Roland Aerophone AE-10
The Roland Aerophone AE-10
OK, I bought one of these digital wind instruments and it's a complete blast. I took my time and reseached which one to buy, read reviews from sax players and, compared to the competition, the Roland AE-10 was a no-brainer. It's the closest digital wind instrument to an acoustic sax, including mouthpiece and embouchure.
This thing is massive fun and the mouthpiece and embouchure are so close to my acoustic sax, I'm sure it's still good practice.
The sax fingering makes playing nearly instant once you get used to the "touch" of the finger buttons and the rather close proximity of the several octave buttons.
Roland has the best synth sounds and they sound OK for practice throught the built-in speaker but for real fun I plug this thing into my little 15W tube amp and just wail. Or through my headphones for completely silent practice.
There are myriad controls and settings. The display screen and controls buttons are right next to the right thumb hook. It's too easy when first getting used to playing it to accidentally nudge the control buttons and change settings. I wish they'd moved the controls out of the way of the thumb rest but it's easy enough to overcome this slightly odd control placement.
There are four octave keys plus the center thumb rest. That setup provides five octaves without counting a sixth octave for altissimo. The octave buttons are rather close to the thumb rest so it takes some time to get used to them.
This thing has so many settings I'm still playing around with them and likely will be doing so for some time to come. Altissimo fingerings are programmable. There are so many sound settings. This is the most fun I've had since I bought my first saxophone last January.
With six rechargable AA batteries installed, I can hook up my headphones and silent saxophone or silent just about any other instrument you've ever heard of - including several I never heard of.
I can play it anyhwere anytime from the middle of the night to watching TV, silently, to an audience of one.