Electronic Valve Instrument [EVI]
- Hugh Davies
- , revised by Kevin Patton
Electronic wind instrument that controls a synthesizer. It was developed by the American composer and trumpeter Nyle A. Steiner (b American Fork, UT, 20 April 1945) and manufactured by Steiner–Parker in Salt Lake City between 1975 and 1980, and thereafter by Crumar in Italy (until 1984), and then by Music Technology in Garden City Park, New York. In 1986 the rights to the EVI were sold to Akai who produced it and developed new models until 1990, when commercial production was discontinued. Steiner continues to make custom EVIs. Steiner is also the inventor of the Electronic Woodwind Instrument.
The EVI can be thought of as an electronic trumpet because it is designed to allow the player to imitate trumpet fingerings, though this description is perhaps less apposite to later models in which the three right-hand valves have been replaced by touch-sensitive controls. The tube mouthpiece contains sensors that measure air pressure in real time, making it possible to sense the player’s articulations. The instrument has a seven-octave range, which is obtained by means of two additional controls operated by the left hand: a seven-position cylinder (one position per octave) is rotated, and a fourth valve mounted on the cylinder permits the production of a full chromatic scale. Five (originally three) control voltages produced by the instrument affect the operation of an associated synthesizer unit: they control pitch, envelope, vibrato, pitch-bend, and portamento. Timbres (including those of several wind instruments) are controlled on the synthesizer unit....