Aerophone / Aerophone Pro, wind controller from Roland

That’s what I like about the Sylphyo: I got the full wireless setup, and it works beautifully. But that device can’t emulate acoustic sounds anywhere close to SUPERnatural. It’s more about the modulation options even if no particular sound is impressive.

I’d have liked DIN MIDI on my AE-10 to interface the thing with my other gear, though I suspect I would end up not using that much. I missed any info about Bluetooth MIDI because I’ve written off that technology due to latency. Maybe I should look again.

What up with the buttons? They look like pretty much the same thing, just in black. Do they really promise a primo feel? The AE-10’s feel seems fine to me, but if Roland has somehow improved the thing’s playability, I’d welcome that. The doubled price over the AE-10 gives me pause, though.

Did you see the controls on the back? They changed things around there and added stuff.

ADDED: They added the high F# key for right hand, rearranged slightly the left little finger plateau keys (the one with the low Bb), and most significantly changed the shape and arrangement of the (left thumb) octave keys, in particular for the down direction octaves which moved a lot. The left hand side keys for the upper notes look a little different though it’s hard to tell how they would feel. Actually the feel of all the keys will need to be explored with an actual instrument. I’m a bit surprised at how many changes were made to the keys.

Yeah. I thought you meant they have a primo hand feel. But yes, that’s an improved control setup on the back.

When will it be available?

They say January 2021.

ADDED: I see that the Aerophone Pro has now appeared for pre-order at some on-line retailers, like for instance Sweetwater.

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Looking at the Sweetwater listing for the Aerophone Pro, i now see this has a designation, the AE-30. What happened to the 20? It also says it has 305 scenes, 318 tones, and 10 drum kits! Playing drums on a wind synth isn’t everyone’s first thought, but sure why not ? Not sure what exactly they mean by scenes ?

I notice they also redesigned the carry case, it’s no longer crescent moon shaped, it has been squared off.

The back of the instrument is a lot busier, i’ll have to wait for a clearer picture to make out all the changes. The display isn’t rotated 90 degrees off anymore though and perhaps it’s slightly larger.

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I see it comes with a detachable drool cup. Brilliant. I wonder if there’s a separate attachment available for my AE-10? Currently, I secure a sweatband over the hole with a rubber band, but it would obviously be much better to have a cup that snaps on and off to empty it quickly. I can’t simply let the condensation drip freely because it would end up on electronics at some point.

The AE-20

It has many of the features of the AE-30 Pro instrument, but is trimmed down slightly, with a price much closer to the AE-10.

Being familiar with SWAM/AM and the high-end sample packages out there, and knowing that a lot of people that do realistic performances for commercial production use breath controllers, I thought this looked cool.

Just watched a YouTube video though, and ouch, those built-in sounds are horrible. I hate that the workaround is to mask everything with copious amounts of reverb.

It’s a shame that processing power is still not able to bring the realism of what you can do on a computer to a hardware unit. Once that happens this tech will be amazing. Same goes with other stuff though as well. I bet in the next decade they will be able to make a killer version of the Korg Wavedrum a well. I’d love something like that or the Handsonic with super realistic ethnic drum instruments and or even snare sounds for practicing rudiments or recording.

I continue to think my main use of a wind controller would be for a new way of controlling external sounds, mapping certain CCs from breath/bite/etc… it will necessarily come out different than playing a keyboard, which is the variety I need.

I always assume built in sounds are going to be bad…

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I wish there were more such videos like this:

The Audio Modeling stuff is more ‘cool’ as technology but it sounds way worse than just playing the good Sample Modeling and sample libraries!

EDIT: I’m actually confused about the sample modeling vs samples differences, I need to look closer at this video… I’m just realizing some stuff I thought was sample libraries is Sample Modeling…

I don’t know, man. That’s a pretty hotly debated topic. I prefer samples myself, but I’ve heard modeling stuff played by professional musicians that is pretty amazing, including some incredible jazz stuff, and they all argue that the realism they can achieve with modeling can’t be done with samples.

If this is the kind of thing you are interested in, go have a look at this forum. Lots of professional musicians in the film, TV, and games industry here (even Hans Zimmer has an account I believe).

Here’s an example from what a pro can do with modeling. His version of Coltrane’s Naima is pretty amazing for a virtual instrument.

Got to say I’m very impressed with Roland’s commitment to the Aerophone, and wind controllers. This is the fifth in the series for them. From Roland’s comparison page :

AE-01 Aerophone Mini
AE-05 Aerophone GO
AE-10 Aerophone
AE-30 Aerophone Pro

One thing to remember is that in Japan, practicing and playing many instruments is a real challenge. Lots of buildings have “no instruments” policies as well.

My buddy used to teach a doctor that had a whole silent band setup with headphones in his place so that he could have friends over to jam without making noise.

The small living spaces and lack of storage is also why many instruments are so small (Boutiques, Volcas, etc).

I’m happy that young people still gravitate to instruments here though, and happy about what this means for the evolution of musical instruments.

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Whenever I’m mixing and I accidentally use a track with flutes and saxophone in it I very almost stop and start again .

The tracks are quickly deleted from traktor and I feel I should apologise in the mix notes

1 exception and that’s 808 state - pacific state.
Even all those ‘well respected’ drum and bass tracks get deleted. ( a lot use flutes :cry: )

This thread made me do some research on wind controllers. My other half is a flautist and I would love to get her an electronic wind instrument that could control synthesisers via MIDI. This looks like such a lot of fun.

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Would be interested to hear what you find in particular, for wind controllers for flute players.

Obviously the mouthpiece is different. The Aerophone can turn the reed sensor off.

I’ve not looked at the manuals other than the AE-10.

It has a variety of fingerings, but not flute specifically.

I have mine set to sax without altissimos ( those are alternate fingering to pitch higher register notes ). I play a regular sax.

There are similarities between sax and flute fingerings in the first octave, which hopefully are more helpful than misleading. You use the same fingerings and use the octave keys on the back to go up and down octaves.

The AE-10 also has a Recorder fingering, which ignores the side keys.

There is also a way to set specific fingerings, to make small modifications when that is helpful.

You might want to check out synths with physical modelling for very good wind and brass sounds like:

  • Yamaha VL70-m (which I use with a Akai EWI)
  • Aodyo - Anyma Phi

IMO the VL70-m is much more realistic than any sample instrument for sax I’ve ever tried. Saying this as a sax player :slight_smile:

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Yes, it’s nice with the Patchman patches.

Roland has a Hard Reed ( MPH ) version of the mouthpiece for the A-10.

Here’s a video with Alistair Parnell comparing the two versions. They seem identical except for the “reed”.

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