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Mud on the road
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Checking Akai S950 ram
      #977545 - 22/03/12 05:50 PM
Hi forum,
half of the ram in my fully expanded Akai S950 is no longer work. I have been moving the unit around a bit so I am hoping its just come unseated or the contacts need cleaning. As I did not install the added ram myself I have no idea which screws etc,to undo, and where the ram is located. I have been searching the internet for a PDF or info on how to install ram in this unit but could find nothing. As the S950 is a later version of the S900,any info about doing this should be the same as for both units. Can anybody help.

Regards

Peter


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Richie Royale



Joined: 12/09/06
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #977585 - 22/03/12 09:18 PM
This shows the inside of an S950, but I cannot see where the memory is!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/equaliser/4004500334/in/set-72157622567849036 /

This shows the ram expansion on its own.

http://www.mpchunter.com/s950/akai-s950-memory-expansion/

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ken long



Joined: 21/01/08
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #977588 - 22/03/12 09:40 PM
On start up, the 900 will display available memory. However, this will be in kilo words.

So, for example, on start up, my 950 displays 1536KW.

hth

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Mud on the road
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: ken long]
      #977609 - 22/03/12 11:31 PM
Thanks for the info and pictures.
I bought the unit new from a shop and they installed the extra ram. Therefore I do not know the best way to get in the unit to check the ram. Any suggestions.


Peter


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Richie Royale



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #977652 - 23/03/12 08:32 AM
It will be simple to open up. Just unscrew the screws around the case and lift of the grey top cover. As Ken has pointed out, what Kwords are available?

1536Kwords = 2.25MB
1024Kwords = 1.5MB
512Kwords = 0.72MB

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ken long



Joined: 21/01/08
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #977673 - 23/03/12 10:02 AM
Quote Mud on the road:

Thanks for the info and pictures.
I bought the unit new from a shop and they installed the extra ram. Therefore I do not know the best way to get in the unit to check the ram. Any suggestions.




Well, my suggestion was to check the RAM at start up. That way you'll know how much is being accessed. Then you can physically inspect. Here's a thread from another forum with more info about locating the RAM:

http://www.mpc-forums.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=152812

The RAM is circled in Red

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa18/Petepipe/RAM.jpg

AS you can see, there are many points to check for Bad RAM. I don't think this is a seatign issue as they are all soldered to the board.

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Edited by ken long (23/03/12 10:12 AM)


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Richie Royale



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #977693 - 23/03/12 10:40 AM
That is the S900 though isn't it, which has fixed memory. I've never opened my S950 and it sits at the bottom of a pile of other racks, so I can't exactly get into mine easily. Mine has 1024Kwords, so there is a presumably an expansion card in it, but having looked at the Flikr set above, it seems that one has the same amount of RAM, but no obvious expansion in it.

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Chaconne



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #977815 - 23/03/12 04:21 PM
I remember installing the RAM myself - but that was a long time ago. I am pretty sure that there was a panel that could be removed from the bottom on the machine, and the RAM was on cards that stood up like the cards you put in a P.C. I cant see the bottom of mine, (being on the bottom!) but this is what I can remember...

( I found the manual - type written with hand drawn diagrams ! - was it that long ago?)

Mine has been known to have hissy fits, and loose its memory, but checking the start up it always seams to return.

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vinyl_junkie
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #977871 - 23/03/12 07:33 PM
I'm not very familiar with the S-950 but I have found a picture of the RAM expansion if that helps, to me it looks very very similar to the one fitted into the MPC-60



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ken long



Joined: 21/01/08
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Richie Royale]
      #977883 - 23/03/12 09:29 PM
Quote Richie Royale:

That is the S900 though isn't it, which has fixed memory..




Yes, that's right. I misread OP's post. I thought he was talking about a 900. VJ, don't think they are the same though look similar.

OP, check the KW on startup. If it's 1536, you have max RAM. if it's less and you've got the expansion (will be separate board like VJ's picture), then try reseating the card is all I can suggest. If you're in there take some pics and post them up, it might help. I'm replacing displays on both of mine in April. So I can take pictures then

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Mud on the road
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: ken long]
      #977895 - 23/03/12 11:47 PM
Thanks everybody for the help.
I have looked on the bottom of the unit and they is a massive plate you can unscrew.
I tested the ram on starting up the unit and got the message Bad ICL1. Showing only 512 Kwords when starting the unit instead of the full amount. I will open the unit over the weekend and see how I get on. Will post some pictures.

Regards

Peter


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Mud on the road
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram. Pictures of ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #978291 - 26/03/12 08:14 PM
Hi All,
sorted out the S950. The ram had come unseated. Got all the 1536Kwords back. Pictures show the bottom of the S950 with the plate in place and removed. Ram is at the upper right hand side. Thanks everybody for the help.

