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Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument

B&H # AKEWIUSB Mfr # EWI USB
In Stock
Free Expedited Shipping
You Pay: $299.99
Product Highlights
  • Includes EWI Custom Software
  • Multi Mode
  • MAC or PC Compatible

Akai Professional has made a wind instrument for everyone with the advent of the EWI USB Wind Instrument. Studying the art of playing saxophone, clarinet, oboe, bassoon and other traditional wind instruments for over twenty years, Akai has incorporated the same expressive controls in the EWI USB. Professional wind musicians searching for a mode of creating music electronically have found their avenue for expression with the EWI USB. Configuring your EWI is simple with multiple fingering modes available including saxophone, traditional EWI, flute, oboe, and EVI(Brass). The Akai EWI USB offers incredible value with its professional sound set and playability.

Sound Library
Included with every EWI USB is a sound library including over 75 sounds programmed by Garritan, renowned for its true-to-life instrument sounds
With its USB interface, this electronic wind instrument easily connects with PCs and MACs with the included Aria Player Software
Multiple Setups
Setup your EWI with various fingering modes including sax, traditional EWI, flute, oboe, and EVI (brass)
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
Connectors USB
System Requirements Mac: OSX
PC: Windows XP or Vista
USB port
Dimensions 23.13 x 2.75 x 2.75" (587.4 x 69.85 x 69.85mm)
Weight 1.3 lbs (598g)
Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument
  • USB Cable
  • Neck Strap
  • Cleaning Cloth
  • Garritan Aria Software
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Akai ProfessionalEWI USB Wind Instrument
     
    4.3

    (based on 20 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (11)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (6)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (2)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    85%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Versatile (7)
    • Easy to play (6)
    • Quality craftsmanship (6)
    • Easy to use (5)
    • Compact (4)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Performances (5)
      • Professional recording (5)
      • Accompaniment (3)
      • Jazz clubs (3)
      • Small venues (3)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Professional musician (9), Experienced (6)

      Most Liked Positive Review

       

      Happiness is EWI-USB

      This is an amazing and indispensable piece of gear.
      As a midi controller I am still trying new applications.
      The basic sounds included on the DVD are impressive and very expressive....Read complete review

      This is an amazing and indispensable piece of gear.
      As a midi controller I am still trying new applications.
      The basic sounds included on the DVD are impressive and very expressive. MIDI uses are infinite.
      I have the software on a laptop for gigging and on my mac mini and tower too. Great for playing into Logic, Garageband, Reason and Pro Tools.
      Practice will make you better on this as it is a REAL musical instrument. You will need to work on this a little to be really god at it but you'll love every minute.
      It ain't a sax, it ain't a clarinet or oboe either BUT it is the most agile and in tune instrument you may ever play.
      I play with headphones while watching youtube jamming along with everybody. There are a couple keys in EVI mode that the manual doesn't mention but are trill keys and always move the notes up or down a half step. I discovered this early and use them quite often.
      I LOVE this thing and only dread the day when the USB standard is so outdated that there is nothing to plug it into.
      I think about a case but there are no moving parts, put the cover over the mouthpiece wrap it in a shirt and put it into your backpack. it really looks quite durable.
      I play instruments in every family. I NEED this instrument for composing parts, soloing and MIDI recording. A wind controller is a studio requirement in my book right along with drum triggers, keyboards and guitar synth.
      It requires a computer but it will run from my laptop with OSB power.
      I'm going to try some pedals and effects. I saw Brecker playing EWI on you tube. He is running some deep MIDI gear with it.
      This is very expressive, the breath has intense and subtle control over velocity.
      The pitch bending ability is easy to control and well designed.
      The octave keys are tricky at first but so was that sax. The rest of the instrument shows its versatility by having many fingering choices.
      i suggest you pick the one you're most familiar with and stick with it. You'll find the scales are the same as your flute or sax. I love the ability to transpose the instrument to ANY key up or down a full octave. It's like an Irving Berlin piano for woodwind players. I found a tune in C#, I transposed the horn down -1 and it was all naturals!!!
      The very best thing about playing EWI-USB is that it has made me a better clarinet and sax player.

