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Akai Professional EWI USB Electronic Wind Controller 

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The Akai Professional EWI USB electronic wind controller is for musicians seeking an easy-to-play, easy-to-use instrument. Akai Professional's decade...Click To Read More About This Product

Available 07-09-2017

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OVERVIEW

Use your computer and this electronic wind instrument for unprecedented control over your sound.

The Akai Professional EWI USB electronic wind controller is for musicians seeking an easy-to-play, easy-to-use instrument. Akai Professional's decades of experience in wind and electronic musical instruments are rolled into Akai's most user-friendly-and most affordable-EWI controller ever.

Premium Akai Pedigree

For over 20 years, Akai Professional has studied the art of playing saxophone, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and other traditional wind instruments and developed electronic wind instruments that enable wind players to enjoy the same expressive control as in an acoustic instrument. Akai Professional designed the EWI USB to give wind players the expressive musical capabilities previously found only in much more expensive instruments.

Akai Professional Performance

EWIs are the only choice for serious wind players looking to make music electronically. While EWI USB is easy and fun to use, it's also powerful, flexible, and-most importantly-reliable enough for use on stage and in the studio by professional musicians.

Computer Control

The Akai EWI USB controller is extremely flexible because it harnesses your computer to generate its sounds. Its USB interface means that all you need is nearly any Mac or PC and the included EWI USB software, and you're ready to practice, perform, create, and record with a full collection of wind instrument sounds. Aria Player software was produced specifically for use with EWI USB, providing wind players with an unprecedented level of expressive control.

FEATURES
  • Electronic wind instrument controller
  • Easy to play, easy to use
  • Powerful, flexible, and reliable
  • Plug-and-play USB connection to Mac or PC
  • Custom Garritan Aria Player software, contains wind instrument sounds
  • Multiple fingering modes: sax, traditional EWI, flute, oboe, and EVI (electronic valve instrument) fingering for brass players
  • Expandable sound palette
  • Removable, dishwasher-safe mouthpiece
  • Includes:
  • EWI USB wind instrument
  • Neck strap
  • Cleaning cloth
  • USB cable
  • Software DVD
  • Quick start guide
SPECIFICATIONS

EWI USB Electronic Wind Controller

  • Sensors:
    Mouthpiece: air-pressure level sensor & bite sensor
    Note Keys: 13 touch sensors
    Octave Rollers: 2 mobile, 2 fixed touch sensors (5-octave range)
    Bend Plates: 2 touch sensors
    Ground Plates: 2 touch sensors

    General:
    Class-compliant, plug-and-play USB device
    MIDI Output Channels Over USB: 1
    Mac and PC compatible

    Hardware:
    Dimensions: 2-3/4" W x 23-1/8" L x 2-3/4" H
    Weight: 1.3 lb.
    Power: 100mA, 5V via USB
    Terminals: 1 slave connector (MIDI over USB)

    Minimum system requirements:
    Mac: OSX
    PC: Windows XP or Vista
    USB port
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Akai ProfessionalEWI USB Electronic Wind Controller
 
4.1

(based on 20 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

86%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good quality (8)
  • Functional (7)
  • Easy to use (5)
  • Improves sound (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Practicing (7)
  • Recording (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (8), Professional musician (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great purchase!

It's an excellent buy!Read up online about what this device can do (no space here to explain, 1000 words are too few).It's a wonderful device, but I'll tell you where it...Read complete review

It's an excellent buy!Read up online about what this device can do (no space here to explain, 1000 words are too few).It's a wonderful device, but I'll tell you where it failed me; which is often a bigger determening factor for some to buy or not to buy:Needs external ASIO driver (asio4all)Instruments need tweaking to get a good sound, though can be made to sound like a nice sax!Limited good samplesThe neckstrap is a bit too long (needed to put knots in it to get it the right size)EWI COntroller too heavy! I opened the device and removed the internal weights.Comes in a cardboard box, but no gigbag. Difficult to find a suiting gigbag; but the cardbox will hold 2 years of twice a week gigging, with care!EWI does not support growling, tonal wise you are locked to the breath sensor in Aria; you can't make a sharp sound on a low volume, or make a soft sound on a high volume.Keys show some corrosion after 2 years, but not enough to interfere with the conductivity

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Akai EWI USB

Pros: Fun to play with, lots of instrument sounds, good idea, stationary (theoretically more durable) keys and less expensive than the Yamaha

Cons: Octave rollers difficult to manage,...Read complete review

Pros: Fun to play with, lots of instrument sounds, good idea, stationary (theoretically more durable) keys and less expensive than the Yamaha

Cons: Octave rollers difficult to manage, pitch bend not intuitive to use, hard to hold the instrument without inadvertantly touching trill keys or the pitch bend plates, and (in my case, at least) early failure.
As a former sax player , now playing bass/guitar, I thought it would be fun to have a variety of woodwind instruments to play without having to buy them all. The EWI USB seemed just the thing.