Regards


Peter

OK. How do I attach the pictures to the post.


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Richie Royale



Joined: 12/09/06
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #978334 - 27/03/12 07:54 AM
I'm glad you got it sorted out.

You can upload pictures to photobucket and then link here using the img code.

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Chaconne



Joined: 21/02/05
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #978535 - 27/03/12 04:24 PM
So ya'all - whatcha still using old akais' for?

Just curious - cant decide if I'm keeping mine for sentimental reasons, I mean 1.5 meg - woohoo - and thats fully stuffed!

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Richie Royale



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #978555 - 27/03/12 06:36 PM
I tend to stick drums or anything that I want to dirty up through my old samplers. It is a huge effects processor! I tend to just sample and then record the samples back into Cubase, cut it up and then import into Battery. It isn't the same sound as a bit crusher/sample rate reduction plug in. I have a dodgy Cheetah sampler which gives the most crunchy aliasing at low sample rates and does something even more destructive if you use the built in reverse option.

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ken long



Joined: 21/01/08
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Chaconne]
      #978563 - 27/03/12 07:35 PM
Quote Chaconne:

So ya'all - whatcha still using old akais' for?

Just curious - cant decide if I'm keeping mine for sentimental reasons, I mean 1.5 meg - woohoo - and thats fully stuffed!




Cause they're fun as hell.

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DGL.



Joined: 28/10/11
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Chaconne]
      #978571 - 27/03/12 08:04 PM
1.5MB?? my Roland s-330 has 750k (un-expandable) Ram! (and only a maximum of half that can be used per sample). But then again it does have the D-50's TVF's One of the best filters every do endow a sampler.


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ken long



Joined: 21/01/08
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #978574 - 27/03/12 08:16 PM
750K? luxury. My SP has 384Kbytes ahahahha!!!

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vinyl_junkie
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Chaconne]
      #978577 - 27/03/12 08:28 PM
Quote Chaconne:

So ya'all - whatcha still using old akais' for?

Just curious - cant decide if I'm keeping mine for sentimental reasons, I mean 1.5 meg - woohoo - and thats fully stuffed!




I'll take it off your hands

Nah I'm stuck on using old Akai's for everything, I'm very comfortable with using these old dinosaurs and quicker with them than their software equivalents oh and fun.

Still use the 3200XL and MPC-2000XL oh and a Ensoniq EPS-16+. I'd love a MPC-60, borrowed my mates for a while which made my lust for wanting one even more... So I want this sampling drum machine right? And don't have a lot of money.. So I then went out and blew close to £1k on a vintage dj mixer from 1976 and that's before I service it hahaha I'm a tit Mind most of the cash came from selling my Urei that I had before this Bozak..

But it sounds really nice lol


Edited by vinyl_junkie (27/03/12 08:47 PM)


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ken long



Joined: 21/01/08
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #978586 - 27/03/12 09:23 PM
yeah, but a Bozak is a Bozak and I'd love to own one.

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Chaconne



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #978588 - 27/03/12 09:26 PM
Yeah it can toughen up a riff if its a bit 'soft synthy', and err...

I guess one or two elements find there way into some tracks, but I'm not sure its vital. On the other hand its a nice looking machine, and worth nothing really so it stays. I think if I did the mod to replace the drive with a card reader, and it had a good selection of kits ready to go it would feel like it was earning its keep - but floppies - it seams a bit embarrasing now!

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Richie Royale



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #978655 - 28/03/12 08:54 AM
Get the Bozack!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPTxBeVeyhY

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vinyl_junkie
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #978671 - 28/03/12 10:24 AM






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Richie Royale



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #978680 - 28/03/12 10:55 AM
Very nice. You had the Urei 1620 before didn't you? An original or re-issue? Presumably you prefer the Bozak?

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hollowsun



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Chaconne]
      #978682 - 28/03/12 11:01 AM
Quote Chaconne:

( I found the manual - type written with hand drawn diagrams ! - was it that long ago?)



Yep.

I wrote that on an Amstrad PCW8256...



And had to hand draw the diagrams!!!

This was after the S900 was released - Akai UK were embarrassed by the four-page (ahem) 'manual' that shipped with the 900 so asked me to do something a bit more comprehensive. They sent it to customers who asked for more details on sampling and operation.

Then Akai Japan got wind of it and (I think) shipped it with subsequent production runs and as the S900 and S950 were essentially identical, it was (I think) used for the S950 as well with an addendum, errrmmm, added to describe the extra features (higher sampling rates and expanded memory).

This was 26 years or so ago!! There are probably people here raving about a 12-bit, 8-voice (at best) sampler that's actually older than they are!

Happy days!

