Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, I just got a minty Yamaha WX-5 with a Patchman Turbo VL70m and I am digging the flexibility of sound that the module offers.

I'm not completely sold on the overall feel of the instrument, though. I've owned an AKAI EWI 5000s in the past, and the WX-5 is definitely way more intuitive to me than the EWI ever was, but I'm having trouble getting octaves under control due to the tiny octave buttons, as well as the awkward octaves that require several buttons to be pushed down. I'm also not a huge fan of the key action; I mostly play tenor these days, so I've gotten used to a fair amount of resistance when pressing down keys.

Have any of you owned/tried both the WX-5 and the AE-10, and can you speak to the ergonomic differences between the two of them? I am a multi-instrumentalist, so I barely have time to practice sax, let alone get used to a modified fingering system.

How do the palm and table keys feel on the AE-10? How is the key action on the pearls? Is there resistance? Does the mouthpiece respond as well?

Also, have any of you used the AE-10 with the VL70m? I know you can get a USB to MIDI converter cable, but are there any connectivity issues when going into an external MIDI module rather than a DAW?

DAW users, are there any particular patch banks or programs that you like designing your sounds in? I am much more interested in modern synth sounds than in recreating acoustic instrument sounds.

I apologize if any of these subjects have been touched upon in the gigantic EWI vs. Aerophone or EWI vs. WX5 threads, but I have specifically ruled EWI out of my shoot-out here, and I have some more specific questions, as you can see.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
7,645 Posts
I can't speak for the AE10 but if you use the tip if your thumb for the octave keys on the WX5 your thumb will learn to feel them. It just takes a bit of time.

I went from WX7 and WX11 to the WX5 and at first I hated the octave keys. Then a few months later I decided to sell my WX7 and Wx11. Since I wanted to make sure they were still working I plugged them in and immediately realized how great the octave keys on the 5 were. Much quicker than the others -- and I realized that I no longer was having trouble with the 5. Proficiency just snuck up on me.

I heard the AE10 doesn't lip both flat and sharp - you might want to check that out. Both ways are important to me.

Plus if you want to use the VL70-m with the AE10 you need a USB MIDI to 5 pin DIN host, as the AE doen't have a MIDI out, just a USB.

There is a windcontroller forum http://www.patchmanmusic.com/forum/ that has a number of AE10 users registered so that might be a good place to go for your answers.

Insights and incites by Notes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I can't speak for the AE10 but if you use the tip if your thumb for the octave keys on the WX5 your thumb will learn to feel them. It just takes a bit of time.

I went from WX7 and WX11 to the WX5 and at first I hated the octave keys. Then a few months later I decided to sell my WX7 and Wx11. Since I wanted to make sure they were still working I plugged them in and immediately realized how great the octave keys on the 5 were. Much quicker than the others -- and I realized that I no longer was having trouble with the 5. Proficiency just snuck up on me.

I heard the AE10 doesn't lip both flat and sharp - you might want to check that out. Both ways are important to me.

Plus if you want to use the VL70-m with the AE10 you need a USB MIDI to 5 pin DIN host, as the AE doen't have a MIDI out, just a USB.

There is a windcontroller forum http://www.patchmanmusic.com/forum/ that has a number of AE10 users registered so that might be a good place to go for your answers.

Insights and incites by Notes
I did notice it is easier with the tip of the thumb, though I have very long fingers in general, so its somewhat cramped in that area for me, which makes for clumsy octave shifts.

I did not realize that the AE-10 doesn't lip flat and sharp. I can definitely appreciate the ability to control pitch so flexibly with the WX5, but can't say how much I'd miss not having that if other aspects are better for me.

And yes, I realize I would need a conversion cable for using the VL70-m; I was specifically asking if anyone had already done that, and how it interfaces with the Patchman VL70m.

Thanks for the tip! I've already spent some time on the patchman website, but not the forums, so I'll make an account there and see if anyone has any further insight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
Discussion Starter #5

·
Registered
Joined
·
821 Posts
I have the AE-05 and I just can’t get used to the ergos.
Bought it for traveling for work so i could do something that was akin to sax practice in hotels.
I don’t think the AE-10, although a bit bigger, would be any better, my main issue is the response of the buttons, I have not gotten the hang of it and close to simply giving up.
Even bought the SWAM sax engines to make it sound more realistic but its just not cutting it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
I'm playing the WX-5 exclusively in the studio with a Patchman VL-70m now that I have the Roland AE-10. Live I only use a handful of sounds so the Roland is fine with fresh batteries and a single cable to the mixer. In the studio a larger palette of sounds is preferable and so the WX-5/VL70m combo remains there. I like them both!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I have the AE-05 and I just can’t get used to the ergos.
Bought it for traveling for work so i could do something that was akin to sax practice in hotels.
I don’t think the AE-10, although a bit bigger, would be any better, my main issue is the response of the buttons, I have not gotten the hang of it and close to simply giving up.
Even bought the SWAM sax engines to make it sound more realistic but its just not cutting it.

So, is it specifically the button response that bothers you? How about the ergonomics of switching octaves, palm and table keys, etc? What did you like and not like about its response?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I'm playing the WX-5 exclusively in the studio with a Patchman VL-70m now that I have the Roland AE-10. Live I only use a handful of sounds so the Roland is fine with fresh batteries and a single cable to the mixer. In the studio a larger palette of sounds is preferable and so the WX-5/VL70m combo remains there. I like them both!
So you've never used the AE-10 with the VL70m via a USB to MIDI cable?

