I’m the EWI5000 could be better; it ́d make me happy and a better musician

Custom fingering (software and firmware update)

Is there any software that can change the EWI5000 firmware as to allow me to install custom keyings into the EWI? I'm not satisfied with the "ewi"-fingering I ́ve set it to right now. Is there any way to increase the number of fingerings?
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  • No! There are no custom fingerings.

    The EWI fingerings are extremely flexible, though. The number of alternative goes into the thousands (a little less than a 12 bit number which is 16,384).
    I cannot see how there wouldn't be enough fingering combinations to make the EWI very playable.

    Have you tried practicing or are you expecting the EWI to play perfectly by itself without practicing?

    Ingo

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    DynaSample XPression MIDI/USB sound module - the ultimate sample based acoustic modeling instrument! www.dynasample.com
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    • The included EVI fingerings vaguely mimic the bottom octave of a brass instrument with an extra finger added in (that isn't intuitive). Since the register rollers aren't following the overtone series of an instrument, there are good idiomatic fingerings in the upper register don't work on the EWI.

      I don't expect to play several octaves if I'm trying to emulate an instrument that plays mostly in the 2-3 octave range (using VSTi's that won't even try to play for several octaves).

      I thank everyone though. In the process of belittling my use case, you gave me an inspiration. I was going to implement a plugin to map notes from the EWI to something like what I want, but it didn't work because of the way the EWI standard fingerings work. What should work is using the EVI settings as a base and mapping those. Sorry to everyone I offended by suggesting a different fingering system than the EWI standard. I meant no disrespect.
    • If you want to use the octave rollers for playing through the overtone series you only need to remap all of the notes and there you go. This will give you a little over 3 octaves from low F# to about high A above high C (with the EVI fingerings). Depending on how you like finger the upper octave.
      That shouldn't be any problem at all.

      Large intervals might be a bit tricky to hit but that's the nature of the trumpet anyway ...

      There are lots of software options for doing the remapping.

      I might add a map to the XPression just for testing - I'm curious how playable it is. It shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes to do that ...

      I had thought of making a trumpet controller like this but always thought that it would be much harder to play.

      (I'm actually working on a (trumpet style) mouthpiece that would allow changing registers without octove rollers. No idea if it will work or if it will be playable so far ...)

      Ingo

      _
      DynaSample "XPression" & "XPression LE" MIDI/USB sound module - the ultimate sample based acoustic modeling instrument! www.dynasample.com
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  • I’m curious
    "Have you tried practicing or are you expecting the EWI to play perfectly by itself without practicing?"
    Haha, you are exactly right - if saxophone players can learn to play good on their instrument, I should be able to learn the current EWI.

    BUT aren't I learning someone elses fingerings and can't experiment with my own?
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  • Why do you think that you can come up with a better fingering system than Nyle Steiner?

    Anyway, I think it's important to stay compatible.

    Any sax player can pick up any sax and start playing, any flute player can pick up any flute and play, any trumpet player can ... (guess you got my point)

    The EWI fingerings are great! You should give it a try before starting to build your own wind controller ...

    Ingo

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    DynaSample XPression MIDI/USB sound module - the ultimate sample based acoustic modeling instrument! www.dynasample.com
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  • I’m I think I have a good suggestion and I want to discuss it
    A) I could experiment with new self-made fingerings (maybe I fail, who knows),
    B) Others (everyone) can make their own custom fingerings, share them online, vote for which one is the best...

    It doesn't change the set of currently installed fingerings which you mention in:
    "Any sax player can pick up any sax and start playing, any flute player can pick up any flute and play, any trumpet player can ... (guess you got my point) "
    Of course you should keep the current/previous fingerings, I just want a custom method to add a custom fingering.

    In practice it would mean that the fingerings-menu (sax, flute, oboe, ewi, ewi-reversed, etc) would get an "x" added into the menu symbolizing the custom-made fingering made in and installed from the PC.
    That wouldn't disturb the sax, flute, etc players because they'll just avoid the x-fingering (which won't even be available as a menu option unless it has been activated from the PC).
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  • Well, the question about custom fingerings has been asked an endless amount of times and there hasn't been any response except for maybe:

    "Great idea! We'll add to the feature requests!"

