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AKAI Professional EWI 5000

86

Wireless Electronic Blow Converter

  • With internal sound generation
  • Mouthpiece with air pressure and bite sensor
  • 13 Touch sensors
  • 8 Octave rollers - 6 moving rollers and 2 fixed touch sensors
  • 8 Instrument and effect controller reeds
  • 2 Pitch bend plates
  • Stereo wireless audio 2.4 GHz
  • 1 Line output: 6.3 mm jack
  • 1 Headphone output: 3.5 mm mini jack
  • USB midi
  • MIDI out
  • Power supply: Lithium-ion battery (rechargeable via USB)
  • 3 GB onboard sound library
  • Dimensions: approx. 676 x 61 x 43 mm
  • Weight: approx. 900 g
  • Colour: Black
Available since September 2014
Item number 344594
Sales Unit 1 piece(s)
Bass Pedal No
Breath Controller Yes
MIDI Controller Yes
Filter No
Effects No
Sequencer No
Product Specific Expansion No
B-Stock from $499 available
$544
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Eletronic tool for pure expression

The latest EWI 5000 electronic wind instrument from Akai Professional is a wireless model that comes complete with an internal sound library by SONiVOX and features a mouthpiece complete with air and lip sensors, which enable extensive sound changes while the instrument is being played. Control over parameters that enable further modifications to the sound of the instrument is provided courtesy of 13 touch sensors, which can also be used to set effects that give the sound more punch. This extensive range of features makes the Akai Professional EWI 5000 a standalone instrument that delivers outstanding creative expression to artists everywhere.

Closeup of the AKAI Professional EWI 5000 Wireless Electronic Blow Converter

Unique playing experience

The manner in which the notes are played on the Akai Professional EWI 5000 is reminiscent of that of a clarinet or saxophone. The chrome-plated keys on the front of the instrument can be played with every finger, minus the thumb, while the octave rollers at the rear are operated with the thumb of the left hand and control the octave position via a grounding plate. The glide plate opposite is used to activate and deactivate the portamento function. Instead of forming the so-called thumb hook, as used on saxophones to stabilise the instrument, the thumb of the right hand operates two plates, which are used to bend the pitch. The breath entering the white silicone mouthpiece comes into contact with a membrane, which in turn controls the note generation parameter, while the lip pressure controls the vibrato effect. The software included with the instrument can be used to preload six different fingering presets and also provides beginners with configurations that are easy to play.

Closeup of the AKAI Professional EWI 5000 Wireless Electronic Blow Converter

Wireless instrument for free performance

The EWI was first introduced as a standalone instrument by Nyle Steiner in the 1970s. Since the 1980s, development work on this instrument, which has been used by Jazz musicians such as Michael Brecker, Candy Dulfer, and Bob Mintzer, has been undertaken by Akai Professional. The EWI is most comparable to a synthesiser and is not a digital variant of an acoustic instrument. Every performance is an optical showstopper courtesy of the exceptional sounds and access to numerous parameters, all wrapped up in an innovative design. The scope of delivery also includes a receiver for wireless operation with a transmission frequency of 2.4GHz, and the wireless instrument is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

Closeup of the AKAI Professional EWI 5000 Wireless Electronic Blow Converter

About Akai Professional

Akai Professional has its origins in the long-established Japanese company Akai, founded in 1929, which initially manufactured electric motors, soon to be followed by high-quality tape recorders and hi-fi products. Since 1988, Akai has also become a household name like no other on the Hip-Hop scene. With the development of its first MIDI Production Centre (MPC for short), created in collaboration with Roger Linn, Akai wrote history by decisively influencing the sound of hip-hop and electronic music, which it continues to do to this very day. Famous exponents of the MPC series include DJ Shadow, Eminem, and Kanye West. Today, Akai is also well known for its robust and versatile USB MIDI controllers, not least of which is the bulletproof APC range of Ableton controllers.

