Announcing ‘Aerophone Pro’

The texture and design are top-notch.

Announcing ‘Aerophone Pro'

The best wind synthesizer of our time!

AE brothers and sisters

The day I've been waiting for! The new model of Roland's Aerophone series of electronic wind instruments, the Aerophone Pro, has been announced! We'd like to tell you about the appeal and specifications of this model, which bears the name “Pro”.
The new Aerophone Pro is equipped with the latest sound sources, including not only SuperNATURAL tones, but also digital and virtual analog sound sources, all of which are fully integrated into the system (ZEN-CORE). For example, the tuning method can be set to stretch tuning (a tuning method in which the bass side is lower and the treble side is higher than the average tuning).

In the early days of wind synthesizer use (about 30 years ago), I myself mainly analog sound sources. Not long after that, digital synthesizers came into use. I was nostalgic for the thick, buoyant sound of analog synthesizers and the tones produced by their smooth waveforms.
With the development of software synthesizers, many sound sources that simulate analog synthesizers have been released, but in order to play them on a wind synthesizer, the physical wiring, such as the USB-midi connection, and the MIDI settings at the time of connection were somewhat difficult, and there was no denying the difficulty of expression.
There were certainly various hurdles to overcome in order to sublimate the wind synthesizer as an expressive “instrument.

However, the Aerophone Pro does not have to be such a hassle, you can simply select a tone and play the tones of the famous machines of the past with controls optimized for wind synthesizers, and it also supports the latest tones and freely editable tones.

tell you the truth

The Aerophone used in this song was the “Aerophone Pro” that I just received ^^;
The tone I used is the preset tone as it is, but it is completely comparable to playing with an analog synth sound source, and the presence and delicate response of the controls make it a pleasant experience.

Early Summer 2019

More than a year ago, in the early summer of 2019, I was asked by a Roland developer if I had any requests for the development of a higher-end model of the AE-10. I was asked by a Roland developer, “Do you have any requests for the development of a higher model of AE-10? Here's a list of what I had in mind.

Of these requests, circle the ones that were realized in Aerophone Pro.

Isn't it amazing! I'm really surprised!

For example, I've always wanted to be able to use a foot controller to switch tones, but I never thought I'd be able to achieve this much… Well, the things not marked with a circle are just my personal wishes, such as “I'd like a metal mouthpiece (just for looks).


The case is made of metal material, glossy plastic like lacquer coating, and keys like black nickel plating.

■Click on the image to enlarge.■

The aluminum part of the center has a hairline finish, or fine lines, which gives it an austere, matte look, rather than glittering from the diffuse reflection of light. The keys are also finished with a black nickel plating, which is common in saxophone tubes. The key layout has also been improved, with the bis key's position and shape, the front F key's position and angle, and various other minor improvements.

n the AE-10, many people felt that the right hand hold was a bit large, but the hold is more like that of the AE-05, which is smaller than the AE-10.

Reeds included are common to the AE series. Mouthpiece is compatible with AE-05.
The byte lever has a modified contact distance to the lead.

The mouthpiece is basically the same as the AE-05 (model number OP-AE05MPH), and the reed is a hard type. The bite sensor lever has been slightly modified. In addition, the close connection between the mouthpiece and the body has been strengthened to make it more stable.

The stereo speakers are still there.

Stereo monitor speakers are also alive and well.
Sleek, high-quality speakers that don't interfere with the chassis design.

The left and right speakers are embedded in the red circle in the photo, and of course they are stereo.

Back side of the body

Octave keys are easy to press!
OLED display 128 x 32
Easy to see!

The arrangement and shape of the octave keys have also been improved. +The +2 and -2 keys are now somewhat taller, and the silicon material makes them easier to press.
In addition, the weight of the main body is now about 1,1kg, which means that the thumb that presses the octave key also has some weight, which gives a sense of stability when pressing the octave key.
By the way, the two buttons on the upper left side of the octave keys (S1 and S2) can be assigned to any function, so they are very useful depending on how you use them.

The display is a high-definition (OLED) display, and the information can be seen at a glance.

Thumb lever and thumb pad
Physics knob scene list

The right hand thumb rest area has undergone significant improvements since the AE-10. First of all, the crosshairs (thumb controller) have been eliminated in favor of an up-and-down seesaw thumb lever. By default, pitch change is assigned, but other functions can be assigned as well.

In the photo above, the thumbhook was photographed in its bare form, but two rubber thumbhook covers are included here. Put on the thumbhook cover that is comfortable for you to play.

The round button is called the thumbpad, and you can assign all kinds of functions to it. You don't want to touch it too soon and trigger the function, right? So don't worry, you can set the sensitivity in 10 levels.

