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Akai EWI4000S Wind Controller Synth

by Akai

Price: £459.00 FREE UK delivery.
Only 1 left in stock.
Dispatched from and sold by EESMusic.
3 new from £459.00 1 used from £449.00
  • Electronic Valve Instrument (EVI) fingering mode for brass players
  • Touch sensitive keys and octave roller for quick and responsive playing
  • Sensitive breath sensor for expressive dynamics
  • Built-in analog modeling synth sound module
  • Built-in MIDI output for use with sound modules
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Product Information

Technical Details
Item Weight862 g
Product Dimensions67.1 x 6.9 x 6.1 cm
Item model numberEWI4000S
Additional Information
Best Sellers Rank 29,762 in Musical Instruments (See top 100)
Shipping Weight2.1 Kg
Date First Available5 Jan 2007
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Product Description

The Akai Professional EWI4000S is a giant leap in the evolution of wind instruments. At the heart of the EWI4000S is its built in sound module. A first in the industry, this module lets musicians plug a wireless MIDI or audio set up into the base of the EWI, and move freely around the stage without being tethered by wires. More fun than blowing up balloons!

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Boss Cat on 14 Jan 2011
A wonderful versatile wind instrument but one which requires delicacy of touch; not for the heavy handed, however the instrument itself is well built and sturdy. It comes with 80 pre-set sounds (although 100 are listed; 20 are repeated!). Many of the pre-sets unfortunately sound a little too similar but there is sufficient variety to keep the keen amateur or casual professional entertained. It is possible to have sound patches downloaded from specialist sites; Akai themselves do not seem to engage in correspondence on such matters. The beauty of such an instrument is that it can be electronically linked to sound recorders without the fuss of using and choosing microphones and the problems that come with them. It has many useful features that a wind instrumentalist would appreciate and it is well worth the money costing a fraction of e.g. a top rate saxophone. Akai EWI4000S Wind Controller Synth
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. B. Solomons on 7 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase
This is a great addition to any woodwind player's set of instruments. It feels very solid and well made, as we have come to expect Akai Professional products to be.

Essentially it is a synthesiser laid out in clarinet / sax fingering. There are a number of instruments built in, and some great synth sounds. The unit also has the capacity for playing in harmony (polyphony) and adjustment of the attack, modulation etc of the notes played. It is very versatile in this respect. The user manual, as many have said before is basic, and will get you plugged in and switched on - after that it is up to you, but there are quite a few helpful websites.

Akai don't do a case for this at all, but if you buy a Ritter Soprano Sax case, it fits in perfectly, without rattling around, and has a pocket for cables, batteries etc, and a strap to sling it over your shoulder with. My son has lugged this all over the place to rehearsals, and the case has done a good job, with no damage so far.

When you consider what you are getting, this is actually a very good value unit. It as a stereo 3.5mm out jack, midi out, 1/4 inch out (he often plays it through a lead guitar amp with effects pedals)

We are very pleased we bought one, now saving up for the Eb clarinet....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pete Carroll on 26 Nov 2013
I've only had it for a few weeks but it's very exciting:
I'm a recorder-family player, and was looking to beef up the sound I make while playing with guitar-players and a drummer.
Here's what to do: On an iphone or ipad get the "Sampletank" app to create sounds (sax, trombone, trumpet,etc). That's about 40 euros. Then you'll need to buy an iRig midi adapter (50 euros) to attach the EWI to your phone or ipad. Next, you'll need a cable to lead out of your phone/ipad headphone socket to either your mixing desk/speakers (or just headphones). Set your EWI to "CH" to control the sampletank app. I've spent the last few weeks working up sax and trombone parts and can clearly see the immense possibilites. The above set up is basic and functional. Next will be to explore the Kontakt software - massive sound library but with a 400 euro price tag. I'll learn my craft on the sampletank first! The EWI seems well built, responds well....can be adjusted to the last detail, but does not come with a case.I've found the ideal solution: an Arquitect's plans carry-case - it's perfect, costs about 10 euros and only needs bubble-wrap to ensure your 700euro EWI is snug and protected. Love it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Great synth 24 Sep 2007
By Simdude - Published on Amazon.com
I just received my EWI4000S and already love it. First, some quick background.