Sample-based sound generation with 100 presets

The EWI 5000 produces sample-based sounds, to which end it comes loaded with a whopping 3GB comprising 100 built-in stereo sounds that can be selected via the display on the back of the instrument. Around half of these are samples from a variety of wind instruments, with the remainder comprising synthetic basses, leads, and spherical sounds. Some of these parameters, such as cut-off frequency or LFO, can be controlled on the instrument itself, while the EWI 5000 sound and software editor for Mac and PC can be used to configure the sounds in more detail. A low-pass filter, two optionally switchable envelopes, and a sine-wave LFO complete with delay parameters for transient vibratos are already integrated into the instrument. Communication takes place via the MIDI data protocol. The rear of the instrument is fitted with a MIDI output for controlling external instruments such as synthesizers, and a number of buttons, which can be used to retrieve and save presets and activate effects. A USB connection and stereo jack output can also be found at the bottom end of the EWI 5000.

AKAI Professional EWI 5000 Wireless Electronic Blow Converter

86 Customer ratings

4.4 / 5

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50 Reviews

S
Does it Sound Like A Saxophone? No.
Stephen148 10.08.2015
I bought this instrument mainly to use in silent practice when I am away from home. This has changed recently because I now have studio monitors (KRK Rockit 5's from Thomann) which I'm using to amplify it and also play backing tracks on it simultaneously.

But, it will still have it's uses for silent practice. There are some differences in the fingerings between the EWI and the sax, even though it can be set up to play as a sax, you still need to get your head around certain differences, but this is fairly intuitive.

The other difference is that there's no need for a strong embouchure for higher notes, as you just roll your thumb up the octave rollers at the back to span 7 octaves effortlessly (compared to the sax's 2.5 octaves, which can be tricky to play at either end.

The issue I have is with the various sounds. They are not very authentic for some of the woodwind "programs" and (ironically) the saxophones are the least authentic of all, to my ears. But it you treat it like a completely different instrument, it's fine.

The program editor that comes supplied (or at least by download) is an essential tool in helping to tweak the various in-built sounds, but it takes some getting used to. I bought pre-sets for all 100 sounds from an expert in the USA and used his settings which really do seem to have made a difference to the onboard sounds.

The main advantage of this model over the less expensive EWI4000 is that it can be wireless. This is a major plus for anyone using it on stage or in a performance stetting (as the EWI does not have to be tethered to the amplifier (the wifi box is attached to the speakers.)

Even just using it at home, I have found the freedom I get from not being attached to the speaking with the USB cable a real bonus as I can have my music stand at the opposite end of the room from the speakers.

Overall, it's a fascinating instrument that will take a lot of time to use properly, but one that I am very glad to have bought.
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JB
Good improvement of a great instrument
Jorge Bach 21.09.2014
I've played the EWI 4000S during almost five years. The EWI 5000 is a great step ahead, the instrument maintain the overall characteristics of playability and capacity of adjutment to personalize it.
the sounds are clearly better, also the selection of instruments, mainly wood wind and some brass, I agree to the discard of the string sounds. It is a wind instrument ! Of course the sounds don't match a real instrument. Who like a real sax sound, must buy a sax ! The degree of expresivity is the same of the 4000S.
The wireless work very well, I've tested it far away of the receiver, it brings to the instrument a fantastic freedom.
I still haven't tested the soun edditor. It is an useful characteristic to have a default sound bench and a personalizable user sound bench.
At the next link Peter Climie show the 100 default sounds:
Peter !
I'm really satisfied with my new Akai EWI 5000.
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B
BATTERY CODE 88 VERY COMMON
BenV 18.01.2016
When I first bought this instrument, it was great and worked out okay. However, after using it and working to use it in performances, I have had many issues with the batteries and code 88. This basically means that your batteries are dead, and it is not very easy to get them replaced.

Thomann were very helpful with the whole process, but it took them almost 2 months to get new batteries out to me, and now the new battery has the same problem as before. Basically the unit is junk without a battery and cannot be used at all. It is not very reliable and I wonder how many others are having these issues with batteries?

If I had to do it over again, I would not have purchased it, but maybe it is just my unit?
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SS
Delivers as promissed
Sten Stinus 01.04.2020
If you read the promotions about it, I can assure you that it's exactly what you get. I was somewhat in doubt, it sounded to much in all the advertising, but yes, it delivers what it promisses.
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