A digital woodwind instrument, you say?! Cue 10 hours of Epic Sax Guy!
Any excuse for that meme, eh? Anyway, yes, this is the new Aerophone AE-10 from the digital instrument veterans at Roland – and it’s going to change the lives of Mos Eisley Cantina cosplayers worldwide.
Well, just look at it, for starters: it’s like something out of a sci-fi movie, all silvery and sleek and dotted with confusing buttons.
But this ain’t no prop – it’s a proper professional bit of gear that can emulate all sorts of “real” instruments, as well as play a bunch of smooth synth sounds. There’s a USB connection too, so you can hook it up to a PC in order to mess about with external modules or software synths.
Which instruments are on board?
Clarinet, flute, oboe, trumpet, saxophone and violin to name but a few; there are 40 built-in sounds in all.
Those buttons, incidentally, are loosely inspired by a saxophone’s layout – octave is controlled by the left-hand set, while performance is controlled by the right.
And I can take this out to, say, the park with me?
I don’t advise it, unless you want to get beaten up for mangling Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street in public. But you could, in theory, because there’s a built-in speaker and the option to add a seven-hour rechargeable battery pack. But I submit that the AE-10 might be at its best in your home studio, where it can draw power from the mains, and be hooked up to a more powerful speaker via its stereo mini-jack.
This is available now?
You can pre-order it right now at Gear4Music for £660 (quite a bit less than Roland’s £725 RRP), with deliveries expected at the beginning of November. So you have a bit of time to practice on a real sax before its digital equivalent arrives on your doorstep.