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Topic: New AKAI Expressive Wind Instrument Bundles Garritan Sounds and ARIA Player

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  1. #1
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    New AKAI Expressive Wind Instrument Bundles Garritan Sounds and ARIA Player

    Akai Professional has just announced the EWI USB, its latest wind controller, and is now shipping. You can see the announcement and more information at http://www.akaipro.com/ewiusb

    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 custom-made ARIA Player sand Garritan/AKAI professional samples as a sound source. Soon we'll be offering additional downloadable sounds for use with the EWI.

    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 ARIA sampler is the software front-end for the EWI USB and 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 Mac and PC compatible and is now shipping.
    Price - About $299 US







  2. #2

    Re: New AKAI Expressive Wind Instrument Bundles Garritan Sounds and ARIA Player

    Gary,
    sorry for crossposting, but maybe it is better to keep things in one place..
    So this should be the right thread.

    Could you tell us some more about the realisation of the library. What was your involvement, whats specific for this library oriented at windcontrollers, what sounds..etc.
    I would love to get some more insight.

    thanks
    Bart

  3. #3
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    Re: New AKAI Expressive Wind Instrument Bundles Garritan Sounds and ARIA Player

    Quote Originally Posted by bartp View Post
    Could you tell us some more about the realisation of the library. What was your involvement, whats specific for this library oriented at windcontrollers, what sounds..etc.
    I would love to get some more insight.

    thanks
    Bart
    Hi Bart,

    Thanks for asking and I am happy to tell you about the realization of this library from our perspective. This has been a project we have really enjoyed doing and a continuation of our sampling philosphy. It was a real pleasure working with AKAI Professional and they have a terrific team and this is the start of long-term development.

    Last year AKAI approached us to do something special, a custom-designed sampler and front-end for a new wind controller and a sample set that was optimized for the EWI controller.

    Our approach from the beginning has been controller-oriented expressive instruments and a partnership with AKAI seems a natural - new flexible controller together with a flexible approach to controllable samples.

    Sampling had evolved into a brute-force sample-switching approach and we sought to do something different, a "mold-the-clay" approach using controllers to shape various articulations - more like the way a real player interacts with an instrument. This is a major thing that has made us different from other sample companies.

    In 2001, with GOS we were the first introduce crossfading between dynamics, alternate bowings, variability, legato. etc. Maestro-tools incorporated performance-based MIDI tools to coax expressive capabilities from samples. Similar MIDI-performance tools later became adopted by the industry and expanded upon - such as VSL tools, Kontakt scripting and Giga iMIDI.

    GPO took this a step further to have expressive instruments that rely on controllers to do things, rather than offering countless samples of various articulations. GPO demos using a wind controller (like Duncan's Mozart Clarinet Concerto) showed what amazing things could be one with fewer samples and more user control.

    The Jazz Big Band library added even more controls - controllable airflow, key clicks, controllable vibrato, controllable changes in timbre, switchable release effects (fall-off, doits, kisses, etc) as well as other controls. The Stradivari and Gofriller also took a controller-based approach and upcoming libraries will take this concept further still.

    The bottleneck for even more expression has been in the user input. There is just so much you can do with a MIDI keyboard controller - we only have two hands and two feet. With a wind controller you can control other parameters such as breath changes by blowing harder, control vibrato by biting down on mouthpiece, you can tongue and slur (legato) like you would on a real wind instrument, bending pitch with your thumb, you can finger like a woodwind or brass instrument, there are trill keys, etc. etc. With these controls you can thereby coax much more expression.

    We are seeing an input revolution, not only in music, but in other areas. The Iphone has sparked a revolution and Microsoft Surface and multi-touch in Windows 7 will propel user interfaces even further. Hewlett Packard is also promoting their multi-touch computers and rumor has it we will see these input displays on netbooks soon. In addition to physical controllers software will play an important part. We'll see more interfaces and also advances in musical instrument modeling, intelligence and predictive programming.

    This is only a first step of what is possible. As we work closely with AKAI, more advanced programming will most likely be made available. We'll be updating things and adding more downloadable sounds in the future. As far as sounds, if you go to http://www.akaipro.com/ewiusb, under docs and downloads, there should be documentation as to the sounds and the specific controls for the EWI USB.

    I believe the EWI USB is going to popularize wind controllers. AKAI is to be commended for making such a wonderful tool at an attractive price.

    Hope this answers your questions. These are exciting times to be a musician!

    My best,

    Gary Garritan

  4. #4

    Re: New AKAI Expressive Wind Instrument Bundles Garritan Sounds and ARIA Player

    Wow! Seriously cool... and the price is right as rain.

    Does it come with safety glasses? I've always wanted
    to try one of these, but sometimes my aim isn't so good.

    Best,



    David
    -----
    David Sosnowski
    www.DavidSosnowski.com

  5. #5

    Re: New AKAI Expressive Wind Instrument Bundles Garritan Sounds and ARIA Player

    thanks Gary,

    i cant wait to get my hands on the ewi and your software.
    Real happy you guys got involved.
    keep it comming

  6. #6

    Smile Re: New AKAI Expressive Wind Instrument Bundles Garritan Sounds and ARIA Player

    Are there some samples to listen to the Aria sounds? Or is there a demo available?

  7. #7

    Re: New AKAI Expressive Wind Instrument Bundles Garritan Sounds and ARIA Player

    Excellent!

    I've played the Yamaha and Akai windcontrollers since day one.
    I currently do not have a windcontroller and it looks like I will be getting one of these.
    Any demos available?

  8. #8

    Re: New AKAI Expressive Wind Instrument Bundles Garritan Sounds and ARIA Player

    Man, the price is perfect! I just ordered one from Patchman music (only Akai authorized repair shop for these things in the US). They have not received them yet but expect them in a week or so. Can't wait! I've been wanting a reasonably price wind controller for years (I used to use the old BC-1 (?) from Yammer Hammer - a bit unwieldy) and was always a little jealous of the EWI and EVI players. The fact that this controller does woodwind AND brass fingerings is killer (that's a good thing)!
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  9. #9

    Re: New AKAI Expressive Wind Instrument Bundles Garritan Sounds and ARIA Player

    Cool!!
    The price is very good indeed.
    Just wondering, how hard will it be for someone who never played any woodwind/brass instrument to learn to use EWI?

  10. #10

    Re: New AKAI Expressive Wind Instrument Bundles Garritan Sounds and ARIA Player

    Quote Originally Posted by hendyb View Post
    Cool!!
    The price is very good indeed.
    Just wondering, how hard will it be for someone who never played any woodwind/brass instrument to learn to use EWI?
    Go get a pennywhistle and a fingering chart and learn some tunes. The scales are logical.

    The EWI will have a bite vibrato sensor in the mouthpiece and a pitchbend setup that your right thumb controls. For vibrato - bite, for pitchbend -your right thumb becomes a tiny trombone slide.

    Using your breath to have complete control of volume throughout the length of the note is Very Powerful! You are no longer just a percussionist.

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