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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Mostly done making up my mind about getting an EWI. I have searched and read comparative of the USB and the 4000s and I am still not sure.

Is the 4000s as constrainend as the USB in term of airflow or is it freerblowing?

Are there anybody that owns both 4000s and USB and who prefer the USB? If so why?

I keep reading that the USB is autocalibrating and always optimal compared to the adjustment required on the 4000s but it does not make sense to me. With the 4000s YOU can chose how easy, hard you have to blow, how can the USB version magically second guess a human chosen setup?!

So far the 4000s is more appealing since it is not chained to a computer.

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Get the 4000s. You'd have the ability to do midi/computer stuff if you wanted, plus you get the great synth sounds that come with it.
 

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The USB has software control over it's hardware configuration. You set up the responsiveness via a control interface on your computer. Works pretty well and is an easy way to program several different configurations for different uses. It also allows a quick reset of your playing settings at the click of a button. It doesn't, at least to my knowledge "second guess" anything about how you're playing it.

On the 4000 all those settings are maintained on the instrument and it will need readjustment from time to time. Sometimes a pain in the a** but not that big a deal.

With the USB you must use a computer for sound generation. Not a bad thing in that there are tons of fantastic sounds available for wind control, especially through Reason, Logic, Native Instruments et al.

The 4000 of course has a built in 2 oscillator sound generator. The factory sounds are IMO crap. But there are some good sounds in the Patchman soundbank and it is very easy (and fun) to program your own sounds using the Vyrsyn editor packaged with it.

The USB is smaller and lighter but is missing a couple octaves of range and the extra side octave and hold buttons which are nice on the 4000 because you can program them to send alternative CC messages and such.

Best feature of the 4000 in my opinion is the ability to either carry my entire rig which while it sounds great, is an awful lot of stuff, or just carry the EWI and plug in. Can't do that with the USB. At the very least you'll have to carry a laptop. Downside of the 4000 is in order to play any external sounds you have to have MIDI and all the accompanying extras to go with it.

I've played both and depending on your needs and budget either can be a great tool. If I were buying one over the other I'd probably choose the 4000 for its versatility.

Check out my EWI website ewilogic.com for more about the EWI and about using it with Logic and Reason. Tons of great info at ewireasonsounds.com.

Hope this helps...

Peace
John




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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the replies :)

Does the 4000s let more air through, is it more free blowing? A friend has the USB and he was commenting on how little air goes through; I didn't get the chance to try it :(

Also did anybody exposed their EWI to winter (in a case of course) after playing? I live up north and even with a case the cold would reach it. If so anything that went bad due to the humidity still in the instrument? I know I would have to let it warm up before playing.

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Humidity condensation is an issue. I've had times when the contact points will get screwy because of condensation buildup in the unit. Leaving it for a few hours in a moderate temp room seems to always sort it out.

I find the USB to be less free blowing than the 4000, not horribly so but noticeable. Neither instrument is as free blowing as an acoustic horn. Not sure about the USB but the 4000 can be modded to be more open but should only be done if you're extremely comfortable doing surgery on your electronics or have the $$ to replace it when you void your warranty.




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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you that is exactly what I wanted to know!

A 4000s it will be then, just need to get the banker (wife) on my side now :p
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just got my EWI 4000s today. :cheers:

I really love it, much easier than I thought to adapt to the fingerings and roller. The internal sound leave a lot to be desired for now. I had quite a bit of fun controller my Triton with it and then hooking it up to Logic. I basically spent the whole night trying different softsynth presets in Logic :p

I now understand the tradeoff of assigning the breath control to velocity of volume for example.

There is however something that I haven't understood too well yet: how do I reroute the bite pressure to the "MOD" controller? Anyway without resorting to a transform node in logi? I would basically want to control vibrato with it, the amplitude of an LFO I guess.

How is vibrato typically configured for patch for the EWI 4000s.

