EWI 5000 hanging notes.

I have a brand new EWI 5000, used it on one gig last weekend and it worked great. Tonight it is completely unplayable. I can be playing a line and the note gets stuck - it will respond to breath and pitch even when the note is stuck, but the pitch WILL NOT change. I can stop blowing a few seconds and not even touch any keys and then blow again and it will still be playing that pitch. I can move my fingers all I want and it will keep that note. Then randomly, it will let go and start playing like normal, then a few seconds later it will catch on another note. It happens on random notes & internal patches, nothing consistent.

This is happening without being connected to anything except for headphones.

I have tried going back to factory defaults and sending it the newest firmware (even though it was already up to date). I have tried using the key auto-sensitivity calibration....

Please help, I have a gig this Saturday.... I've been playing the EWI for years, so I should know what I' doing...
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    Hi Aaron,

    sounds like a grounding problem to me.

    Some people report similar problems when they do not wear any shoes, i.e. when they are playing barefoot.
    Another thing could be extremely dry hands for any reason.

    Since you had been playing the EWI4000s before you should know about those things ...

    You could also check if both of your thumb plates are really connected to ground. There could be a broken or intermittent internal cable connection between the ground and your thumb plate(s).

    If you have a voltage or continuity tester you can test if the two thumb plates are connected - if not there is a problem. Also the hook and some of the screws (not all of them) should be connected to ground as well as the sleeve of the audio out. (You'd have to connect a cable for testing - don't use the metal part that is on the outside of the jack).

    You can also try taking out the battery for at least 10-20 seconds and then do a reset. That should really clear everything.

    Ingo

    _
    DynaSample XPression MIDI/USB sound module - the ultimate sample based acoustic modeling instrument! www.dynasample.com
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  • But when I remove my hands completely from the instrument and blow - it keeps the hung note... is that a normal response if it is a ground problem?

    I did try removing the battery for a while a couple times while troubleshooting...

    I will test all the grounding plates and screws with a meter to see what I find.

    Thanks for the response!
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  • But when I remove my hands completely from the instrument and blow - it keeps the hung note... is that a normal response if it is a ground problem?

    Yes!

    Ingo

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  • I am having the same problem with my EWI USB's and I had the same problem on my EWI 5000 - which I ended up giving away because it was so unreliable. I disagree with the grounding statement. I have 6 EWI USB's and they all more or less work on an old laptop runnimg OS 10.9. (only the very occasional hangup). However on my iMac 5K running El Capitan they all generate stuck notes - and I recorded the whole Brandenburg Concerto and other things with over 10,000 hours on my old Mac system with none of these problems. I contacted Akai and they were abnsolutely hopeless, no help whatsoever. Claimed their website did not authorize use of the EWI USB with El Capitan whereas in fact the opposite is true. And I couldn't get my 5000 to work either. I have tried every recommended fix from checking plates to wearing different shoes to putting on creams - none of which I had to do over the last 5 years playing EWI. None of the fixes worked, and the EWI and Akai are just hopelessly unreliable.
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  • Well, if all of your EWIs worked rather well on your old computer and they don't work on your new computer wouldn't it make sense to look for the problem on your new computer rather than on lots of EWIs that were/are working fine on another computer?

    I've had problems connecting to the EWI5000 editor on one of my Windows computer. Adding a very cheap unpowered hub for less than 5 $ solved the problem. With all direct USB ports there is a USB communication problem.

    I can't say anything about the Mac, though since I'm running my instruments on Linux machines and the EWI5000 editor on Windows7.

    If you havn't tried it, yet - try putting a USB hub in between the EWI(s) and the computer.

    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've tried powered and unpowered hubs and it did not fix the problem. Akai has to update the firmware and software.
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  • Hmmm ...

    Strange! The USB2 standard has been there for 15 years and I've never heard of a firmware update to fix a USB interface. There havn't been any changes in the specs of USB2 as far as I know.
    Anyway, the USB interfaces should have their own controllers that cannot be updated with the EWI firmware.

    Both the EWI-USB and the EWI5000 have class compliant MIDI over USB interfaces. This implementation hasn't changed either for quite a few years (if ever). In fact both my EWI-USB and EWI5000 don't produce any stuck notes (unless I'm wireless and have transmittion errors).

    It does sound like a USB communication problem, though.

    Well, one thing is that the USB specs mention 6 ft cables while Akai is delivering their EWIs with 10 ft cables. Then again - that hasn't done any harm here either.

    I don't know which softwares you are using but some of them are having problems to deal with lots of CCs coming out on the EWI-USB.
    The common softwares that are set up for wind controller use should be able to deal with it, though. With keyboard libraries I wouldn't be so sure.

    There could be something in the system slowing down the transmission that ends up losing MIDI information - like virus scanners, W-LAN, etc. So far just about any case of stuck MIDI notes that I'm aware of was caused by software and not hardware.

    I just had a case of MainStage (El Capitan) sending CC64 on every patch change which ended up in causing stuck notes. Filtering CC64 on the XPression fixed it - even though MainStage is still sending it.

    Checking with a MIDI monitor is always a good idea to see whether you are getting e.g. double MIDI data or if a note gets stuck seeing if a bit error could have happened.
    (Usually you would see some unusual CC, program change, aftertouch or similar at the point where the note off should have been.)

    If you are recording MIDI into a sequencer you are bound to have problems because of many sequencers reordering the note on/off events when playing legato. This can definitely lead to stuck notes when playing the recorded MIDI data back from the sequencer.

