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  1. #1
    Hobbes's Avatar
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    Default AKAI EWI 4000 & Patchman Soundbank

    Hi all,
    I am thinking to get a AKAY EWI 4000S. My primary reason is the posibility that it give to me for studing at night. I am studing Sax "only" 2 years ago and still have problems reading music, fingering etc...
    Really I dont know if buy a EWI is a good solution... I think so, by I am not really sure. Of course the posibilitties off the EWI are great too.

    But I am reading that the 100 sounds included in the 4000S not are very good. A lot off people comment that the new soundbank from patchman can correct that problem. I have see in the patchman web that module is in the street now.

    Anybody have it? whats your impression?

  2. #2

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    Based on why you want to get a wind controller, I would suggest the Yamaha WX5 over the EWI. I have owned both, including the new 4000. The key work on the WX5 more closely matches up with a sax and the sounds of the vl70 module are more interesting (in my opinion). Howver I tend to like true sampled sounds over synthy sounds. The touch sensitve key work of the EWI was more difficult to master (for me). The sounds included with the 4000 were very disappointing to me. I would pursue Matt's sound bank to enhance the offerings. I would also consider getting Matt's sounds for the VL70. Matt does good work.
    After saying all that, I have sold my wind controllers and went back to concentraining on the sax. With limited practice time, mastering the wind controller became a distraction for me and my sax playing plateaued because of the split attention. However, practice volume is not an issue for me. Playing the WX5 could certainly help improve your mastery of fingerings and reading while playing at a softer volume.
    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member and Forum Contributor 2008 saxmanglen's Avatar
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    Default

    Madgrocer (Dean) has had one of the Akai units for a few months. You may be able to contact him and get some input.

    I've got a WX5 with the Yamaha VL70m sound module. I haven't spent the dough for the turbo chip from Patchman Music. The WX5 has a much easier learning curve than the 4000s. You can find some samples of the WX5 on my website under the MP3 section.

    Isn't having a smoking section in a restaurant like having a peeing section in a swimming pool?




  4. #4
    Forum Contributor 2007 madgrocer's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbes
    Hi all,
    I am thinking to get a AKAY EWI 4000S. My primary reason is the posibility that it give to me for studing at night. I am studing Sax "only" 2 years ago and still have problems reading music, fingering etc...
    Really I dont know if buy a EWI is a good solution... I think so, by I am not really sure. Of course the posibilitties off the EWI are great too.

    But I am reading that the 100 sounds included in the 4000S not are very good. A lot off people comment that the new soundbank from patchman can correct that problem. I have see in the patchman web that module is in the street now.

    Anybody have it? whats your impression?
    If you are going to use it just to practice, you don't need to update the sounds.. its only for you, not for performance. If you are going to perform with it.. the sounds are okay.. but the patchman upgraded sounds are much better.
    The patchman sound bank is certainly a major improvement over the 100 presets.. but they are still not realistic replacement horn sounds. The VLm70 tone generator , gets you a lot closer to real instrument sounds, but again, still not the same thing.
    In my opinion, if you're just looking at it strictly from a practicing sax perspective, I agree with Teabag.. you are better off with the Yamaha.. its a lot closer instrument to a sax, than the EWI is.. but neither is a replacement for the real thing.. I really view wind controllers (especially the EWI), as a completely different animal. It won't help your sax emboucher at all, probably hurt it, since your still learning and building.. and the keywork isn't keys, and there are alternate fingerings.. its just not a replacement for a beginner.. its a whole new/different instrument, with its own learning curve.. for a more advanced player, that wants to create some different things..
    All that said, for a more advanced player, there are benefits to your sax playing.. it is much less forgiving than a sax, and if there are issues in your fingers not opening and closing the sax keys in the proper unison for particular notes, that's going to come through loud and clear on the EWI.. so it can improve your sax technique a little, by exposing those problems, but not until you really have the sax under control.
    Hope that helps...
    If quiet is an issue.. you might want to check out a Silent bag from the WWandBW... http://www.wwbw.com/El-Saxco-Silent-...)-i84743.music

    I have 2 EWI tunes on my site right now..
    http://www.madgrocer.net/mad_israelEWI.mp3 recorded right after I got it..lots of glitches and all
    and a recently recorded Christmas tune.. http://www.madgrocer.net/Mad_MerryCh...DarlingEWI.mp3
    Excuses only explain poor performance, they don't condone it...
    Dean
    shirazjazz.com

  5. #5
    Hobbes's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks all for your answers.
    I think finally I dont go to get it... better focus my practise time (short!) in the Tenor. Perhaps I think in get a alto with a quiet mpc, is more easy go out home (weekends, holidays...) with an alta than a Tenor.

    Thanks all !

  6. #6

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    I've a WX5 and a patch (from Matt) for my Roland JV-1010. I got it in order to practice without bothering the wife. Instead, I got rid of the wife. The WX5 sounds great, but I never have time to mess with it anymore. I've decided to concentrate on my tenor for now. Let me know if you're interested in a used WX5. Or a used wife (very cheap).

    bartone

  7. #7
    Hobbes's Avatar
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    Default

    xDDDD
    any photo?