It was fairly easy to learn to finger (using the sax fingering setting), and was fun to play. The octave rollers took some getting used to. The pitch bend plates were less than adequate - not similar enough to the embouchure method for bending pitch.

There are plenty of instruments and variations to play with. Imagine playing a violin or a doublebass using sax fingerings!
Even after playing with it for several months, I could never get the tonguing to work rapidly enough to consider performing with it. Now, it is having some kind of problem converting the fingerings to the correct pitches - it will only produce 4 pitches, each a half-step apart, and the octave keys work backwards (high produces low and vice-versa).

Evidently this thing has fried itself just sitting on my shelf for couple of weeks. Not a happy ending to this experiment.
Obviously, having a moderately expensive instrument fail after only a few months of use is disappointing. Had it continued to work, I could have rated the value as a 6 or 7.

Reviewed by 20 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great purchase!

By ProDigit

from Miami, Fl

See all my reviews

Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Electronic Wind Controller:

It's an excellent buy!Read up online about what this device can do (no space here to explain, 1000 words are too few).It's a wonderful device, but I'll tell you where it failed me; which is often a bigger determening factor for some to buy or not to buy:Needs external ASIO driver (asio4all)Instruments need tweaking to get a good sound, though can be made to sound like a nice sax!Limited good samplesThe neckstrap is a bit too long (needed to put knots in it to get it the right size)EWI COntroller too heavy! I opened the device and removed the internal weights.Comes in a cardboard box, but no gigbag. Difficult to find a suiting gigbag; but the cardbox will hold 2 years of twice a week gigging, with care!EWI does not support growling, tonal wise you are locked to the breath sensor in Aria; you can't make a sharp sound on a low volume, or make a soft sound on a high volume.Keys show some corrosion after 2 years, but not enough to interfere with the conductivity

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Excellent product, but lacks performance features

By Fred-1wJm9

from Columbus, OH

Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Electronic Wind Controller:

I'm a semi-pro sax player, and have an old Yamaha WX-7 MIDI wind controller as well, so this is not my first experience.I bought the EWI USB and spent a lot of time with it over a month. The quality is fantastic, the instrument itself is a joy to play. However, it is not geared toward a performing musician. For example - you can't change patches or settings from a MIDI footswitch. Any time you want to change a setting, you have to touch your computer. If you aren't going to be using this as a primary performing instrument, or only plan on using it for some really cool effects, you can't go wrong. The EWI is surprisingly expressive and the sounds are rich and full. Overall, it is a very nice instrument, but look at the 4000s too if you are planning on using it as a performance tool.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

EWI USB

By Ray-eWrM1

from Sterling, Va

Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Electronic Wind Controller:

This is my first experience with a wind controller. I'm using EVI fingerings. Been practicing for a couple of weeks now and can hear improvement every day. The Aria sounds are pretty nice. I also bought a V-Machine along with the Ewi. The V-Machine has nice sounds also. Just have to figure out how to load extra sounds into the V.

(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Akai EWI USB

By Michael Atchley

from Oklahoma

Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Electronic Wind Controller:

Pros: Fun to play with, lots of instrument sounds, good idea, stationary (theoretically more durable) keys and less expensive than the Yamaha

Cons: Octave rollers difficult to manage, pitch bend not intuitive to use, hard to hold the instrument without inadvertantly touching trill keys or the pitch bend plates, and (in my case, at least) early failure.
As a former sax player , now playing bass/guitar, I thought it would be fun to have a variety of woodwind instruments to play without having to buy them all. The EWI USB seemed just the thing.

It was fairly easy to learn to finger (using the sax fingering setting), and was fun to play. The octave rollers took some getting used to. The pitch bend plates were less than adequate - not similar enough to the embouchure method for bending pitch.

There are plenty of instruments and variations to play with. Imagine playing a violin or a doublebass using sax fingerings!
Even after playing with it for several months, I could never get the tonguing to work rapidly enough to consider performing with it. Now, it is having some kind of problem converting the fingerings to the correct pitches - it will only produce 4 pitches, each a half-step apart, and the octave keys work backwards (high produces low and vice-versa).

Evidently this thing has fried itself just sitting on my shelf for couple of weeks. Not a happy ending to this experiment.
Obviously, having a moderately expensive instrument fail after only a few months of use is disappointing. Had it continued to work, I could have rated the value as a 6 or 7.

(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

WEEE-EW EWI USB!

