Using a wind controller may be the most expressive way to play synths
With the AE-20, Roland now has five different wind controllers in their lineup at different prices. This one will sell for about $1K when it comes out, and it’s their second most deluxe model (behind the flagship AE-30/Aerophone Pro).
Those of us who play and love wind controllers are very happy to see continued interest in the instrument. Roland, Akai, and Yamaha all have a range of models, each with different features and advantages.
In addition to being a MIDI 2.0 controller, the AE-20 has a built-in synth with a range of sounds programmed for wind controller playing, from emulations of acoustic instruments to analog and digital synth sounds (some of which are Roland classics).
Anyone who plays sax, clarinet, flute, or – over here! – recorder can play it right away. You can also program your own fingerings if, for example, you’re a brass player. The instrument has a “reed-style” mouthpiece, breath and bite sensors, and a five-octave range (plus transposition).
The AE-20’s synth has Roland’s ZEN-core engine, which is used in such keyboards as the Fantom and Jupiter-X.
Other features include Bluetooth to talk to mobile apps, a built-in speaker/sound system, and a headphone jack.
It’s due out in March for $1000.
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