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USB Wind Controller Info Page

Akai EWI USB Patchman Music

Click Banner to buy your Akai EWI USB from THE Wind Controller Experts

Akai EWI USB EWIUSB. Patchman Music is the leading dealer in the USA for the new Akai EWI USB Wind Controller. This newest wind controller from Akai is extremely responsive yet very economical. This is the lowest cost wind controller to come along in years. Needless to say Patchman Music sells, supports, and repairs the Akai EWI USB in the USA. Buy your Akai EWI USB here!

All Akai USB EWI units purchased from Patchman Music are personally checked out by Patchman Music's own wind controller expert Matt Traum! Matt Traum was pivotal in the development of the new EWI-USB so he knows this unit inside and out. Matt has consulted with Michael Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Tom Scott, Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Tavaglione, Judd Miller, and pretty much every major wind controller player on the planet.

The Akai EWI USB features several fingering systems including Sax, Traditional EWI, Flute, Oboe, and Brass / EVI Fingering Mode designed for brass and EVI players by Matt Traum! Now more than ever, woodwind and brass instrumentalists can play the SAME INSTRUMENT simply by selecting the appropriate fingering system. Click here for complete details on the Brass-style EVI fingering system as it applies to the EWI4000s.

The new low cost Akai EWI-USB offers tremendous value yet retains the awesome expressiveness that all previous EWIs have been known for. Included with the Akai EWI-USB is a complete wind controller softsynth for PC and Mac (see below for system requirements). Connect the EWI USB to your PC or Mac and enjoy expressive breath controller sounds from this Aria softsynth. You can also control other softsynths with the EWI USB. Patchman Music also sells the Audio Modeling SWAM Virtual Instruments at a special Patchman Music Double Discount price (email Matt for your special SWAM price), the Wallander WIVI softsynths, wind controller soundbanks for the THOR softsynth, Apple's ES2 Analog Modeling Soft Synth, Korg M1 Legacy softsynth and Korg iM1 for iPad, and many others). Of course, the EWI USB can still be used with external MIDI synths if you connect a MIDI interface to your PC / Mac, or if you use a USB to MIDI Host device such as the Kenton. As always, Patchman Music offers numerous wind controller soundbanks and patches that can be used via MIDI. We are very excited about the Akai EWI-USB windsynth controller and we know you will be as well.

If you are interested in purchasing a new Akai EWI USB, email Matt and The Wind Controller Experts at Patchman Music to order. Click here for details.

Matt Traum
Patchman Music

Akai EWI USB Akai EWI USB Description Akai EWI USB

Akai EWI USB Patchman MusicAKAI EWI USB


The EWI USB is an electronic wind instrument for musicians looking for an easy-to-play, easy-to-use controller. Akai Professional's decades of experience in wind and electronic music instruments are rolled into our most user friendly and most affordable EWI ever.


While the EWI USB is easy and fun to use, it's also powerful, flexible, and most importantly reliable enough for use on stage and in the studio by professional musicians. Its USB interface means that all you need is nearly any Mac or PC and the included EWI USB software, and you're ready to practice, perform, create, and record with a full collection of wind instrument sounds.


The EWI USB offers multiple fingering modes including Sax, Traditional EWI, Flute, Oboe, and EVI / Brass, so whether you're just starting out as a woodwind student or an old pro wind player, you'll find EWI USB easy to play. EWI USB is designed for you to spend your time playing music; not lAkai EWI USB Program Patch list of sounds  at Patchman Musicearning technology. Patchman Music's Matt Traum states, "Offering so many fingering systems in a single instrument is truly a ground breaking advance in musical instrument design allowing the Akai EWI USB to appeal to a vastly wider range of wind instrumentalists. This widens the potential user market size tremendously. As a tester and developer for the EWI USB, I pushed very hard for these additional fingering systems. I am very pleased that Akai has added them."


Because EWI USB is a MIDI controller, it's easy to expand your sound palette. And because EWI USB is a MIDI controller, synthesizer users, producers, and keyboard players will enjoy the expressiveness that it can add to their setups.
The included ARIA softsynth software from Garritan delivers a wide palette of sound from which to choose. Simply pick an instrument and express yourself. ARIA also lets you edit your instrument sound so you can custom tailor your EWI USB to sound the way you want. Click here for a list of the sound programs that are included with your Akai EWI-USB purchase from Patchman Music.

