Listen up Akai, Yamaha, and you others. This is what we want. Not some new EWI that can pretend to be a flute, sax or whatever.
With the plethora of new “EWIs” out, which I would say fail to really capture what the instrument is, we now have this. Which looks like it is coming soon!
The more I see this instrument, and the SAD offerings now by Akai, Roland, and now Yamaha………I think this is really what people are looking for.
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.“
EWI Tool, and open source patch editor for the Akai EWI4000s was shutdown almost 2 years ago. And Akai has since discontinued making the EWI 4000s (stupid decision in my opinion).
Seems like if you are a macOS user, you were kinda screwed as if you went to 10.15 (Catalina), you basically couldn’t edit your patches anymore.
Fear not, it is now been resurrected here. I’m excited. During this COVID-19 thing, one of the things I really wanted to do (and of course did not) was to get back into the EWI. And learn Bass. And Harmonica (none of those things happened either).
This is a great example of the benefit of Open Source, and that the community of Akai EWI 4000s users is still going strong!
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.
I like how he’s using Mainstage, and another controller taped(?) to his EWI. Wild stuff!
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
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:
- Louder integrated speaker with clearer sound*.
- Use MIDI, built-in oscillators, internal physical model or sample player (using SD card).
- Pitch bending and effects through gestures.
- USB-C connector*.
- MIDI through USB or DIN via inexpensive external adapter*.
- Works with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
- Playback through USB (Vindor ES becomes headphones and microphone).
- 4 hours of untethered play time if using headphones.
- 1/4″ jack for connecting with amplifiers and effects pedals.
- OLED screen for interactive configuration.
- HiRes MIDI support provides 14-bit resolution (16000 steps vs 127) for synths that support it.