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Akai Professional EWI4000S Electronic Wind Controller  

Item #: 
1274115061172
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The Akai EWI 4000S wind instrument is a big step forward in the development of MIDI controllers and synthesizer instruments. It offers customizable sax-style fingering with advanced controls and funct... Click To Read More About This Product

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$6990.00
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Overview

The Akai EWI 4000S wind instrument is a big step forward in the development of MIDI controllers and synthesizer instruments. It offers customizable sax-style fingering with advanced controls and functions for expressive performance and makes a number of higher-end synth features available. For more information on fingering options, download the PDF Manual on this page that contains fingering charts.

Most significant on the MIDI wind controller is an onboard sound module so you no longer have to play tethered. By using MIDI and an optional wireless transceiver, you can move freely onstage and switch between stored programs from the instrument. Its internal sounds are based on a virtual analog synth sound module and are very responsive to nuances of your playing. Breath, vibrato, glide time, and bend width are easily adjusted to suit your musical style, and you can send multiple MIDI messages via breath for expression and aftertouch changes.

The Akai EW14000S MIDI wind controller is also an octave key and mode that automatically doubles below the note you play, a Hold Mode which sustains a note while you play around it. It has 2 oscillators with separate volume controls, and a voltage controlled filter that can go from 2 to 4 pole filters. The EWI4000S improves breath noise emulation and also has sostenuto.

The EWI 4000S also has a sweep function that is more effective than typical envelope generators. By changing the force of your playing you can alter the sweep parameter to give dynamic shape to your sound.

To keep controls to a minimum, the Akai EWI 4000S comes with a MAC/PC editor program on which to customize your sounds. You can store edited programs and recall settings instantly during performance.

Features
  • Touch-sensitive keys
  • Customizable sax-style fingering
  • Preset sounds with 2 VCO + 2 VCF, dual-voice analog modeling
  • 2-Digit 7-Segment LED program display
  • Chorus, reverb, and deverb effects
  • Octave roller
  • Breath sensitivity for expressive dynamics
  • Onboard analog-modeling synth sound module
  • MIDI output
  • PC and Mac editor software for internal sounds
  • MIDI output for use with sound modules
  • Lightweight and portable
  • MIDI I/O
  • Battery power (AA x 2) or optional AC adapter
Warranty

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  • Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Akai ProfessionalEWI4000S Electronic Wind Controller
 
4.5

(based on 20 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

80%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good quality (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Practicing (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

A new dimension

As a born-again clarinet player, I bought a new 2000(!) Euro clarinet in Germany about 3 years ago.

A few months later some sales rep in a music shop...Read complete review

As a born-again clarinet player, I bought a new 2000(!) Euro clarinet in Germany about 3 years ago.

A few months later some sales rep in a music shop let me blow into an EWI (a USB one) and it was like I had seen the light, and finally the force was with me. I sold the clarinet after 4 weeks and got an EWI USB first, then the EWI 4000S.

Mastering the octave rollers took me about 2 weeks, every day was laden with expletives, but now it's second nature.

Findings and recommendations:
------------------------------------------------

1) rechargeable batteries are fine for many hours, but I got a power supply as well (BOSS 240S)

2) get a better strap or even a harness - it's quite heavy and the AKAI strap is flimsy

3) I made up a thumb rest (from a small plastic wall hook) and attached it to the right hand side - now much easier to hold (thumb rest in image appears bigger than it is due to close-up)

4) for full potential I use FL and Reaper via a KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 together with the SWAM saxes and clarinets and am now easily able to trick people into believing I am playing 4 real saxes and 2 clarinets... and brass, even keyboards and various flutes - they are impressed how fast I had turned into a 'multi-instrumentalist'...

5) the fingering system is simply ingenious - over 7 octaves in parallel and often more than one fingering for the same note - very handy for different keys

6) got a PROTEC soprano bag for it - fits perfectly

7) some keys have started showing signs of wear - it's a different metal underneath but this is just cosmetic.

8) good studio monitors (I use EVENTs) and/or headphones will help to get the best sound out of it

9) last not least: as always with a new axe, you will need to practise, practise, practise - but you will never look back with this kind of expressiveness and dynamics at your fingertips, literally.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

It's not "All That" if you're a seasoned wind player...

I've played winds for almost 30 years, and have played the Yamaha WX5 for the last several years. The EWI and I just don't get along. I can't argue with all the players...Read complete review

I've played winds for almost 30 years, and have played the Yamaha WX5 for the last several years. The EWI and I just don't get along. I can't argue with all the players that give it a 5*, because I KNOW this instrument is capable in the right hands. There are things to love about this thing, and things I don't much care for. Things to love: 1) The touch sensitive controls, as opposed to plastic levers 2) NO dip switches to fiddle with, compared to the 16 dip switches and three pots on the WX5. Other than initial calibration, it's mostly software adjustable using soft switches. 3) The bite sensor is self centering; everything stays perfect pitch unless you bite (the WX5 requires either the vibratoless recorder mouthpiece, or an accurate constant pressure on the "reed".) 4) The weight and construction are superior. Things I don't care for: 1) The internal sounds are kinda weak, and very "synthy," so unless you are after that kind of sound, you are going to want to plug it into an external synth, or spend LOTS of time developing your own patches (which thankfully the software makes very easy to do). The sounds aren't stereo, either. 2) I think it's a bad idea to develop an instrument that REQUIRES a loose embouchure (ie, unless you want to turn blue, you have to relax your lips and let air escape because the EWI is VERY tightly vented.) Every wind player of any caliber will have a hard time coping with this, I think. 3) No phantom power capability. The WX5 has a single slim cable that, if hooked to proper hardware, will give you MIDI plus external power. No bateries required. Not so with the EWI; and it doesn't shut itself off. If you forget to hit the switch, you just drained 4 batteries overnight.

Reviewed by 20 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

A real instrument

By ad libber

from Macon, Ga

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Good Quality

Cons

  • Difficult To Use

Best Uses

  • Practicing

Comments about Akai Professional EWI4000S Electronic Wind Controller:

Sounds are easy but mastering it is another thing. I learned to play the clarinet in less time but the range of possibilities leaves the clarinet in the dust. I have played more than 20 years. If you want "real" sounds, get a "real" woodwind. However, the EWI 4000s is as good as any keyboard or sound patch it controls. What it brings to the table is expression. While you can get the same levels of expression with a keyboard that has the right capabilities, a woodwind player will drop in the groove much quicker and feel the sound closer to whatever "real" instrument he plays. Drop the sax, clarinet or flute and pick up the EWI. The transfer takes only a few seconds once you are accustomed to it. You may learn to like the electronic breadth of sound this thing affords and forget about trying to emulate what you normally play. Asking for the EWI to emulate a sax is like asking a tuba to sound like a french horn. Play what you have and enjoy it. Get an EWI. If you are an experienced woodwind player you won't be selling it.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Ewi 4000s

By MelB

from Leeds UK.

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Good Quality
  • Nice Idea

Cons

  • Frustrating Very Poor Non-existent Support

Best Uses

  • None Yet
  • Non Yet

Comments about Akai Professional EWI4000S Electronic Wind Controller:

The potential of this instrument seems to be very good, however I would not dare to use it on a live performance.
The internal factory sounds are extremely poor with less than ten of any use.
The supplied software for editing is a joke, and is seven years old.
I have managed to create a few usable sounds however it has taken several weeks instead of a few hours due to constant crashing, locking up, or faults when trying to save the edits I have just spent hours on.
This is definitely the most frustrating piece of equipment that I own.
Clearly Akai have no regard for its customers.
Thank god for my sax.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A new dimension

By Ozzoid

from Perth, Western Australia

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • - Excellent Build Quality
  • - Ingenious Fingering
  • - Unreal Expressiveness
  • - Very Portable

Cons

  • If U R Lazy Forget It
  • - May Need Extra Sounds
  • U May Want Extra Hw Or Sw

Best Uses

  • - Home Studio
  • - Learning Music
  • - Performance
  • Practicing

Comments about Akai Professional EWI4000S Electronic Wind Controller:

As a born-again clarinet player, I bought a new 2000(!) Euro clarinet in Germany about 3 years ago.

A few months later some sales rep in a music shop let me blow into an EWI (a USB one) and it was like I had seen the light, and finally the force was with me. I sold the clarinet after 4 weeks and got an EWI USB first, then the EWI 4000S.

Mastering the octave rollers took me about 2 weeks, every day was laden with expletives, but now it's second nature.

Findings and recommendations:
------------------------------------------------

1) rechargeable batteries are fine for many hours, but I got a power supply as well (BOSS 240S)

2) get a better strap or even a harness - it's quite heavy and the AKAI strap is flimsy

3) I made up a thumb rest (from a small plastic wall hook) and attached it to the right hand side - now much easier to hold (thumb rest in image appears bigger than it is due to close-up)

4) for full potential I use FL and Reaper via a KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 together with the SWAM saxes and clarinets and am now easily able to trick people into believing I am playing 4 real saxes and 2 clarinets... and brass, even keyboards and various flutes - they are impressed how fast I had turned into a 'multi-instrumentalist'...

5) the fingering system is simply ingenious - over 7 octaves in parallel and often more than one fingering for the same note - very handy for different keys

6) got a PROTEC soprano bag for it - fits perfectly

7) some keys have started showing signs of wear - it's a different metal underneath but this is just cosmetic.