The physical knobs can be used to quickly select tones, but there are 287 tones in the current presets, and it is not possible to select them with just the knobs. The built-in ZEN-Core instruments are organized into “scenes”. For example, scene category 1 contains all the voices that are classified as synth hard leads. Therefore, the top knob is used to switch between scenes, and the buttons next to the display are used to select sounds within the scene. If you create your own favorite scene and use this knob to select it, you can also use the knob to call up a list of tones to use for each song.

Tones are grouped by scene, as shown in this image.

20/12/8 現在





The transpose knob, as the name implies, can be used to transpose, but you can also use this button to transpose, set it for each tone, or even set the tonality for each scene.

MIDI IN/OUT has been implemented.

Built-in MIDI IN/OUT jacks
The Aerophone Pro can be used to control an external MIDI sound source or a MIDI foot controller (such as the Roland FC-300), allowing you to perform a variety of operations from the foot controller, including tone switching. The Aerophone Pro's built-in sound source is completely separate from the external controller, and different controls can be assigned to each. The Aerophone Pro's built-in sound source is completely separate from the external controller, and different controls can be assigned to each. 8 breath controls, 4 bite controls, etc. can be assigned to multiple MIDI messages and functions.

The battery is a rechargeable AA NiMH battery. Nominal run time is 6 hours.

Main body side

The headphone jack and the OUT PUT jack are now separate!
See the bottom photo for the OUT PUT jack.

It can be powered by the included AC adapter or batteries (rechargeable AA batteries x 6). Basically, when you turn on the power, Bluetooth is also turned on. The MIDI control switch switches the newly added MIDI IN/OUT terminals on and off.
The earphone jack uses a mini stereo phone jack.

By connecting to a PC, you can control software sound sources running on the computer, or transmit audio (AE-Pro performance sound) to a DAW with a single cable

output pin
System to hold the shield

The OUTPUT jack is a standard stereo phone jack. In addition, a clip system is provided at the bottom of the main unit to prevent the shield from falling off (it can hold up to two shields).

Comes with a shoulder case

The AE-Pro, which is slightly longer than the soprano saxophone, comes with its own case. It's a rather large case, big enough to hold the AE-10 in the outer pocket.

I guess it's important to note that the strap is not included.

Basically, anyone who plays the saxophone has a strap, and I think it's better to use a strap you're comfortable with, so I don't have a problem with it not being included, but if you're going to use the AE-Pro as your first instrument, please buy a strap with it!
I mean… in my personal request form above, I wrote myself, ‘I'll use my own strap, so maybe it doesn't have to be the pro model'… ^^;

The onboard sound source is amazing!

The AE-10, the top-of-the-line model to date, was equipped with Roland's Integra-7 synthesizer sound source. The Aerophone Pro also features SuperNATURAL tones, but with a more advanced ZEN-CORE synthesis system.

What is ZEN-CORE sound source?

The Aerophone Pro is equipped with the same sound chip as the latest FANTOM keyboard. The tone (tone) on board is optimized for AE, fully compatible with Aerophone's various sensors such as bite sensor and breath sensor.

Roland's ZEN-Core Synthesis System takes the sounds that Roland has been creating for nearly half a century to a new level of edibility in both hardware and software. With the ZEN-Core system, you can now play the sounds you want, in the medium you want. The ZEN-Core system, which can be used with both DAWs and compatible hardware, allows you to play the sounds you want on the medium you want, and with the regular addition of Sound Packs and new extensions, you can create sounds faster and create new and different sounds.

In a nutshell, this means that you can use all of the various sound source technologies that have been cultivated over the history of Roland synthesizers in this one unit! That is to say…

Editor application provides full access to the ZEN-Core system.

The AE-Pro Editor, which will be released at the same time, supports all ZEN-Core system parameters!
It offers infinite possibilities for tone editing and tone creation, as well as infinite possibilities for future tone additions.

The editor makes it easy to switch between tones on the unit, so you can use it to switch tones when practicing or during a song.

The editor looks difficult, but don't worry!

The Aerophone Pro ZEN-Core system offers infinite possibilities for editing and creating tones, but most people are probably a little hesitant to learn about it because of the knowledge required.
But don't worry! You will not feel any inconvenience in your performance with the nearly 300 tones that are included from the beginning! This is because all of the built-in tones have been configured with ZEN-Core system parameters optimized for Aerophone PRO. That's right, performers can focus on expressing themselves. And don't worry, all the voices that will be added in the future will also be delivered with settings optimized for Aerophone PRO.

The on-board FX is also a bad idea.