You can also control other softsynths with the EWI USB. You can also control your MIDI synths when you connect a MIDI interface to your PC or Mac. Patchman Music sells a variety of specially programmed wind controller soundbank for various MIDI synth modules. A complete list is here.

Akai EWI USB Aria Patchman Music

From where does the EWI USB produce sound?

Rather than having sounds built-in like its bigger siblings the EWI SOLO, Akai EWI5000, and Akai EWI4000s, the EWI USB is designed to take advantage of your computer and its sound hardware and software to produce sounds. Since EWI USB is MIDI compliant via USB, you can load up your favorite music production or sequencing software and trigger sounds with all of the expression afforded from a wind controller.

Discover the world of expression that only wind instruments can offer with EWI USB.

  • Electronic wind instrument controller
  • Easy to play, easy to use, and easy to own
  • Powerful, flexible, and reliable
  • Plug-and-play USB connection to Mac or PC (see below for system requirements)
  • Custom EWI USB software contains wind instrument sounds
  • Multiple fingering modes: Sax, Traditional EWI, Flute, Oboe, and Brass/EVI (designed by Patchman Music's own Matt Traum)
  • Expandable sound palette
  • Removable, dishwasher-safe mouthpiece

Akai EWI USB Applications

  • Live and Studio Performance
  • Electronic Woodwind and Brass Players

Akai EWI USB Key Features

  • Touch sensitive keys and four octave rollers for quick responsive playing
  • Sensitive breath sensor for expressive dynamics
  • Built-in USB
  • PC and Mac software included (Standalone, VST, AU)
  • Lightweight, portable design
  • Multiple fingering systems available including EVI Fingering Mode for Brass / EVI players designed by Patchman Music's own Matt Traum!

Akai EWI USB Specifications

Akai EWI USB Patchman Music


  • EWI USB wind instrument
  • Neck strap
  • Cleaning cloth
  • USB cable
  • Software DVD (Standalone, VST, AU)
  • Quick start guide
  • Safety instructions
  • Class-compliant, plug-and-play USB device
  • Mac and PC compatible (see below for system requirements)


  • Mouthpiece: air-pressure level sensor and bite sensor
  • Note Keys: 13 touch sensors
  • Octave Rollers: 2 mobile, 2 fixed touch sensors (5-octave range). Patchman Music offers a mod to make all 4 of the rollers mobile.
  • Bend Plates: 2 touch sensors
  • Ground Plates: 2 touch sensors


  • Mac: OSX
  • PC: Windows XP or VistaAkai EWI USB Dealer Patchman Music


  • USB port
  • MIDI Output Channels Over USB: 1
  • Terminals: 1 slave connector (MIDI over USB)
  • Cable Holder to prevent cables from slipping off the EWI USB controller during performance


  • PC and Mac Aria software (included)


  • Generated via the PC and Mac with included Aria software


  • For a MIDI Implementation Chart, please refer to the EWI USB Quickstart Manual available here.


  • ~100mA, 5V via USB


  • Dimensions: 23 1/8" x 2 3/4" x 2 3/4"
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs


In addition to the Akai EWI USB FAQ available at Akai's website here, Patchman Music offers this additional EWI USB FAQ. Also, be sure to read the Wind Controller FAQ here.

Q. What are the differences between the EWI USB, EWI4000s, and the EWI5000 models?

A. The EWI5000, EWI4000s and EWI USB are made for slightly different purposes. One is not intended to replace the other. The EWI5000 is a sample-based instrument which is optimized for realistic type sound emulations. It is self-contained, has wireless audio, and MIDI and USB outs. The EWI4000s is completely self-contained and contains a built-in analog modeling type synth so it super expressive but not really designed for emulations and realistic type sounds. The EWI USB is simply a USB controller designed to control softsynths inside a computer. The sounds it comes with are mostly emulative but there are a variety of softsynths available that make a huge variety of sounds. Since the EWI USB does not have built-in sounds, it must be connected to a computer at all times in order to be of use. All three EWI models can also be used to control other external synths and softsynths with additional connections. Physical differences are as follows: The EWI USB is noticeably lighter and smaller than the EWI4000s and EWI5000. The EWI USB lacks the glide strip found on the EWI4000s and EWI5000- though it is possible to assign one of the bend sensors or the bite sensor to send glide (MIDI CC#5). The EWI USB also cannot send program changes from the controller and it has less pitch range. The EWI USB has 4 rollers offering about a 5 octave range. The EWI4000s and EWI5000 have 8 rollers offering about an 8 octave range. The EWI4000s and EWI5000 feature extra 2 side keys (OCT and HOLD) that can be used for various functions such as playing two notes at once. More info is in the Wind Controller FAQ here.

