So I was watching videos of EWI players and I was blown away by their superior sound for wind instruments.

I keep hearing that VST sucks and that real instruments are way better and other stuff.

But there's something I don't get.

Why to try to make a keyboard emulate instruments they lack the capabilities. Why not simply focus on making better wind instruments like the EWI.

I tried to see if they developed a string midi controller, but couldn't even find revelant information.

I'm sure an entire orchestra could be reduced to a few midi controllers, like a keyboard for the keyboard instruments, an EWI for the wind and brass instruments, some midi drum kit for the percussion and some midi string for the string instruments.

It seems the most smart idea, but I don't see people talking about it.


closed as primarily opinion-based by Tetsujin, user22688, Schizomorph, Rory Alsop Jan 2 '18 at 17:58

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Although this is an interesting question for a discussion, it is off topic in this site. The point of stack exchange is that people can find solutions in problems that other people had before them. – Schizomorph Jan 2 '18 at 17:50

Why don't we develop more and better midi controllers for non keyboard instruments

People ARE developing better midi controllers

There is one I've been eyeing that you might be interested in. There are new gimmicky midi controllers coming out all the time. To be fair, a lot of them sadly flop before getting recognition.

Why not simply focus on making better wind instruments like the EWI.

Why do anything ever? Why get out of bed in the morning?

There ARE people making better instruments, and also people making better VST instruments. There are over 7 billion people on earth, so people need to find their own niche.

I keep hearing that VST sucks

Don't listen to people saying that something sucks. ___ (left blank, because it could be anything) is good for some situations and bad for others. It's the same for real instruments. It's not humanly possible to do some of the things you can do with VSTs on real instruments.

I'm sure an entire orchestra could be reduced to a few midi controllers

You hit the biggest positive of VSTs right there: not everyone can play every instrument, nor have enough money to hire necessary musicians. With VSTs, you can just learn one (piano) and play ALL the instruments you could want.

It seems the most smart idea, but I don't see people talking about it.

There are lots of people talking about it. We're talking about it right now. In my college (went for MIDI production), everyone was talking about it.


An EWI is an instrument that essentially is monophonic, a keyboard (not counting analog synthesizers) is polyphonic. A piano is fundamentally characterized by a velocity-sensitive keyboard. So are most electric pianos (like a Fender Rhodes).

A pressure-sensitive controller with polyphonic keyboard would be a MIDI accordion. As such it would work pretty well for serving a variety of virtual continuous-tone instruments, like strings and wind instruments. It's rarely used significantly outside of accordion sounds however because it looks like an accordion and thus the audience expects to hear an accordion.

For live performances, you need to work with instruments that match their sound. As a corollary, male alto singers need to either dress flamboyantly if not in drag altogether.

Putting together a studio recording, in contrast, lets you use what is most convenient. While a flat keyboard is harder to lug around either on or off stage, it makes moving around between different controllers and adjusting other equipment comparatively convenient as opposed to instruments carried on the body.

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