      VS

      Most Liked Negative Review

       

      Decent instrument for the price

      I used this instrument for one night only. I am a professional saxophone player and I also write music digitally. I thought this would be great as a controller for music writing and electronic...Read complete review

      I used this instrument for one night only. I am a professional saxophone player and I also write music digitally. I thought this would be great as a controller for music writing and electronic production. I found the fingering very intuitive and easy to use. I didn't have blips with the B/C note switch as others have reported, but then again, I have been playing professionally for 15 years. I really disliked the mouthpiece on it. It didn't feel natural to bite onto. It required a double-bite (somewhat like an oboe). A synthesized reed would feel a lot better. The mouthpiece was really resistant to my airstream. It felt fatiguing to play, but I realize that it was probably built to the needs of newcomers who would want the resistance to help them control their air.

      I worked on it a few hours and got pretty proficient. I was shocked at how gentle the learning curve was.

      The sounds it comes with really are pretty cheesy. My wife about threw up when she asked me to play her something. To be fair, I have spoiled her with the soulful sounds of a real saxophone for many years now. The supplied neck strap is also garbage.

      The kicker was one of the keys stopped working, and started working again about 20 minutes later, stopping about 40 minutes after that. B&H was happy to refund me and pay return shipping for the defect. I don't know how reliable these products are, but I'll assume I just got a random lemon. I'd give a fully-functional one 2 stars. If they're prone to being problematic, that's an obvious 1 star. 5 stars for B&H's customer service.

      It is telling that when faced with the defect, I preferred to get a refund rather than try another. For my electronic writing and production, it didn't give me the depth of expression I was hoping for. I'll stick with a MIDI keyboard.

      Reviewed by 20 customers

      Sort by

      Displaying reviews 1-20

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      5.0

      Pretty Awesome!

      By Nick

      from San Antonio, TX

      About Me Professional Musician

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Play

      Cons

      • No Case
      • Will Need Better Samples

      Best Uses

        Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

        I got my EWI two weeks ago and now I can't put that thing down! Used to play the alto sax in middle school almost 20 years ago so I just needed a few hours messing around with it to feel proficient. The included samples are far from "pro" but still good enough to get you started. I actually got it because I own a project studio and have to pay a trumpet guy a pretty penny to record all the time. So as soon as I get a bit better and can afford some professional trumpet samples, I'm gonna give my buddy a hike :)

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Great Value

        By Saxman

        from Atlanta, GA

        About Me Professional Musician

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Play
        • Quality Craftsmanship

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Accompaniment

          Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

          Software is easy to setup / configure. Use of the instrument is very straightforward.

          Share this review

           
          5.0

          Careful. This thing is pretty addictive

          By Rzzzzz

          from D.C.

          About Me Experienced

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Play
          • Quality Craftsmanship

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Home Recording

            Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

            If you already got soft synths on your computer, the Akai usb will open up their sounds like you can't believe. All the added control and range this stick gives you makes wind synthing a real rush. (The samples package that comes with the EWI is pretty mediocre, though perfectly sufficient to develop your chops.) One piece of advice I'll share is to use the packaged software to reconfigure the control that naturally rests on your right thumb from bend to glide. This eliminates having to balance the stick so precisely using the included strap and instead grab it more naturally. Plus, the glide control comes in handy with some of the available softies.
            I'm really surprised how well this thing works. And the B&H price is untouchable.

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Incredible

            By drdancm

            from Chicago, IL USA

            About Me Professional Musician

            Pros

            • Consistent
            • Fun
            • Quality Craftsmanship
            • Versatile

            Cons

            • Instruction Manual
            • Software Interface

            Best Uses

            • Jazz Clubs
            • Limited Lung Capacity
            • Practice
            • Soloing

            Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

            Some of the Garritan sounds that are bundled with the instrument are very good (flute w vibrato) others are more suitable for midi keyboard use. Also the Aria interface is poorly designed from the start and has not been improved. The best wind and brass sounds are from sample modeling (Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Tuba, and Saxophones)

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Excellent value

            By J

            from Alabama

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

                  In the past I have wanted a wind midi controller, but they have been too expensive to cross the priority threshold. This device is eminently affordable. The included software works moderately well one the Mac, and the samples included with it are OK but not great. I have found that it seems to work very well with an iPad running sampletank, which has much better sounding samples. This combination is also much more convenient for performance situations. Recommended.

