Category Archives: Articles

EWI5000 and Presonus One 5 Pro

Does anyone have experience setting up an EWI5000 in Presonus Studio One to work with Aria Player or any of the VST instrument group included with PS1? I have everything working with one exception… There is no ability to crescendo/decrescendo by blowing harder or softer into the EWI. There is the ability to create a louder or softer note based on the air pressure at the the attack of the note (like key velocity on a keyboard instrument, but once that musical dynamic is set it cannot be changed with the breath controller. I’m assuming this has something to do with midi “expression”(?) but am at a loss as to what to do. So far the support team at Presonus is “stumped”. To date, the folks at MakeMusic (the Aria Player and associated Garriton instruments are part of Finale) – have not replied to my inquiries.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

Tom Scott YouTube Channel

Legend Tom Scott has a YouTube channel, and it’s criminally under viewed. It’s a great channel with Tom telling stories like how he was in the Blues Brothers band, or playing a great little rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (where he does a little bit on the new Roland Aerophone AE30).

I hope Tom keeps posting videos and adding subscribers. He still has one of the most distinctive sax sounds out there. I absolutely love his tenor sound from the 70s. I remember in high school trying to master the “Dirty Old Man” solo on a jazz band arrangement by him. Such a great song. FYI, he also wrote and performed the great Starsky & Hutch Theme. And he was one of the early EWI pioneers utilizing the Lyricon in sooo many of his albums (this was before Michael Brecker got into the EWI).

Go check him out and subscribe

Roland AE-30

Roland has released another in their line of Aerophone Digital Wind Instruments. You have the Aerophone AE-10, the Aerophone GO, the Aerophone mini, and now the Aerophone Pro (AE-30).

Retailing for a whopping $1500, it does have a lot of things going for it. It seems to really embrace the synth part more than it’s previous models, or anything Yamaha or Akai is offering up. Sure, there is a lot of cheezy “sax sounds”, and other sampled sounds, but their is also a “zen core synthesis system” which Roland uses in the Phantom and Jupiter X synth lines. This is very cool. And easily puts it way past other EWIs on the market. You’d have to somehow obtain an Akai EWI4000s (which Akai discontinued) to get a synth engine, and it’s not even in the league of the Roland’s. Plus it has Bluetooth MIDI on it. And can be configured from an editor app on your tablet.

Basically, THIS IS THE WIND CONTROLLER you should get. It has the best of everything on it. Sampled sounds, and a synth engine so you can do………pretty much anything.

The ONLY….complaints are the price $1499 is really steep (and it’s mostly plastic…..and at least one reviewer didn’t like the plastic mouthpiece), the insistence of having a built in speaker (why?……I can see this for the “non pro” ones….but the pro? How about losing that and adding a better mouthpiece (ebonite maybe?) or maybe wireless audio from it?) and that these seems to be a lot of key noise. Like cheap sounding key noise.

Would I get this? YES. This is the direction wind controllers/Electronic Wind Instruments should be going. A powerful engine where you can do sampled sounds, but you can also create new sounds. And it’s not looking like some sort of franken-sax. It’s worth the investment. Get something good. Get this.

Yamaha YDS-150 Digital Saxophone

Official launch of the new Yamaha EWI.

The YDS-150 effectively emulates an authentic saxophone experience digitally—from the sound and key layout to feedback from the instrument—while maintaining the sense of unity between the saxophone and musician. The Digital Saxophone breaks the barrier to entry for new or returning musicians providing the ability to quickly express themselves creatively and musically.Unlike MIDI Wind Controllers, the YDS-150 incorporates a key structure that replicates that of a traditional saxophone, offering players the natural feel to which they are accustomed. A genuine brass bell enhances the acoustic presence of the instrument thanks to the company’s new proprietary Integrated Bell Acoustic System technology. The sound and vibration of the speaker unit at the top of the instrument are transmitted to the bell through the sound pipe, and in turn, the instrument itself vibrates similarly to a traditional saxophone. Vibrations are carried to the mouth and fingertips through the mouthpiece and keys to give players authentic instrumental feedback. What’s more, the Digital Saxophone sings with longer reverberation thanks to the brass bell, making it possible for musicians to play in a naturally expressive way.