    ... so I wouldn really expect anything. :-(

    Ingo

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    DynaSample XPression MIDI/USB sound module - the ultimate sample based acoustic modeling instrument! www.dynasample.com
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  • I’m I think I have a good suggestion and I want to discuss it
    1
    Quote: "Why do you think that you can come up with a better fingering system than Nyle Steiner?"
    Yes, why wouldn't I?
    There are 7 billion possible innovators for fingerings in the world right now - some fingerings have got to be more intuitive/easier to learn OR just more personalized to ones own playing style.
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  • The benefits of adding custom fingerings:
    A) it allows for more music in the future; musical diversity world-wide increases,
    B) its a marketing point; you can sell the EWI on that "the buyer doesn't have to conform to anyone's style". Even if that's hype it would be marketing-wise profit-creating.
    C) it must cost like $50 000 in programming costs but it amplifies the future of music for thousands of years to come? You'll be remembered as heros in the history of music. No longer does man have to learn pre-existing keyings - programming the EWI is like building ones own instrument. Anyone can build their own instrument.
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  • Well, just go ahead and get an arduino and build your own wind controller if that's what you are looking for.

    Ingo

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    DynaSample XPression MIDI/USB sound module - the ultimate sample based acoustic modeling instrument! www.dynasample.com
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  • I’m neutral
    This thing: https://www.arduino.cc/en/uploads/Mai... ?
    Haha, no way. The EWI is more stylish - it even has a black polish.

    I'll practice the pre-made pre-determined uncustomizable "ewi"-fingering or sometimes "ewi-reversed", but mark my words: there will be a customizable EWI-like instrument in the future. Just how long it takes I don't know.
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  • This is Nyle Steiner who invented the EWI / EVI some 30-40 years ago:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5tFV...

    BTW, it's no problem to make customizable fingerings. I'm just saying that it is very unlikely to happen with the EWI.

    Ingo

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    DynaSample XPression MIDI/USB sound module - the ultimate sample based acoustic modeling instrument! www.dynasample.com
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  • I’m just curious into the Akai hierarchy
    Quote: "I'm just saying that it is very unlikely to happen with the EWI."
    And why is that?
    A) computer-illiterates will misconfigure their EWI:s and complain to customer support en masse?
    B) it's a cost/benefit analysis: money coming in and going out (to programmers).
    C) its some beurocratic lack of information-flow within the Akai company beurocracy?

    Some combination of A,B and C?
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  • There are alternate fingerings, such as in the second octave for the oboe, that are not permitted on the ewi. It would be nice to implement them.
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  • I do not know about other instruments, but, to use the key notation on page 37 of the ewi4000 reference manual, on the oboe, k7 is located between k9 and k10. An alternate keying on an oboe for c5(c above middle c) is k2(as for the flute and sax).
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  • 1
    Then why does the Akai EWI 4000S manual state that you can set up your own unique fingerings? Look on page 11, Ch 2 Basic Operation; Note Keys paragraph: "You can also change the EWI4000s’s fingering configuration, designing your own unique fingerings that could not exist on an acoustic sound instrument."
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  • That is an error in the manual that got for some unknown reason never corrected as it looks like. Maybe it was planned at some point but got discarded later.

    Ingo

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    DynaSample "XPression" & "XPression LE" MIDI/USB sound module - the ultimate sample based acoustic modeling instrument! www.dynasample.com
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  • 1
    hmm, I have been considering the 4000S, but partly because of that statement. I'm a musician and computer geek/tinkerer and really liked the idea of being able to tweek the sounds AND the fingerings. Oh well, I may still buy one, but I am disappointed. This is a computer and I can't imagine that the banks that hold the fingering info are more complicated than the sound banks.
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  • I’m disappointed
    Disappointing. There are patterns that are idiomatic with other fingering systems that aren't with the EWI (e.g. bugle calls). Such is life.
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  • I’m disappointed
    I bought my wife one of these as a gifted clarinet player who loves the sounds of my VSTs and DAWs. This addition to our studio is not what we needed and I can't even set up a different clarinet fingering for her if I wanted to. WTF. Akai. Something that was supposed to be great for a long-term-relationship/marriage is a wedge now. ARGH!
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  • I don't think that clarinet fingerings were ever mentioned by anyone anywhere for any EWI that was ever built.

    Since the clarinet overblows to the 12th and not the octave a number of extra keys would be needed in order to actually play with the clarinet fingerings. Those keys are simply not there. You can see that easily by looking at a picture of the EWI.

    What's wrong with the EWI fingerings?

    Can't you just set up your wife's clarinet for EWI fingerings? ;-)

    Ingo

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    DynaSample "XPression" MIDI/USB sound module - the ultimate sample based acoustic modeling instrument!
    www.dynasample.com
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