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Unbelievable...

                  By Ozzoid

                  from Perth, Australia

                  About Me Experienced

                  Pros

                  • Consistent
                  • Easy To Play
                  • Great For Students
                  • Quality Craftsmanship
                  • Rich Sound
                  • Very Flexible Midi Device

                  Cons

                  • No Case Included

                  Best Uses

                  • Accompaniment
                  • Great For Play-alongs
                  • Jazz Clubs
                  • Small Venues

                  Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

                  ... this device. 3 Years ago I had just bought a 2000 (!) Euro clarinet (playing jazz for 30 years for fun) when I stumbled across the EWI USB in a music shop. Tried it - an epiphany happened, just like on the road to Damascus - sold the clarinet after 4 weeks and never looked back. It takes several weeks to get the hang of the fingering/octave rollers etc i.e. like learning any new instrument it will need some patience and dedicated practise. To make a judgement after one single (of course frustrating) night won't get you anywhere.The default instruments are quite decent, flute, clarinet nice, synths are great, saxes, trumpets are not too flash but by later using some DAW software with Mr Sax or The Trumpet etc you will be in a different league. The fingering is optimal, I think ingenious (I use the EWI fingering). You don't have to believe me, just try various F# or Db scales on a clarinet (or even sax) over 4 1/2 octaves - at 240... Practise, practise, and you will be able to play stuff you never thought possible!I recommend a decent notebook/PC and good studio monitors (or headphones) to enjoy it to the max.In my opinion, the EWI USB deserves far better promotion and exposure, especially among students and young musicians.

                    Share this review

                     
                    4.0

                    Good product

                    By Kano

                    from Houston, Texas

                    About Me Professional Musician

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent
                    • Easy To Play
                    • Quality Craftsmanship
                    • Rich Sound
                    • Warm Tone

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Accompaniment
                      • Jazz Clubs
                      • Small Venues
                      • Soundtracks

                      Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

                      Plug and play right out of the box. Very easy to play.

                      Share this review

                       
                      5.0

                      A blast to use!

                      By oldlibmike

                      from Bethlehem, PA

                      About Me Experienced

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Quality Craftsmanship

                      Cons

                      • Mediocre included samples

                      Best Uses

                      • Small Venues
                      • Soundtracks

                      Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

                      This is a great instrument if you are looking for that expressiveness in your creations. Don't expect miracles, though, this is an instrument with many settings and like any instrument, it requires practice to master. The quality of samples that come with the EWI are "meh", but more than ample to get you started and sound ok if layered together. If you stay with the instrument you will want to pick up some better sample libraries. All in all, I love the EWI - exactly what I was looking for. I am using the "EVI" fingering mode which is based on brass fingerings. The EWI also has its own mode or can be set to sax fingerings.

                      Share this review

                       
                      4.0

                      My new EWI USB - Great Service

                      By MichaelT

                      from Ft. Lauderdale Florida

                      About Me Novice

                      Pros

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

                            First, the service B&H gave me was superior. I would recommend them for anything....
                            Now to the instrument. I am not a professional musician, I play clarinet and after hearing a professional play the EWI USB I wanted it. It took me almost three weeks to figure out how to make a sound.... The instrument is great, the how to booklet is like getting instructions in another language. And the only thing to make it work was to find out the software had been set up with the breath controller? shut off. I have read online others with the same complaint. So, buy the EWI, but try to find someone who has already set one up. I will follow through when I figure out the fingering.

                            Share this review

                            (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            2.0

                            Decent instrument for the price

                            By Johnny

                            from Los Angeles, CA

                            About Me Professional Musician

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Easy To Play

                            Cons

                            • Flat Sound
                            • Poor Quality

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

                              I used this instrument for one night only. I am a professional saxophone player and I also write music digitally. I thought this would be great as a controller for music writing and electronic production. I found the fingering very intuitive and easy to use. I didn't have blips with the B/C note switch as others have reported, but then again, I have been playing professionally for 15 years. I really disliked the mouthpiece on it. It didn't feel natural to bite onto. It required a double-bite (somewhat like an oboe). A synthesized reed would feel a lot better. The mouthpiece was really resistant to my airstream. It felt fatiguing to play, but I realize that it was probably built to the needs of newcomers who would want the resistance to help them control their air.

