Aerophone / Aerophone Pro, wind controller from Roland

Sax is one of the hardest instruments to get right I hear. For sampling, these guys are starting to make some pretty major breakthroughs using “look ahead” technology that runs a variety of scripts to achieve higher levels of realism. I really dig their work.

I can tell from experience that this is true. I tried hard with software for some time, but after learning playing sax myself, I began to understand why.

There are some things, which a sampler never can cover right:

  • keys & mod-wheel vs breath and embouchure
  • sound pitch, character, and dynamics created by silent vocalising in our throat
  • last but not least … the setup of mouthpiece and reeds, which is a science in itself :wink:

From my experience I can tell that good sax samplers are tools for standard voices and background (like in big-band sessions), but if the expressiveness of a real player is asked for, it’s at least for me much easier to grab the sax and play the part

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V3 firmware is out now for the Aerophone Pro:

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I’m loving my new Aerophone Go. Got it for $200 bucks and it’s a huge upgrade over my EWI 5000 and solo. I originally learned on an alto sax and I just never could get into or enjoy the fake buttons. I did like the almost endless octave roller. I wish Roland would add that, pretty easy to make the octave buttons a toggle and click for several octaves either way.

Anyways, I’ll almost surely upgrade to an AE-20 or 30 but I’m in no rush. I don’t particularly love the sound of any EWI as it relates to acoustic sounds but who cares? That’s what acoustic instruments are for lol.

I’m in it for the synths, sound designing and flexibility. I have literally 100s of great sounding synths on iPhone, iPad and Mac so an endless amount to explore with Go.

For me, the AE-05 (GO) is the best form factor. I don’t need a neck strap because it’s tiny and light. Akai EWI and the others are heavier and tire my thumbs. Plus neckstraps make you look like a dweeb imo. Never loved it and I’m older now and just hate things pulling my spine down.

The Bluetooth is great. With Apple devices, latency is negligible and not at all distracting. Android, Pc not so much but who uses those lmao. JK, sucks for those users though. I’m sure there are drivers or some workaround by I’m a Mac addict so no worries for me there. It just works.

I highly recommend those interested in wind instruments to check out Aerophone Go. Not sure about the new mini or if it has Bluetooth midi. If so I bet that’s pretty groovy too. Check resellers to see if you can score one for the low low.

As for me, I’m in heaven. My only regret is wasting so much time with Akai controllers. Good products for those that get used to touch buttons but Roland build is much better if you like real buttons. Kinda like the difference creating music on a touch screen vs tactile pads, keys, knobs.

I can now play any synth sound like a pro and also trigger relative chords, scales using Scaler 2. Magic.

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I think the biggest draw of the AE30 over the AE20 for a midi controller setup is the extra performance controllers (motion controls and the thumbpad is the best control). Also 5pin is just easier for certain setups if you bring in other midi tools into the mix like a Blokas MidiHub.

One of the things with the sound engine for acoustic instruments is you can use acoustic instruments blended with the synthesizer sounds as it’s multitimbral. So if you want a little bit of a Sax layered in with a SuperSAW you could do that.

The Berglund NuRAD is somewhat similar, I just hook into it because I don’t want the risk of dropping something expensive. If you went with an AE20/30 though you will need a strap/harness.

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Greatly appreciate those insights @adamc . If i understand you correctly, the AE20 doesn’t have the thumb pad? I doubt id miss the motion controls but i think the thumb pad can be assigned to different parameters correct? I haven’t really looked deeply but if it’s a custom assignable pad i think id want that. The 05 has a thumb pad but it just control pitchbend. Kind of unnecessary as the bite sensor has two way pitch control.

I really love the idea of layering on the unit however for now, I’m accomplishing unlimited layering by using AUM and various synths and SWAM instruments on iPhone/IPad.

I honestly never use the motion controls, I think they make more sense if you want to be more showy with stuff in a live setting.

I doubt I could live without the thumb button as it’s so easily accessible. In most cases I just assign it to CC01 as the mod wheel which often brings in vibrato to the sound. In some of the Scenes like the Bagpipes it’s used to setup the drones but IMO reassigning something like a side key would make more sense for that.

The thing is though you can reassign just about anything to particular CCs so if you wanted the wheel up to be modulation and only use wheel down for pitch bend you could. You can also reassign most of the keys to switch controllers. And there’s S1/S2 on the side for most toggling between states.

Also you can setup MIDI profiles in different scenes to switch between different CCs for the different controllers. This tends to be more useful in a hardware environment.

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Ok. Sounds like the same thumb pad from the Go. I would hope AE20 has that also. I’d have ordered it already but I’m having so much fun controlling Animoog Z, Moog Model D and Model 15. So easy to optimize expression for wind controllers on iOS so there’s really unlimited sounds. I have Roland Cloud Pro also so i should be able to control all of the AE Pro Zen Core sounds via Zenology on desktop. I’m not yet positive I really want to deal with the larger form factor just yet. The Go x SP-404 mk2 is such a tight and powerful little rig. Fits in my small sling pack.

