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#68498 - 04/02/10 02:41 AM [Off-Topic] EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons
Dan Tong Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 02/14/04
Posts: 255
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
The Akai EWI Wind Controllers (EWC) strong advantage over the Yamaha Win Controllers is the optional brass/trumpet fingerings offered by the EWI-USB and the EWI-4000s. The pricing of the EWI-USB makes it very interesting for many who have a limited budget.

EWI-USB Pros:
1 Very light
2 No meticulous setup and configuration (tricky to setup optimal dynamic range)
3 Comes with some interesting Garritan Aria software and sounds
4 Does not require AC adapter or batteries
5 Hooks up to any computer via USB -thus negating the need for an extra MIDI port (or having to buy a USB to MIDI interface box)
6 Cost less than the EWI-4000s
CONS:
1 Has only 4 octave keys and the highest and the lowest are awkward/poorly designed. Your fingers have less room because the concavity in which the octave keys are built was not scooped out enough.
2 Drawback if you play live, you because you will need to use and depend on a computer.

Akai should provide a utility program to set the MIDI parameters. The utility program they supply is for the built in sounds -which sound mostly like a kazoo.
___________________________________________________________________

EWI-4000s Pros:
1 Has 8 octave keys so you are less likely to run into the space problem found on the EWI-USB model. Plus, the 2 middle octave rollers have knurled so you can find your position without sounding a note.
2 Has pressure sensitive strip which may be very useful for additional control (such as trombone sliding)
3 You can change the MIDI control parameters using various keys and the LED alpha numeric display. The entire system is poorly designed and the display is cryptic (dual octal display only), and the section of the manual that details this is very poorly written in my opinion. Point being that you can change from breath control to volume without having to connect to a computer like for the EWI-USB.
4. May be better for live playing because you do not need a computer like you do for the EWI-USB because you can plug directly into your synthesizer. Some musicians feel that a hardware synthesizer is far more reliable than any computer and therefore do not wish to risk their live performance on the moods of their computer.

CONS:
1 Setting parameters for optimal dynamic range with tiny control knobs is tricky, not because of the knobs but because dynamic range requires two parameters to be adjusted interactively. EWI-USB is always optimal.

2 This instrument is longer and thicker than the EWI-USB and has more metal in it. It is therefore considerably heavier. I did not think it would make a difference to my comfort, but after having used the EWI-USB a lot, coming back to the EWI-4000s I really noticed it.
3 More expensive than the EWI-USB and you may also have to purchase a USB-MIDI interface box

If there is no specific Pro or Con for either instrument for you, then I would recommend getting the EWI-USB, because it will produce great music right out of the box at a lower cost so you can then save up for samplemodeling trumpet

For anyone who plays a MIDI Wind Controller the sample modeling technology is the absolute best there is. Not only are the Trumpet sounds incredibly realistic but the responsiveness is beyond belief. It's the only company that has developed synth settings specifically for Wind Controllers (Yamaha or EWI). Those of us who play WC's, unlike keyboard players playing w one hand only, do not have a spare hand for keyswitching, nor the option of using expression and other pedals (at least not as conveniently as kb players) so it is a welcome relief to know that we do not need keyswitching. Attack and breath intensity alone will produce much of the nuanced control that you only used to get from playing the "real" instruments. The trumpet changes it's tone and character just by playing your Wind Controller.

Here are some new songs I've done with the samplemodeling trumpet:

Night in Tunisia (real clarinet and EWI samplemodeling trumpet)
http://www.kara-moon.com/index.php?play_song_id=4885

My Funny Valentine (EWI samplemodeling harmon mute trumpet)
http://www.kara-moon.com/index.php?play_song_id=4882

Angel Eyes (real clarinet and EWI samplemodeling harmon mute trumpet)
http://www.kara-moon.com/index.php?play_song_id=4884

Sample modeling also has the Saxophone Brothers, but I am still trying to get that to work for me. The responsiveness is great but I can't get the Saxes to sound the way I want them. The trumpet sounds and works great right out of the box, the Saxes take more than a bit of tweaking and learning in order to get the sound you may want.

I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Thanks for your attention,


Edited by Dan Tong (04/02/10 03:57 PM)

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#68499 - 04/02/10 06:29 AM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: Dan Tong]
John Conley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 8333
Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Thanks Dan.!
_________________________
John Conley
Musica est vita

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#68500 - 04/02/10 08:33 AM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: Dan Tong]
raymb1 Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2529
Loc: Sterling, Va
The weight of the 4000s is really a non-factor. A lot of the real axes are heavier. I like the idea of being able to connect directly to an amp to play. I started out with the USB model and for me the 4000s is way more advantageous. Later, Ray
_________________________
Asus Q500A i7 Win 10 64 bit 8GB ram 750 HD 15.5" touch screen, BIAB 2017, Casio PX 5s, Xw P1, Center Point Stereo SS V3 and EWI 4000s.