The Aerophone Pro ZEN-Core system's FX (effects that add a variety of effects to the tone) can add a very dense resolution to the tone. For example, the reverb (an effect that expands the sound) gives you the feeling of playing in a very natural and beautiful sounding environment. It's also worth mentioning that you can apply several different FX at the same time, depending on the settings, with a quality comparable to that of a very expensive processor.

On a side note…

Well, it may seem obvious that the FX are amazing since the latest instruments are installed. It may seem obvious, but you see, in the old days, you had to buy a separate processor for reverb in addition to the wind synthesizer. For example, the popular SPX90 by Y was cheap at the time!
Roland has a lot of FX technology cultivated through the development of their synthesizers, and it's possible to use it directly in the case… It's a great time to be alive.

Release date and price

Scheduled to go on sale in mid-January 2021.

Price 150,000 yen (excluding tax) ※In Japan

A simple comparison of successive generations of Aerophones

(Aerophone GO)
(Aerophone MINI)
AE-Pro [AE-30]
Year of release2016201820192021
Built-in sound sourceSuper NATURAL
PCMPCMZEN-Core sound source
(Digital Virtual Analog Drums)
Same as FANTOM.
Super NATURAL Acoustic
toneMain unit preset number 129 tones
USER tone registration 100 tones
Number of presets: 11 tones
Physical knob selection
Software sound source in dedicated app 50
Number of presets: 6 tones
Physical knob selection
Software sound source in dedicated app 50
More than 280 tones
(As of Dec. 8, 2008)
key layoutSaxophone
hight Without F# key, shared with F tr key
hight with F# key
hight with F# key
physical buttonTone switch knob
Tone selector knob
Scene/favorite switching knob
Scene/Favorite switch knob *Priority can be changed by internal setting
Physical Button
(Other settings available)
thumb controllerS1/S2 button
(A wide variety of functions can be assigned.)
Thumb Pad
(Various functions can be assigned. 10 levels of sensitivity can be set)
Thumb Lever
(A variety of functions can be assigned.)
thumb controllerJoystick cross key system
(Various assignments can be made to L/R)
Seesaw type up/down lever
(A wide variety of functions can be assigned.)
Thumb pad
(Various functions can be assigned. 10 levels of sensitivity can be set.)
Sound Range
(based on key layout)
Excluding octave shifts in tones.
About 7 octavesAbout 3 octavesAbout 2 octavesAbout 7 octaves
LCDDot display
Delicate white text display
(OLED display 128 x 32)
Byte Controller
Parameter batch setting formula

Physical switch ON/OFF type

Parameter setting type
Flexible settings for each tone, each scene, etc.
Can be set flexibly
Automatic sensitivity setting mode available
MIDI IN/OUTAvailable
(When a MIDI foot controller is connected, tone switching is possible.
MIDI settings for internal and external sound sources are sent completely independently.
(8 breath controls, 4 byte controls, etc.)
4 byte controls, etc.
Multiple MIDI messages and functions can be assigned.
multiple assignments)
USBUSB2.0 Type-BMicro USB Type-BMicro USB Type-BUSB Type-C
AppsUSB Connection
Editor only
Bluetooth connection
Main unit settings, software sound source, practice assistance functions
Bluetooth connection
Main unit settings, software sound source, practice assistance functions
Bluetooth connection
ZEN-CORE fully compatible editor
Remote control of tone switching
Power supply6 rechargeable NiMH AA batteries
or AC adapter
4 rechargeable NiMH AA batteries
or USB power supply
4 rechargeable NiMH AA batteries
or USB power supply
Rechargeable NiMH
AA batteries 6 pcs.
(6 hours operation)
AC adapter
(including battery)


Recently, AKAI, YAMAHA, and even niche companies have been announcing new wind synthesizer products one after another. The wind synthesizer industry, which until a few years ago was an endangered species, has suddenly become more and more exciting, and I think the huge success of the AE-10 has had some influence on this.
To be honest, every time a new product was announced by a company, I wished that they would announce a new model of the Aerophon sooner, but the Corona disaster had an impact on many fields. Well, I'm really relieved that it was announced like this.

Since I received it, I've been really impressed with the level of perfection of the Aerophone Pro. First of all, the analog modeling tone from the ZEN-Core sound source produces a dense, buttery sound, and the super natural acoustic has a more natural behavior after you breathe in, and the sound is more vivid. It's all in this cool box, and the FX (effects) are flexible. You can even edit tones as much as you want… Well, all the tones are already set up so that you can use them as they are in their preset state without editing, but once you start touching them, it's a lot of fun.

When you see the Aerophone Pro in stores, you should pick it up. Just check out the texture and sound quality, you'll be amazed!


『Aerophone Pro』:

『Aerophone Pro Editor』: