Akai EWI 5000 Electronic Wind Instrument Offers Wireless Connectivity


At Musikmesse 2014Akai Professional is showing the EWI 5000, their new electronic wind instrument.

The EWI 5000 includes an array of advanced features, including digital 2.4GHz ultra-low-latency wireless connectivity, a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts up to 12 hours, and more than 3GB of built-in traditional and progressive sounds from SONiVOX.

Here’s a demo of the EWI 5000 in action:

The EWI 5000 comes 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.

The 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.

The EWI 5000 has a street price of about US $800.

Video demo via noterepeatvideo.

22 thoughts on “Akai EWI 5000 Electronic Wind Instrument Offers Wireless Connectivity

    1. Lol. I’m the nerdy “keytar” player. I’m a saxophonist too, and I plan to buy the EWI 5000.
      So I’m ultra nerdy?

  1. I think some people miss the point of the EWI because NAMM demos are usually flashy rather than meaty. Look up Nyle Steiner and hear what wind controllers can really do. It requires traditional technique, which requires many hours of practice, which means only so many people will even take it up. If you have at least *some* chops, it sure adds colors to your options. It could be said to have one or two minor design lacks, but keep in mind, its a 3 GB woodwind mutant, several generations along, with the synth world on top as an added treat. The demo was impressive, but as with the Eigenharp, I’m restless to hear someone take it OUTSIDE convention and put a more personal stamp on it. A few people seem to sneer a bit at this sort of tool, but they exist because some wind players want to step above the usual just like we do. Talk about a killer bar mitzvah gift for a 2nd- or 3rd-year woodwind student! Oy!

  2. I am currently using (with an EWI 4000S) a MIDI gadget called MIDIBEAM RX02/TX02 from pandamidi.com – pricewas 99 Euro + VAT – very light/small – absolutely perfect, no latency whatsoever. Since I am suffering from severe GAS (Gadget Acquisition Syndrome) I will get the EWI 5000 asap when available and use the MIDIBEAM with it.

    1. As a 4000s user now, and started with the 1000 years ago (1985 I think), I agree that this is not a toy, and it is an instrument all on it’s own. Like many of you, I love the wireless audio and the USB/MIDI 5-pin option. Not too concerned with the internal sounds and can only hope that they are better than others in ‘the family’ of Alesis. That said, I’m VERY disappointed in the ‘Auto Off’ feature. Most of us are ‘doublers’, and the EWI may sit unplayed for a while on a gig or session. Having to turn it on, is a real problem, and I haven’t seen anything in the Manual/Quick Setup Guide that says you can disable it. And yes, it would have been great to have a built in wireless MIDI transmitter … but I guess that’s going to be the EWI 5000m or 6000?!

  3. There have been a few iterations of this over the years but they all fell very short of the mark. I am an electronic music producer. I played clarinet for 10 years and put it down to try and learn keys because there was no wind midi controllers on the market. For someone in my boat who put countless hours into learning to express myself with a wind instrument, but also has spent the last 10 developing my own synth patches, the ability to finally perform and express those patches to the best of my ability is a very welcomed option. I can’t wait to get my hands on this thing. I am literally looking around my studio at what I’m gonna have to sell, to get this.

  4. I just purchace the EWI 5000, having played for over 30 years, I wanted to try out the instrument, after a few days, I’ve been able to play a few songs, however i find it a challange using the roller, I guess i need more time to shed.

    1. Hi Rob, I am looking to buy this instrument too. I was playing flute and sax more then 25 years ago and would like to start again.
      What would be your advice ? Buy it or not ?

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