June 16, 2024

Ok, so I bought a late Christmas present for myself. An Aerophone AE-30. Finally received it this week.

So, first impressions. Good things first.

  1. I LOVE that they included a case. As a Akai EWI 4000 owner, it was a PAIN IN THE ASS to find a case for it. I did find a case made by Ritter-bags (soprano bag) that I love. But the AE-30 comes with a bag. Points scored.
  2. Mouthpiece. It actually sort is like a saxophone. A reed, and you can lip things up and down. Very nice.
  3. The sounds are great. The synth sounds really are top notch. Even the “trumpet” and other sampled/emulated sounds are very good.
  4. Playing response is great. Articulation, etc. Top notch.
  5. iOS app is nice. They don’t have a computer editor key as far as I can see. And no apparent way to share your patches or save them for backups or future reference. Not sure if it does a SysEx dump.
  6. Bluetooth Midi.

Now the things so far I do not like.

  1. It feels cheap. For a $1500 instrument, it feels cheap and plastic. Like, it feels like a toy. I know the Akai 4000 has plastic, but it feels WAY more solid and “PRO” than the AE-30. I’d fear taking the AE-30 out on a gig…..it might break.
  2. The keys are terrible. I complained on a couple of YouTube videos about the key noise. It is real. They keys are also rather….meh. I mean, they seem to be sluggish. I think the noise and the sluggishness are tied together. With some use perhaps it will go away? Or maybe some like silicone lube perhaps? Not sure. Not a fan at all of the keys.
  3. Speakers are lame. Still not sure why they have them on it. Perhaps if they got rid of it they could have slimed it down some.

Those are the impressions so far. A little disappointed by the build quality. More to come…..

2 thoughts on “Aerophone Pro AE-30 First Impressions

  1. I was really looking forward to getting one after I saw the demo video Roland put out with Mae Sun, but for me the lack of octave rollers kills it. Still waiting for a NuRAD EWI.

    1. Yeah, I’m thinking the NuRAD might have been the smarter play for me. I am still hoping to explore the sound engine on this, which is the real reason I bought it, but it feels hobbled by the lack of good editing tools. Yes, there is an iOS app, but…I can’t really export them out of it, and the editing is sorta lame on it. And how would I do backups on it?

      But the general feel of the instrument is cheap. The EWI4000 feels solid. This feels like a toy. Though the mouthpiece on it is top notch. I mean, if Akai took that from Roland, and stuck it on the body of a 4000S….that would be the perfect controller.

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