I am a software engineer by trade and a hobbyist musician. I minored in music focusing on Jazz. I play clarinet, alto sax and flute.

After reading numerous reviews and having tried various wind synths starting back around 1988, I finally decided the 4000s was the instrument to go with. I never like the other instruments requiring a separate sound module and found the built in synth on the 4000s just what I was looking for. I was concerned about reviews indicating the built in sounds were a bit thin, so I decided to buy from patchman music and add their sound library to the package. It was only another $50 so for $750, you get a great instrument, with nice sounds ready to go. As a bonus, they update the OS in the instrument and calibrate for you at no charge.

I set up the instrument with sax fingerings and found it fairly easy to adjust to the touch sensitive keys. The one area that I see needing a lot of work on my part is moving through the octaves. With rollers instead of a single octave key, this looks like the biggest hurdle. Even so, I was able to pull out a Charlie Parker solo book, and play much of the content albeit at a bit of a slower pace than the Bird. It was still encouraging enough to let me know that with some work, I should be able to sound pretty decent.

It's also a blast to be able to plug in headphones and play at all hours of the night without disturbing the family or neighbors. I have noticed a tiny bit of hiss on the headphones, but have not determined yet if it is a headphone issue or the instrument. I suspect there will be a tiny amount of noise since the internal synth is analog.

I have yet to work with the MIDI so I cannot comment on how well it works in that regard. There is also software that lets you modify or create new sound and download, however, this also requires a MIDI connection so I have yet to try this.

As another reviewer pointed out, there is no case available for this. Akai, are you listening? I have found most other EWI players suggesting a soprano sax case and if necessary, replacing the bottom with foam cut out for the EWI. I would prefer a custom case from Akai, but they have never had a case for any of their EWI's as I recall so I won't hold my breath.

Overall, an excellent and very expressive instrument, especially if you get the updates from Patchman.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
A Great New Instrument that NEEDS a case! 1 Nov 2006
By Carmen Scriptor - Published on Amazon.com
The Akai EWI 4000S is a great instrument. The only BAD thing I can say is that there is no case available for it. Akai needs to get on the stick and make one available. Surely anyone that spends $700 for a musical instrument wants, needs and will buy a case. It's a pain to have to keep the shipping box and pack the instrument up and carry the box around. Otherwise, it's a great instrument. It's very responsive, feels good and sounds good. It's really nice to have an onboard synthesizer. All the ports are good: audio; midi and headphone. It's nice to have the choice of battery power or the optional AC adapter (not necessarily optional, really). If you want a wind controller, go for it.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
I love it! 22 Feb 2012
By Mrs Betty Turner - Published on Amazon.com
[by Betty's other half]

First let me note that I'm not a beginner or an amateur. I have two degrees in music and have been playing music professionally for over thirty years. I'm a multisection doubler with brass and woodwind experience but really poor keyboard skills. I've been looking at windsynths for several years but just recently made the jump because the 4000s doesn't require a laptop (as does the EWI usb) or a tone generator (as do most of the past incarnations of the windsynth). I'm impressed.

It's not a toy or a curiosity. This is a real professional instrument. As such, by comparison to other professional instruments, it's far from "expensive" and is, in fact, "cheap" compared to say a Selmer Paris sax or a Fender pro guitar. It's probably also not the best choice for a beginner looking for an alternative to flute, clarinet, sax - it's not those. It's a synthesizer that you blow into to play. It's perfect for those, like me, who want to get into electronic synth music but don't do so well with a keyboard. It's also a reasonable substitute for some other instruments when you just don't happen to have a real one or the player available.

Fingering: As a woodwind doubler I found the fingering transition a breeze. A few minutes and I was up and playing. The octave rollers took a little while to get and even after a few months I still miss a jump on occasion - but, it's a really effective solution to octave keys. The choices of fingering modes cover just about anyone with woodwinds experience and the sax fingering mode is intuitive. The brass fingering emulation take a lot of practice though - it's not as easy as picking up a trumpet.