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The AE20 doesnt have the thumb pad. It’s the main controller missing. You can try to setup the wheel instead for a continuous controller.

Respiro is designed around wind synths and has an iOS app with a few examples. There’s also Davidson Audio apps like Lyrihorn and EVI-NER on the desktop that are setup for wind controllers.

Sort of but not really. You can make individual tones and import them but it has no control over the Scene configuration and handling of multiple tones.

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I just downloaded Respiro. Seems pretty robust. Do you have the full product?

Theres such an embarrassment of richest in terms of sounds for EWIs now. When I got started 20 years ago it was slim Pickens. What a time to be alive.

It’s odd they’d omit the thumb pad on AE20 but include it on Go. It’s not a deal breaker however.

Yup I have full Respiro and all of Davidson Audio’s stuff. I also have a DynaSample Xpresso as a hardware sound module.

I’ve also played my EWI with my Aerophone and vice versa. Lots of wind controller sound engines ready to go these days.

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I’m curious about this one, how is it in terms of expressiveness compared to Respiro ? And how about sound design ? The demos you can hear on youtube are too cheesy for me.

IMO similar in expressiveness, both are good for expressive wind controller sounds.

I haven’t done any on it. There’s a recent video of the editor:

At any rate this is the Aerophone thread. Probably should have Xpresso thread if there’s more discussion on it.

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This is one of the key reasons i will certainly upgrade to either 20 or 30 at some point. It would be great to be able to store and play an endless amount of Zencore, Zenology, RC patches from the horn alone or with another midi controller/iOS midi app. Offers more super efficient/cool/mobile rig set up optionss. I am also a heavy Roland User so having the ability to design patches myself from samples, models, waves, voices, layering, etc in environments I’m very familiar with is irresistible.

In the meantime, Respiro is really amazing. It’s just been several hours but it’s brilliant. It’s been a very long time since i stayed up 48 hours straight playing. The super light AE-GO x Respiro wirelessly via iPhone 14pro is simply magical. I really don’t need anything else. Respiro is so very organic and enchanting. i can see myself quickly getting addicted to creating tons of unique instruments.

What a time to be alive.

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Respiro continues to impress but id like to mention Qithesizer and Mela 4 for iPad/iOS if they haven’t been mentioned here.

At any rate, Qithesizer is a no brainer for any EWI owner at 12.99. It’s very deep and if you have Respiro, you can steal some macros to help you if you’re not great at sound design. If you are great at sound design or want to learn—-look no further than this app. It offers you access to much of what I imagine is under the hood in Respiro.

Beware, there is no English manual for the software yet but the dev says it’s on the way.

Finally, I highly recommend using Anker Soundcore wireless earbuds. Any wireless gaming headphones will work but the Soundcore has a few great features that make it perfect for AE users.

These buds come with a cool dongle that even allows pass thru charging to your iPad. Anyways, they use 2.4 ghz wireless to accomplish the undetectable latency (>30ms) but also offer simultaneous Bluetooth 5.2 connection so you can still answer your phone while playing. It’ll prioritize the call but you can still play.

Also, you can connect unlimitable dongles which are available for $15 on Amazon. So, wire up your MacBook, iPad and gaming rig and switch easily via the iOS app.

What a time to be alive.


A very timely recommendation … which model though (there seem to be many) ?

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Soundcore VR P10 Wireless Gaming…

I got these. Honestly, they’re not going to blow anyone away sonically but they’re cheap and offer some really great features for this specific use case that I haven’t found. They sound good but not great. $75-100 headphone quality range which is great for $55.

I would love to find some Hi Fi wireless cans that receive 2.4 or 5 ghz but I don’t see anything. Apple hinted that the next AirPod Pros transmit high quality audio without latency but we’ll see.

In the meantime this was the best I could find with the earbud form factor. Sony PS5 Pulse with 3D audio sound much better but they’re over the ear and don’t have good battery life. Also, other brands don’t connect with multiple devices and dongles simultaneously which is killer for EWI players.

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Major Gripe :rotating_light:

I didn’t know—and am very disappointed that Aerophones apparently cannot connect to Macs via Bluetooth like they can connect to iPads and iPhones. Like…WTF. It’s detectable but never connects. I looked it up and Roland confirms it must be connected via USB.smh

Highly pissed about that. I’ll get over it but it’s dumb.

Turn off bluetooth on your phone or wherever youve paired, quickly power cycle the aerophone and then try.

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Are you saying it is in fact possible!!! I can’t get home fast enough to try again.

Have you gotten your AE to connect and play desktop soft synths via Bluetooth?