Synthophone Zone

F. A. Q.

H O M EF. A. Q.MANUALP H O T O SM U S I CV I D E OL I N K S

1.  How much does it cost?

The current price for a Synthophone Model YAS-275 is US $ 3795 plus international shipping and taxes.

2. Who do I contact to buy one?

Softwind Instruments
Contact: 
Martin Hurni
email: softwind@swissonline.ch
phone: (011 41) 31 311 28 20
web: http://softwind.com

Open Monday thru Friday from 2 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. local time.
Click here for Bern, Switzerland Local Time

3. Why is it built into a saxophone?

The saxophone is a time-tested instrument.  It  is the product of 150 years of evolution by many companies and engineers to arrive at our modern ergonomic key system.  The  Yamaha YAS-275 saxophone  is a well-designed, reliable, and quality instrument that has a great key feel.  The Synthophone is an advanced wind controller, and by being inside a real sax there is  a familiar
acoustic instrument connection with the player.

4. What key is it in?

You can transpose it to Eb, Bb, or C.

5. Does a Synthophone need less air than a regular alto saxophone?

It's about the same as alto. You can program your synth if you prefer to blow more or less.

6. Do I still need reeds?

The Synthophone comes with a set of 3 reeds.  A special spring lever with a magnet is mounted on the reed.  When your reed gets old, it's an easy operation to mount the lip sensor onto another reed.
Click here for a reed setup tutorial.  You can use you own brand and strength of reed.  Synthetic reeds work well too.

7. Does it sound like a sax? Is there an acoustic sound?

The electronics are sealed inside the Synthophone.  No acoustic sax sound emanates from the bell.  The sounds come from the synthesizer that you control via MIDI.  The Patchman Turbo VL70m synth has very good sax sounds.

8. Can I use it to practice my sax repertoire silently?  How does it play compared to a real sax?

With headphones you can practice your saxophone technique, articulation and breathing without waking the baby.  Since it is a real sax, all those years of hard-earned sax practice apply.  There is no need to learn a new fingering system and ideas learned on the Synthophone translate effortlessly to saxophone.

9. Do I need a MIDI box or controller?

It comes with a power box that is also a MIDI converter.  The Synthophone would be considered a MIDI wind-controller that controls synthesizers.  You WOULD need a MIDI synthesizer or a computer that has MIDI inputs.

10. There are so many key commands, how do you learn them all?

The key commands are in a logical order.  Most of the time, you make your preferred playing settings and save it to a patch and forget about it.

11. How does the Synthophone compare to other windcontrollers?

Click here for a Comparison Table of Performance Control Features.  (opens in new window)

12. For more answers:

Randy Felts (US Rep.)  rfelts@berklee.edu

Erik Klein (webmaster)  synthophone@robosax.com

 

Synthophone Zone  1997 - 2009