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Best Electronic Wind Instrument 2022: 10 EWI’s You NEED To Try!!

How good is an EWI? How much is an electric wind instrument?

Tracking down the best electronic wind instrument is a task in itself.

And that’s despite the fact that EWIs are few & far between. As far as musical instruments go, they’re RARE, to the point that anyone buying an EWI really only has a handful of options. Not that it’s a bad thing though.

In fact, with EWIs being such a ‘new’ instrument, we think they’re a huge opportunity! Just like looper pedals were before Ed Sheeran or midi controllers before the mass birth of the bedroom producer, they’re an untapped niche just waiting to be mastered. Let’s just say that you VERY rarely (if ever) see an EWI backing up an orchestra, or even been talked about for that matter.

Hence us writing this blog. Because it’s not as if the tech behind the EWI is disappointing either; most EWIs work with midi & feature hundreds of built-in sounds! Question is though, how much is an electronic wind instrument? And are they any good? We review 10 of the best to find out…

After something specific about electronic wind instruments? Or just curious which we think is the best EWI? Use the menu below to find all the answers you need, fast…

The best EWI instruments @ a glance…

10 of the best electronic wind instruments for sale today…

Despite only a few manufacturers taking the leap to make EWIs, there are a fair few models out there. All of which (we’ll be honest) look pretty much identical. Something that can make narrowing down the best EWI, tricky to say the least.

Not that you have to worry though, because we’ve got you covered. Yep – we’ve reviewed over 10 of the best + spelled out the differences so you don’t have to. All you have to do now is read on & jump into our rundown of the best electronic wind instruments you can buy today…

1: Akai EWI5000 EWI (With On-Board Sound Library)

Want to get an idea of proportion & hear how it sounds? Check out this sound test below…

YouTube video

2: Roland Aerophone AE-10G wind synthesiser

3: Roland AE-05 Aerophone Go (With App Integration)

4: Roland AE-01 Aerophone Mini EWI

This is one small EWI. Take a listen & watch it being played below…

YouTube video

5: Akai EWI USB midi controller

6: Akai EWI Solo (incl. rechargeable battery + 200 sounds)

7: Roland Ae-30 Aerophone Pro

Here’s the best EWI for beginners…

For any beginner, picking an electronic wind instrument can be quite daunting. So really, to get a feel for what one is & to master the basics, it’d be wise to get your hands on a stripped back, slightly more simplified version of the EWIs above. That way you can master the basics without having to fathom all the technicalities.

Plus, going for a stripped back EWI also means that the £$€ is likely to be more affordable too. A win-win in the eyes of a beginner! So without further ado, here’s what we consider to be the best EWI for beginners…

8: Blackstar Carry-On digital wind instrument

Don’t have the £$€ for an EWI? Try these acoustics…

Want to get a feel for what wind instruments are like to play, but don’t have the cash for a fully-loaded EWI? Try going acoustic. See, while you may have to give up a lot of the technical trinkets that come with an EWI, all the core ingredients are still there. The size, shape & overall playing experience remains pretty much the same.

So if you’re looking at EWIs, but don’t yet have the budget, then an acoustic wind instrument may be your best bet. If the choice was ours, here’s the 2 we’d consider…

9: Yamaha YVS-100 Venova

10: Saxmonica Generation 2

Enjoy this best EWI review & keen for more? Don’t miss out on all our latest Gossip Around Brass Instruments +our latest on Alternative Instrument (like the EWI). Recently, we also did a rundown of the Best Mini Trumpets + another on the Best Alto Sax, which may also be a good read!

Or, if you’re here purely to learn more about electronic wind instruments, keep reading & we’ll answer even more of your burning questions…

The lowdown on electronic wind instruments + how to choose one…

It’s worth it because an EWI is an excellent instrument many musicians enjoy. However, a wind controller works for some people while doing nothing for others, so if you can borrow one, test it out before you buy it. It mostly relies on the genre of music you enjoy listening to and the reasons you believe you need one of them. 

In the meanwhile, it would be wonderful if you knew how to modify the sound unit or use your samples. In our opinion, the majority of the people we hear employ horrible preset sounds. To become proficient, it does need persistence, time, and practice. Since the instrument is so sensitive, it isn’t easy to train fingers to use the touch interface. But much like learning an instrument, the secret is consistent practice.

The EWI contains a rubber mouthpiece with detectors for blow and biting pressure (which by default delivers vibrato, more particularly a rapid hurl up-down “blip.” It can be routed to intonation or other CC reins of the player’s desire). 

