Migrating from Akai EWI EVI fingering



  • Can someone tell me or point me to a document or video that shows how the Sylphyo does EVI fingering?


  • Aodyo Instruments

    On another topic on EVI-style fingerings you'll find a link to the exact mappings we use.

    Basically, your left hand replaces the things you would have done with a trumpet embouchure, and your right hand controls what would be the valves.
    In the base position, you only hold keys 2 and 3, those below your left middle finger and your left ring finger, and this plays a C.

    On the left hand, you can go down by 5 half-tones (add the left index finger). Meanwhile, your left thumb selects the current octave (a specific mode with reversed direction will soon be available). In addition, like with the EWI, you can go up by 1 half-tone (remove the left middle or ring finger, or add the left pinky finger) at most.
    On the right hand, you can use the index, middle, and ring finger like you would on the valves of a trumpet (to go down 1 tone, 1/2 tone, and 1+1/2 tone, respectively). In addition, putting the right pinky finger adds 2 half-tones (like the 1st trill on the EWI).

    To sum it up, from the base position (press only the left middle and ring finger keys), pressing or releasing other keys will add or subtract a certain amount of half-tones from the C pitch:

    Left Hand (embouchure)

    • Press Key 1 (left index finger): -5
    • Release Key 2 (left middle finger) or Key 3 (left ring finger), or Press Key 4 (left pinky): +1 (non-cumulative)

    Right Hand (valves)

    • Press Key 5 (right index finger): -2 (valve 1)
    • Press Key 6 (right middle finger): -1 (valve 2)
    • Press Key 7 (right ring finger): -3 (valve 3)
    • Press Key 8 (right pinky): +2

    We'll try to quickly release some more polished documentation about it.

    In the future we'd also like to make a tutorial video on this, but we're not good enough with this fingering to make a convincing demo :).



  • Thanks for the reply. I'm looking for an account from someone that has made the actual transition but I'll try to visualize from your explanation.


  • Aodyo Instruments

    Yes, if someone could pitch in, we'd also like to have some feedback in order to improve the fingering in future versions.

    The main differences I see from the way Patchman explains the EVI fingering are:

    • The 1st trill key (+2) is at the bottom of the right hand, not at the top like in the EWI
    • There is no 3rd trill key (+4). How often do you use it?


  • I didn't know about the third key on the EWI but I may try it now. But no, I obviously don't use it.



  • I take it people like the octave keys better than rollers. You still slide your thumb, yes, or do you tap to change, like the MDT?



  • is there a diagram showing the key #'s?



  • Ok, I think I got it. Very similar to the EWI 4000/5000/USB EVI fingering. Just about the same, if I'm seeing this correctly.


  • Aodyo Instruments

    @lectrohorn The shape of octave keys allows to slide between positions. Here are some illustrations.



  • A few more questions. Can the slider do a pitch bend like the EWI without being an uncomfortable maneuver? I would think you would want to start somewhere near the middle of the slider but the manual says your thumb rests near the top. I do both up and down bends with the EWI.

    How do you make vibrato?

    I appreciate all the answers.


  • Aodyo Instruments

    There are no separate plates like in the EWI, just the single large touch-sensitive surface we call the slider (which can be separated into three parts, the top edge, the middle, and the bottom edge, depending on where you start touching it ; once you start touching an area you have control over the whole slider area).
    As you noted, the thumb is usually resting under the thumbrest, so it's easier to control bends from the top, but there are many ways to pitch-bend on the Sylphyo.

    What we recommend in the user guide is this: use the top part of the slider to bend downwards, and use key-bends (slightly move the bottommost finger that touches the keys away from the key) to bend upwards. Having a separate way of bending for each direction looks tedious, but it's really easy to get used to it, and I find it nicer than the EWI because it is less demanding on the posture.

    But the mouthpiece on the Sylphyo is passive, so you can't bite it to do vibratos like in the EWI. However, we're currently beta-testing the next release of the internal software, which will allow you to control vibratos by slightly shaking your Sylphyo away from the mouth. We're adjusting the sensitivity and response so that it's really nice to perform in any situation.

    To come back to the pitch-bend topic, there are other ways to control it with the slider (if you choose to do so): for instance, you can start anywhere on the slider and rock your thumb downwards or upwards to bend.



  • Again, I appreciate the follow-up. I like the idea of touch sensitive keys.

    Really would miss not having a bite sensor or something like it. Emulating acoustics sounds without a responsive way to create vibrato is a drawback for me. Everything else sounds great in theory. Hopefully the vibrato concept you're working on will end up being an intuitive solution. Hopefully no one will make fun of me rapidly sliding this tube-like thing in and out of my mouth. Was including a bite sensor deemed uncool or something? It's obvious that you guys have a progressive approach to creating a wind controller but vibrato control is very important. Yes, not with synthy sounds but you praise Samplemodeling soft synths and they sound like crap without some vibrato applied, imo. I really wanna order this thing but I know I won't play it if I can't create realistic vibrato.



  • Perhaps doing vibrato with the plate is a viable solution. On my MDT you employ a lever for vibrato so I'm not fixed on the bite sensor. It probably isn't good for my TMJ either. Got any videos showing Samplemodeling 'instruments' being played perhaps or someone applying vibrato using the plate?


  • Aodyo Instruments

    I don't know of any video that clearly shows someone using a Samplemoding VSTi with slider-controlled manual vibrato. I suggest you wait for the next software release and the batch of videos that'll accompany it to see if it can suit your needs.

    For now, people make do with a CC-controlled automatic vibrato, or with completely manual vibrato (which can be difficult to do quickly with our recommended approach due to the different muscle groups used depending on the fingering), but we're committed to design the best solution we can.

    The next minor release (1.1.0) will include a usable way to easily control vibrato. The shake-vibrato gesture won't look ridiculous because it's subtle, nevertheless it seems to visually communicate musical intent quite well (e.g., shaky gestures that lead to a shaky sound). There'll also be a slider-controlled vibrato with a EWI-like behavior, but I personally think it's better to use the slider for other things (bends and modulation).

    We didn't include a bite sensor because we wanted to nail the breath sensor first, but we designed the Sylphyo so that the mouthpiece can be changed, and eventually replaced with one that includes sensors (it'll work with all existing Sylphyos). We're trying some alternatives to the bite sensor that'll even be able to provide other dimensions of control (e.g. vocoder-style filtering related to your vocal tract) that can bring life to novel uses. But it's a work-in-progress and we're already busy updating the Sylphyo and developing the synth module for the next few months.

    You guessed right, we're doing it incrementally, with the combined feedback and expertise of all our users and testers, and although for some people the Sylphyo isn't quite there yet, we really think it's the right approach in the long run.



  • I love your approach and I do want to become a user and supporter. I may still get a unit in its present form since all future enhancements will be add-on-able or at least that's the plan.
    I've been thinking about the vocoder/vocal cavity idea for some time now and believe it has great possibilities. I would definitely make some cool noise with that. Sounds that I attempt to make today with a wah pedal could be made richer with the mouth while playing. I even considered using a talk box while playing. I like how you guys are thinking outside the box and I understand that it takes time.


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