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Wind Controllers

I am a tenor sax student and when I saw this thread, I had to join this forum to make this post.
Living in a condo, I feel terribly guilty about practicing my instrument and annoying my neighbors.
I wanted to find a way to practice silently. I know many of you have the same situation.
I did a fairly thorough survey of the available options.

My primary criteria was that the instrument must have the keys laid out exactly as a real saxophone.
In the end, I realized that my secondary criteria was a bite sensor. I wanted to be able bend notes naturally.

That is why I ultimately chose the Roland Aerophone, over the Emeo, the Yamaha YDS-150 and the Travel Sax 2.
Only the Roland has a bite sensor. Roland even managed to make the low Bb key appropriately awkward to reach.:)

I got the AE-20 because it is the newest model and I thought it worth the extra money over the AE-10 because the built-in sounds are superior.
It was $1000 (May 2022). The AE-30 Pro is very appealing with its' additional features but I was unwilling to spend that much for silent practice.
If I were a pro, the AE-30 would easily be worth the extra cash.

I have much to say about the Aerophone, but not here, not now.
I just had to add this to the list of available options because it is one of the best options.

Interestingly, you can program it to respond to recorder fingering or brass fingering.

Okay, I guess that's it for now!
 
The AE gets great reviews on the Wind Controller forum.

I play the discontinued Yamaha WX5. I have a couple of back-ups, and when they no longer become reliable, I'll probably go the AE route, unless something better comes along.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Living in a condo, I feel terribly guilty about practicing my instrument and annoying my neighbors.
There is the Sax Mute (http://www.saxophone-mute.com). It's been around for a long time and it's cheaper than most of the recommendations in this thread, at $399 for a tenor and $299 for an alto.

You can also try to soundproof your playing area and/or build a soundproof room. There are lots and lots of hits if you Google "How do you soundproof a room in an apartment for music practice?"

If you want to go even further, you can buy a custom-made practice room. I remember https://whisperroom.com from waaay long ago.

The one thing that I'm not terribly fond of in soundproof practice rooms is the sound is kinda dead, for lack of a better phrase. I really liked practicing in a room where they stored Sousaphones and tubas at a high school I attended an extremely long time ago. Reverb!
 
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The AE gets great reviews on the Wind Controller forum.

I play the discontinued Yamaha WX5. I have a couple of back-ups, and when they no longer become reliable, I'll probably go the AE route, unless something better comes along.
I agree. Maybe there will be something even better.

One thing that bothers me about the AE-20 is that the "reed" is HARD. I saw where they used to sell a mouthpiece with a MEDIUM reed. [The reed is not sold separately, you have to buy a mouthpiece/reed combo.] But that was for a lower model of Aerophone and would not fit the AE-20, if I am correct. Please tell me that I am wrong!. I would love to have that option. The reed is so hard, and the tip so open that it takes a lot of air and makes one's lips sore too.

BTW, for comparison, I use a 2.5 Legere Signature on an old M.C. Gregory 5 tip mpc.
 
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There is the Sax Mute (http://www.saxophone-mute.com). It's been around for a long time and it's cheaper than most of the recommendations in this thread, at $399 for a tenor and $299 for an alto.

You can also try to soundproof your playing area and/or build a soundproof room. There are lots and lots of hits if you Google "How do you soundproof a room in an apartment for music practice?"

If you want to go even further, you can buy a custom-made practice room. I remember https://whisperroom.com from waaay long ago.

The one thing that I'm not terribly fond of in soundproof practice rooms is the sound is kinda dead, for lack of a better phrase. I really like practicing in a room where they stored Sousaphones and tubas at a high school I attended an extremely long time ago. Reverb!
Thanks for your thoughts Pete but I am very familiar with all of the options.
I used to do voiceover and investigated sound-proofing and Whisper Rooms back then.
Both of those options are completely out of the equation.

I live in a small condo and do not have room for a Tenor sized Sax Mute, unless I want it sitting on the love seat next to me... permanently.
Also, Sax Mutes look to be hot and extremely awkward. Wish I had a walk-in closet but, nope.
I considered all of the options, made a tally sheet, and came to the conclusion that the AE-20 is the best for my needs. Happy I found it.
 
Here are a couple of pics of the AE-20 mpc & reed.
 

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I agree. Maybe there will be something even better.

One thing that bothers me about the AE-20 is that the "reed" is HARD. I saw where they used to sell a mouthpiece with a MEDIUM reed. [The reed is not sold separately, you have to buy a mouthpiece/reed combo.] But that was for a lower model of Aerophone and would not fit the AE-20, if I am correct. Please tell me that I am wrong!. I would love to have that option. The reed is so hard, and the tip so open that it takes a lot of air and makes one's lips sore too.

BTW, for comparison, I use a 2.5 Legere Signature on an old M.C. Gregory 5 tip mpc.
Not ever playing an AE, I can't help with that.

I'm very happy with my WX5 controller and VL70m synth module. The physical modeling synthesis on the VL is very well done, and it allows me to naturally recreate many of the nuances I use in regular sax playing.

I have spares, and I don't see any real advantage for me to buy an AE at this time. In the future, if they come out with a feature that want, I might change my mind.

Notes ♫

PS. sorry for the delay in answering. I'm gigging 4 or 5 one-nighers per week now. It seems like someone turned the gig switch 'on' and people are making up for lost time.
 
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