Robkoo Wind Synthesizer R1

I really love this. For years, there were basically two choices for Wind Controllers. Either ones from Akai or Yamaha. Then Roland entered the space, then controllers like the NuRAD. Now, another contestant has entered the arena….the Robkoo Wind Synthesizer.

It has some very interesting design choices, including a horizontal orientation. Like….that’s cool. All kinds of interesting features. No price that I can find.

Not a lot of videos either. But it looks interesting though. Love that more of these are getting made.

Wireless Transmitters For EWI

There is a plethora of wireless guitar transmitters out there for Guitar that will work with your EWI (Aerophone or Akai). I have two, the Lekato 5.8ghz ones, and the NUX B-5RC (2.4ghz).

The Lekato is currently about $50 on Amazon. It works really well…..except…..when it doesn’t. Let me explain. I’ve used it a couple of times on gigs (*gasp* during COVID?!?!) and it’s solid. No interference. Good sound. Except it interferes with my iPad. We use a wireless mixer, and the iPad was having major issues connecting to the Mixer, which is sorta important when you switch to the EWI and want to boost the sound a little either in my in-ear mix, or in the mains. We generally keep the mixer only on 5ghz cause…….science. There are more frequencies available in 5ghz, and less interference. Anyhow, so when I was about 3 feet or closer to the iPad, it would start having issues being connected to the band’s mixer. Deal breaker? Sorta…….I mean, now I know what was happening, it’s pretty easy to not be really by the iPad. But it is rather annoying. The Lekato though NEVER lost it’s connection. It was just the iPad.

The NUX is really solid. It also comes with a great case that also functions as a recharging case as well (a la Airpods). These function on the 2.4ghz band, but NUX has done some spectrum filtering to sort of have it’s stuff “sit” in parts of the band where wifi doesn’t sit. It’s also rock solid. Should be for 3 times the price.

Which one would I recommend? Both. I think it’s wise, when you are going into the wireless stuff, to have options. Unless you want to plunk out a lot of $$$ on a Shure system (currently about $299). With the Shure system though, you’d need to PLUG IN the receiver to power. Both the NUX and the Lekato are battery powered. You just simply come to the gig, plug into the sound system, and you are set for hours.

Having TWO different transmitters/receivers in your bag, it allows you to have options. And BOTH of them are battery powered. The big downside with the Shure system is that it requires you to take a fairly big (1/2 rack size box) with you and it’s AC adapter. The NUX and the Lekato would fix fine in your AE-30 case (with the stand I reviewed earlier) or whatever case you have for your Akai. Having both also lets you trouble shoot interference issues.

If you are looking to get into wireless, you can’t go wrong with the NUX or the Lekato.

EWItool 2.3.0 “Prerequisites None!”

I’d love to be able to abandon the original patch editor for the EWI400s (It’s so buggy and requires using an old computer stored in my basement!) But I’m having no luck. I am running it on a Mac OSX. There are never any “Core4Midi4J” prefixed ports so I can’t communicate with my EWI. Any ideas?

Excerpt from Help page.
“The next thing to do is to choose the MIDI ports you are going to use to connect to the EWI; go to the EWI menu and select MIDI Connections – that should be self-explanatory, but if you are on OS X you must choose the Core4Midi4J prefixed ports – using any others will prevent EWItool from communicating with your EWI.”

Homemade EWI Stand

While I totally think this stand is the best stand you can currently get for EWIs, I somehow missed a post from Bret Pimentel in 2017 where he made a “home made stand”, which would screw into something like a Hercules stand, or whatever stand you have. Or maybe I did try making one? I don’t remember (nor have any fruits of me attempting to make one), so this might be an option for people. It’s not nearly as portable as my afore mentioned stand though (it fits in my Aerophone and Akai EWI cases).

Roland Aerophone Pro V2.0

Roland is not sitting on it’s butt. It is really moving forward with making the Aerophone Pro THE new standard in Wind Controller.

They just released firmware 2.0 for it, and it takes things to another level. We now can finally get new sounds, patches, and even draw from a bunch of things from the Roland Cloud.

I mean, this is really what it should be. It Akai…..WTF……you’ve had DECADES of EWI under your belt, but you NEVER did anything with it. You created a crap ass editor (that no longer works on Mac), but never tied it into your ecosystem. BRAVO Roland for this. It’s is great.

HOWEVER……..why do we have to transfer these files with a F-ing USB drive??? I mean…..what is this…..1990? There is USB C on this thing. Why don’t you have a program that runs (say, I dunno, Roland Cloud), that can transfer the files over a USB C cable from a computer. Why do we have this archaic boot holding down the menu key, and having a USB C drive connected. It’s stupid.

I’m HOPING this gets addressed in the next update. But seriously though, this is great stuff. I banked on Roland and it’s sound engine, and was hoping for something like this. They delivered with a Librarian function in the last update, but this takes it to another level.

Akai……seriously…….you need to fire your current team on the EWI. You need to put a synthesis engine BACK into the EWI (not a F-ing sample player), and get back in the game. There is NO REASON anyone should be buying the current offerings from Akai. If you can get a 4000S, get it, but……the 5000s and the Solo are dead ends. Roland is the new leader in this space.

For the Very Best Virtual Instrument (not synth) Sounds Go External

I have played EWI’s from way back when you still needed a rackmounted processor for your EWI, to EWI USB, and EWI-4000s, but unsatisfied with the built in sounds I searched and was disappointed until I found samplemodeling.com They had not only the best woodwind and brass sounds, but their software had specific settings for Windcontrollers. More recently one part of this incredibly creative group split off to form audiomodeling (using their own SWAM engine). Go to their web sites and check it out with your own ears.
You can also check out my soundcloud page here:

https://soundcloud.com/dstong

I’ve recently bought a Roland Aerophone AE-10 and the built trumpet, violin, harmonica, clarinet, bassoon etc. are far superior to anything I have ever heard built in to any other wind controller. However, I have major problems with the octave key. I thought it was only because I am so used to the octave rollers on the EWI instruments, but some reviews I read recently written by people who have never played an EWI have the same complaints. I have gotten better with some practdice, but it is very frustrating to put it mildly. The pricey Aerophone AE-30 is supposed to have improved the octave keys as well as all of the other keys as well and the synth sounds, which don’t interest me that much, are also said to be improved.