Akai EWI 3020 3020M 3030M Wind Synthesizers

Akai EWI 3020M Analog Synth
Akai EWI 3020M Analog Synth

Today I was browsing through the used music shop I frequent here in Nagano-city, Japan and stumbled upon on something I’ve never seen before. Someone had just this morning dropped off an Akai EWI 3020 wind controller and cable along with two modules. One was the Akai EWI 3020M Analog Synth Module and the other was the Akai EWI 3030M PCM Synth Module. In addition, all of the manuals, cables, and even a hard shell case were included. Everything was in mint condition for $200 bucks total.

Akai EWI 3020 Wind Controller
Akai EWI 3020 Wind Controller

I know Akai very well with regards to sampling and samplers but didn’t know they made a wind controller with analog modules or at least I wasn’t up to speed on their product line. Now I don’t play any sax or wind instruments BUT I couldn’t pass up on the price. ( Some sax players may cringe at the thought of a non-wind player like myself finding something like this. I know I would. )

These are likely to be popular in Japan simply because it’s difficult to practice any sort of wind instrument in homes here because of the close proximity to neighbors. I also thought it would be fun to see how if at all I can “think outside the box” with this and use it with my other synths. It would be fun to try and see if I could play anything decent as well. Not to mention, both of my daughters may find it fun and inspiring to try and play, especially since you can use headphones. If all else fails then I may just end up selling everything.

Akai EWI 3030M Synth Module
Akai EWI 3030M Synth Module

Obviously the sales staff had little knowledge of what they had with this Akai wind synth setup. It’s old technology but it’s exactly what I dig as an Old Skool sort of musician. I enjoy trying to make new uses of these things and since I’m no sax player, I may be able to find some cool ways to use it. I’ll post some additional thoughts after I work with it a little bit. It may just be extremely difficult to altogether. I’m also curious how if at all you can use the Akai EWI 3020 to control other synths. There might be some interesting midi controller aspects. Stay tuned!


2 thoughts on “Akai EWI 3020 3020M 3030M Wind Synthesizers

  1. Taffronaut

    Hi, $200 is good. The 3020M is based on CEM chips I seem to remember. I have got one in storage somewhere. I gigged it before someone invented a good bassoon pickup. The MIDI out is good, although some old synth modules struggle to keep up with the data rate and you have to set them to respond to the breath control CC for envelope, not gate or ADSR. Not sure if it will become collectable as “true analogue” or just a paperweight. Who knows?

  2. CincinnatiJames

    Hello, I found one of these cheap without the wind controller. I was hoping to use as a sound module but apparently it needs breath control messages to have volume. I was able to get sound out of it by turning the BC knob up high so that it continually oscillates. The keyboard will only changes the note and it continually puts out sound. Is there a remedy for this? I don’t have a manual and if seems to be scares on the interwebs. I haven’t dug deep yet, just received it yesterday but I imagine routing an envelope to volume or something. Any ideas?

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