EWI Solo

How do you take the venerable Akai EWI, and make it total garbage? You strip away the wireless, make it longer, and give it a shitty speaker.

For your pleasure, the “geniuses” at Akai have brought forth…..the EWI Solo.

Akai EWI 4000s Review

A good review/intro to EWIs. I still think the Akai are THE EWI to get. There are PLENTY of other makers out there, but Akai has a proven history of making the instrument.

Also keep in mind akai no longer makes the 4000s

VINDOR ES2 WIND CONTROLLER

If you can forgive the Youtube videos they have up of a guy clearly in need of some serious Jonathan Van Ness intervention, a company called Vindor has a intriguing, reasonably priced wind controller that is actually shipping. I believe they had a version 1 of this but I never heard of it.

Anyhow, it features:

  1. Louder integrated speaker with clearer sound*.
  2. Use MIDI, built-in oscillators, internal physical model or sample player (using SD card).
  3. Pitch bending and effects through gestures.
  4. USB-C connector*.
  5. MIDI through USB or DIN via inexpensive external adapter*.
  6. Works with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
  7. Playback through USB (Vindor ES becomes headphones and microphone).
  8. 4 hours of untethered play time if using headphones.
  9. 1/4″ jack for connecting with amplifiers and effects pedals.
  10. OLED screen for interactive configuration.
  11. HiRes MIDI support provides 14-bit resolution (16000 steps vs 127) for synths that support it.

Berglund Instruments

Following up from the last post, another company to watch is Berglund Instruments. They currently make an EVI (Electric Valve Instrument) that looks and sounds great. If you follow their instagram account, it seems they are working on a EWI version. And I want one. Seriously. I’ve contacted them.

The Emeo (Part 2)

Emeo Music dropped another video of their forthcoming “digital practice horn for saxophone players”. I’m a little confused as to why it is marketed as this. While it does seem to have a rather cool looking body with fully articulating saxophone keys, it doesn’t have a mouthpiece. In fact, it just seems to be some tube you blow into. Which is fine, but…..is that really a “practice horn” then?

I think the better play is to market this as a higher end wind controller with a more “realistic” feel.

End of an Era – Akai’s EWI 4000S Discontiued

Seems like this happened over the summer (first I have heard about it) but Akai has discontinued the EWI 4000s. Though no where on their website do they indicate this. But a number of dealers are reporting it is so.

I am of two minds of this. While I LOVE my EWI 4000s, with it’s great analog synth engine, the EWI 5000 offers a number of interesting improvements (wireless, rechargeable battery, etc). My “beef” with the 5000 is that it just doesn’t sound like an “EWI”. You don’t sound like Brecker with it. You sound like you are trying (and generally failing) to be whatever SAMPLE you are playing. Flute, clarinet, harmonica, whatever.

Now, if they come out with an EWI 6000 that marries the 4000s and 5000s together, I’d buy one.