EWI is a wind controller, or an Electronic Wind Instrument. Basically, it’s a synthesizer you blow into, allowing players of acoustic wind instruments to get into the digital music world. It looks kind of like a clarinet or soprano saxophone and plays like one too. I tried playing one once. I laughed nervously and put it down after a minute.
Our own Darren Nakamura said that it “looks like this guy is blowing into a Super Scope 6 to make this music.” That’s about right.
Peter Smith is quite good with the EWI, so much so that he has a YouTube channel dedicated to his video game music covers. Soundole VGM Covers is packed with great selections, all of which are using the EWI’s native sound bank. Being that the EWI tones are somewhat dated sounding, they fit perfectly with 8- and 16-bit game music covers.
Smith’s Super Mario Bros. Underwater theme is quite authentic sounding. Note that he multitrack records these, a line at a time. His Harvest Moon track is very convincing, as is this Zelda one. The Ken’s Theme cover needs waaaay more views. I adore his ultra-relaxing Sonic the Hedgehog “Special Stage” cover, shown above, complete with triangle part. Hell, just dig into his playlist.
It looks like Smith and I will be collaborating on a video game music remix very soon. Stay tuned for that.