EWI 5000 and external MIDI hardware?

Last night I tried using my new EWI 5000 with an external synthesizer for the first time. It works nicely, but there are two anomalies:

1) The 5000 sends a bank select message when the bank button is pressed (expected), but it also seems to send one when first powered on and/or first connected. I didn't expect this, and it's a nuisance because it can only select bank 1 or 2, and I habitually use a different bank on my VL70-m.

2) On the EWI 4000S, program select messages use the same program number on the synth as on the EWI itself. On the 5000, the program number it sends appears to be one less than the program number it displays internally (eg, program 14 on the 5000 is program 13 on the external synth).

I haven't tried it with the softsynths on my laptop yet, but I expect that the same things will happen there.

I imagine that the off-by-one program number will either be fixed in a firmware update or else that I'll just have to live with it, but is there a way to disable sending bank changes?
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  • QUOTE - "On the 5000, the program number it sends appears to be one less than the program number it displays internally (eg, program 14 on the 5000 is program 13 on the external synth)."

    This could be related to the receiving synthesizer. Some synths start counting their internal programs at 0, some start at 1.
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  • That's certainly true in general, but in this case I'm using the same (VL70-m) synth which matches the program numbers on the EWI 4000S. I think this means that the difference has to be in the EWI 5000.
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  • You are right about the bad coordination on program numbers. On the VL70 the numbers begin with 1, but on the EWI 5000 they start with 00. Matt Traum tried, without success, to have Akai change this.
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  • I used to play the EWI4000 using Midi to control the Alesis Nanosynth with a modified soundbank from Patchman. That worked nicely.
    Now I tried the same with the EWI5000 but it does not work as expected.
    Every program change I send from the EWI loads sounds from the Alesis factory soundbank instead of the Patchman-bank.
    This is very anoying cause it means that I can not select the sound I want without using a computer.
    Is there a way to make the EWI5000 behave like the EWI4000 ?
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  • What's happening is that the 5000 is sending a bank change message to your Alesis Nanosynth.

    ...but the 5000 only has two banks, so the bank number it sends is always zero or one (which value it actually uses depends on whether your 5000 is currently set to use its internal bank or its user bank). Whichever it's sending isn't the bank number you want on the Alesis.

    There isn't a known solution to this, although I hope that Akai will provide an option to avoid sending bank changes in a future firmware update.

    For now, one possible workaround is to turn your EWI on first, before connecting it to the Alesis. That way, the bank change will be sent but ignored (because nothing will be listening to it).
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  • Thanks for the suggestion - but that does not work.
    Or more precise - it works as long as I never send a program change from the EWI at all.
    The first program change from the EWI changes the Nanosynth to the factory bank and there is no way to change back to the Patchman-bank without using a computer.

    Suggestion for a future firmware update:
    for each program in the EWI-user-bank there should be a configuration-option like this:
    example: user-program number 27:
    send program-change: [enabled] / disabled
    send program-change number: 0 - 128 / [27]
    send bank-change: enabled / [disabled]
    send bank-change number: 0 - 128

    The way the EWI 5000 works now prevents using it alternately to the EWI 4000 in case you want to use external sound modules without a computer
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  • I’m frustrated
    Trying to get my EWI USB to control the new Korg Monologue synth via USB midi. The Korg is able to play notes on the Aria software but not the other way around. When I try to use the EWI to generate notes on the synth I get nothing. I've checked the obvious both using channel 1 and the Kord is set to Tx & Rx midi.

    Any suggestions?
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