Tutorials

Saxophones Electric vs traditional

iangotts

New Member
Messages
7
Location
Emsworth, Hampshire, UK
I played the flute to a high level many many year ago. I now have children who are musical so thought about picking up the sax. Love the sound and the music.

So - an electric sax allows me to practice without disturbing the rest of the family and alos take it on business trips and play in the hotel. But is is like th real thing?

Or more importantly shoudl I learn on a real instrument first?
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Cafe Moderator
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12,238
Location
The Blue Ridge Mountains
Do you mean a wind controller such as EWI or WX? or the Synthophone which is quite a bit more saxophone like.

As you play the flute, your fingering is not as important to work as your tone and embouchure, so my gut feeling is that a normal saxophone would be better.

Unfortunately there are no effective mutes apart from the e-sax, which is basically a case that the horn goes inside, and you use headphones.
 
OP
I

iangotts

New Member
Messages
7
Location
Emsworth, Hampshire, UK
>> Thanks for your reply

Do you mean a wind controller such as EWI or WX? or the Synthophone which is quite a bit more saxophone like.

As you play the flute, your fingering is not as important to work as your tone and embouchure, so my gut feeling is that a normal saxophone would be better.
>> I *played* the flute about 20 years ago, so I need to remember how to read music and relearn the fingering

Unfortunately there are no effective mutes apart from the e-sax, which is basically a case that the horn goes inside, and you use headphones.
>> Perhaps traditional for learning tone and embouchure and electric when want to play quietly?

>> If so what is the view on electric saxes. I couldn't see much on the site. Yaham WX5 is the latest (but pricey), but there are WX11's on ebay at more reasonable price. Akai USB is cheaper but not as well thought of?
 
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old git

Tremendous Bore
Have an Akai EWI4000S and it has touch sensitive keys, just touching without pressing will alter the pitch. Quite like a sax , possibly easier as you just blow, no need for that incredibly accurate air stream needed on the flute.

If you are near Croydon, quite willing to let you try mine, just pm me.
 
OP
I

iangotts

New Member
Messages
7
Location
Emsworth, Hampshire, UK
Thanks for the reply and offer, but I'm in Portsmouth.

Thoughts on Akai EWI4000 vs Akai USB, Yamaha WX5, 7 or 11 ?

Can you play the EWI4000S through headphone amp and headphones or do you need a MIDI controller?
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
The standard Akai sounds are horrible so I use mine as a MIDI controller and using Pete's Sample Aids, I've got Pete's tones but not his musical ability. For me, the USB would be sufficient but one of the members has a 4000s with Patchman sounds that are reported as excellent. Problem is that Patchman will not export from the States.
With the WX, you will need some form of MIDI output but the keys move and operate just like a sax, so Pete's WX will probably be best.
Portsmouth? Commiserations for 1-nil.
 
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I

iangotts

New Member
Messages
7
Location
Emsworth, Hampshire, UK
Thanks for all your replies.

Settled on Yamaha WX-7 (older version) or WX-5 (latest). These models are closest to the ‘real thing’ rather than Akai. Then I put in a silly low bid for a WX-5 plus VL70-m Tone Generator using BidNapper (it puts the bid in at the very last second so you don’t get into a bidding war). And I won!!!! Oops.....

It is the USA so I wont get it until my next US trip in mid-June 8-((

But decision made. So now I better start thinking about the best way to learn....
 

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,606
Location
Out in the Countryside of Nelson NZ
Thanks Jonathan,
My teacher has one of these and occasionally impresses me!
Most kind, currently waiting for the knife on my various injuries, then recovery so when I do return to travels I'll keep it in mind!

Oh had a look to see where St Neots is, yes I'm going to the Ace Foundation Jazz workshop in Cambridge 4th July and also my cousin lives over there in Over! So one never knows exactly where the wind blows?

Ciao
Jimu
 

cherrybyte

Member
Messages
110
Location
Dulverton, Exmoor, West Somerset
The standard Akai sounds are horrible so I use mine as a MIDI controller and using Pete's Sample Aids, I've got Pete's tones but not his musical ability. For me, the USB would be sufficient but one of the members has a 4000s with Patchman sounds that are reported as excellent. Problem is that Patchman will not export from the States.
With the WX, you will need some form of MIDI output but the keys move and operate just like a sax, so Pete's WX will probably be best.
Portsmouth? Commiserations for 1-nil.

Patchman won't export hardware from the states but his soundbanks are his property, he sends them in midi/sysex format ovr t'internet or if you have a VL70m his own hardware ROM
 

JonTheReeds

Member
Messages
38
I'm thinking of buying an Akai EWI USB

Has anyone here got one, and if so, what is their opinion?

Also how similar is it to the sax? Obviously the feel is different, but if I want to use one just to practise fingering is the keywork the same as a sax? (again, the mechanics are obviously different, but are the fingering patterns the same, or are the buttons in different places to the sax keys?)

I have complaining neighbours so need to do something!
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,762
Location
Manchester, UK
I'm thinking of buying an Akai EWI USB

Has anyone here got one, and if so, what is their opinion?
I've got an EWI 4000S. Haven't tried the USB version(s). I assume the fingering will be the same as mine. There is a sax-based fingering option. It's similar but oviously not the same as there are fewer keys and you can play in 7 octaves (woo-hoo!). The octave rollers take a fair bit of practice to make smooth transitions (ie wIthout an annoying blip as cross the break). But I think it's useful for scale and arpeggio practice and learning tunes. And on the non-sax-realated side it's a lot of fun to have so many different sounds to play with. Well worth getting the appropriate soundbank from Patchman Music if you do get one (they're designend specifically for use with wind controllers). Won't help you with sax tone production or articulation, obviously.
 

JonTheReeds

Member
Messages
38
Thanks, it's just for fingering and patterns, can get the tone and articulation from actually playing a sax!

I was wondering if anyone knows of a music shop in the Hampshire (UK) area that has an EWI USB in stock and are happy for punters to try them out. Have Googled but no luck
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,033
Location
Berkshire
Thanks, it's just for fingering and patterns, can get the tone and articulation from actually playing a sax!

I was wondering if anyone knows of a music shop in the Hampshire (UK) area that has an EWI USB in stock and are happy for punters to try them out. Have Googled but no luck
The Yamaha WX5 is no longer for sale in the UK, not sure about the Akai.......
 
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