                              I worked on it a few hours and got pretty proficient. I was shocked at how gentle the learning curve was.

                              The sounds it comes with really are pretty cheesy. My wife about threw up when she asked me to play her something. To be fair, I have spoiled her with the soulful sounds of a real saxophone for many years now. The supplied neck strap is also garbage.

                              The kicker was one of the keys stopped working, and started working again about 20 minutes later, stopping about 40 minutes after that. B&H was happy to refund me and pay return shipping for the defect. I don't know how reliable these products are, but I'll assume I just got a random lemon. I'd give a fully-functional one 2 stars. If they're prone to being problematic, that's an obvious 1 star. 5 stars for B&H's customer service.

                              It is telling that when faced with the defect, I preferred to get a refund rather than try another. For my electronic writing and production, it didn't give me the depth of expression I was hoping for. I'll stick with a MIDI keyboard.

                              Share this review

                              (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Nice introduction to eletronic wind inst

                              By SaberC

                              from Quebec, Canada

                              About Me Hobbist, Multiinstrumentist

                              Verified Reviewer

                              Pros

                              • Expressive

                              Cons

                              • Difficult to setup

                              Best Uses

                              • Hobbist

                              Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

                              I m a multi instrumentist and beginning in the electornic wind instruments world. I ve been using Ewi for about a month. The sounds included in the bundle are not nice and not really using the full potential of the machine... i downloaded the demo version of Wivi Wallander and it is just breathtaking. an other trick is about fingering, the ewi fingering creates many different combination but makes the playing a lot harder, i recommand the sax finering, easier and more intuitive. the blowing technique is also disappointing since you have to let some air issung from your lips while blowing. once you know these tricks this machine is just fantastic !

                              • Primary use:
                              • Personal
                              • Computer Platform:
                              • PC

                              Share this review

                              (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              2.0

                              Looks great, works not so great

                              By Bill

                              from Santa Rosa,CA

                              About Me Chronologically mature, Day job is not a musician, Playing woodwinds 50 yrs

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Versatile

                              Cons

                              • Freezes or Crashes

                              Best Uses

                              • Multimedia

                              Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

                              This device looks like a winner...wind controller at a reasonable cost.
                              It functioned for about 15 minutes, then went sharp, then flat, then the touch keys played only a single note..then it stopped.
                              I restarted it, went through all the steps, checked all the web chats and came to the conclusion that this instrument was, alas, a lemon.
                              I sent it back.
                              So far I am impressed with the B&H service..

                              • Computer Platform:
                              • Mac

                              Share this review

                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Affordable, versatile, and well made.

                              By Kenekeu

                              from Spokane, WA

                              About Me Composer, Remixer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Affordable
                              • Expressive
                              • Versatile
                              • Well made

                              Cons

                              • Tethered to computer
                              • Weak factory sound bank

                              Best Uses

                              • MIDI studio controller
                              • Modern wind controller

                              Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

                              As a former trumpet player I had purchased an EVI directly from Nyle Steiner. I never could get the hang of that fingering model. After I sold it, I thought I would never have the opportunity to incorporate a wind controller into my rig.

                              I had seen the EWI 4000 and thought it was a great instrument; onboard sounds would be really cool, but the price kept me from experimenting. When the EWI USB came out the price was very attractive and when I heard that it could do so many different fingerings I thought I would give a wind controller another go. I could try EVI fingering again, or Sax or perhaps just straight EWI. Lots of flexibility meant I would have a better chance of success.

                              Once I got it I immediately set it up for EVI fingerings and gave it a go. Unfortunately the same mental roadblock that kept me from succeeding the first time ( coordinating the left hand for semi-octave shifts ) was still in place. Alright, I thought, since EVI fingerings are going to be such an effort I might as well push myself and just learn EWI fingerings instead. That way my daughter who plays the sax can pick it up and play it too without having to reprogram it. Plus, those sax guys seem like they can really tear it up. I dove in head first, sight reading everything I could get my hands on and really putting in the effort. I have to say it has paid off. I sincerely enjoy the EWI fingerings and the expressive power of this instrument.

