Akai EWI USB. Electronic Wind Instrument.

Since the release of the very first Akai EWI, pronounced like “Kiwi”, acronym for Electronic Wind Instrument was released in 1987 I wanted one. There’s nothing more expressive than the human mouth so even though my lips never touched an EWI I assumed these would sound unique. I have no desire to be a traditional Sax player but imagine adding 16 bars or highly expressive wind driven sound behind your second verse. As I mentioned I never did buy and EWI. When they were release I was 17 years old and anything well over $1000 was going towards a car.

So today I was surprised and happy to see an all new EWI is being released. The new EWI is whistling my name louder than ever because the new kid retails for only $299 and connects via USB. The only thing I dislike about the EWI-USB is that it’s missing the glide plate which I think is pretty important for a wind instrument to have. Maybe the EWI 4000 is the still the better choice? Perhaps a EWI-5000 with USB is also on the way?

The EWI USB comes with it’s own software synth called Aria but the first thing I would do is pair the hardware with NI Massive or an Ableton Simpler patch loaded a sample with my own voice screaming.

Here’s some more resources about EWI’s:

Wind controller FAQ, forum and soundbanks – Patchmanmusic
Great EWI site: www.ewi-evi.com
See the EWIs videos on YouTube: click here
Harmony-Central EWI reviews: click here

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Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to: thehorrorist.com

6 thoughts on “Akai EWI USB. Electronic Wind Instrument.”

  1. oh man, i always wanted one of those too.. esp. after hearing kevin braheny (& his work with steve roach). cool to hear about this new usb vers. i play flute and clarinet (a little bit) so i may have to keep this under serious consideration……

  2. Hey, fun, especially for non-traditional woodwind instrument recordings. That’s the charm when using MIDI instruments in a different setting. Need to start saving my lunch money now…

  3. I played my EWI 1000 until it died, and got the 4000s last year when it came out. It’s nice to know that there’s a cheap substitute if I need a spare.

    However, the glide plate is my favorite part about playing the instrument, so this is no replacement for the 4000s, though really attractive anyway at that price. I’ve already seen one on craigslist :). I wish the glide rate was dynamically adjustable somehow, instead of requiring the twiddling of a tiny little knob behind a hatch.

    @Carina, the 4000s can be transposed to any key you want via controls on the instrument. I usually play in C, but every once in a while read something written for saxophone which is easier for me to play in Bb or Eb.

  4. hello…

    i ve already buy one… … but… i have a dificulty of get this controoler working perfectly (especially because i’ve got hi latency) in a pc. somebody knows how a can maxime this controler?

  5. I am searching for some info on Alto Saxaphones and I’ve just come across your website! An interesting read which I have found to be of use. I will return be able to read more.

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