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#68501 - 04/02/10 08:42 AM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: raymb1]
John Conley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 8333
Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Having to plug into a computer is a tad limiting.

I'd like to be able to chain to the Ketron without the computer, is that possible?
_________________________
John Conley
Musica est vita

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#68502 - 04/02/10 10:34 AM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: John Conley]
raymb1 Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2529
Loc: Sterling, Va
As far I know, the only hardware that the EWI USB can plug into without the Aria software is the V Machine. Later, Ray
_________________________
Asus Q500A i7 Win 10 64 bit 8GB ram 750 HD 15.5" touch screen, BIAB 2017, Casio PX 5s, Xw P1, Center Point Stereo SS V3 and EWI 4000s.

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#68503 - 04/02/10 10:46 AM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: raymb1]
susanmusic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/13/06
Posts: 46
Loc: Hanover, PA
Here's info on an Arturia Brass bundle as an alternative to the Garritan package.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Brass2EWI/

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#68504 - 04/02/10 12:59 PM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: susanmusic]
brdon Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 74
Very nice songs Dan. Samplemodeling is nice but It is not the only company that has developed synth settings specifically for Wind Controllers.
What about Wallander Instruments?
They sound real and they are spectacular!
A demo is available.

I have Wallander Instruments and I have all the Instruments listed below:

French Horns 1-4 No mute, Stopped, Straight mute.
Vienna Horns 1-4
Wagner Tubas 1-4
Piccolo Trumpets 1-3 No mute, Straight mute.
D-Trumpets 1-3 No mute, Straight mute.
C-Trumpets 1-3 No mute, Straight mute.
Bb-Trumpets 1-3 No mute, Straight mute, Cup mute, Bucket mute, Solotone mute, Harmon mute (no stem, inserted & extended), Plunger mute.
Bass Trumpets 1-3 No mute, Straight mute.
Contrabass Trumpets 1-3 No mute, Straight mute.
Alto Trombones 1-3 No mute, Straight mute, Cup mute, Bucket mute.
Tenor Trombones 1-3 No mute, Straight mute, Cup mute, Bucket mute, Harmon mute (no stem, inserted & extended), Plunger mute.
Bass Trombones 1-3 No mute, Straight mute, Cup mute, Bucket mute, Harmon mute (no stem), Plunger mute.
Cimbassos 1-3
F-Tubas 1-2 No mute, Straight mute.
Contrabass Tubas 1-2 No mute, Straight mute.
Soprano Cornets 1-3 No mute, Straight mute.
Cornets 1-3 No mute, Straight mute.
Flugelhorns 1-3
Alto Horns 1-3 No mute, Straight mute.
Baritone Horns 1-3 No mute, Straight mute.
Euphoniums 1-3 No mute, Straight mute.
Piccolo Flutes 1-3
Concert Flutes 1-3
Alto Flutes 1-3
Bass Flutes 1-3
Modern Oboes 1-3
Baroque Oboes 1-3
Oboe d’Amore 1-3
English Horns 1-3
Eb-Clarinets 1-3
Bb-Clarinets 1-3
A-Clarinets 1-3
Basset Horns 1-3
Bass Clarinets 1-3
Contrabass Clarinets 1-3
Modern Bassoons 1-3
Classical Bassoons 1-3
Baroque Bassoons 1-3
Contrabassoons 1-3
Sopranino Saxophones 1-3
Soprano Saxophones 1-3
Alto Saxophones 1-3
Tenor Saxophones 1-3
Baritone Saxophones 1-3
Bass Saxophones 1-3
C Soprano Saxophones 1-3
Mezzo-soprano Saxophones 1-3
C Melody Saxophones 1-3
Garklein Recorders 1-3
Sopranino Recorders 1-3
Soprano Recorders 1-3
Alto Recorders 1-3
Tenor Recorders 1-3
Bass Recorders 1-3
Great Bass Recorders 1-3
Contrabass Recorders 1-3

Wallander is working on bowed string instruments now.

bruce

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#68505 - 04/02/10 03:30 PM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: raymb1]
Dan Tong Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 02/14/04
Posts: 255
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Quote:

The weight of the 4000s is really a non-factor. A lot of the real axes are heavier. I like the idea of being able to connect directly to an amp to play. I started out with the USB model and for me the 4000s is way more advantageous. Later, Ray




I am sure you are correct in your opinion and certainly correct that many musical instruments may be heavier. However, clarinets, flutes, oboes are pretty light, but of course Tenor Saxes, Tubas are not so light.

