Development of Fibre Polymer Sensor Reeds for Saxophone and Clarinet

Hofmann, Alex and Chatziioannou, Vasileios and Mayer, Alexander and Hartmann, Harry

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Electronic pickup systems for acoustic instruments are often used in popular and contemporary music performances because they allow amplification and modification of a clean and direct signal. Strain gauge sensors on saxophone and clarinet reeds have been shown to be a useful tool to gain insight into tongue articulation during performance but also capture the reed vibrations. In our previous design, we used a procedure with epoxy adhesive to glue the strain gauge sensors to the flat side of the synthetic single reeds. The new design integrates the sensor inside a synthetic reed, respectively between layers of fibre polymer and wood. This allows an industrial production of sensor reeds. Sensor reeds open up new possibilities to pick up woodwind instruments and to analyse, to modify, and to amplify the signal. A signal-to-noise analysis of the signals from both designs showed that a sensor, glued to the outside of the reed, produced a cleaner signal.