Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I will let these pictures speak for themselves, and comment afterward.





Comments:
I wanted something that looked and felt more like a sax and less like an electric clarinet. It turns out there's a whole lot of dead space inside the upper portion of the EWI, so I cut out a wedge with a Dremel, and likewise cut the top. This cut is flush with the end of the circuit board, as I wanted as much "neck" as I could get without having to add material. I used pieces cut out of an Altoids tin as my custom brackets for putting it back together. I heated and shaped the plastic on top to reduce the gap between the two black sections, and used electrical tape to cover the rest (since it is stretchy and goes over odd shapes better than gaffer tape). The gap in the back is filled with hot glue, then covered with tape. I did not want to use the same method in front because I do have to remove the upper deck from time to time for modification and/or repairs. As it is now, the instrument still comes apart in the normal manner except that there are three fewer screws (since they are holding the cover of the "neck").

There is one (quite literal) shortcoming. Look where the strap hook is -- ridiculously close to the mouthpiece. No stock neckstrap is going to accommodate that, so I took the one I got free from Rico and shortened it. It will never be useful for anything else again, but I have a padded neckstrap for anything heavy.

The bell comes from an alto clarinet. I used a piece of a really cheap ($5 I think?) microphone as the tenon, and bolted it into what is normally the vent for the air tube. I do not have a through-tube any more, I let it vent from the side of the silicone mouthpiece, so the vent has no other purpose.

Does anyone have a spare alto clarinet bell they'd like to sell? I'm using one from a perfectly good instrument right now. Although I really don't need to use both the EWI and the alto clarinet at once, and could sacrifice appearances if it came to that, I'd really like to have a bell specifically for the EWI. It does not need to have a working Eb key, or indeed any key at all.

Also, does anyone have a clue what I can use for a case? The bell detaches easily enough, but the bent shape no longer fits in the soprano sax case I was using before.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Funny how something as simple as the shape of an instrument can shape one's attitude toward it. Here's the most recent recording I made with it and Mr. Sax T (backing track by Playalong Studios):

http://mal-2.com/m/Mal-2_-_Body_and_Soul(Mr_Sax_T).mp3

Since the pictures above were taken, I have moved the reinforcement to the inside which eliminates the lumps and bumps under the tape (well, all but one of them anyhow) but it's still the same shape. Since it FEELS more like an "electric sax", I guess that lends itself to being PLAYED like one.

I have also solved the case problem. I bought a soprano sax gig bag to house the soprano after the EWI evicted it from its case. Now that the EWI no longer fits in the soprano case, I am fortunate that it DOES fit in the just purchased gig bag! The soprano gets to go home, and the problem is solved.

P.S. I was NOT able to get any of the Sample Modeling products to run on my single-core Atom netbook. It just doesn't have the CPU power for the job. I have had to order another laptop, one capable of handling the load. However, if you find yourself with a machine that seems like it ALMOST wants to do the job -- try running Kontakt as a VST plug-in under Cubase instead of using the standalone player. It seems counter-intuitive, but the instruments actually run a LOT better this way. The latency is greatly decreased, and the sound drops out a lot less often (not at all with The Trumpet, very infrequently with Mr. Sax T). It all runs just fine on a four year old Athlon 64x2 that wasn't exactly top of the line when I built it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Mal: I'm using my EWI USB with a Samsung N150 netbook (Atom N450, 2GB RAM, Win7 home [32-bit]) and have been able to run Mr. Sax T and the Trumpet either through Kontact or as a VSTi through Reaper with multiple tracks playing back or recording with no dropouts. Using the ASIO4ALL driver and the built-in audio, it works very well; with an Edirol UA-1ex or a Behringer UCA-202 it's even better.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Mal: I'm using my EWI USB with a Samsung N150 netbook (Atom N450, 2GB RAM, Win7 home [32-bit]) and have been able to run Mr. Sax T and the Trumpet either through Kontact or as a VSTi through Reaper with multiple tracks playing back or recording with no dropouts. Using the ASIO4ALL driver and the built-in audio, it works very well; with an Edirol UA-1ex or a Behringer UCA-202 it's even better.
Yeah that's a single core but has hyperthreading. I have an older Atom with no hyperthreading. It was frustratingly close to sufficient, but just couldn't quite get there. I'm glad you responded though, you've now narrowed down exactly where the line is between inadequate and adequate. It could also be the OS -- my netbook has XP Home.

Incidentally, running Kontakt as a VST plug-in under Cubase is a lot better than the standalone player, on either machine. I would have expected the extra layer of abstraction to make matters worse but it does just the opposite.

Why use the saxophone modeling software over a real saxophone?
Partly because I sequence a lot of stuff, but mostly because when I need to do the one-man horn section thing, I am using the trumpet sound 90% of the time. The other 10% is split between flute and sax. No matter what instrument I'm supposed to sound like, I have an issue with bleed into my microphone because all our performances are in exceptionally loud venues. It is nearly impossible to isolate myself well enough for a vocal harmonizer to work, and that's how I fill in the extra horns. If I'm just one horn in a section, I don't use the harmonizer and just play the real thing. The virtual instrument of course is completely immune to extraneous noise.

You can hear some examples, I've now given them their own page at http://mal-2.com/syn.html -- this includes both The Trumpet and Mr. Sax T-based recordings. I do not as yet have any that use both at once, but there's no technical reason why not. I just haven't needed to.

I do not have Mr. Sax A or B, so any alto or bari parts are run through the tenor sound then pitch-shifted appropriately. Do not consider them representative of either Mr. Sax A or B, although I think the bari works reasonably well. Creating soprano parts by this method is really asking a bit much, and those don't come off quite as well, but Ms. Sax S isn't even out yet thus not an option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
mal: Yes, it may well have been XP. The funny thing is, on my core2duo laptop running 64-bit Win7 Ultimate, it runs like crap, with buffer distortion happening every few minutes. I probably have a bunch of other drivers on there interfering with ASIO4ALL. I was pretty surprised myself that the virtual instruments work so well on my netbook, but I do keep it pretty lean (VLAN player, OpenOffice, Chrome, Sonar, Reaper, Sound Forge and pretty much nothing else).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Hey, guys. I've been considering an EWI or WX-5 lately. With cheap netbooks abounding, is it worth the extra money to get a EWI 4000S over the USB? All my playing will be live rock n roll/soul/r&b stuff. I'd primarily like to simulate a horn section, but if it's good enough, I'd like to see if I could do entire gigs on one.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,812 Posts
USB can cause serious issues and crashes. I would steer away from it if you can afford to. I won't buy another USB music device until it is USB 3.0 but I have a feeling this will take a long time. I do have USB 3.0 in my DAW for an external hard drive which is very fast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Hello:

I know that this was some years ago... but the pictures are not avaiable now and I really would love to see this modification of the EWI.

I have a 4000s and have been planning to do somehting like this for quite some time now. I purchase an old non-working sax and would like to modify my EWI to either fit into it or just take some parts of the sax (ie: the bell and mouth tube) and implement them onto the EWI to make it look like a real sax.

If you will, could reset the links to the pictures, please?

Thank you
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Hello:

I know that this was some years ago... but the pictures are not avaiable now and I really would love to see this modification of the EWI.

I have a 4000s and have been planning to do somehting like this for quite some time now. I purchase an old non-working sax and would like to modify my EWI to either fit into it or just take some parts of the sax (ie: the bell and mouth tube) and implement them onto the EWI to make it look like a real sax.

If you will, could reset the links to the pictures, please?

Thank you
View attachment 35884 View attachment 35885 View attachment 35886
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top