Keep in mind that for children (at least those whose fingers are long enough to work these keys) and those who are handicapped may prefer a lighter instrument.
_________________________
Dan

https://soundcloud.com/dstong

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#68506 - 04/02/10 03:32 PM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: John Conley]
Dan Tong Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 02/14/04
Posts: 255
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Quote:

Having to plug into a computer is a tad limiting.

I'd like to be able to chain to the Ketron without the computer, is that possible?




Yes, in that case the EWI-4000s is the one you want. It has direct MIDI In and Out ports.
In fact even before I read any of the responses I realized I needed to add this to the Pro's and Con's.

Dan
_________________________
Dan

https://soundcloud.com/dstong

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#68507 - 04/02/10 03:53 PM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: brdon]
Dan Tong Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 02/14/04
Posts: 255
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Quote:

Very nice songs Dan. Samplemodeling is nice but It is not the only company that has developed synth settings specifically for Wind Controllers.
What about Wallander Instruments?
They sound real and they are spectacular!
A demo is available.
Quote:



Thanks Bruce,

I've been hearing good things about Wallander and the fact that you can download a demo and try it is absolutely wonderful. It's on my list of things to do.

As you can imagine, there is no substitute for actually trying out these things. How else can you have any idea of the responsiveness for one?

For example I am amazed at the samples of various Garritan soft synths:

1 Personal Orchestra -I have the latest Aria version
The flute and oboe, english horn and bassoon are great, but I'm not too fond of the solo violins etc.

2 JABB -I have the old version
I have serious problems with legato playing with JABB. There is something not right when used with WC's. It is not really done right for WC's although it is great for keyboards. I really like the Bass Sax, but don't much care for the harsh tones of the other saxes. It's probably because I'm not willing to sit and tinker with it for weeks. I get far better (more to my taste) saxophone, trumpet and violin from the Ketron SD2.

I've got tons of questions for you about Wallander.

Would you mind showing us a sample of some winds (alto, tenor, baritone sax -any Breathy Tenors?)
and some brass (trumpet, trombone with some mutes) and some solo strings (violin, viola, cello) ?

How is the responsiveness (attack, intensity)?
How do you like the software and how demanding is it of your computer?

Anything you wish they would do better?

Thanks,


Edited by Dan Tong (04/02/10 04:00 PM)
_________________________
Dan

https://soundcloud.com/dstong

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#68508 - 04/02/10 07:54 PM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: Dan Tong]
brdon Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 74
My computer is on its last legs. I don't have BIAB on it right now and my soundcard is about dead. I'm using the headphone jack in the front of the computer.
I plan on getting a new laptop soon. I was looking at MacBook Pro and the discounted price right now on BIAB for Mac was looking good until I realized that you can't do Realband with a Mac.
The Wallander (WIVI) sounds great, is very responsive, the interface is brilliant and it is easy on the computer. If anybody would really love to hear the Wallander sounds PM me. I could demo over the phone.

bruce

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#68509 - 09/03/12 11:05 PM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: Dan Tong]
jazznswing Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/03/12
Posts: 1
Hey Dan, I though the USB version came with a midi interface? I have the VL70M which I use with my WX5, But I just can really move that fast on the Yamaha, which is why I'm considering the AKAI. Suggestions?

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#68510 - 09/04/12 10:26 AM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: jazznswing]
Notes Norton Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 4374
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
I've never owned an Akai, but have owned all models of Yamaha, currently the WX5.

I would never buy the USB Akai. Why? I've been using MIDI since the 1980s. Back then there were a lot of other things computer while MIDI is still going strong:
  • Motorola CPUs for Mac - obsolete
  • Power PC CPUs for Mac - obsolete
  • DOS for PCs - obsolete
  • Windows 3.1 applications - obsolete
  • Atari and Amiga computers - obsolete
  • SCSI connectors - obsolete
  • Punch cards - obsolete
  • Mouse roller balls - obsolete
  • Parallel printer connectors - obsolete
  • RS232 - obsolete
  • 5.25" and 3.5" floppy disks - obsolete
  • DAT - obsolete
  • Mini Disks - obsolete
  • Cassette tapes - obsolete
  • VHS and Beta - obsolete
  • CRT monitors - obsolete
  • ADAT - obsolete
  • Fire Wire - obsolete
  • Dot Matrix & Daisy Wheel printers - obsolete
  • Laser discs - obsolete
  • Zip and Jaz drives - obsolete
  • DynaMO and other magneto-optical drive/disks - obsolete
  • Dial-up modems - obsolete (Remember U.S.Robotics?)
and all these were either in use when I got my first MIDI instrument or came and went since then.

MIDI is still around - unchanged - and with built-in room to grow without making the old obsolete.

We thought the floppy, SCSI, RS232, MiniDisc, and other formats would never go away when they were popular. How long with USB be around?