By Monk E. Mnd

from San Antonio, Texas

Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Electronic Wind Controller:

The GUI is not very user friendly (knobs are difficult to turn with a mouse), but there is a skin available that fixes that.GIYF!

The real problem is that if you don't have one of the latest CDRW's you will likely not be able to install it as the CD provided will not be recognized on a PC. Works fine with a MAC.

Neither Musician's Friend, AKAI, nor the makers of the SW will be able to help you with this.

You need to use a newer CDRW and burn yourself a new disk, or backup to a thumb drive. I went to a Big Box store, but they charged too much for data conversion. I tried a few of their latest laptops and found one that would recognize the CD ROM SW disk, then copied it onto my thumb drive.

Back home I was easily able to install the AKAI EWI USB SW and was up and running without any other problems.

AKAI really needs to fix this problem with their multi partitioned CD RM.

(3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Zero support from Akai

By Michael Axel

from Central Oregon

About Me Experienced

Pros

    Cons

    • No Manufacturer Support
    • Not Functional

    Best Uses

      Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Electronic Wind Controller:

      This is my second Akai wind controller. The first one did not work. It cost me $1300 and Akai would not return emails or phone calls. Total waste of over a grand. Next, I bought this USB model, thinking it would be more reliable. I installed the software and drivers on four computers and the most I got out of it was a squeak. Again, numerous emails and phone calls went unanswered. Very disappointed that I've wasted money on the Akai wind controllers. Both were obviously inoperable.

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Extra drivers needed with Windows use

      By Edwin Markowitz

      from Florida

      Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Electronic Wind Controller:

      Bad delay problem with Windows. Fixable with downloadable ASIO4ALL driver. Akai support very poor and suggested not using this ASIO driver. Even cut me off after 6 minutes on the phone and without answers. Aria factory software (2008) needs to be updated with a better driver or even the ASIO. Without extra driver the instrument is not usable. Overall, however, love the instrument sounds, the quality, the choice of fingerings available. The software compatibility is the problem.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Fun to Use but just okay

      By al

      from california

      About Me Professional Musician

      Pros

      • Easy To Use

      Cons

      • Slow Double Tongue

      Best Uses

      • For Fun Some Recording

      Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Electronic Wind Controller:

      As a former flute and sax player 15 years ago now a guitarist the fingering came back instantly with the EWI chart help so there wasn't any big learning curve. But when trying to double tongue or quickly accent notes forget it this instrutment doesn't have the response time...something to be expected from a midi but it's really was worst than I expected. Other than that this is really a nice tool for fun and some recording but doesn't come close to replacing a real instrument. As long as you remember it's just a MIDI controller and don't expect nothing too extravagant you shouldn't be disappointed. If you think your going to be another Najee or Euge Groove with this thing your in for a huge letdown.
      Another problem is the fingering keys are so sensitive that you can be off on notes even with the correct fingering so proper finger placement and wearing the neck strap is important. Other than that its a decent MIDI device.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Great buy!

      By Andrew

      from New York, NY

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Functional
      • Good Quality

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Backup
        • Practicing

        Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Electronic Wind Controller:

        I always thought the EWI was super cool from watching videos and listening to recordings, but it mostly just a novelty item in my mind. When I finally bought the EWI USB, I had a lot of fun playing around with the different sounds (even though I'm still working on getting used to the fingerings). To my delight, the EWI has actually come in very handy for me. I am now able to get some practice time in late at night (with headphones) when I might have been busy all day. Also, when I busted my lip, I was still able to get some practice in with the EWI because it doesn't sacrifice sound for a less strict embouchure. So in conclusion, I am a sax player and the EWI will never REPLACE the horn. BUT it's great as a practice aid and definitely a lot of fun to play.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Exceptional with right synth - REVISED

        By sweebach

        from north carolina

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Great Instrument

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Electronic Wind Controller:

            Aria packaged software - OLD INFO: great timbre but slow response, not much change when customizing midi controllers --- UPDATE: switched to ASIO and much faster response . . . also you need to select EWI USB as OUTPUT (as well as input) for customizing midi controllers

            Cakewalk Dimension - OLD INFO: much quicker response, great library, but so far not too many (no timbre change) expression options --- still looking here UPDATE: Discovered "midi monitor" which allows custom setup of MIDI CC --- many many creative options, wow . . . great synth

            Roland JV-1010 - OLD INFO: (using Cognitone's EWI-USB Control) Exceptional expression (timbre, modulation, fx) on some voices (chamber woods, horn swell) using custom midi controllers, quick response, expect to spend most of my time here UPDATE: still my favorite, but cognitone will not set up pitch bend at thumb plate (must be done in aria)

            Displaying reviews 1-10

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