                              I have the Native Instruments Komplete set so I already had tons of beautiful and expressive sounds to choose from. Practicing with such beautiful sounds is inspiring, especially some of the orchestral brass and woodwinds stuff. The sound bank that comes with the software is a little lack luster so if you have additional soft synths you should be quite happy. If this is your only sound source I highly recommend adding some additional sounds.

                              The only draw back I see to this instrument is that it has to be tethered to the computer in order to work. It isn't a huge obstacle as I spend most of my day in front of a computer anyway, but the freedom that the EWI 4000 offers is becoming more attractive. The EWI USB however is the perfect stepping stone on the path to the EWI 4000. If you are unsure if you will like this style of wind controller the EWI USB is a great way to get your feet wet and see if you want to make a further investment. I believe for most people the EWI USB will be a perfectly excellent controller with no need to upgrade.

                              • Primary use:
                              • Personal
                              • Computer Platform:
                              • Mac

                              Share this review

                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              3.0

                              A Sax player's dilemma

                              By Jake Blues

                              from Charlotte, NC

                              About Me Professional Musician

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Compact
                              • Lightweight

                              Cons

                              • Difficult To Use
                              • Poor Quality Sound
                              • Requires more software
                              • Steep learning curve

                              Best Uses

                              • Home use
                              • Practice

                              Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

                              Going electronic is quite a dilemma. Out of the box, I'd say the EWI USB is not a satisfying experience.

                              Firstly, I have discovered that you need better sounds than what comes with the device. The software that comes in the box sounds no better than a kazoo.

                              Secondly, there is a learning curve involved. Day 2 with the instrument was better than day 1, when I nearly sent it back. Word from experienced players is that persistence is rewarded, but I wonder if it's worth the effort.

                              Personally, I hate the non-moving touch-sensitive keys. If you touch - or even brush against - the G-sharp key while playing another note which would make no difference on a real sax, you get a wrong note. Same thing with the Bb trill key, etc. I don't see how you can move around and play the EWI if the keys are that sensitive.

                              There is no thumb hook. There are two sensors on either side of your right thumb and if you accidentally touch them, the pitch bends. The one that gravity causes you to touch most often bends the pitch upwards. You pretty much have to disable that sensor in settings.

                              The best sax sounds on the market are Native Instruments Mr Sax series and they will set you back about $200. The free patches out of the box are not suitable for performance. I'm uncertain at this point if I want to invest another $200 in this experiment.

                              Share this review

                               
                              4.0

                              Great Entry into Electronic Woodwinds

                              By Bob

                              from Galloway, NJ

                              About Me Experienced

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Accurate Controls
                              • Compact
                              • Easy To Use
                              • Versatile

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Amateur Recording
                                • Performances
                                • Professional Recording
                                • Soundtracks

                                Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

                                Easy to set up. Lite weight easy to maintain.

                                If you are a sax player, it takes some getting used to the higher register and the g# key. You are stuck to the computer for any playing situation. Needs dual core processor to get full value from the Aria Software. I get a small delay with a 2Gig netbook.

                                Share this review

                                 
                                5.0

                                Great instrument

                                By studio

                                from Seattle WA

                                About Me Experienced

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Accurate Controls
                                • Compact
                                • Easy To Use
                                • Excellent Sound
                                • Versatile

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Amateur Recording
                                  • Events
                                  • Performances
                                  • Professional Recording

                                  Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

                                  This little thing is better than I thought it would be. It's lightweight, solid, and very expressive. I'm a keyboard player and this just adds alot to my studio..even if I can't play it yet..I can use the breath controller to add breath effects to my other tracks..and play any of my keyboard sounds. It's also great to see the virtual keyboard as I play notes.

                                  Share this review

                                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  4.0

                                  EWI USB Wind Instrument by Akai

                                  By Delfonic

                                  from Tennessee

                                  About Me Professional Musician

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Accurate Controls
                                  • Easy To Use
                                  • Versatile

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Performances
                                    • Professional Recording

                                    Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

                                    This is a great alternative instrument for the creative wind instrumentalist. It comes at a great price and works as expected. The only reason that I did not give it a 5 star rating is because of the Akai's tech support. It's good that there are other users and a great forum that will do what Akai tech support does not. I will use this EWI for midi composition and live performances.