Their price is also very different. Click here for current prices.

Q. Are there internal sounds in the EWI USB?

A. No, the EWI USB has no built-in sound generator. You must connect it to a PC or Mac running a softsynth (or via a PC / Mac MIDI interface connected to a MIDI synth) to generate any sound. You can use the included Aria softsynth or other softsynths.

Q. Are there MIDI ports on the Akai EWI USB?

A. No. The EWI USB has only a USB out port.

Q. Can I use my MIDI synth modules with the EWI USB?

A. Yes, the EWI USB can be used to trigger MIDI modules via the MIDI OUT port which would be connected to your PC or Mac. You will need to internally route the data coming in from the USB port on your computer to the MIDI OUT port on your computer. This can be done with free software. Details on this are in the Wind Controller FAQ here. Patchman Music sells a variety of specially programmed wind controller soundbanks for various MIDI synth modules. A complete list is here.

Q. Can I edit the sounds of my EWI USB on a computer?

A. Yes, in fact you need to use a computer to generate the sounds with a softsynth such as the included Aria soft synth or you need to connect via a PC / Mac MIDI interface connected to a MIDI synth. Patchman Music sells a variety of specially programmed wind controller soundbanks for various MIDI synth modules. A complete list is here.

Q. Can I use other soft synths with the Akai EWI USB?

A. Yes. Although the EWI USB is bundled with the very nice Aria wind controller softsynth, you CAN use any other soft synth (or MIDI hardware synth) with the EWI USB. Of course, the results you get will likely not be good until you reprogram the patch in your softsynth to respond properly to the data the EWI USB sends. Most synths and softsynths are designed for keyboard controller control which is very different from what a wind controller requires. Additional general info on this subject is in the Wind Controller FAQ.

Q. Where can I get an Akai EWI USB?

A. Patchman Music sells them discounted and professionally calibrated by Matt Traum here.

Q. Can I use the EWI USB with the older Akai EWI sound modules?

A. Yes, you can connect the EWIUSB to other MIDI synths via a MIDI OUT port coming from your PC or Mac as described above (except the EWV2000 which does not have a MIDI IN jack). But the EWI USB cannot be plugged into the proprietary EWI connector found on the front of the older EWI modules.

Q. I am a Brass / EVI player. Can I play the EWI USB?

A. Yes! The Akai EWI USB includes an innovative new EVI brass-style fingering mode designed by EVI player Matt Traum. For the first time in history, both woodwind AND brass players can play the same wind instrument with totally different fingering systems simply by changing one parameter! The brass-style EVI fingering mode lets EVI and brass players play the EWI USB with minimum effort. Click here for complete details.

Q. I am an Oboe and Flute player. Can I play the EWI USB?

A. Yes! In addition to the classic EWI fingering and sax fingerings on the EWI USB, the Akai EWI USB also includes Flute and Oboe fingering. More info and a fingering chart are in the EWI USB manual available from Akai's website here.

Q. My EWI USB is connected to my PC but the latency / response is too slow. What can I do?

A. Here is a link to some quick tips for optimizing the Akai EWI USB.

Q. Can I go wireless with the Akai EWI USB?

A. No. There is no way to be wireless with the EWI USB at this time.

Q. Are there mods or tweaks available for the EWI USB?

A. Yes. Patchman Music currently offers two mods. One that allows all four of the octave rollers to turn (normally the outer ones are locked), and one to reduce the weight even further. We love both of these mods. These mods can also be done to new horns bought from Patchman Music before shipping for a small fee. Contact Matt at Patchman Music for complete info.

Akai EWI USB Akai EWI USB Downloads, Files, Resources Akai EWI USB

Akai EWI USB Please visit the Akai Pro website for the latest manuals, info, and software supporting the USB EWI.