8) good studio monitors (I use EVENTs) and/or headphones will help to get the best sound out of it

9) last not least: as always with a new axe, you will need to practise, practise, practise - but you will never look back with this kind of expressiveness and dynamics at your fingertips, literally.

 
5.0

EWI 4000S & Brecker Solos, WOW!

By Vitte

from NYC

About Me Professional Musician

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Functional
  • Good Quality
  • Improves Sound

Cons

  • None

Best Uses

  • Backup
  • Concerts
  • Practicing

Comments about Akai Professional EWI4000S Electronic Wind Controller:

The EWI 4000S is great for recording and practicing. When you pick up your Tenor Sax, it feels great. The EWI could be considered cross training for your sax. Recording is great mixing distortion, compression, echo, reverb until you get the sound you love. I record with the Apogee and USB Midi Uno. All can be bought here at Musician's Friend after you read my review. It is a great controller and Brecker's solo on "My One and Only Love," is fabulous.

(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

EWI 4000S & Michael Brecker Solos, WOW!

By Vitte

from NYC

About Me Professional Musician

Pros

  • 5 For Recording
  • Easy To Use
  • Functional
  • Good Quality
  • Improves Sound
  • Oliver Nelson Linesewi

Cons

  • None

Best Uses

  • Concerts
  • Practicing
  • Recording

Comments about Akai Professional EWI4000S Electronic Wind Controller:

The 4000S is an excellent wind controller for recording and practicing. Forcing your fingers to play on the delicate plane with accuracy is great. When you pick up your Tenor Sax, it feels light and your fingers are precise. The 4000S could be considered as cross training for the saxophone. Tour de France bikers workout on ice pumping their legs sideways on the ski. This develops their thigh muscles and is cross training. I still love the 1000S with the external module. I use this on gigs. The plane is true and gigs could get rough. People dance without looking, smashing themselves into you and your horn stand. I also do not use my Powell on those type of gigs, rather my 1st flute, a Muramatsu. You have to defend your investments.
Recording on the 4000S is easy with the Apogee and Midi Uno USB. All can be purchased after this review with Musician's Friend. The sounds from your software can be mixed with distortion, compression, echo, delay, etc, until you get a sound you love. Akai developed a good EWI. It is a shame they abandoned it for selling accessories. Thank God for Musician's Friend. Thy have it all. We all do online shopping anyway. Sam Ash is all loud guitars and reminds me of a scene in Wayne's World. When Wayne purchases the white Strat and there is a sign by the staircase, "No stairway to heaven." Funny bit but Sam Ash hurts and their salesman do not treat you as a customer. Online, I get more respect from Musician's Friend.

(19 of 19 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Nice features on a Wind Controller

By Ebias

from Charleston/Huntington, WV

Comments about Akai Professional EWI4000S Electronic Wind Controller:

This is the first wind controller I have owned. I'm an Electrical Engineer and I enjoy the geeky, technology-filled things.The instrument is a fairly solid machine with a rich set of features. It is immediately playable from the box. All you need are 4 batteries and a set of headphones. Nice!There are many features that work fairly well. I highly recommend it.Now, for the cons (if you can call them that) that everyone seems to look for.1. The internal sounds aren't the greatest. The first thing you must remember is that this is a synthesizer and its sounds are produced by individual synthesizers. This has a tendancy to produce a bunch of sounds that sound alike. It also has the tendancy to produce sounds that do not sound like normal instruments. The best fix is to get Patchman Music's sound set. It is very nice.2. It does not come with a power supply. Be cautious when you purchase one as the center electrode of the power supply is negative, which is not all that common. Just pay attention to the power supply when you buy one.3. The instrument IS NOT a replacement for a clarinet, recorder or saxophone (or any instrument). This instrument is a different animal and requires time and effort to master. If you want the taste of regular meatloaf, don't use turkey. It's similar, but not the same.4. The neck strap is kind of cheap. I would invest insomething like the Rico neckstrap for $16. It's a nice addition.5. The 1/4" line out on the instrument is kine of loose. It didn't do very well at holding the cable. I ended up getting a 21' cable with a right angle connector on one end and using a piece of cable tie velcro to help secure it to the instrument. It works well and solves the problem.6. When you buy headphones, be sure to match the suggested impedance or you'll get hissing and the like.That's all for now. It's a great instrument, and with 6 short videos from Alistair Parnell (online), you'll be up and running in no time.

