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  • Wind Controllers/Synths?

    Anyone use these? Akai EWI models, Yamaha WXs, or others?

    I own an Akai EWI 4000S and wouldn't sell it unless I was dying of starvation. Its keys play like a recorder, and its mouthpiece is closer to one, too (which is fine, the recorder is the only 'wood wind' I know how to play hehe), but it was the internal synth that drew me. It's VA, but Akai thought out enough to make it very playable with breath control and Patchman Music makes an excellent sound bank for it.

    I love not being tied to a sound module or computer, and the attack phase of the envelope is as long as I have air

    The sensor resolution to the internal synth is also higher than any MIDI module will ever be. Absolutely zero stepping/zipper.

    If Akai released a physical modeling version at NAMM I'd buy it as soon as I could. Or Yamaha, they've got some excellent PM stuff. Cram a VL-1 or VL-7m into a WX-5? Oh yes.
    Meh.

  • #2
    Been on my wish list for some time now. I have some more traditional wind instruments, but I'd love to be able to play different sounds. I looked at the USB version of the EWI (sells around $220 now I think), and might at some point grab one.

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    • #3
      I think if you don't mind being tied to a computer the EWI USB is a great way to get into wind controllers for minimal cost. It has all the fingering modes of the 4000S (various woodwind, brass, and EWI) and doesn't require calibration iirc. Less octave rollers and no glide strip, otherwise it plays the same.
      Meh.

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      • #4
        I don't mind being tied to a computer as I can always take my other instruments anywhere I want. I have a concert flute, alto sax, tin whistles, recorder bansuri and dizi to keep me occupied when not at the computer.

        What I'd really like it for is just playing with sounds that there's no way I can produce on the acoustic instruments.

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        • #5
          Akai announced the EWI 5000 for NAMM this year :D 3GB of samples and wireless audio :thumbsup:

          http://www.akaipro.com/tradeshow/wna...MM2014_Out.pdf

          HARNESSING THE POWER OF WIND: AKAI PROFESSIONAL
          INTRODUCES THE WIRELESS EWI 5000

          With an entire orchestra of sounds built in, EWI 5000 gives wind instrumentalists a new
          level of expression and includes the latest in wireless connectivity plus a 12-hour
          rechargeable battery.

          Cumberland, R.I. (January 23, 2014) – Akai Professional, creators of the original EWI,
          announce the EWI 5000, the most expressive and versatile wind instrument in the world. EWI
          5000 includes an array of advanced features, including digital 2.4GHz ultra-low-latency wireless
          connectivity, a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts up to 12 hours, and more than 3GB of
          built-in traditional and progressive sounds from SONiVOX, a leading creator of premium virtual
          instruments and software synthesis technologies.

          “We’ve created EWI 5000 to address the needs of today’s modern wind players, and we’re
          especially excited to see what modern musicians can do with it to push the boundaries of wind
          instrument performance,” said Dan Gill, Akai Professional Product Manager. “Calibration is
          automatic and setup is easy. EWI 5000 is a smart instrument. It automatically adjusts to your
          playing style and offers authentic sounds, wireless convenience, rechargeability, and the
          expressive freedom EWI is known for.”

          EWI 5000 comes loaded with more than 3GB of top-quality sounds, including traditional horn,
          brass, woodwind, and string sounds, plus progressive synths, leads, and other non-traditional
          sounds. EWI 5000 includes 12 touch-sensitive metal keys on its top and an eight-wheel thumb controlled
          octave roller on the bottom. An EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument) Mode is included for
          brass players, and EWI 5000 also includes eight control knobs for tweaking Filter, Reverb,
          Chorus, LFO, Breath Amount, Bite Amount, Semitone Tuning, and Fine Tuning. Both USB MIDI
          and 5-pin MIDI are onboard for controlling software synths or traditional MIDI modules. A 1/4-
          inch output to connect to an amplifier or PA and an 1/8-inch headphone output for silent practice
          are included. EWI 5000 charges via USB or wall power and also includes a USB cable, wall
          adapter, wireless receiver, and a neck strap.
          Meh.

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          • #6
            The EWI USB is on sale at Musicians Friend for about $218! I used to play recorder and trombone before the noise ticked my parents off (made second seat trombone in high school).. soo tempted even if it means ramen noodles for 2 weeks... argh argh argh argh..