I've never played an EWI but prefer the WX for a few reasons:
  • The EWI has a capacitor in the bite sensor that discharges at it's own speed. This means that the vibrato speed cannot be controlled by the lip as the capacitor discharge rate regulates the return to zero pitch.
  • I don't really like the built in sounds of the EWI (of course the USB doesn't have any) and don't want the weight or the expense of an on-board synth I don't like
  • I like the keys as I tend to keep my fingers on them - if the Akai had the features I needed, I could learn the touch plate method
  • I have high resistance in my skin, like others, I would probably have to use hand cream to play the EWI, and then the cream would get on my sax, guitar, and flute as I also play these on the gig
  • I've heard horror stories about when playing in the hot sunlight, sometimes the EWI goes crazy and plays the "One Note Samba" - I don't know if they have corrected that or not, but I do pool parties in the summer so I don't want to take a chance.


That's my $0.02 anyway. It's all my personal opinion, your situation and your mileage may vary.

Notes
_________________________
Bob "Notes" Norton smile Norton Music
http://www.nortonmusic.com

100% MIDI Super-Styles recorded by live, pro, studio musicians for a live groove
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#68511 - 09/04/12 02:25 PM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: jazznswing]
raymb1 Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2529
Loc: Sterling, Va
I have the Akai 4000s with Patchman's sounds and love it! I use EVI fingerings (brass) and have a pair of Roland CM-30s to play through. I use to have the USB model and traded it in on the 4000s. You don't have to hook up to a computer, all the sounds are on-board. Just plug into an amp or PA and you're good to go. There's a learning curve, as with any instrument. I got used to the 4000s quickly. I use BIAB for accompaniment. Later, Ray
_________________________
Asus Q500A i7 Win 10 64 bit 8GB ram 750 HD 15.5" touch screen, BIAB 2017, Casio PX 5s, Xw P1, Center Point Stereo SS V3 and EWI 4000s.

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#68512 - 09/04/12 02:34 PM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: Notes Norton]
Shastastan Offline
Expert

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
This is an interesting thread. Thanks Dan for getting it going. As a trumpet player, I've been pretty critical of the quality of synth trumpet patches and that includes my Ketron SD2. Okay, so I'm picky. I think that your trumpet on Night in Tunisia sounds very good, Dan. I like the interchange between the trumpet and clarinet, too.

Okay, stay tuned folks. My EWI USB is coming today. I bought it to try and lay in some non-trumpet tracks, mainly some strings. Hopefully, I can learn to play it well enough to also play in some melody tracks, too. I've been told that it will work with with GPO and also my midi setup using a UA-4fx and SD2. I'm pretty sure that it will because I'm already using a midi keyboard controller with it. The price is very reasonable which also was good for me since this will be somewhat of an experiment. If I really like it, I may go for a better one in the future. I'll post back in a few days.
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Cornet Curmudgeon

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#68513 - 09/04/12 07:38 PM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: Shastastan]
Shastastan Offline
Expert

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
What? I just noticed the posts' dates--Jumped from apr 10 2010 to sep 03 2012. I'll still post what a rookie thinks of the ewi usb.

Stan
_________________________
Cornet Curmudgeon

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#68514 - 09/04/12 07:47 PM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: Shastastan]
MusicStudent Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 5500
Loc: Chicago
Have not seen Dan Tong here in a long time....

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#68515 - 09/04/12 09:53 PM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: MusicStudent]
Shastastan Offline
Expert

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
I'll have to pay attention to the post dates from now on. I guesss it didn't occur to me that someone might respond to a post from literally years ago. I'm sort of sorry that I did read Dan's post because now I'm interested in sample modeling and I can see more
$$ leaving.

Stan
_________________________
Cornet Curmudgeon

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#68516 - 09/08/12 01:12 AM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: Dan Tong]
Luiz Dias Offline
Expert

Registered: 08/04/00
Posts: 1260
Loc: - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
EWI 4000S can be linked direct to Ketron SD2, but how to use banks other than bank1?
I supose it is necessay a computer or a controller that has bank change feature, and the EWI do not has.
Interested in buying the SD2, but not sure due this disaventage. Is it possible?


Edited by Luiz Dias (09/08/12 01:15 AM)
_________________________
regards, from Brazil
Luiz Dias
Watch the videos of me playing the percussion/conga drums with a great band!
--> http://uk.youtube.com/user/footkeys

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#68517 - 09/12/12 11:57 AM [Off-Topic] Re: EWI-USB vs EWI-4000s Pros and Cons [Re: Luiz Dias]
Shastastan Offline
Expert

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
You can get all of the SD2 patches into Real Band. It's in the Support section on this website on how to do it. There's a patch access from the right click menu on the selected track. From the drop down list of patches you can select the sd2 and go from there. I haven't tried using my ewi-usb with it yet though. I'm probably confuse, but doesn't the ewi 4000s have an on-board synth?

Stan
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Cornet Curmudgeon

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