It's Mr Cockerell. Chris, as you say, did the software/OS.
Chris went to
Novation about halfway through the S5/6000 dev but there was a bit of an overlap just out
of common decency.
David did a lot of Akai's hardware from samplers to disk
recorders. He also did that odd little phrase trainer thing ... almost literally on a
napkin in a restaurant meeting with the chaps from Japan R+D!! So while the others were
chomping down on their dim sum and crispy duck, he designed a real time timestretcher!
Clever, clever bloke!
And yes, the S612 was originally six ElectroHarmonix
'Memory Man' delay/loopers strapped together to create a simple 6-voice sampler. It was
hawked around various big Japanese MI manufacturers at the time and, not naming names, was
turned down because (and I kind of quote) "We see no future for sampling"!!
a Mr Tamaki, head of R+D with this new little company in dingy little offices just outside
Kawasaki saw the potential and took it on. David then did the legendary S900. The rest, as
they say, is history.
The S612 is still a great piece of kit for dead noddy,
simple sampling - just banging a sound in there and playing it instantly without all the
complexities of multi-sampling, velocity zones, etc.. And front panel knobbage for
editing. Sounded damned good too. I know quite a few pros who still have them in their
racks and use them regularly.
Akai were damned innovative in their time and Mr
Tamaki and David had a great relationship. Mr Tamaki would spot some new technology or a
new chipset or something and would ask David if it had potential - next thing you knew,
David had designed a new product! And when I say "next thing you knew" I mean a day or two
One of this industry's great unsung heroes. People talk of Bob Moog,
Tom Oberheim, Dave Smith, etc., but David should be up there in pantheon of great
innovators - the man was dabbling with digital synthesis and sampling on a PDP8 mainframe
back in 1967 FFS! And designed possibly the quirkiest (and best looking) synths of all
I cut my synthesist teeth on that thing!
/ Music Lab Machines