            Alchemy + EWI = ambient madness?

            The darn thing would fit in my suitcase next to the QuNexus.. help..
            Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
            Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
            Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

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            • #7
              I've never used my EWI via MIDI, but I've heard from other players recently that it feels a little disconnected playing a module/soft synth via MIDI vs using an Akai 3000/3020 (CV to its analog module) or 4000S on its internal synth. But these are also guys playing wind instruments and EWIs for decades.

              But the EWI USB for $220 is practically a no brainer if you want a wind controller for the computer (or modules if you have a USB host). I love playing my 4000S and can't wait to add the 5000. I thought there was actually a recorder fingering mode, but I'm not finding that, now. The EWI plays a lot like one either way, though, no keys to press, just "holes to cover" via the touch sensitive keys. And the mouthpiece just goes in your mouth like a recorder, too (with a bite sensor for pitch-based vibrato).
              Meh.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by KrisM View Post
                I've never used my EWI via MIDI, but I've heard from other players recently that it feels a little disconnected playing a module/soft synth via MIDI vs using an Akai 3000/3020 (CV to its analog module) or 4000S on its internal synth. But these are also guys playing wind instruments and EWIs for decades.

                But the EWI USB for $220 is practically a no brainer if you want a wind controller for the computer (or modules if you have a USB host). I love playing my 4000S and can't wait to add the 5000. I thought there was actually a recorder fingering mode, but I'm not finding that, now. The EWI plays a lot like one either way, though, no keys to press, just "holes to cover" via the touch sensitive keys. And the mouthpiece just goes in your mouth like a recorder, too (with a bite sensor for pitch-based vibrato).
                I think I'm going to go ahead and get one. I need compact instruments I can fit in my suitcase, and I feel the EWI would be a great input device to drive my VSTi and compliment my incoming QuNexus. I don't remember any of my old woodwind stuff so I don't have anything to unlearn (heh) and I'm willing to approach it as a different kind of instrument.

                Bye bye money, hello hot dogs, Mac and cheese, and Top Ramen! How I suffer for my art... (chortles)

                *edit* Ordered, but out of stock - should ship around the 30th of this month. A bit more than the QuNeo I was looking at, but I think better suited for my needs.
                Last edited by Synthetic Aurality; 01-23-2014, 03:31 PM. Reason: Spent money sooner than I thought
                Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
                Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
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                • #9
                  awesome :D I know off the top of my head Ableton Live and Reason have some 'wind synth' patches from some people that are all set up, otherwise you'll need to make sure the plugins respond to CC2 (breath) and some other CCs I can't think of. http://www.patchmanmusic.com/WindControllerFAQ.html has a lot of information, too.
                  Meh.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KrisM View Post
                    awesome :D I know off the top of my head Ableton Live and Reason have some 'wind synth' patches from some people that are all set up, otherwise you'll need to make sure the plugins respond to CC2 (breath) and some other CCs I can't think of. http://www.patchmanmusic.com/WindControllerFAQ.html has a lot of information, too.
                    Thanks for the info! I've been pining for an alternate controller, I know Alchemy and Kontakt respond to breath, and maybe a couple other synths. I also have GPO, so THAT should work a treat! I can't wait!!
                    Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
                    Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
                    Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

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                    • #11
                      Came across these on the Patchman forum:


                      http://instagram.com/p/jkUPZTRonj


                      and


                      Meh.

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                      • #12
                        Wow, pretty cool! If I were a REAL horn player I'd start saving my pennies for a 5000!
                        Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
                        Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
                        Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

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                        • #13
                          It shipped this morning, two weeks early! With any luck that means I'll have it Saturday (barring the weather from slowing things up). Fun times ahead!
                          Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
                          Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
                          Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

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                          • #14
                            I wonder how the Aria software compares to the GPO you currently own? I think it's a stripped down version of GPO4? I guess you'll find out soon enough, congrats :D
                            Meh.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by KrisM View Post
                              I wonder how the Aria software compares to the GPO you currently own? I think it's a stripped down version of GPO4? I guess you'll find out soon enough, congrats :D
                              I'll let you know - the GPO I have is pretty good but not sure how well it handles all the wind controller performane data..

                              I'll post my experiences!
                              Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
                              Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
                              Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

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