Akai EWI USB Akai EWI USB Customer Comments Akai EWI USB

"Hi Matt. Hope all is well - Dude, you come up with a great instrument with the EWI USB. I just got mine a few hours ago and it makes perfect sense, logically built, instantly playable and deeply musical. A lot of love for music went into this extension of the woodwind/brass family (we say this when we have eaten a good meal that a lot of love went into the cooking!). I hope the word spreads about this instrument, adding the USB connection is ideal as all the horn musicians I work with have a computer what a great way of putting your spare or current laptop to use. Nice one mate and it looks as if I'm going to be up all night with my new tool!" - Courtney Pine

"I received my EWI USB from Patchman Music last week and couldn't wait to dig in. First let me say that Matt set the instrument prior to shipping, a huge plus, and that alone helped to make the whole experience much easier. Also, shipping was lightning fast! After not reading the instructions and simply loading the included software and plugging in my antique Gateway P4 2 gig happily recognized the EWI and in a few minutes I was playing this beast of an instrument. The relative ease at which the instrument played fresh out of the box was overwhelming. It didn't take long for my EVI senses to take over and I was happily back in the fold. After a week with this instrument I am still just as impressed as I was the first day. I've played for roughly 30 hours so far and am close to gig-ready. To compare it to other wind controllers I've played in the past is rather like apples to oranges BUT the EWI USB holds its own quite easily! The feel and expressiveness is there and the ease of tweaking out the instrument cannot be overstated. It was almost too much fun messing with the settings that I had to call 'Matt support' after I thought I'd killed it! Folks if I can't screw it up it's bullet proof!! The sounds included with the Aria/ Garritan software are quite nice. There's a full palette to choose from and, unlike some of the Akai factory sounds of the past, all of these are usable IMHO! I'm sure I'll want more sounds in the future (hello Matt?). But for now the included patches are fine. Outside of the included soundset the EWI USB is a fine MIDI controller. I'm a Reason abuser and was able to craft some sounds using Subtractor with minimal effort that the EWI seemed happy with. I'll be dabbling more in future I assure you! Kudos to Akai for producing this incredibly affordable unit and to Matt for his usual flawless development of the EVI fingering set and support of the new EWI USB. Thanks Matt!!!"

"Hi Matt, I just wanted to say how incredible the Akai EWI USB is. It arrived in great packing condition in its case. I just read about installing the software and in about 10 minutes out of the case I was playing. I use Sax fingering because that is what I know but the flexibility is great to other musicians. The guitar is my main instrument but I am someone who stopped playing Alto Sax because of the long time it takes to develop a sound and the reed problem and the everything else problem!! but with the USB I am playing songs right away using 'Band in a Box' to arrange my songs and have already performed a few in front of an audience. I use a Logitech laptop speaker system with sub for the amplification but have tried it through my Polytone amp and it sounds great. Thanks again I will get the word out that Patchman Music is where its at!!!!"

"Hi Matt; The EWI USB arrived today, three days after I ordered it. I can't say enough about the excellent service that Patchman provided. I was able to ask questions from an expert before I purchased, the order was shipped immediately, and the shipping rate to Alaska was more than fair. I particularly appreciated the fact that the EWI was packed in the case that I ordered separately, saving potential extra shipping costs. Few other merchants would have gone to this extra trouble. Thanks. I'll have no problem recommending Patchman to my friends."

"Matt, Thanks again for handling and supporting the new EWI USB. The whole experience has been so overwhelmingly positive from purchase to support to simply playing again."

"Matt, count me as one totally satisfied customer. I received my EWI USB from you this week and have had a hard time putting it down ever since! It was literally a plug and play experience. The instrument responds as well as any EVI or EWI I've ever played and the 'tweakability' only raises the level of this instrument in my eyes. Also, thanks for the excellent customer support. I'll be back for another EWI USB this spring!"

"Matt -- just wanted to drop you a note and say thanks for sending my Akai EWI USB right out -- it arrived today, and I have started playing with it. It will do EXACTLY what I was hoping it would do! Aria runs as a VST instrument -- so it can be used as a softsynth, which means you can 'play' those sounds from a MIDI file, which is a wonderful bonus, and means I don't have to run out and spend $200 on another soft synth! This looks very promising in a way that was not at all obvious from ALL the online and tech support documentation! Exactly 2 hours after I stuck the software CD in my computer, it is working precisely the way I hoped it would! I can record MIDI and use Aria as a soft-synth, which allows me to edit my playing as MIDI data, and reassign instruments after the performance, to my heart's (and ear's) content... The Akai USB works seamlessly in this application. Thanks again!"