The EWI keys are immobile, but they automatically sense when fingers are moving them by body capacitance. The instrument is very responsive because of the touch capacitative switches and breath and bite sensors, but not all players will find that appealing immediately. 

Some players may favour EWI with mechanical keys on which they can rest their fingers, which are more akin to saxophones. Nevertheless, wind players will quickly adjust after a brief period of alteration.

Even though there are other identical devices on the market, an EWI typically refers to an Akai wind controller. An independent or onboard synthesiser may be controlled using an electronic saxophone like a genuine wind instrument. 

Professional saxophonists use one of these instruments on stage, in the studio, and for enjoyment, even though it may not technically belong in the Saxophone Family. Unlike a typical saxophone, they don’t have a reed, but the fingering arrangement is the same. 

The electronic wind instrument, or EWI (pronounced ee-wee), is frequently used in jazz fusion, although it is still used in various jazz and musical genres today. The EWI is essentially what the keyboard is to the piano for instruments like the saxophone, clarinet, and flute.

Yes – you can. The Phones jack on the EWI Solo may accept standard 1/8″ (3.5 mm) stereo headphones. Press the power button on the EWI Solo to turn it on.

Put the software DVD (included) in your computer’s CD/DVD drive. The setup window ought to launch on its own. To install the program, double-click on Setup and adhere to the on-screen directions. You can open the software when both the samples and the software have been successfully installed. 

Connect the EWI USB to a computer’s available USB port. On the back panel, the Status LED will start to glow. Connecting directly to the computer is recommended rather than using a USB hub with many ports. 

Connect to a port on the computer’s back whenever feasible. The EWI USB’s keys, wheels, and plates are automatically recalibrated when plugged in. Hold the EWI USB solely by its plastic case towards the top while plugging it in to prevent getting in the way of this procedure (and causing it to play out of tune).

There are EWI in the market with different price ranges. You will have to fork over roughly $1000 to purchase this Akai Professional EWI5000. Although not synthesiser pricey, that is still a significant sum of money. 

According to the manufacturer, this is the world’s most adaptable and expressive wind instrument. That is a bold statement that, if carefully examined, may lessen the significant dent it will make in your bank account. Aside from that, you get a built-in 3 Gig+ SONiVOX sound bank, an ultra-low latency USB connection, and a 12-hour rechargeable battery.

Yes. Yamaha Corporation now makes a single-reeded woodwind device called the Venova. The YVS-100, the original model, was introduced in 2017, and the YVS-120, an alto variant, was released in 2019. The Venova has a mostly cylindrical bore, but it stands out for having a branching pipe close to the mouthpiece. 

It is said that these mimics the acoustic characteristics of instruments having conical bores, such as the saxophone. The Venova’s body is made almost completely of ABS plastic. It uses German recorder convention and Baroque fingering systems to chromatically span two octaves in the key of C. (in the case of the YVS-100). 

It is incredibly simple to clean, lightweight, and impervious to most liquids. For those who cannot afford a conventional reed instrument but wants to learn one, the Venova can be appreciated for its distinctive tone and reasonably priced rates.

Nyle Steiner created the EWI, his second electronic wind instrument creation. In the 1970s, Steiner introduced the EVI, a brass-style fingering analog wind synthesiser device. The EWI, which Steiner later created, featured a distinctive fingering technique akin to the woodwind approach. The EWI initially became commercially available in the early 1980s. 

However, these instrument concepts originally surfaced as functioning prototypes in the 1970s. Steiner sold the EWI instruments to Akai, who then worked with him to develop several models. The most recent Akai versions, the EWI5000 and EWI SOLO, include built-in sample-based digital synthesisers; thus, an additional box is unnecessary. 

Akai also provided the EWI USB, a five-octave MIDI controller that utilises software for operation and connects directly through USB to a Mac or Windows computer.

In our opinion, Akai EWI is better. However, it may come down to personal preferences, so it would help if you found out yourself. Both the electric wind pieces of equipment are available in various designs, hues, dimensions, and manufacturers. Roland and Akai Professional are the two leading brands. 

Each electric wind instrument brand has a distinctive sound reflecting the brand and the intended playing style. You can pick the one with the ideal sound and the desired “appearance,” depending on what you are especially looking for. In this digital age that we live in, the incredible Akai professional EWI electronic wind instrument provides excellent wind-instrument performance as well as reactions. 

It features 3G of lovely acoustic and forward-thinking tunes. There are a variety of onboard sounds included with the Roland digital wind instrument. Acoustic saxophones and other wind instruments, including the clarinet, flute, and trumpet, may be used with it.