    ;-)

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by madgrocer
    If you are going to use it just to practice, you don't need to update the sounds.. its only for you, not for performance. If you are going to perform with it.. the sounds are okay.. but the patchman upgraded sounds are much better.
    The patchman sound bank is certainly a major improvement over the 100 presets.. but they are still not realistic replacement horn sounds. The VLm70 tone generator , gets you a lot closer to real instrument sounds, but again, still not the same thing.
    In my opinion, if you're just looking at it strictly from a practicing sax perspective, I agree with Teabag.. you are better off with the Yamaha.. its a lot closer instrument to a sax, than the EWI is.. but neither is a replacement for the real thing.. I really view wind controllers (especially the EWI), as a completely different animal. It won't help your sax emboucher at all, probably hurt it, since your still learning and building.. and the keywork isn't keys, and there are alternate fingerings.. its just not a replacement for a beginner.. its a whole new/different instrument, with its own learning curve.. for a more advanced player, that wants to create some different things..
    All that said, for a more advanced player, there are benefits to your sax playing.. it is much less forgiving than a sax, and if there are issues in your fingers not opening and closing the sax keys in the proper unison for particular notes, that's going to come through loud and clear on the EWI.. so it can improve your sax technique a little, by exposing those problems, but not until you really have the sax under control.
    Hope that helps...
    If quiet is an issue.. you might want to check out a Silent bag from the WWandBW... http://www.wwbw.com/El-Saxco-Silent-...)-i84743.music

    I have 2 EWI tunes on my site right now..
    http://www.madgrocer.net/mad_israelEWI.mp3 recorded right after I got it..lots of glitches and all
    and a recently recorded Christmas tune.. http://www.madgrocer.net/Mad_MerryCh...DarlingEWI.mp3
    Hi,

    You said "The patchman sound bank is certainly a major improvement over the 100 presets.. but they are still not realistic replacement horn sounds. The VLm70 tone generator , gets you a lot closer to real instrument sounds, but again, still not the same thing. "

    I bought an EWI and its on the way , i plan to use it in live situations and album records , what would you suggest as a module?? Is VL-70 good enough?? I listened some samples and didnt like the tones..Whats your suggestion?? Also is ROland Jv-1080 a good module for EWI 4000s ???

    Thnx

  9. #9

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    I hate the sound of the VL70. Many people like it though. It sounds like a GM sound module to me. Use a real sampler like a EMU4000 or an Akai S6000 or Z8 with a good sample library. The smaplers can be bought at a very good used price these days. If you have a computer you could use Kontakt from Native instruments which it seems a lot of pros use.

  10. #10
    Forum Contributor 2007 madgrocer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by armada1905
    Hi,

    You said "The patchman sound bank is certainly a major improvement over the 100 presets.. but they are still not realistic replacement horn sounds. The VLm70 tone generator , gets you a lot closer to real instrument sounds, but again, still not the same thing. "

    I bought an EWI and its on the way , i plan to use it in live situations and album records , what would you suggest as a module?? Is VL-70 good enough?? I listened some samples and didnt like the tones..Whats your suggestion?? Also is ROland Jv-1080 a good module for EWI 4000s ???

    Thnx
    I personally have not heard the Roland module.. so I can't comment on how it relates to the Vlm70. As I said, the EWI in general, is not going to replace any real wind instrument sound, no matter what tone generator you use, it is electronic midi type device, and thats all there is to it. From people I've spoken to, and read, the Vlm70 w/ Matts turob chip, is the best thing going in terms of overall sound quality.
    Check out the Windcontroller Group forum at Yahoo.. Matt from Patchman runs it, and there is a ton of info from a lot of the heavy duty users of these things.
    Excuses only explain poor performance, they don't condone it...
    Dean
    shirazjazz.com

  11. #11

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    The sampler in Kontakt are designed for keyboard player, I don't know a way to make it response to the WX5 (or any other wind midi controller.) I have the Kontakt 2 library, and have been using the WX5 (with the VL70m) for about 5 years already, agai, don't know how to tweak the Kontakt samplers to response smoothly to my WX5.
    Inderbinen Alto / Theo Wanne Durga #7 & Aizen 6M / Fibracell #2.5 - Bauhaus Walstein Soprano / Aizen LS 8 / Fibracell #2

  12. #12

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    Also some people recommends Akai Samplers like AKAI S5000 or Z8 for EWI and Wx. Samplers are more proffesional than the modules like Vl-70??

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by armada1905
    Also some people recommends Akai Samplers like AKAI S5000 or Z8 for EWI and Wx. Samplers are more proffesional than the modules like Vl-70??
    One is not more pro than the other. The VL is based on Physical modeling which means it tries to recreate the sound of real instruments via math.
    A sampler stores the recordings of real instruments.
    More of the name pro players use samplers and not the VL because they sound better and more realistic. The VL is interesting but I find it's sound a little stale.
    That's just my personal feeling, many people really like the VL70m.