Sound banks: The sounds it ships with aren't the greatest. It will control any midisynth you happen to have (or buy) though and there are aftermarket patches available that are a true improvement. It doesn't sound like a flute, sax, clarinet, cello, etc... exactly because that's not what it is. It sounds like an electronic tone synthesizer even with the best patches. But, with a good set of sounds it's really close and sounds really good. It's really good for giving you an 8-octave sax that doesn't require packing out 6 horns. It's also a really good for oboe/English Horn/bassoon (or about anything else) subbing for those of us that don't sound so great on a real oboe. While nothing sounds like a real Conn 6/4 tuba - this thing does a good imitation and doesn't weigh 200 pounds.

Case: no case ships with it and you'll not want it to live in the box. The ProTec Soprano Sax case fits it perfectly. I keep mine in a padded 32" shotgun case that has enough compartments for cables, straps, manuals, music, etc...

Strap: The strap it comes with isn't so hot. If you play sax you already have straps you like. If not, get a decent strap. Straps are cheap, dropping your horn isn't. You'll not want to play it unstrapped because you can't get a good movement on the octave rollers without strap support.

Stand: It doesn't come with one and it won't ride on a sax stand. Solution: A guitar stand with an On-Stage cup holder screwed down at the bottom. Holds the EWI perfectly and folds to fit in a case. I bent mine at the top a little so there's a touch more angle but it's not essential.

Cable tether: It's a pain sometimes to have to be cabled into an amp but then guitar and bass players do it all the time. There's a wireless system available but I've not made that leap.

Amp: You'll need an amp and sounds are only as good as the electronics you send them through. Guitar and electronics musicians tend to have an assortment of amps laying around, we wind players don't. I tried to cheap out on the amp and wasn't pleased. Just go ahead and get a decent amp for it. Pawn shops have plenty. A guitar player friend helped me pick mine (three of 'em for different occasions) and insists that "you can never have too much amp" - I'm finding he's right.

Adjustments out of the box: There are some decent YouTube videos/tutorials on making setup adjustments out of the box. They're worth a look. Especially setup the required breath control. Mine came from the factory needing way too much air to allow for top quality expression.

Bottom line: It's a wonderful instrument. It has some drawbacks. It has a lot of drawbacks if you want it to be something it's not (such as a real Selmer Paris Mark VI) but also has so many advantages. Plus it was a fabulous coolness factor and it's a lot of fun.

Caution - again: did I mention that it's probably not the best choice for a pure beginner? A recorder and some lessons might be a better start, then a real sax/flute/clarinet, and then a windsynth. I'd hazard to suggest that anyone that can't learn recorder will have a really hard time with an EWI.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
What not to expect from the EWI 4000s 18 Nov 2010
By Charles Bush - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Hi, all.
This is an expensive instrument.
Most of the demos I heard around the internet sounded great. . .
The EWU4000s ships with a terrible bank of sounds, however.

There are no specific instruments: no trumpets, no trombones, no clarinets, saxes, guitars. . .just weird synthesized sounds.

So, if you want to play the instrument and have good sounds, you'll have invest another [...] for a banks of sounds. The only place that sells EWI4000 sound presets is [...].

Tech support: Akaipro tech support is pretty bad. Waits range from 3-20 minutes. I called to ask what their recommendation is about the sounds. The guy there said, "Uh, hang on, let me see." He came back ande said we don't sell presets. I asked him if he has a recommended source for sounds. Again he said, "Uh, just a minute." He eventually came back with the [...] site.

As far as help at the Akaipro website, forget it. There are no instructions, no help, nothing.

The manual is pretty bad, too. My EWI came with a Japanese language manual, but it did have an English manual in PDF format.

Bottom line? EWI4000s is well made, and I'm sure it will sound good once I get some decent sounds in it.

Buy one and you're on your own.
PS Power Adapters won't be available until February, Akai says.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Carrying Case for Akai EWI4000s 18 Oct 2007
By Juan E. Lara - Published on Amazon.com
The EWI4000s is an excellent INSTRUMENT(s).
I had a hard time finding a carrying case, but I tried the Standard Soprano Saxophone Case Pro Tec Model PB-310 Black and it fit perfectly. Also, it has a pocket to carry several things including the ac adapter.
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