Akai EWI works with Zynthian out of the box!

I wanted to let you all know if you would like to get an AKAI EWI USB and try it out on Zynthian it works without modifying most of the soundfonts. If you play a woodwind the fingering will feel a little odd. I play tenor sax, and if you use the saxophone key mapping it feels like missing keys and when you hit G#, Bb and notes like that you need to use the transposition keys.
Playing the EWI feels like you are playing a Recorder. I’m still getting used to it. Playing warmup patterns, this one here hits the G#. The octave rollers… that takes getting used to to. The keys don’t move, the keys are contact sensitive. That also means you can’t play this in barefeet or it goes wonky. Here’s something the Zynthian Team can be proud of. When I tested the EWI with the AKIA software with a PC the latency was horrible. I was thinking… I can’t play this. When I plugged it in to the Zynthian, my ears didn’t hear latency! I used the SFZ Trombone with this warmup. I’m working on getting all the breath patches in to the Bear_Sax soundfont… I’ll post something once that’s working.

Here’s a simple warmup pattern trying to get my fingers used to the funky way of playing G#


Hi @Jerryn, it’s nice to hear all your sound demos, and the enthusiastic feedback of your user experience with Zynthian.
It’s so refreshing. Thanks you.


I found one problem… and it’s not the Zynthians fault. The EWI constantly sends a Pitch Blend UP CC… it’s a constant stream even when I am not playing so I’m going to disable it on the EWI.
I bet it’s a bug with the EWI firmware.

A demo of a self made wind instrument midi controler.

How to build it is on instructables:

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I fixed the problem. If you get an EWI you may want to remove the mouthpiece and widen the gap between the contact plates of the capacitive bite sensor. I used a piece of paper as a guage to be sure there was a gap between the upper contact and the plastic film. I also bent the the upper contact. Measure 20mm down from the tip and bend it slightly up
Not too much or you won’t be able to fit it in the mouthpiece. Next time I have the mouthpiece off I will take a photo.

Excess midi traffic is solved and the bite sensor works perfectly for vibrato and portamento :slight_smile: