New $199 Electronic Wind MIDI Instrument, The Vindor ES1

Vindor Music has launched a crowdfunding campaign for a new wind MIDI controller/instrument, the Vindor ES1.

The Vindor ES1 is a designed to be an easy-to-learn instrument. It’s core audience is probably music education, but it also supports MIDI, so has other applications. And it uses standard sax fingering and mouthpieces, so skills built on it can transfer to traditional instruments.

Features:

  • Priced starting at $199
  • Audio jack for headphones or amplification
  • Built-in sound generator.
  • You can switch to different modes, such as Flute or Clarinet with the flip of a switch.
  • USB MIDI
  • At under 16″ the Vindor Digital Saxophone is light and portable and easily fits in a backpack.
  • Rechargeable battery provides over 4 hours of untethered play time.
  • Using the Apple Camera adapter, the Vindor seamlessly works with any iPhone or iPad synthesizer and DAW app.

Specs:

  • RM Cortex-M4 CPU
  • 1800 mAh Li-ion battery
  • NXP air pressure sensor
  • 14 capacitive touch sensors
  • 24-bit resolution audio
  • USB 2.0
  • Headphone and line-out driver
  • Class D speaker amplifier
  • 6 programmable synthesizer sounds
  • SD card for sampled sounds

Pricing and Availability

The Vindor ES1 is being funded via a Kickstarter campaign and is available to backers for US $199 (early birds at $179).

15 thoughts on “New $199 Electronic Wind MIDI Instrument, The Vindor ES1

  1. So they say it has a four octave range, but only two octave keys?
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHx-tyFWsAAkv_u.jpg
    The octave key mechanism is pivotal to every digital wind instrument, so there should be some more information.
    Also the mouthpiece size would be interesting. Does any clarinet mouthpiece fit the receiver?
    Besides these issues, I wonder if learning to play “saxophone” on an instrument with capacitive touch sensors really helps. As any EWI player knows, it’s a completely different system from woodwind instruments with keys, where you can actually put your fingers down without playing notes.

    1. Many thanks for reading about our instrument. To get the lowest octave, the player doesn’t touch either octave buttons (on the back). Next octave up, touch the bottom button only. To get the next octave, touch both buttons. For the highest octave, touch only the top button. We’re going to record a video to show this. Thanks for the great question.

  2. Could be interesting as a cheap alternative to established products from Yamaha & Akai (wind controllers have been around for 20+ years!!)

    Does it do pitch-bend?
    Does it transmit pitch-bend & pressure (aftertouch) over MIDI?

    Those two features would have a very big impact on the expressiveness & sound quality – and are must-haves for me.

    1. The Vindor ES1 can send After Touch, Volume, Expression or Breath continuous events to track air pressure. But to keep the cost low, it does not do pitch bending. You would need a an external control like a foot pedal.

      1. So to be clear, just one dimension of how hard you’re blowing is transmitted, essentially; no more complex sensing of embouchure etc? Just different CCs that the same information can be transmitted on? Wishful thinking for anything more complex I know =)

        Maybe since it uses a real mouthpiece there could potentially be an audio feed from that (for further signal analysis to drive control signals, or even to be used as an input to e.g. physically modelled instrument)… but it looks like that would require a somewhat different design probably not practical at this stage.

  3. 00:59 “after about a month, he gave up making music entirely”
    Yes, it takes more than one month to learn playing an instrument. The lack of endurance is the problem of the younger generation today.
    And these sensor-keys make this look like a toy. I don’t believe you can play any real wind instrument after “training” with this….

  4. Ooh, interesting. I’m doing something very similar myself. I’m not planning on selling mine, but this one could be pretty cool to buy too. Sure, it’s no Yamaha, but then it is only $200. If you wants pro, you gots to pay pro.

  5. Here’s a tip. Start with sound examples that don’t sound like total sh*t.

    The price is about the only thing that they seem to be doing right here. Where is all the expression of a wind instrument — pitch, vibrato, etc? Do we really need something to encourage kids to give up on developing the embouchere and tone of a real instrument so they can make crappy 80s video game noises? There seems to be a lot of good intentions behind this., but does it really increase cost that much to put a decent sound library and MIDI expression into? “For Kids” is no excuse for lame sound design. There is no point in making something like this if this is the best example of how it can sound.

  6. Its called the Boehm fingering system. I got a Lyricon in 1978 which was a much more substantial piece of gear. This just looks like an electronic recorder, and very toyish. Good luck anyway. What do I know?

  7. Such a shame there is no 5 pin midi, There is talk on their page about the wind pressure affecting dynamics but the demos didn’t show this.

  8. I don’t buy that his son couldn’t get a decent tone out of a clarinet within four weeks. Sorry to say, but I don’t believe that. And the sounds out of this thing are terrible, worse than those cheap little Casio synths from the far past.

    Making music with ‘real’ instruments may be taking longer, but once learned you won’t forget how for the rest of your life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *