The Snyderphonics Birl Electronic Wind Instrument (Sneak Preview)

Jeff Snyder of Snyderphonics, developer of the Manta controller, shared this video preview of the upcoming Birl electronic wind instrument.

In the video, Pedro Eustache tries out the Snyderphonics Birl electronic wind instrument prototype.

The first part of the video shows him testing out more discrete playing and the ending shows him trying out fingered pitch bends, one of the advantages of the Birl’s “open-holed” design. 

The Birl is an electronic wind instrument, with capacitive sensing keys, that uses machine learning techniques for the mapping of fingering systems and embouchure position.

Like the Manta, it responds to touch in a continuous manner. Snyder says that this makes the Birl more expressive than currently available commercial instruments that implement thresholded on/off controls.

Two versions are planned:

  • a smaller size with basic functionality; and
  • a larger size with extra features, such as internal synthesis and advanced embouchure sensing.


  • 11 finger sensors
  • half holing and trainable alternate fingerings enabled
  • mouthpiece with embouchure sensing combining swept frequency capacitive sensing and mouth resonance sensing expands timbre control possibilities
  • every possible finger combination produces a pitch output
  • graphical user interface software for ease of access to machine learning capabilities

For more info on Snyder’s instruments, see the Snyderphonics site.

2 thoughts on “The Snyderphonics Birl Electronic Wind Instrument (Sneak Preview)

  1. At last a wind controller where the holes work correctly, fantastic, been craving something working this way for a long time.

    It’s like with sustain pedals. Sustain is absolutely not on/off and instruments that limit sustain to on/off are simply wrong. Sustain levels are continuous.

    Likewise on all wind instruments, holes are not open or closed. There is a range and that range absolutely matters to anyone that plays winds.

Leave a Reply