New Akai Professional EWI Solo instrument

This new wind controller from Akai has a price of $ 499 which makes it more affordable than the 5000 or the older 4000s, and therefore for SampleModeling fans it sounds like a great instrument.

It has far superior LCD display than any prior models which shows actual words rather than cryptic abbreviations, as well as a rechargeable lithium battery, USB connection, and a built in speaker. Of course the speaker is of not much use unless you want to listen to the built in sounds which are not nearly as good as those of the Roland Aerophone AE-10.

Here is a link for a pretty useful review which compares this new instrument to the EWI-4000s.

Unlike those of us on this forum, Carlos, is not interested in sounds that emulate those of acoustic intruments, but nevertheless he does a good job of introducing the Akai Pro EWI Solo.

Keep Safe,



  • edited October 2020

    The Aux In should be able to be used to input the sound of for example Samplemodelings Brass in order to have the instrument your holding resonate in the frequencies of the instrument your playing. I do this with an attached speaker to my Ewi 5000 and it greatly helps with the feeling of actually playing the instrument, immersing yourself into the performance rather then triggering an instrument on your computer with your playing which then comes out of the speakers in front of you

  • Interesting !

    In fact an "inverse Speaker" might be a good idea. Maybe the internal speaker of the EWI could be replaced by such a device.

    (I mean the "peakers" that can be attached to a window pane and use same as a "membane". We do use such devices in the company I work for.)


  • I recently purchased the EWI Solo and as I was comparing it with my EWI-4000s which a week later broke down. After some testing I had to conclude that the electronics was no longer functioning properly, so the EWI-Solo came at the right time.

    Anyone who has been considering purchasing one has no doubt noticed the price increase to $599 at bhphoto and much higher from other vendors. Moreover, just about all vendors have now had it on backorder for many months.

    I noticed that Amazon listed a price of $468, but it was shipping from England (w free shipping), and there were warnings about warranty issues for the US, as well as the possibility of customs costs. Enough reasons to not rush ahead at this bargain price, but I could not find any additional information about either the warranty or additional customs costs, so I did not order right away. Subsequently they ran out, but when they became available I took a chance and ordered it. When I checked the tracking, it did not begin to ship for about 13-16 days, but then it arrived very fast.

    It's really much longer and heavier than the EWI-4000s, but the round shape is very nice, perhaps because it resembles an overgrown clarinet. The built in sounds are just as crappy as those in the EWI-4000s, but the controls are much improved, especially the LCD window which now shows actual names rather than the confusing dual 7 Segment LED character readouts. A knob below the LCD display scrolls through menu choices, and needs to be pressed to bring up a submenu. Unfortunately, like too many designers the labels under or next to various buttons are black on black, which means you cannot read them without really good lighting.

    The manual, as usual, is poorly organized and confusing. It has a built in lithium-ion rechargeable battery that you connect to an included USB (5 volt) charger, or a compute USB port. This USB cable also servers for MIDI communication with your computer, but ONLY when EWI power is turned OFF. I wasted some searching through the so called manual, before I saw a brief note of instruction stating this.

    I was used to the EWI-USB which you simply connect to the computer to send MIDI messages. I had the EWI plugged in with the power on and was thinking there was some damn setting on some hard to find menu to enable MIDI communication. It was a day later that I found the information to get the MIDI working.

    Once I had the EWI talking to the computer, by not turning the power ON, it was just a matter of tweaking the CC parameters to get the great samplemodeling instruments to play. It plays beautifully even without having fully figured out all of the settings.

    In comparison to the Roland Aerophones, the internal voices are terrible, and while some wind players find the mechanical keys and design easier to get used to, I can't stand the octave key design, but very much appreciate the extra keys near the thumb that give you some additional, very useful CC parameter programming. While the Aerophones are not that much more expensive than the EWI-Solo, the Aerophone Pro is considerably more expensive. Sadly, Alistair Parnell has not reviewed nor produced any EWI-Solo tutorials.

    I very much recommend the EWI-Solo if you are looking for an excellent windcontroller, especially if you are already familiar with the key mechanism of any of the earlier EWI instruments.

  • The only issue with the British version of the EWI-Solo was that the USB charger had a non US AC adapter, which I do not consider a major problem because you can recharge the batteries with USB connection to a computer or one of the many standard USB chargers that are available from countless vendors.

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