Roland Intros Aerophone Go Digital Wind Instrument

Roland today introduced the Aerophone Go, a new digital wind instrument that’s designed to be portable and to be used both standalone or as a controller via USB-MIDI or MIDI over Bluetooth LE.


  • 11 onboard tones including four sax variations, flute, clarinet, violin, plus 50 sounds available through the Aerophone GO Plus app for iOS or Android devices
  • Play anywhere with battery operation and onboard speakers
  • Easy to carry, weighing just 1 lb. 9 oz./695 g – comes with dedicated soft case
  • Play along with songs on your smartphone, using Bluetooth audio
  • Play with up to six friends using Aerophone GO Ensemble smartphone app for iOS or Android devices
  • Compatible with traditional sax fingering; transposable to any key
  • Mouthpiece features sensitive breath sensor with reed structure for traditional playing feel and control over techniques like vibrato and pitch

Here’s a couple of demos of the Aerophone Go in action, with imitative and synth sounds:

Pricing and Availability

Details are TBA. See the Roland site for more info.

19 thoughts on “Roland Intros Aerophone Go Digital Wind Instrument

  1. I’m not a fan at all of the design. At all.
    But with some real synth engine, that would be really fun.
    It’s shame they made another preset thing, though.

    1. Ever heard of design follows function? You know, the opposite of the apple mouse not being usable when charging? (random example) – Also: or as a controller via USB-MIDI or MIDI over Bluetooth LE. <- You can use proper synth engines.

  2. her performance was great however that thing is sooo ugly. i thought she was trying to eat a beaver’s tail. yes it does exist, it is a pastry plastered with sugar and cinnamon.

  3. I think it looks fine, and it seems very comfortable for the hands (ergonomically). Nice to see that it has a switchable bite control.

    The post doesn’t mention whether it has a corded option for controlling iOS or desktop synths. Sorry, android, we’re not dealing with all your wait-n-see.

    Perhaps Bluetooth LE has low latency, and I don’t know how it compares to the required latency of a corded USB connection, but I’d rather have the lowest latency possible, and the option to not have to deal with BT.

    For woodwind players, if priced right, this seems fine. I’m glad to see Roland getting into this.

  4. Long & McQuade has the Aerophone AE-05 for preorder at 680 CAD. (The Aerophone AE-10 is 1100 CAD.)
    Some people in the wind controller user group on Facebook find the patches objectionable but they’re pretty much par for the course, if you ask me. In fact, there’s a valid æsthetic in doing cool stuff with cheesy sounds.
    But it’s as a MIDI over BLE that this thing should be really useful. Been using Yamaha’s MD-BT01 dongle with my old WX11 wind controller and it works like a charm. Not perceiving significant latency even when the soundsource (typically an iPad Pro) is 30 feet from me. There are enough cool synth apps on iOS at this point that it can make for something really fun.
    The description and specs don’t specifically say that the device will work as a normal Bluetooth MIDI controller, so there’s a small chance that they somehow blocked that feature (to ensure the device is low-end?). But that’d be very surprising and someone on the wind controller Facebook group may have confirmed that it works with GarageBand and Animoog.
    As for the “eating a beavertail” visuals… It looks different from the AE-10 and part of it might be in the width to length ratio. Don’t think it’d bother me much while playing and it’s likéy to get people intrigued. Maybe it’s like one of those ugly cars which become commonplace…? Wind controllers never became as big as keytars. But this one could change the game a bit because of the combination of features and price.

    1. Very well written post. Thank you very much.

      …sometimes I miss the thumbs up button they used to have here at synthtopia 🙁

  5. 439 quid in the UK, so not in the no-brainer “toy” category. Design is so early 80s! Maybe that fits with the whole cheese thing?

  6. Ah, half the crowd will always give you the stinkeye for playing most any odd-looking controller. If you play it well, those people tend to clam up PDQ. You know if this is the direction for you or not. Its a labor-of-love thing if you are a wind player who likes synths. Make note of the added 50 sounds they offer. I’m a bit surprised that Roland keeps making wind controllers, but if it applies the standard Boehm fingering system, serious players will embrace it. Its looks are secondary; form follows function. The demos are a tad generic, but also well-played. I see no serious negatives.

  7. How cool are you expecting to look blowing into something?

    This is about bring synthesis tech to wind players on the cheap, so usability and cost are the things most people are going to care about the most.

  8. Cheesy performances, but with an awesome synth this could be fun….if it is sub $200 it will be an insta buy, but it will probobaly be 400-500.

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