PATCHMAN MUSIC sound design creations and products can be heard throughout the world on TV and radio, on stage and in studio recordings with the finest talents in the music business including Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, Tom Scott, Bob Mintzer (Yellowjackets), Paul "Wix" Wickens (Paul McCartney's Keyboardist and Music Director), Jeff Kashiwa (The Rippingtons), Nyle Steiner, Mike Phillips (Stevie Wonder), Ricky Martin, Kirk Whalum, Courtney Pine, Bobby Read (Bruce Hornsby), Fred Jackson (American Idol Band), Dave Mathews Band, Dino Soldo (Lionel Richie, Beyonce, Elton John, LeAnn Rimes, Tower of Power, Ray Charles), Edwin McCain, Freddie Ravel (Earth, Wind, & Fire), Andy Hamilton (George Michael, Duran Duran, Paul McCartney, Dexy's Midnight Runners), Michal Urbaniak (Miles Davis), Michael Bolton, Oscar Peterson, Norbert Stachel (Tower of Power), Jon Anderson (Yes), Manheim Steamroller, Jaared (Peter White), Ed Calle (Arturo Sandoval), Tim Cappello (Ringo Starr), Dianna Ross, Scott Kinsey, The Tonight Show Band, Korn, Lenny Price (Earl Klugh), Ron Blake (The Saturday Night Live Band, Christian McBride, Joey DeFrancisco), Simply Red, Hammer, Jeffrey Osborne, Mark Douthit, Rob Mounsey (Grammy nominated producer, arranger, synthesist for Michael Franks, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, Donald Fagen), Luis Miguel, Brian Simpson, Frankie Vallie, Randy Crawford, Daryl Dragon (Captain & Tennille), Marshall Allen (Sun Ra Arkestra), Richie Havens, James Brandon (Mickey Gilley), Dan Preston (Luis Miguel), Paul Taylor, Jimmy Haag (Frank Sinatra, Buddy Rich, Wayne Newton), Ringling Brothers, The Berklee College of Music, The Eastman School of Music, Stephane Chausse (Michel Legrand), Gil Melle, and numerous other top professionals worldwide!

Akai EWI USB Akai EWI USB Press Release Akai EWI USB


EWI USB Delivers Full Electronic Wind Instrument Functionality at Attractive Price

Cumberland, R.I. (Oct. 31, 2008) ­ Akai Professional, the name synonymous with music production, announces EWI USB, its latest wind controller, is now shipping.

The Akai EWI USB enables anyone, regardless of wind instrument-playing experience, to perform with the expressive capabilities of the wind instrument of their choice. The wind controller features a plug-and-play USB interface for use with the included Aria software with Garritan and Akai Professional samples as a sound source. EWI USB is Mac and PC compatible.

Professional players will find EWI USB fully capable of performance for stage and studio with a five-octave range, breath modulation with adjustable threshold, pitch bend, adjustable vibrato, transposing and octave shifting, and fingering modes to emulate various electronic and acoustic instruments. Further, the Garritan/Plogue Aria software enables instrumentalists to perform with up to four instruments selected from the full collection of over 75 orchestral, band and synthesizer sounds.

While EWI USB has full professional capabilities, its attractive price point and easy-to-play design make it a perfect choice for wind students. With a removable, dishwasher-safe, interchangeable mouthpiece that does not require a perfect embouchure, EWI USB is excellent for introducing students to the world of wind instruments. Former wind instrumentalists who would like to return to playing will find EWI USB easy to adapt to, eliminating much of the embouchure-building time required with a traditional instrument.

Multiple fingering modes make EWI USB model saxophone, flute and oboe, as well as traditional EWI and EVI trumpet for intuitive performance, even for players who have never picked up an electronic instrument.

"With EWI USB, we are exposing the world of wind-instrument expression to a whole new world of players," states Gregg Stein, Director of Marketing, Akai Professional. "Traditionally, electronic wind instruments have fallen into two categories: very expensive professional instruments, and inexpensive instruments of low quality. EWI USB is the first instrument to offer professional quality at such an affordable price."

EWI USB is now shipping to musical instrument and pro audio retailers.
Garritan/Plogue ARIA is a registered trademark of Garritan Corp.

For more information, visit www.akaipro.com.

Specifications are subject to change without notice

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