First look at the Sabre clarinet sensor

In October, we were lucky to meet with clarinetist and inventor Matthias Müller. He has worked for years on designing and performing with an augmented bass clarinet. Recently, he declined a portable version of the sensor system for any clarinet: the SABRE Multi Sensor. It includes an air-pressure sensor, a 3D accelerometer, two buttons accessible from the left hand, two buttons accessible from the right thumb.

I love how they designed the buttons for the right thumb. You can change the orientation as you wish.

Air pressure sensor and accelerometer are attached to the barrel.

Graduate student Mauricio Silva working with Matthias Müller.

Easy to connect to Max

The sensors transmit data through Bluetooth. We had things working quite easily when tested on a Mac. I immediately tried to build an interactive delay in Max. It worked flawlessly: the sensors send OSC data.

Mauricio plans on using the sensor for one of his main projects this year. I'll let you know his new music will be available.


  1. It seems like a very intriguing tendency is emerging to 'hack' the clarinet with electronics - now the Sabre and two years (or maybe more?) ago the Clex contrabass clarinet. I'm wondering if it's a coincidence or if this inclination is perhaps somehow grounded.

  2. Thanks for the comment. There's nothing new with extending instruments, of course. The most successful story in that domain is the electric guitar. The Clex is interesting, but it doesn't seem possible to make it a viable commercial product. The Sabre sensor builds on the SABRE augmented bass clarinet research, which was not viable as a commercial product either. Now, they are trying to market the product and make it accessible to a larger audience. I think it's logical that all instruments evolve towards using more electronic effects. It has been done for a number of years, even though it's not mainstream. Examples include Guillaume Perret's saxophone or Tood Reynold's performance practice on violin (also my own Electroclarinet.)


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