  14. #14

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    Default EWI 4000 Feedback

    Howdy,
    I own an EWI 4000. Yes it doesn't sound like a sax. The sounds are unique and varied and therefore fill their own niche. If you want to replace a sax. you won't but if you want to replace a sax with an expressive and interesting alternative sound, you will. If you want to practice sax technique into headphones to not disturb people, then you have found a good way. Because the 4000 is more sensitive to poor crossover technique, if you get it right on the 4000, I feel that it will serve you well going over to the sax. I put my 4000 in the bathroom next to the John. Since my name is John this gets very confusing. Jimmy Hendrix used to take his guitar to the John with him. I am not a Hendrix on the sax but access to your instument is important. Like the Navy Seals motto says, "Any time, Anywhere." An EWI is easy to take in the car when traffic jams to a stop or in airport waiting rooms when delays make life go slow. Long flights turn into a delight and longer times spent in doctors' and dentists waiting rooms turns productive. When I was trying to get up to speed on bagpipes, I kept an electronic bagpipe by the John and my technique improved fantastically. And the 4000 is a fun instument with lots of niffty potential for doing stuff you just can't do on a non electronic instument. I obviously don't regret purchasing mine at all. If you like talking to people, get an electronic instument; they line up to find out and discuss it with you. "nuff said?"
    Regards,
    John

  15. #15
    Mouthpiece Refacer Extraordinaire and Forum Contributor 2010 EZ's Avatar
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    As an EWI owner (4000S) - only occasionally playing it - I first have to say that they are amazing instruments and have really opened some doors for my musical creativity. Wish I had one of these 25 years ago.

    Having said that, I think the WORST thing an EWI could be used for is to replace any significant portion of your practice time playing your primary instrument - be it saxophone, clarinet, autoharp, spoons, etc...

    While it has saxophon-ish fingerings, the training of your fingers and embouchure will roll backwards in progress should you spend too much time on it. For wind instruments, tone is (almost) everything, and any EWI is not going to help you develop or sustain it.

    Just be careful how much time you spend on it and don't expect to progress at the same rate as if you were practicing on your main horn.

    I think a decent electronic keyboard (at half the price) would serve you more fully as a learning/practice aid to develop as a musician. And then down the road you'll have something fun to plug an EWI into!

  16. #16
    Distinguished Member and Forum Contributor 2008 saxmanglen's Avatar
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    Very well said Ed!

    Isn't having a smoking section in a restaurant like having a peeing section in a swimming pool?




  17. #17

    Default sound

    hi, i bought an ewi4000s but i dont know how to upload new sounds, i dont like the bank inside. it is horrible.
    please can you advise me? it is possible to upload my own sounds to the ewi?

    i am not sure if i can play sound in the software uniquest from akai, i didnt find no play button if i can hear the sound first before i save it to the ewi.

    it it possible to download somewhere the pitchman bank about u are talking here or i have to pay for it?

    thanks for answers
    WAJ

  18. #18

    Default Re: sound

    Quote Originally Posted by wajbrou View Post
    hi, i bought an ewi4000s but i dont know how to upload new sounds, i dont like the bank inside. it is horrible.
    please can you advise me? it is possible to upload my own sounds to the ewi?

    i am not sure if i can play sound in the software uniquest from akai, i didnt find no play button if i can hear the sound first before i save it to the ewi.

    it it possible to download somewhere the pitchman bank about u are talking here or i have to pay for it?

    thanks for answers
    WAJ
    You need to have your EWI plugged in the computer via USB MIDI interface cable to be able to hear sounds from the UNIQUEST. 4000S has a special buffer which allows you to preview sounds without uploading them to the horn, and it switches to it automatically when connected to the software.
    The UNIQUEST software is far from the best in terms of being easy to use, and the documentation is not clear, so expect a lot of fun.

  19. #19

    Default Re: AKAI EWI 4000 & Patchman Soundbank

    I've been using the EXS24 sampler in Logic on my laptop, and found ways to make my 4000 really sing, i'm thrilled. I have this oboe patch with dynamic filtering on it that is so responsive, and there's so much else i can do.
    Really recommend it to anyone... sampled sounds knock synths out the window i reckon except for the portability of the 4000 internal synth, i agree on that. I go sit in with bands and that's great. But in my studio when i want special sounds, my EXS24 is my baby

  20. #20
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    Default Re: AKAI EWI 4000 & Patchman Soundbank

    I've been told by several WX5 users that they aren't all that solid.

    Little things coming up here and there that constantly need fixing up.

    I asked my friend Ben what he thought of it and he said "It's amazing when it actually worked"

    Thoughts?
    (\__/) Amati ATS-61 Custom Unlacquered key work, Phil Barone Neck
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