The Never Ending Quest for an EWI4000s Battery Clip-in

So, I don’t know exactly how to tell the Akai parts people what I need. Basically, I lost the clip in battery holder thing for my EWI4000s. So the first time I called to get the part, they sent me the clip in part…..without the metal connectors. Which is completely useless.

This week, I called them, and the guy seemed to know what he was talking about, and I received two parts. PT1530105, which is the Cover inner. It’s the clip in part which I already had. And PT1504404, Cover terminal. Which is the part that goes over the Cover inner. BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE THE METAL connectors to complete a circuit! Ugh.

Anyone have any ideas what exactly I need to get from them? Part number??

UPDATE

Ok, this is what you need. It is called a Torsion Terminal. You need two of them.

So, in total, you need:
1 – PT1530105 – Cover Inner
1 – PT1504404 – Cover Terminal
2 – MT1510101 – Torsion Terminal

Now we have battery power back!

EWI 5000

EWI5000_angle_1200x750For the Winter 2014 NAMM show, Akai has announced a new EWI.

EWI 5000 comes loaded with more than 3GB of top-quality sounds, including traditional horn, brass, woodwind, and string sounds, plus progressive synths, leads, and other non-traditional sounds. EWI 5000 includes 12 touch-sensitive metal keys on its top and an eight-wheel thumb- controlled octave roller on the bottom. An EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument) Mode is included for brass players, and EWI 5000 also includes eight control knobs for tweaking Filter, Reverb, Chorus, LFO, Breath Amount, Bite Amount, Semitone Tuning, and Fine Tuning. Both USB MIDI and 5-pin MIDI are onboard for controlling software synths or traditional MIDI modules. A 1/4- inch output to connect to an amplifier or PA and an 1/8-inch headphone output for silent practice are included. EWI 5000 charges via USB or wall power and also includes a USB cable, wall adapter, wireless receiver, and a neck strap.

So, basically, an Akai 4000s with USB, a built in rechargeable battery, and some sounds.

REVIEW: iRig and iRig HD

For a while now, I’ve been using an iRig with my EWI. It works rather well considering the price. It allows me to hook up my EWI to an iPad/iPhone/iPod and use programs like Garageband to add effects. You can also even get Looping apps so you can layer sonic creations on you iOS device.

My one complaint about the iRig would be that it is rather noisy. You can hear a lot of audio noise while using the interface as it plugs into the headphone/microphone jack on your iOS device. Latency isn’t a factor at all, which is really the bigger thing I was concerned about. Nothing sucks more than have a delay between when you physical sound a note (i.e. blow into the EWI) and hear it. My EWI settings are all tweaked to make it near instant (so no effect usually on the patches). For $30 (actually, look around iRigs are cheaper than that now) the iRig strikes a good compromise between features and audio quality.

The iRig HD fixes two issues in the original iRig. First, it fixes the audio quality problems by now plugging into either the 30 pin connector, the lightning connector, or via USB. So the signal is, I think, all digital now. Second, you now have a gain dial right on the device, so you can dial in the right amount of gain (and help eliminate noise). It’s about 3 times more expensive compared to the iRig, but it does come with the ability to unlock some amp sounds in Amplitube.

Which to get? Honestly, the original iRig works fine on EWI. The noise level is totally acceptable (sorta sounds like audio tape hiss…..so sorta retro sounding). If you plan on using the iRig with a REAL guitar as well as an EWI, you might want to get the iRig HD instead. It is sooooo much better than the original iRig in terms of noise when you use an electric guitar.

Check it out.

REVIEW: EWI Case

I first published this in 2012 on Jazz-Sax.com.

Rittercase

I have had an Akai EWI4000S for a while now (5 years? More?) I should probably at some point do a review of it and why you should get the 4000S instead of the crippled USB only version (or maybe that is the review?). But what I can say is that I saw on Amazon the case that I totally love for it, which I had a HELL of a time getting from the Woodwind and Brasswind (backorder hell basically).

 

The Ritter Soprano Saxophone case works great for an EWI. It’s stylish, has enough compartments for your iRig, 1/4″ cable, and power supply. The current cases have a large RITTER logo on them (mine is several years old and doesn’t have that), but the basic design is the same. Check it out.

Ritter Soprano Case 1

Ritter Soprano Case 2

Side note…..if anyone has a line on where to get the clip in battery thing for an EWI 4000S….I need one. Mine is lost.

Learning EWI…..What Fingering Mode To Use

Someone asked me about this recently, and I honestly totally forgot that the Akai EWI 4000S has different fingering modes. If you too forgot, refresh yourself here (reference manual).

I suppose if you are coming from another instrument, say Oboe, flute, clarinet, saxophone, or trumpet, switching the EWI into a mode that emulates the fingerings from the instrument you are coming from makes the most sense. So, obviously, if you play flute, switch the EWI into Flute Fingerings mode. But what about if you play something else, or perhaps you play nothing at all.

The EWI 4000 does offer an EWI Fingerings Mode, which looks pretty much identical to the saxophone fingering mode with a couple of differences. First, the revision D manual I think has a misprint on the EWI Fingerings. G and G# are the same fingerings. I think the meant to color in the next key, K5 for G#. The second thing I noticed when I printed off the two fingering charts (yes, I had to print them off and cross out the fingerings that were the same) was the the EWI fingerings were basically the same exact fingerings as the saxophone mode fingerings. The FOUR differences I noted was that the saxophone fingerings offered 4 alternatives that are absent in the EWI Mode fingerings. These alternates are:

  • Low B Alternate
  • Low C Alternate
  • Low C# Alternate
  • Middle Bb Alternate

If you are coming from an instrument that isn’t offered as a fingering on the EWI 4000, what mode should you use? That is a tough call. I would say saxophone mode, because it makes more sense to me (cause I obviously play saxophone) and also that having more alternatives is NEVER a bad thing.

Michael Brecker’s Logic Environment

I was trying to clean out a folder on my Mac with a ton of PDFs, and came across a PDF that was from an article from the ill-fated Virtual Instruments Magazine.

I’m pretty sure I have the article scanned and saved SOMEWHERE, but as I remember it detailed sort of the magical environment Michael Brecker and George Whitty put together. EWILogic has a little bit on recreating it. Sorta.

If you look at the PDF, it looks very very complex. It uses a lot of instances of Augustus loop, some Delay plugins, and a couple instances of ES2 and Kontakt.

Now, if the “lore” is true, people who heard Michael and this setup, or just Michael playing his EWI with this, were awe struck. Supposedly his legendary saxophone playing looked meek compared to what he was doing with the EWI.

Sadly, his last album had hardly any EWI on it. I kinda wish he had done an all EWI album. His EWI stuff that he did back in the late 80s/early 90s is STILL the best EWI stuff 20+ years later.

Perhaps there should be an effort by EWI players to recreate this Logic Environment? I’d be game (if I understood the whole Logic environment thing).

  Michael Brecker's Logic Environment (13.0 MiB, 8 hits)
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