Wind controllers?

Just checked the 5000 manual and indeed you can map anything to anything it seems!

I took a look at that long thread but having a hard time figuring out what the technical issue is, can you summarize for me? Does it affect playing the onboard sounds only or would it affect use as a controller?

Also, the whole ‘not being able to return it’ thing didn’t occur to me until looking on SW… that’s kind of a big deal, but understandable.

Luckily there aren’t many choices… I have a 50/50 chance of getting the best of the bunch for my purposes.

As I recall, that problem was only about the onboard sounds getting trashed. I never used the 5000 as an external controller.

Aerophone Pro

They added ZEN-Core, Bluetooth MIDI, enhanced breath and bite control, a refined exterior touch like polished aluminum and fancier buttons improved voice selection controls on the back, and a much higher price — $1500 USD, that’s 70% more than the previous top of the line AE-10. It’s out January 2021.


22 posts were merged into an existing topic: Roland Aerophone Pro - Wind Controller

I created a Aerophone Pro thread. The discussion for that can continue there rather than hijacking this thread.

The Berglund NuRad is pretty oddly-shaped.
Here it is in use with a Digitone:

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Good find johnl !

Apparently it’s new and perhaps still being finalized. This photo is obviously a prototype.

They have a website but i couldn’t find the NuRAD shown there. They do show another Wind MIDI instrument there the NuEVI. That comes in a variety of colors so maybe the NuRAD will be too.

If it is like the NuEVI, it has batteries, outputs USB MIDI and DIN MIDI as well as CV. The keys are capacitively sensed. The breath pressure sensor is a closed no flow sensor. Look at this list of extra sensors that are listed for the NuEVI:

Sensors: Touch keys and rollers, pitch bend pads (proportional), vibrato lever (for a nice, violin like, manual vibrato), breath sensor, bite sensor (for portamento control) and lip sensor (extra controller)

Not sure if the NuRAD is similar.

Another video played through an Arturia MicroFreak.

Apparently if i am understanding things correctly the NuRAD allows for Polyphonic playing! I think perhaps this is through having two EVI like controllers, one for each hand — though i am not sure.

I’ll have to add the Arturia MicroFreak to my Wind Controller output options. Perhaps i need a NuRAD too, I like the idea of polyphonic playing.

One thing I really like is how the weight is supported on the sides of the hands. Their NuEVI has also always looked good to me for comfort reasons, but I’ve never tried one. Also, devoting one hand entirely to octaving seems like a waste, but who knows. Other wind controllers rest all the weight on one thumb which is so aggravating you reallyy require a neck strap.

I wonder how this device handles the breath condensation issue.

almost like a … saxophone :sweat_smile:


Which brings up another recent addition:

The Yamaha YDS-150 Digital Saxopone

This looks like it might be the closest to the feel of a real saxophone, with the keys and especially the mouthpiece, and the way the mouthpiece vibrates with the sound played. It has a mouthpiece with ligature and reed.

The key work looks Soprano Sax to me, with keys not buttons.

How authentic the feel, I’d have to play it to know. I really like the Roland Aerophone in this regard too.

Built in sounds of course, though i’m not really looking for ‘authentic” sounds, but it also has user customizable preset sounds, so it depends to me on how those can sound.

MIDI via Bluetooth or USB, power via battery or USB.

Is the bell metal or plastic ? Whichever it’s mainly decorative isn’t it ?


Weren’t you looking for a WX sort of device Blipson ? I know this isn’t a WX-2 but it is certainly WX like. This one weighs 1 kg, plus the weight of the batteries.

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In my case, I also don’t care about authentic feel. I’m happy to try anything that looks like it will improve on traditional ergonomics in some way. That NuRAD does look promising, but based on their NuEVI pricing, I’m guessing it’s going to cost around $1400.

That’s pretty dang cool to see, I remember looking up some videos of the original EVI and the guy demoing chords by using sort of a note hold button if I remember correctly, my guess this will have that feature also for poly.

Continuing the side discussion about control of EaganMatrix & Wind Controllers.

The Roland Aerophone Pro can do 2 Motion Axes, Bite Up/Bite Down, Wheel Up/Wheel Down, Thumb Pad Press, and Breath for the the continuous controllers. You can also remap most of the side keys to Switch controllers for particular CCs.

The real question with the Osmose/Continuum/Eaganmatrix is how easy is it to map and gain access to those as the Aerophone can only send on a single MIDI Channel and can only do Channel Pressure but not Polyphonic Pressure.

The MIDI Channel 1 controls on the Continuum Guide appear to be within the CC range of the Aerophone (high ones inaccessible) but if you have to also broadcast on a different channel that could cause some issues.

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That not being off-topic to the Osmose thread, adamc. Certainly how easy it is to map external controllers and MIDI into the Osmose is still to be resolved, and is important to the consideration of the Osmose, as well many other synths.

What i was considering is more looking at things the other way around. Taking cool synthesis features and finding ways to intrinsically binding them to the spirit of a wind controller approach to playing, in ways comparable to the advances made to keyboard playing made with the Osmose keyboard.

For instance giving the player some way for a tight and expressive glissando. There are controllers with slide whistle like controls but what else would work, and fit. The Osmose has the “pressure weighted portamento” perhaps something similar could be possible on a wind controller.

