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Wind Controller EWI question - MIDI

kr236rk

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Hi,

Have an Akai EWI (the silver model), it has a USB connection cable terminating in the familiar A plug.

I'd like to play my EWI into a Behringer Neutron synthesizer, but the synth only has a
classic 5-pin MIDI in-socket.

Is there a way to hook my EWI up to the synthesizer please, either using a different cable, adapter
or MIDI converter of some kind?

Thanks,

KR
 

David Roach

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kr236rk

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Thanks. Don't think it's going to work straight, the EWI must get some sort of phantom power from the pc for it's pilot light to show, there won't be anything like that coming from a MIDI cable on its own. The UM is designed for in/out MIDI keyboard-to-pc/usb, so that configuration is the wrong way round? A cheat would be to play the EWI through the pc then pipe the sound into the Neutron line-in 1/4" socket. But that rather defeats the object of having a MIDI-in socket to the synthesizer.
 

David Roach

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Thanks. Don't think it's going to work straight, the EWI must get some sort of phantom power from the pc for it's pilot light to show, there won't be anything like that coming from a MIDI cable on its own. The UM is designed for in/out MIDI keyboard-to-pc/usb, so that configuration is the wrong way round? A cheat would be to play the EWI through the pc then pipe the sound into the Neutron line-in 1/4" socket. But that rather defeats the object of having a MIDI-in socket to the synthesizer.
Maybe use one of the split USB cables that can provide power and connection? A bit 'Heath-Robinson' perhaps, but it's a cheap thing to try.
 

David Roach

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kr236rk

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Maybe use one of the split USB cables that can provide power and connection? A bit 'Heath-Robinson' perhaps, but it's a cheap thing to try.
Can't see how though, the EWI connects to a usb 'B' plug cable which terminates in an 'A' plug, this goes to a pc. Those split cables have the 'A' plug on one end and dual MIDIs on the other end, split in & out MIDI plugs. That arrangement can't work for the EWI, which is designed to usb plug to a pc.
 
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kr236rk

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Very interesting!
Actually, looking at all the gear they have reminds me that in the 1980s I spent an entire day and night and a lot of money with a technician called Ron le Bar at a Synth centre in London making an interface for a Lyricon Driver to work with an Oberheim Xpander. Nowadays I could just buy one!
What I don't understand is how the Expert Sleepers FH-1 or 2 Faderhost Eurorack USB Controller Interface Module connects to a modular synthesizer, they appear to show you multiple cool things you can do with the module, but not how to hook it up?
 

David Roach

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Can't see how though, the EWI connects to a usb 'B' plug cable which terminates in an 'A' plug, this goes to a pc. Those split cables have the 'A' plug on one end and dual MIDIs on the other end, split in & out MIDI plugs. That arrangement can't work for the EWI, which is designed to usb plug to a pc.
Well, it's not something I have actually tried, sometimes you just have to give things a whirll and be inventive.
Wind synthesis is still quite a frustration to me - having spent a great deal of time and money on it in the late 80s and through the 90s - due to the limitations of a technology that is based around interfacing with what are essentially keyboards with limited gradients of control. The original Lyricon and then the original EWI were still the best solutions because they were at completely (Lyricon), or at least in part (EWI) analog, Not that I am being reactionary in a 'back to analog' way, it's just that a direct connection to a dedicated module is the only way to get a really superior result.
Not that this helps you :)
 

David Roach

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What I don't understand is how the Expert Sleepers FH-1 or 2 Faderhost Eurorack USB Controller Interface Module connects to a modular synthesizer, they appear to show you multiple cool things you can do with the module, but not how to hook it up?
I can't see that immediately either. Again, you are dealing with an industry that is keyboard orientated.
I spent a lot of time digging around in shops for bits of gear that would work with the wind synths, with quite a bit of frustration.

I see the problem is getting your phantom power and the USB to Midi worked out.
What happens if you go through a computer, inputting the EWI and outputting to a USB to Midi interface into the Neutron?

I have a friend who bypassed a lot of the hassle of programming Midi synths by just putting the output through a digital mixer which was set up to respond to the breath pressure of the EWI. As he blew, the faders reacted - quite an inventive, but IMO slightly reductionist - idea.
 
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kr236rk

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Many thanks. This is apparently the hardware to connect the FH-2 to the Neutron synthesizer.

Expert Sleepers MIDI breakout

It is a 'midi breakout box' but they don't tell you how it hooks up to a modular synthesizer. My guess is a MIDI-out from the FH-2 to the b/o box, then another MIDI-out from the box to the Neutron MIDI-in. But I don't know. I have emailed them.
 
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kr236rk

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What I'm also wondering is, will other MIDI breakout boxes fulfil the same function, or is this the only unit compatible with the FH-2?
 
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kr236rk

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Thanks, I'd better wait on Expert Sleepers' reply. The EWI can be used on modular synths using this technology - I saw a video - it's just that they give no practical advice, just show what can be done.
 

David Roach

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I think you need to find expert up-to-date help on this (sorry, my knowledge is not current) or you can end up spending money on a lot of gear that doesn't quite work.

Do you mean a chain of EWI>USB hub>USB-to-Midi-converter>Neutron? If so, a powered USB hub might well do it, but I can't say for sure. At least it's a cheap (and useful) purchase. (Of course you could always buy an EWI4000s or 5000, both of which have MIDI :cool: )
 

spike

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Yeh well, with an EWI USB model yer a bit strangled. All the others even the old ones had and have 5-pin midi out.
The thing is it's a wind controller and it sends out extra midi commands that most synths can't deal with.
I've had most of the EWI's over the years could never really get on with those octave rollers.
12 months ago I bagged an as new WX5 with VL70-m. Good gear. Anyway that's my story.
Advice for your predicament - here's a quote for you from " Patchma . . a . . a . . n da da da da da da da da Patchma . . a . . a . . n ":

" . . . The EWI USB can be used with external MIDI synths if you use a device such as the Kenton MIDI USB Host MKII, or connect a MIDI interface to your PC / Mac and then connect the MIDI OUT from the interface to the MIDI IN on the hardware MIDI synth. . . "

and the link:

Patchman Music Kenton USB MIDI Host MKII Store

Have fun - it will certainly keep you occupied . . . ;)
 

spike

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What just occurred to me - an interface solution for the USB EWI Stick to midi is going to cost Roubles, Rupees, Pounds, Shillings and Pence.
Why not swop the EWI USB for an EWI that's midi compatible. It's going to cost you however you do it.
I've wasted handfulls of currency, hard cash and gig money over the years messing about with synthetic sound toys.
I mean bottom line is you're trying to transform your USB EWI into the big brother EWI.
 
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kr236rk

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Yes, you're right - despite an entire day of emails I never received any information from the various companies that I could work with, and there does appear to be an ocean of confusion out there over these conversion devices. The MIDI-socket EWI makes much more sense to me.
 
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