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Sweet horn

By jimijersey

from Tampa FL

Comments about Akai Professional EWI4000S Electronic Wind Controller:

I've had my 4000s for a while now and find it a sweet instrument to play. Price was a little steep for me, but now I feel it was worth it. This is especially true for the onboard processor. My stage/studio mobility with my inexpensive wireless audio set up let's me wander, jump, turn around and around like any guitarist. Too cool!As noted, the factory patches are overall poor, but the beauty of it is that you can upload any sounds you'd like via MIDI from any source, e.g. Patchman Music for one good example. No problems with touch pads (as compared to moving buttons), and they're easier to keep clean. It takes some time to get the right emboucheur, even though some say you don't need one, because a small amount of air escaping around the mouthpiece enhances the sound quality and expression on many patches. One very helpful feature for me was the adjustable side-keys for the left pinky. I've got big hands and needed to get them lower and, thus, also a little further extended from the body. The EWI default fingering layout is most sax-like, pretty close to flute and oboe as well, and easy to get jammin' on. One somewhat difficult feature is the octave-roller section which takes some real practice to use with facility. My only, and totally minor, bitching is about the included crappy neck strap, which I replaved with a good on for $11.00. Things not included, like a case and stand, were not a problem: anything made for a straight soprano sax will work for the 4000s.Lots of fun to play and adds new aural colors and visuality to the group.

(15 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great controller- poor sounds

By B Kelly

from san diego CA

Comments about Akai Professional EWI4000S Electronic Wind Controller:

I tried the Yamaha WX5 controller, and just could not get it to work correctly. The octave mechanism is terrible- at least on the one I tried. The Akai EWI4000s is a solid, reliable controller. I mainly play sax ( 30+ years) and do not have time to maintain my embouchure. This controller, when coupled to the Yamaha VL70 module, lets me play in pits, ensembles, orchestras, bands, etc and cover just about any part thanks to the ability to change the intrinsic key. ( F for horn, Eb for alto sax, C for oboe, etc. ) Do not expect the internal sound generator to sound like any real instruments. Only use this as a controller, and for that is it wonderful. You can set the fingering to be like a flute, a sax, etc. I use sax fingering, and have no complaints. The touch sensitive buttons take some getting used to- if during a sweet solo you move slightly and touch a button, the pitch will change! After years of sax discipline to keep my fingers touching the "pearls" of the keys, it is hard to change to a "flying" finger method of technique. Also, EWIs demand very tight control of the fingers changing with the breath input. Unless your technique is perfect, you will get little "glitches" in the sound between the desired notes. Real instruments do not do this. For live performance DO NOT USE THE BATTERIES! If they go dead it is most unpleasent! Use the AC power adapter for live operation. Batteries are OK for home use / practice only. Someday, when my EWI 4000s dies, I will get another of the same model if possible. If you have to use the internal sounds, plan to spend time doing sound edits, or buy the Patchman collection for this instrument.

(8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Fairly easy switch

By Elaine

from Michigan

Comments about Akai Professional EWI4000S Electronic Wind Controller:

I've been a flute player for more than 20 years, but a health problem made me start looking for options that take less wind to play. I settled on the EWI 4000s after doing some googling. So far it's been a pretty easy switch to make. I have my EWI set on flute fingerings, which was one of the selling points for me. The fingerings aren't exact, but close enough. With the option to adjust the amount of air needed to trigger the sound, I can use just a small stream of air to get a nice sound. You do have to allow air to leak around the mouthpiece when blowing. I suppose that would be hard for a clarinet or sax player to get used to, but for me it was an easy adjustment. The hardest thing to get used to is the octave roller. I'm getting it, after a week of practicing. The internal sounds on the EWI are a little synth-y sounding, but there are nice sound patches out there if you look for them. All in all, I'm very happy with the EWI. One thing that should be noted however, is that it's a mistake to look at this as "an electric sax/clarinet/etc." Look at it as another instrument altogether, with similarities to a clarinet or sax. If you understand you're really learning a new instrument that some of your previous experience applies to, you won't be disappointed when you switch, and find that it takes work to make the transition.

(9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Unbelievable expressiveness

By DavidW

from washington dc

Comments about Akai Professional EWI4000S Electronic Wind Controller:

The AKAI EWI4000s is a great instrument for wind players. I bought mine almost two years ago and it is still in great shape and playing well. I've owned two other wind controllers (Yamaha WX11 and WX5) and the AKAI is superior one you get over the hangup of having real keys that move. I was very reluctant to try it at first because of this. I thought that not having keys would be too unnatural, but I was very surprised how it was not only easy to adjust to but helped clean up my technique on the real sax. The biggest thing is that not having keys that move means not having keys that wear or break off. The biggest fear I had with the Yamaha controllers was the flimsy plastic keys snapping off. My WX11 had one of the contacts for an oncatve key go bad. This is not a problem with the 4000s as there really are no moving parts, except the rollers. As for the built in synth, it's fine for what it does but I would recommend getting the patch library from Patchmanmusic.com. There are lots of patches with really make this thing sound good. I have mine midied up to several synths which respond to breath control and it works like a dream. This thing is great.

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