    Once I was dealing with a MIDI interface that was causing errors because its baud rate was off by "1" - programming error!

    I would suspect that you have already checked your system setup with some kind of latency checker software.

    However I must admit that I know of USB-MIDI interfaces that do not work with the EWI4000s which is most likely caused by the EWI4000s not complying 100% to the MIDI specs. This was causing severe stuck notes and unpredictable program changes, etc. Using another interface fixed it, though.

    With the number of EWI-USBs that you are talking about I don't suspect some tolerances in the parts to cause these issues.

    One thing that is known to cause all kind of problems is a bad power supply in the computer.

    I hope you find the problem because I wouldn't expect Akai to fix any hardware issues at this point. There are enough issues with the software that don't get fixed so I wouldn't get my hopes up too much if you can't find a fix for yourself.

    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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  • Thanks Ingo for your thoughtful reply. It's too bad Akai isn't supporting these products in a professional way. FYI, I exclusively use wind controller libraries, but still have the same problem whether it's the Garritan library that comes with the EWI USB, Aria Player, or Kontakt (Samplemodeling sound libraries). I may be confused as to firmware and software. I do know that Apogee has had to do a few updates to get its stuff to work with El Capitan. I did read somewhere that Apple has gone to a power management/energy saving approach that rapidly turns power on the USB busses on and off to save energy. The same article said that the equipment manufacturers had to do something in their systems to disable that feature because it is not accessible to users. It may be that note-offs are being missed during an off phase. That's why I thought a powered USB hub might do the trick, but it didn't.
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  • Sounds more like Apple should keep their USB ports compatible to existing hardware by allowing to disable this feature.

    You cannot expect that every hardware gets updated because Apple decides to build some kind of experimental power saving feature that breaks compatibility with lots of previously existing hardware.

    Anyway, do you get stuck notes when playing the EWI directly or when recording into a MIDI sequencer?
    That makes a big difference.
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  • It's sticking when playing directly and when playing in to my sequencer (Logic).

    I disagree about Akai's responsibility to figure out how to comply with OS updates. Every other piece of professional equipment I have did the updates required to make their stuff work. Every single one of them except Akai, and I have a lot of stuff. Mac is the principal engine for music production in the world now, and OS updates are a fact of life that professional products have an obligation to adapt to in some reasonable period of time. it can take awhile, I get that, but otherwise digital instruments become obsolete pretty fast, certainly compared to analog instruments that can go hundreds of years. Akai still hasn't updated the sound libraries they offer to 64 bit as required by Apple for a few years now, and instead made us EWI users rely on 3rd party software like 32 Lives. it's just unprofessional on Akai's part.
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  • Here's what I just read in Facebook this morning:
    If u are having issues with EWI usb call apple they will help u out. I feel so happy after the 2 hour call lol

    EDIT:
    Seems to have been an Aria issue and not USB - USB is working there ...

    Ingo

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  • I complained about my EWI-USB and hung notes along with the aria software on Windows 7. One day when I connected my Digitech Jamman loop pedal it loaded a usb driver for the jamman. From that day forward the EWI-USB was 99% reliable. I couldn't get through one tune without a hung note. I had stopped playing it live. I've been playing live again and haven't had but one instance of a hung note. So, in support of Ingo, who was insistent that I had a hardware problem, it was a usb driver issue. So, I don't know what version of driver came down with the jamman package or if it was just windows doing a better job of detecting a problem and corrected the issue. I should add that the jamman software would come up but was not functional. It was when I uninstalled and reinstalled the jamman that I connected the jamman and saw the usb update. I was using the ewi at the same time as I was working on Turn The Page loop to try the EWI for a performance. It all just came together.
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  • Not sure about that. The EWI-USB uses Windows system class compliant USB-MIDI drivers. I don't see how installing another software would fix hung notes. Unless it changed some system settings during installation.

    To me your issues sounds more like a system optimization problem.

    My EWI-USB did start having problems with stuck notes after about 5-7 years. This seems to be hardware (EWI-USB) related. There are also problems with pitchbend, etc. not being transmitted correctly anymore.
    The (newer) EWI5000 works perfectly with the same system.

    They both use class compliant USB-MIDI drivers which are included in any newer Windows (since XP), Mac and Linux system.

    Ingo

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    www.dynasample.com
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  • Ingo,

    That was what I was saying is that the changes that were made spurred the driver update. I do suspect it was a windows driver.

    I've worked support for years until I moved into engineering development. I can't tell you how many times device manager will have the yellow alert on a device that for no particular reason the driver was fine "yesterday" and now doesn't.

    The jamman being removed and reinstalled most probably just kicked off the plug and pray daemon when I reinserted the cable.

    That laptop has two main jobs, EWI-USB device and software. I also use it occasionally to move a new loop into the jamman. Basically if I'm not using it to play the ewi it is not turned on. I don't even leave the wireless on except on the rare occasion like when I wanted to update the jamman. That was because the software wasn't able to read the loop listings in it's GUI.

    During the time that I couldn't rely on it, it literally went a year without being turned on. So, I don't think it was a resource or optimization issue. All I know is that it works now and because of that my wife bought me the new EWI5000 for our anniversary. Now I have two working EWIs and I couldn't be happier about it.

    Cheers,

    Ken
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  • Ken,

    as long as your system is running it's great!

    It's always extremely difficult to tell what makes it running or not - especially from a distance.

    I just had some big troubles for days with a prototype because some files were missing ...

    Keep making music!

    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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