What about systems for polyphony ? Yes you can set up fixed chord patches, and we know what that sounds like. What about ways to set up key and scale, and then play chords that fit. Or ways to follow chord progressions and control things musically with your playing.

The Osmose also has a very nice arpeggiator as do many other synths. How about ways to tie that tightly to gesture and manor of playing on a wind controller ?

What about MIDI looping being more tightly embedded into a wind controller for polyphonic playing ? Especially if there were ways that would fluidly facilitate moving between playing of variations in the separate parts ?

I am also interested in the Misha controller / synth from Eventide. Instead of notes you enter intervals, kinda the first derivative of note playing. Why not incorporating this kind of interface with a wind controller with other features.

Ah, wasn’t clear what you wanted broken out.

I mean it’s a nice way to activate the Portamento Switch on demand without getting out of a keyboard but wind controllers normally have their own portamento controls already. EWIs have the glide plate and I believe the Aerophones activate it with a switch with particular CCs.

Depending on the MIDI implementation usually Portamento Time and Portamento On/Off are two different CCs. You can bind the time in some fashion to the breath control so at higher/lower pressure it responds faster/slower when the Portamento switch is active.

The limits on portamento only within X semitones is probably harder to do with various things but there’s also the fact that you can be the switch and not activate it with large leaps.

Zen Core can also do chord rotation and some of the presets are using that. The Berglund instruments also have a chord rotator from my understanding.

None of the wind controllers have a snap to key functionality currently built in like the Hydrasynth so you have 2 options, a hardware midi utility (Blokas Midihub) or you can remap the notes on the fly in most DAWs.

The Hydrasynth key snap also only translates to the internal sound engine from my experiments.

I haven’t had a chance to dig into the Scale Remap pipe on the Blokas Midihub but it seems like it would accomplish this for a wind controller. Blokas also appears to have a Micro Scale pipe for the microtonal ones in the Hydrasynth that uses a combination of Pitch Bend messages + note remapping.

Once you have a snap to key the fixed chords now become within the key.

I have suggested there needs to be chord macros for say press a button for Major + C and the result is C Major for the Aerophone. My guess is there’s polyphony things on the roadmap as it’s usually a frequent request.

As far as other polyphony mechanisms:

  • Key Latch is available on some synthesizers which allows for legato notes to be combined and sustained
  • Sustain pedal CC can be assigned to a switch control
  • I fiddled around and got sustain pedal CC worked into the breath sensor controls on the aerophone so it would sustain all notes within a given breath played legato
  • Theres a drone switch on the Aerophone that allows for an individual note to drone while playing the melody like the drone on a bagpipe (the bagpipe has it mapped to the thumb button)
  • The EWI has the ability for a first note in a legato phrase to be sustained like the drone switch but that does not translate out of the internal sound engine

If it’s controllable you could do stuff like vary the tempo or number of octaves as you raise/lower the Aerophone or other motion controlled ones.

I think on one of the iSax videos Alistair is using a looper hooked into raising/lowering the Aerophone as a switch to activate.

I think this falls under somewhat the macro buttons for intervals/chords I was mentioning earlier unless you only play with relative intervals.

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Coincidentally, I just took delivery yesterday of a NuRAD after being on the waiting list a mere two years. Once I learn to get around it, I’ve been planning to interface it with the Eagan Matrix.

I’ve had three different Aerophones, Aodyo Sylphyo, AKAI EWI, and Yamaha WX-5/VL70m, and as a dedicated longtime wind player and wind controller player, I must say the Continuum blows those all away :smile: for expressive playing. It’s nice not to drip breath condensation on everything. My melodicas are keepers, but this NuRAD may be my last gasp for MIDI wind control.

Sorry to go off topic, but I’m actually expecting the Osmose to offer much less than the Continuum, only going through with the purchase because early birds get such a good deal. Some people value Osmose’s discrete keys’ avoiding the tuning issues a player can have with Continuum, but I’m skeptical. I’ve played a lot of fretless bass, so perhaps that makes a continuous keyboard more approachable, but I think with all the stuff you can do with each tone, discrete keys may matter a lot less than people whose ears don’t lead their hands to the right tuning may think. You don’t even consider playing something like a Chopin etude on a Continuum, which is certainly a lot more approachable on the Osmose, but perhaps this Discontinuum will offer real advantages as an external controller for other purposes.


All very nice. Good ideas adamc!

I want these sorts of things, or other things like them, more integral to the playing of the instrument, rather than bolted on to the side. I just know a lot more would be possible in this realm, though it’s such a low demand sort of product.

I’d be interested to hear your experience getting it setup. There’s videos with a wide variety of other MPE or keyboard instruments but not much with a wind controller using the EaganMatrix although it seems like it’d be well suited to it. Closest thing I could find was setting up a TEC breath controller.

It’s always nice to find an interface you seem to gel with, I can tell from trying violin a bit that a continuous pitch surface is probably not something I’d like but if you like the complete freedom of pitch (like a fretless bass) that’s going to be very appealing.

Stability and freedom of control are usually in opposition with each other but I think of Osmose more like a Guitar and Continuum more like a Violin. One biases toward stability and the other toward freedom of control.