As I played the clarinet
during my school days, I have been less than satisfied with keyboards
as the only means to play tunes on a synth. There have been a few
wind controllers on the market over the years, but they have never
made a larger impact in the synth market.
Years ago I took piano lessons, to be able to play keyboards, but I found out that I didn't like playing keyboards that much. I also missed the expression you can achieve with a wind instrument.
I did quite a lot of research and sketches for designing my own wind controller, especially after I discovered Ian Fritz' excellent site. But I realized that I wouldn't really have time to design and build my own wind controller. Therefore I ordered the Midi EVI from inventor Nyle Steiner. He built them by hand, to order, so they were almost home-built, just not in my home! Anyway, after a full year's wait, my EVI arrived.
When Akai came out with the EWI 4000s, which offered an EVI fingering mode, I ordered one, to replace the rather fragile Steiner Midi EVI. The Akai is now my main instrument.
The Akai EWI has a quite good
digital synth built into the horn. As it runs on batteries, this is
excellent for practising. With a pair of headphones connected to the
horn, you can play totally untethered.
Good as the built-in sounds are (with special patches from Patchman), I really wanted to add an all-analog sound source to my arsenal. And as there are no commercial analog synths that are optimised for wind playing, the only way to get one is to design and build one yourself. After several years of thoughts and false starts, I think I finally have the right concept for this DIY project. On this page I will add instalments as the project unfolds.
Initial thoughts, the requirements and the chosen concept