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Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
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By happenstance, I just saw your video yesterday. I think the Emeo does have some genuine utility as a highly portable, silent practice instrument that still feels like a saxophone. However, considering its relatively high price, and the normal versatility that comes with any device that is software-controlled, I think it's inevitable that Emeo purchasers will want to experiment with the instrument in a performance setting. The company should expect that, and do what it can to support such players; that probably includes providing a good selection of realistic saxophone sounds.
I agree that people will probably use it for midi input and other non-practice uses, but it's clearly marketed as a "practice saxophone" so I don't think the manufacturers have any responsibility to explicitly support performance modes (though they already do, by making it midi-capable for example).

I also agree with @Felicitysax that any saxophone sounds are going to be disappointing for a real saxophone player. Moreover, very few performers that use EWI devices meant for performance actually perform using saxophone sounds, so I don't think that the Emeo manufacturers are giving up on some large segment of the market as a result of the omission of saxophone sounds.

Personally, the biggest knock against it that I see, in terms of its stated purpose as a portable, use-anywhere practice saxophone, is that it requires external devices and software. Its closest competitor, the YDS-150 (which is also advertised primarily as a practice saxophone), does not require any external devices or software for its use (i.e., you can just plug headphones directly into the device to practice silently), which makes it much more "portable" IMO.
 

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The Emeo people can either be customer-friendly to the greatest extent possible, or they can rely on a "not in the user manual!" strategy. Their choice. The video in post #3 above indicates what players started doing with the product immediately upon release.
I'm not really sure what you mean by this. The Emeo video in post #3 shows members of the Emeo development team using the Emeo to practice saxophone quartet music. This is not a performance (it's a demo by the manufacturers/developers) and it was filmed long before the product was released.

The Yamaha also costs about half as much as the Emeo. The ergonomics of the Emeo are more realistic, but will that matter for a nonperformance device?
I agree with you regarding the first sentence (which is why this is a problem for the Emeo). Regarding your question however, I think that realistic ergonomics are especially important for a practice device (as opposed to a performance device). Many saxophonists who play EWIs in professional performances (e.g., Michael Brecker, Seamus Blake, Dayna Stephens) use EWIs that have ergonomics that are nothing like those of a saxophone. For them, it's essentially like playing/performing on a different instrument (e.g., like a saxophonist performing on flute).

However, if the entire point of the device is to allow you to practice saxophone technique, then it's obviously important that the device feel like a real saxophone.
 

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I guess it depends on how much reliance will be placed on the silent device in place of a real saxophone. If I were expecting to do most, or a major part, of my practicing on an electronic substitute, I might be willing to pay twice as much just to get authentic metal saxophone key work. But if the device were just for very occasional silent warmups in a hotel room or the like, and I relied primarily on a real sax for woodshedding, the feel of the YDS-150 might be close enough.
I agree completely with this. Furthermore, I suspect that the intersection of saxophone players who (1) are willing and able to pay twice as much for the Emeo for its more authentic feel, and (2) don't have access to practice space is pretty small. This is why I worry about the future of the Emeo, even though I really like the concept.

The Synthophone that @milandro linked to in post #3 was developed around a similar concept, but it was even more expensive (around $3000 in 2004) and remained a pretty niche instrument as a result (I can't find evidence for more than about a dozen Synthophone players).

Incidentally, another significant disadvantage that diminishes the Emeo's suitability for live performance is that, unlike the Synthophone, the YDS-150, or many other EWIs, it provides no onboard method at all for bending pitches (many EWIs have a bite sensor, while the YDS-150 has a thumb-controlled "analog controller").
 

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The Respiro included with the Emeo is a very innovative software too! It's a very interesting tool for music production and for the performance playing too. By the way, I prefer not to have onboard sounds. I can apply any changes by one click, adjust all effects and modify the sounds as I wish.
It needn't be either/or though. For example, the YDS-150 can be used either with the onboard sounds, or with a wider variety of sounds by connecting it to external midi software (including Respiro). It's just nice, for practice/portability purposes, to have the option of not having to carry extra equipment.

Regarding your video: thanks for making it. I think you do include a lot of information about the Emeo, but found that the useful information (for me at least) was mostly in the more conversational second half of your video (after the 7:45 minute mark). I suspect that many people stop watching during the first half because the tone and production style make it seem like a slick advertisement/endorsement rather than a substantive review.
 

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If you want more information, please visit Specs & Manual | The Emeo
You can find the instructional video and manual.
Thanks for the links! I've read the manual and watched the instructional video, and I still have a few questions:
  1. At about 4:10 in your video, you tell the viewer to listen to your playing for the possibilities with regard to articulation, vibrato, and dynamics. However, I couldn't hear any modulation of the vibrato in your demo, nor could I find any reference to a mechanism for online control of vibrato in the manual or instruction video. Is there a method to control vibrato that is missing from the instructions?
  2. The instruction video and manual indicate that you have to press both RH spatula keys to enter "command" mode. When playing passages that involve transitions between these two notes (e.g., C minor arpeggios), have you ever had a problem with accidentally triggering/entering command mode?
  3. The instruction video and manual indicate that the Emeo does not retain your key, range, or air resistance settings across a power cycle (i.e., they reset to the key of C, the "standard" range, and the "soft" resistance setting, respectively). Have you found this to be an inconvenience?
  4. The specs and manual page includes an altissimo fingering chart, and the fingering chart introduces the listed fingerings as "the most popular options for each of the altissimo notes". Does this mean that there are additional altissimo fingerings that are not listed? Alternatively, is it possible to specify your own key mappings, as with the YDS-150? (I'm asking because some of my preferred altissimo fingerings, like the most common A3 fingering, are not included in this list)
I'd appreciate any additional information you could provide regarding these questions.
 

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The Emeo concept doesn't make much sense to me.

The mechanics on a saxophone are defined by where tone holes are plus all the complications of arms and springs that bring control of the pad cups to our hands. There are lots of unevenness of comfort and feel on a sax keywork across the full range. EWIs on the other hand have the benefit of a more comfortable/even keyboard while still keeping the keys in a similar location for familiarity to sax players, but they can hardly emulate all subtleties of how a wind player can make notes sound on a real saxophone.

The Emeo combines the worst of both worlds IMO: it duplicates all the mechanical awkwardness of a real sax with the electronic sound limitations. And to finish it off, it is one of the most expensive EWIs in the market.

Other EWIs like the Aerophone AE-30 or even the Yamaha YDS-150 at least try to provide a more comfortable and even keyboard.
If you visit the manufacturer's site or view their instructional videos, you'll see that they clearly label it as "a digital practice saxophone". So, of course it mimics the "unevenness of comfort and feel" of saxophone keywork. That's the point!

Its primary purpose is to allow you to practice saxophone technique (i.e., not arbitrary EWI technique) in situations in which you can't use an actual saxophone to practice (e.g., due to the loudness of a real saxophone). If you're not interested in that particular application, it's probably not for you.
 

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I call this marketing blurb. This device will never acoustically respond like a real sax does. It may feel like a sax on the fingers but it won't respond like one. It makes no sense to me to duplicate springs and the full mechanism when the response on the Emeo is digital. This device will never mimic the actual experience of playing a sax where every minute key movement matters on what sound you will produce. What Yamaha did by reproducing the key shapes and tying them directly to digital buttons in the simplest form makes much more sense for the "practice" goal you described.
I don't understand this response. Of course it won't respond acoustically like a saxophone does. If you read my post that you quoted, you'll see that I said the purpose of it is to practice saxophone technique not embouchure or breath support or whatever. The point (again, according to the people who invented the thing) is to make the keys feel as much like saxophone keys as possible.

To the extent I'm interested in it, it's for exactly that reason. It would be great to have a saxophone in my office at work, for example, that I could practice during down time. I don't need something that responds like a saxophone, just something that allows me to work on scales, patterns, etc. and for that purpose, I want something that feels as much like as saxophone in the hands as possible. I can work on tone and breath support on a real saxophone when I'm in my practice room at home.
 

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1. No problem. In my upcoming video I will show the dynamic response without any music and I will choose a different sound for the demonstration.
To better understand the effects or control of dynamic response, you need to search for the Respiro manual.
2. No, because as you can read in the manual, you press the key C and Eb together, and blow through the instrument, then you press various combinations of keys on the instrument, depending on what you want to do (Change key, change resistance, switch off..)
It's actually very easy. The Emeo team has a perfect explanation of the command mode in its instructional video
3.No. In the cockpit, I must set up and verify the flight instruments. I have no problem to do the same check with the Emeo. It takes me a few seconds to set up my key and resistance
4..I found the altissimo chart very interesting. Some combinations were new to me. The altissimo can vary from one instrument to another, and I use on my alto saxophone primarily the altissimo recommended by Gerald Albright. I still want to take a little time to try all the options listed on the Emeo's altissimo chart with my alto sax and the Emeo.
As for the additional fingerings, I can consult your question with the Emeo team. I also want to know about the possibility of adding multi-phonics and overtones.
I believe that they will continue to update the Emeo as they made it for the saxophonists
Thank you for answering my questions. I look forward to your follow-up video!
 

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Let me know if you have any other questions or suggestions for my upcoming video.
Thank you Felicity. Two suggested demonstrations that I think would be really useful:
  • To deliberately demonstrate the reproduction by the Emeo of several very different articulations, such as staccato vs. legato vs. breath attack.
  • To go through the entire initialization sequence required for a practice session in real time (i.e., turning on and plugging in the Emeo, starting the software, switching the Emeo to your preferred key & resistance settings), so that we can get a sense of the complexity of this sequence and the amount of time that it typically takes.
Also, I'm not sure if there's an easy way to demonstrate this in a video, but I think it would be useful to give us some sense of the audio latency (which I imagine differs depending on whether you're using a cable connection versus a bluetooth connection), even if this just consists of reporting your subjective impression of the latency.
 

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I always think if embouchure and breath as absolutely the most important aspects of saxophone technique.
That's fine. People also often use the term "technique" to refer specifically to finger technique, which is the way I'm using it here.
In any event, I think the context makes my meaning pretty clear.
 

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@Felicitysax - please can you tell us whether you have any relationship with the company that makes the Emeo.
+1

FWIW, she has the following text on the description of her linked YouTube video
Use my discount code to get a 5 % discount: FELICITY1701
So I assume that, at a minimum, she has some sort of affiliate marketing relationship with them.
 

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It would be nice to have a truly independent assessment of this product. I haven't seen one yet.

However, the Emeo team just released this recording of Baptiste Herbin playing one (this is not the earlier short clip of him just playtesting one at a conference or something). He apparently now owns and uses one. I don't know whether he's an endorser (if he is, that's a pretty big get for the Emeo team), but if he isn't, it could provide a great opportunity to get an independent assessment from a very accomplished player.

 
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