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Vibrato is usually done with pitch bend. Assigning it to the mod wheel is done differently on each synth, but the mod wheel is midi cc#1, so on whatever synth, assign pitch bend to cc#1. The main problems I foresee with this are that you will lose your pitch bend and your mod wheel will always snap to the center position. If the problem you're trying to fix is a crappy sounding pitch bend, I'd suggest just setting the range to be smaller, like a semi tone in either direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Dan,

So the norm is to set the Vibrato Sensor to merge with Pitch Bend?

If so the vibrato is not activated by biting but by rhythmically modulating the bite pressure like in "jaw vibrato" on the sax?

In my attempts of last night I experienced the centering behavior of bite sensor when rerouting it to cc#1 in Logic and didn't understood why it was behaving like that.

Thank you!
 

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Hi Dan,

So the norm is to set the Vibrato Sensor to merge with Pitch Bend?

If so the vibrato is not activated by biting but by rhythmically modulating the bite pressure like in "jaw vibrato" on the sax?
...
Correct. This is why vibrato sounds more natural on an EWI. Have fun with your EWI!
 

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Jeff,
I have both and I find I am more comfortable on the 4000s for some reason. I have it set up so it responds pretty much perfectly for me. I have fiddled with the settings for the USB and it's close but it's just not exactly the same mostly with regards to key delay and breath sensitivity...not the gain so much as the threshold. Most of my sounds are virtual these days so I could use either one live but once again the 4000s is my go to EWI. One suggestion for the vibrato (at least for me) is to make sure the PB range is not too wide. I don't like it to be any wider than 2 semitones or the vibrato gets too wild and wooly for me.
-Barry
 

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Hi Dan,

So the norm is to set the Vibrato Sensor to merge with Pitch Bend?
I wouldn't say it's the "norm," but the default. You don't have to set it like that, it comes that way. If there's a way to get the bite sensor to transmit something other than pitch bend while leaving the bend plates set on it, I'd REALLY love to know it... Much of the time I have my soft synths set to only bend up a half-step and down not at all. The vibrato sounds great, but the pitch bend with your thumb suffers. On some sounds I have it bend up or down a 4th or even an octave, and it would be great to have vibrato available on those sounds, but as it is the bite sensor just sounds ridiculous.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I wouldn't say it's the "norm," but the default. You don't have to set it like that, it comes that way. If there's a way to get the bite sensor to transmit something other than pitch bend while leaving the bend plates set on it, I'd REALLY love to know it... Much of the time I have my soft synths set to only bend up a half-step and down not at all. The vibrato sounds great, but the pitch bend with your thumb suffers. On some sounds I have it bend up or down a 4th or even an octave, and it would be great to have vibrato available on those sounds, but as it is the bite sensor just sounds ridiculous.
Well there is but it is quite limited :( See Chapter 4 of the EWI Manual (Using the EWI4000s as a midi controller)

You can either mix the bite sensor with the Pitch Bend OR with the Breath Sensor... I fail to see how useful it might be to mix it with the breath sensor, assigning to any other CC on the other hand would have nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes the mod wheel is what I was after. Do you use Logic? I tried to filter the pitch bend (I don't use it on my EWI, at least for now) and transform it into mod wheel but it didn't behave like I expected due to the snap back behaviour :(

If find a way to "transform" the bite sensor I'll let you know. Do you used the thumb pitch bend much yourself?
 

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Yeah, I'm in Logic. I'd like to use pitch bend more. It adds a lot of nuance when used well. For distorted patches, a nice 1 octave lower pitch bend sounds great, and I have it bend an octave either way for nasty wobble basses and leads. For minimoog-ish sounds up a fifth and down an augmented fifth makes it close to the real thing. For most patches, I'd love to have a whole-step pitch bend up and down but that messes up the vibrato. I can use a transform object to turn the bite sensor into whatever I want but unfortunately I can only do that by transforming the pitch bend information. Probably your best bet is to use an expression pedal either for volume or the mod wheel, and the breath sensor for the other.
 
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