Akai offers EWI players a taste of wireless freedom

Akai offers EWI players a taste of wireless freedom
The Akai EWI 5000 wireless electronic wind instrument
The Akai EWI 5000 wireless electronic wind instrument
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The Akai EWI 5000 wireless electronic wind instrument
The Akai EWI 5000 wireless electronic wind instrument

Akai has unveiled a new addition to its series of electronic wind instruments, dubbed the EWI 5000. Billed as the world's the most expressive and versatile wind instrument, the new "ee-wee" comes with an orchestra of built-in sounds, has its own rechargeable battery, and gives the player the wireless freedom to groove in every corner of the stage.

Joining the company's EWI-USB and 4000s models, the new EWI 5000 cuts down on cable clutter with a 2.4 GHz ultra-low-latency wireless connection between the instrument/controller and its receiver box, which sports stereo 0.25-in output jacks for onward connection to an amplifier. A 3.5 mm headphone jack also caters for private practice.

The EWI 5000 comes stuffed with over 3 GB of onboard SONiVOX-created traditional and progressive sounds, including representatives from the digital orchestra's horn, woodwind and brass sections, as well as synthesized and "non-traditional" voices.

Akai says that players can expect up to 12 hours of continuous use between charges of its built-in Li-ion battery, and promises easy setup and automatic calibration. It's also claimed capable of auto adjusting to a user's playing style.

The instrument's mouthpiece senses air pressure, for control of volume, and bite for vibrato, its top face is home to 12 touch-sensitive metal keys and there's a thumb-controlled octave roller featuring eight wheels to the bottom. A further eight control knobs are placed at the user's disposal, for fine tuning and parameter adjustment, and an EVI (or electronic valve instrument) fingering mode developed for brass players also features.

The digital wind instrument can also be used as a controller for software-based synths or MIDI modules thanks to included USB and 5-pin MIDI ports.

We've no official word yet on pricing or availability, but it will ship with a USB cable, wall adapter and neck strap.

Source: Akai

That seems way cool. I am still looking for the price. It looks really futuristic. Even though I have not found the price yet, it probably won't be cheap.
John Washbush
Wow ... pretty neat! Here is a demo video: Catch the guy playing bells. Imagine playing a vibes line on one pass of a tune and then an alto sax on the next and an entire brass section on the third? Very, very cool.
Now, AKAI, listen up. This is obviously a high end, professional or studio instrument. And, whatever price point you assign to it will be great, I am sure. But, please, don't forget those of us who sit at home and only wish that we could play with the pros. Please plan a model without all the razzle-dazzle that home players (read that to mean "amateurs") don't really need. What we need is affordability. Can you come up with a low price version that would let me do some multi-track recording on my computer or maybe some kind of instrumental karaoke?
I would like to volunteer to be the Beta tester.
John Washbush Bloomington, Indiana
Darryl Donnell Murrill
I look forward to one day putting my hands on the Akai EWI 5000. I just got the EWI USB. I want my freedom from any cords!