How do the ergonomics compare between the two to you? What about mouthpiece/reed response and overall on-board controls?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
821 Posts

So, is it specifically the button response that bothers you? How about the ergonomics of switching octaves, palm and table keys, etc? What did you like and not like about its response?
There are 2 'octave keys', one above the thumbrest, as normal, and really no issues there, it is more of a soft less slippery material than the key 'pearls/plastics'.
The second 'octave key' is programmable, which i have programmed to behave like a low A key for bari.
No issues there for me.
The regular key pearls/plastics are very cheap feeling, not weighted and have VERY limited travel.
A little heavier, or further travel would have made them easier to transition to/from a sax.
I can't compare to another EWI, as I haven't used any.
My main reason to by the AE-05 was to practice scales and fingering speed accuracy while travelling, but the ergos make that hard to do.
If you are more used to playing EWIs in general, this may not be a big deal.
If you are near a Sam Ash, go try one out, most have a demo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
There are 2 'octave keys', one above the thumbrest, as normal, and really no issues there, it is more of a soft less slippery material than the key 'pearls/plastics'.
The second 'octave key' is programmable, which i have programmed to behave like a low A key for bari.
No issues there for me.
The regular key pearls/plastics are very cheap feeling, not weighted and have VERY limited travel.
A little heavier, or further travel would have made them easier to transition to/from a sax.
I can't compare to another EWI, as I haven't used any.
My main reason to by the AE-05 was to practice scales and fingering speed accuracy while travelling, but the ergos make that hard to do.
If you are more used to playing EWIs in general, this may not be a big deal.
If you are near a Sam Ash, go try one out, most have a demo.
Ah, I see; thanks for your input!

I really wish I could just go to a store and try one, but there are no stores locally that carry them, and none of my friends or colleagues have one for me to try.

The limited travel and light keys is definitely a complaint I have of the Yamaha WX5, though it's leagues better than the static sensor style of the Akai EWIs.

I do wonder if the AE-05 and AE-10 have the same ergos, or if you can make adjustments to action on the AE-10.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
821 Posts
Ah, I see; thanks for your input!

I really wish I could just go to a store and try one, but there are no stores locally that carry them, and none of my friends or colleagues have one for me to try.

The limited travel and light keys is definitely a complaint I have of the Yamaha WX5, though it's leagues better than the static sensor style of the Akai EWIs.

I do wonder if the AE-05 and AE-10 have the same ergos, or if you can make adjustments to action on the AE-10.
Same ergos. Some buttons just a little further apart
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
7,645 Posts
I think it's a shame that Yamaha quit producing the WX series.

I like that the controller separate from the sounds. I never liked the internal EWI sounds, and I didn't want to use a USB cable and go through either a MIDI host or a computer - I gig for a living and do one-nighters so I have to carry a spare of most everything.

I like the WX sax-like pitch bend on the reed which can also be programmed for other synth parameters.

I like having the long, thin WX cable that can be plugged directly into my MFC10 footswitch or VL70m module. When I had the WX7 I used rechargeable batteries and it was a bit of a PITA.

As far as the EWI is concerned, the main thing that turned me off was limited control of vibrato with the lip. The return to zero is controlled by a capacitor, not the lip. There are times when I like a real slow vibrato, especially when using certain patches like an organ (to simulate slow Leslie speed). I don't want to have to do that with pitch bend plates.

I found the AE10 interesting at first, but after reading posts on the windcontroller forum, I decided to stick with the WX.

I think the physical modeling of the VL allows more of the kind of expression I depend on to get vox humana out of the synth. I bend a lot, use ooh-ah vowel sounds a lot, flip the thumb lever for wah on brass patches, emulate flutter tongue, like the timbre change with cc2 (wind), use the reed for lip slurs on brass patches, and so on. The WX tone is decent, especially with the Patchman Turbo Chip transplant. I prefer expression over tone as long as the tone is OK.

So I bought a couple of WX5s and some spare parts. I hope I have enough to last me until either something better comes out or I reach the coda of my life.

Notes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
821 Posts
Same ergos. Some buttons just a little further apart
BTW, the main difference between the -05. And the -10 are the sounds and quality of sounds that come with it.
That and the -05 has Bluetooth connectivity.
The sounds of the 10 are incorporated in the app for the -05, but the app is garbage and sounds are about the same.
I went with the -05 and the SWAM sax engine (which is same cost as -10 or cheaper, and sounds better with more control) and because the -05 is smaller for travel (i am a very efficient traveler).
With the -05 and the SWAM engine you have a better set up than the -10 alone.
Bluetooth is nice, but fairly useless unless you follow Chris’ thread here on how to set that all up without latency, etc.

Your others option is to order one from Sam Ash or amazon and return via the return policy if no cost to you.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
7,645 Posts
It's the problem with so many people shopping the Internet to save a few bucks. Local stores don't move enough gear to keep slow sellers in stock.

I remember buying my first Mark VI sax. Ace Music in Miami had 3 new ones in stock. Many years later I bought my first WX7 at a local music store (Mars Music). The last few saxes I bought I got on-line because there were not locally to try out.

Everybody is different. For me the WX5/VL70m with a Roland XV5050 for a few sounds is all I need. If something comes along that truly will work better for me, I'll jump on it. But the AE10, while great for others, doesn't offer me as much as what I currently have.

Insights and incites by Notes
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top