have a very basic wind instrument keying kind of like a recorder/flute/saxophone, with octave keys for the thumb. It lacks a lot of the special-purpose saxophone keys (i.e. the multiple pinky keys and whatnot).
The cool thing is that you can “train” it to use any fingering (within the limits of the physical keys) that you want. As in – put your fingers in some pattern and say “this should be an Eb” to the software. Then, you can store those as presets in the instrument and it will remember them and recall them. It’s using a neural net to learn what you want.

The other neat feature is that I am trying to get a much better sense of embouchure. Right now it’s in an early stage, but you can see it working in the video. You can put your mouth in some particular position (say, tightening your lips) and say “when I do this I want the sound to get buzzier”. The neural net also learns these things. Then it creates an large space of possibilities – I’m trying to approach the wealth of sound and technique options that something like a saxophone has, so that you can really shape the tone and get microtones and squeals and fluttertongue and everything. The idea is that every new “training” you do will have a whole world of extended techniques alongside the expected behavior you have trained.

For synthesis, it’s using some simple FM stuff and a physical modelling patch (which is amazing with it).

I’m working on a schedule to try and come out with it as a small-run product via a kickstarter campaign by the end of summer.

Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll put you on the list to get updates!
Jeff at snyderph

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