                                    Share this review

                                    (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Greate instrument

                                    By richard

                                    from Bs As Argentina

                                    About Me Professional Musician

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Clear Sound
                                    • Easy To Use
                                    • Lightweight

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Performances
                                      • Professional Recording

                                      Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

                                      easy to learn how to play

                                      Share this review

                                      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      Happiness is EWI-USB

                                      By MaestroPhil

                                      from Chicago, Il

                                      About Me Professional Musician

                                      Pros

                                      • Clear Sound
                                      • Compact
                                      • Different fingerings
                                      • Easy To Use
                                      • Lightweight
                                      • Versatile

                                      Cons

                                      • Find a case and stand

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Amaze your friends
                                      • Home Studio
                                      • Performances
                                      • Professional Recording

                                      Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

                                      This is an amazing and indispensable piece of gear.
                                      As a midi controller I am still trying new applications.
                                      The basic sounds included on the DVD are impressive and very expressive. MIDI uses are infinite.
                                      I have the software on a laptop for gigging and on my mac mini and tower too. Great for playing into Logic, Garageband, Reason and Pro Tools.
                                      Practice will make you better on this as it is a REAL musical instrument. You will need to work on this a little to be really god at it but you'll love every minute.
                                      It ain't a sax, it ain't a clarinet or oboe either BUT it is the most agile and in tune instrument you may ever play.
                                      I play with headphones while watching youtube jamming along with everybody. There are a couple keys in EVI mode that the manual doesn't mention but are trill keys and always move the notes up or down a half step. I discovered this early and use them quite often.
                                      I LOVE this thing and only dread the day when the USB standard is so outdated that there is nothing to plug it into.
                                      I think about a case but there are no moving parts, put the cover over the mouthpiece wrap it in a shirt and put it into your backpack. it really looks quite durable.
                                      I play instruments in every family. I NEED this instrument for composing parts, soloing and MIDI recording. A wind controller is a studio requirement in my book right along with drum triggers, keyboards and guitar synth.
                                      It requires a computer but it will run from my laptop with OSB power.
                                      I'm going to try some pedals and effects. I saw Brecker playing EWI on you tube. He is running some deep MIDI gear with it.
                                      This is very expressive, the breath has intense and subtle control over velocity.
                                      The pitch bending ability is easy to control and well designed.
                                      The octave keys are tricky at first but so was that sax. The rest of the instrument shows its versatility by having many fingering choices.
                                      i suggest you pick the one you're most familiar with and stick with it. You'll find the scales are the same as your flute or sax. I love the ability to transpose the instrument to ANY key up or down a full octave. It's like an Irving Berlin piano for woodwind players. I found a tune in C#, I transposed the horn down -1 and it was all naturals!!!
                                      The very best thing about playing EWI-USB is that it has made me a better clarinet and sax player.

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                                      (2 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      4.0

                                      Good midi controller

                                      By tomo

                                      from japan

                                      Verified Buyer

                                      Pros

                                      • Good Value

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                          Comments about Akai Professional EWI USB Wind Instrument:

                                          It is USB contolloer,not include instrument hardware.First inpression,it's easy setting.
                                          Install instrument cd,and connect usb cable,and play.Instrument software is not bad.I use EWI in ableton LIve 7(windows xp) with vsti (kontakt3 ,toxic biohazard ...).I play something,I can hear sound. But, exercise and the lung capacity are necessary to play it(I played alto sax when I was junior high school,but I can't play as want.)And I have demands,1. I wanna Something to put it(I use the thing which I applied the guitar stands to.) 2.I hope exclude a mouthpiece more easy.
                                          I am playing it happily.

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                                          Additional Hardware

                                          A replacement mouthpiece are great to have on hand in case they worn out over time.

                                          Akai Professional -  EWM-1 Replacement Mouthpiece for EWI4000S
                                          • You Pay: $25.00
                                           

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                                          IK Multimedia -  Miroslav Philharmonik Classik Edition Sample Library
                                          • You Pay: $79.99
                                          Usually ships in 7-14 business days ? This is a special order item and is non-cancelable and non-returnable. Est. arrival at B&H is 7-14 business days (subject to availability). Your order will be charged at time of shipment.
                                           
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