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chris...
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Richie Royale]
      #978683 - 28/03/12 11:05 AM
Quote Richie Royale:

does something even more destructive if you use the built in reverse option.



Blimey. It's trivial to implement the perfect reverse function - just write the sample values out back to front. This is clearly not destructive in any way. Not exactly rocket surgery.

Amazing if the early samplers managed to f*** this up!




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Richie Royale



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: chris...]
      #978691 - 28/03/12 11:19 AM
Quote chris...:

Quote Richie Royale:

does something even more destructive if you use the built in reverse option.



Blimey. It's trivial to implement the perfect reverse function - just write the sample values out back to front. This is clearly not destructive in any way. Not exactly rocket surgery.

Amazing if the early samplers managed to f*** this up!







Indeed, this is what one would expect, however the Cheetah really does something weird. It seems to change the pitch as well as add more aliasing noise. I guess the guys at Cheetah were more adept at making joysticks than samplers (and a good synth apparently, the MS6). I also have their MS800! What a bizarre product.

I'll post up a clip if I can (and if it is still working, not been powered on in a while! )

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vinyl_junkie
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Richie Royale]
      #978692 - 28/03/12 11:19 AM
Quote Richie Royale:

Very nice. You had the Urei 1620 before didn't you? An original or re-issue? Presumably you prefer the Bozak?




I prev had the re-issue 1620 which I brought new, not all that compared to the original imo... Really noisy too, I know the original is a bit hissy but this was taking the p*ss. The sound was very hard in the mids too, top end not that nice either.

The Bozak is lovely, all class a discrete circuitry. It's a lot quieter than the Urei and the sound with music (especially music with real instruments and propper production) has a very nice quality to it.
It has quite a big musical bottom end, not sure if that's just the eq out of calibration though.
The mic pre's totally wipe the floor with my studio desk (32ch Mackie VLZ pro thing) they also have nice BeyerDynamic transformers on the inputs which also give a bit of gain.

I got 8 sets of NOS ALPS RK-40's to fit to it as it still has the horrible Allen & Bradley pots fitted like all early Bozak's. I'm having it fully re-capped with ELNA caps and fitting one of these to it which will bring the SNR of the phono inputs to a nice 83 dB
http://www.isonoe.com/custom-equipment.html

Not really the best example but here is a quick clip of it playing a old disco record
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vEJYo12Dh0&list=UU0ysg8Om_zET-YzX9lUZh ZQ&index=1&feature=plcp

Can't wait to have it serviced


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Richie Royale



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #978710 - 28/03/12 12:07 PM
The Urei sounds a bit crap for a grand mixer then! I bought the cheap two channel Urei DJ mixer which I think is alright, but has very little gain on the channel gains.

I'm sure the Bozak wil be amazing once the pots and caps are sorted out.

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Chaconne



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #978768 - 28/03/12 05:59 PM
@ Hollowsun

Thats really interesting. My S950 with 8 mono outs into a mixer and some alesis outboard is all I had at first, so I knew the Akai inside out - and it was a good manual - it seamed written for the 'power user'! I squeezed every drop out of it and it kick started what modest success I have had with music.

Thats the reason really I cant ditch it - it wold seam so undignified, to get what - £150? A plug in? I'll probably keep it until I cant lift it!!!

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Richie Royale



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #978773 - 28/03/12 06:36 PM
As mentioned above here is a short example of how my SX16 messes with the playback if you use the reverse option on the front panel. Even with the Soundcloud encoding, you can here the crunch on the third track compared to the second. Both are the same sample, but the second has been played back from the front panel and then reversed in Cubase.

http://soundcloud.com/richie-royale/sets/sx16-example

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hollowsun



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Chaconne]
      #978777 - 28/03/12 07:12 PM
Quote Chaconne:

@ Hollowsun

Thats really interesting. My S950 with 8 mono outs into a mixer and some alesis outboard is all I had at first, so I knew the Akai inside out - and it was a good manual - it seamed written for the 'power user'! I squeezed every drop out of it and it kick started what modest success I have had with music.





The S900/950 was a cracking piece of kit in its way (and its day) - pretty much a Fairlight for a 10th of the price. And, of course, its release coincided with the Atari which was a marriage made in heaven back in 1986.

I take your point about selling it (or not, as the case may be). If you like it, get on well with it and it has a use for you, then yes ... keep on doing what you're doing and good luck to you - more power to your elbow.

Glad you liked my (ahem) 'manual'. Yes - it WAS aimed at those who wanted to coax more out of their S900, know more about sampling in general, etc.. The original 4-pager was just a joke but Akai were very young back then (roughly two years old by the time the S900 came out) and finding their feet so some leeway should be afforded them.

It always makes me smile all these years on to see there's still love for all the old Akai sampling gear I had a hand in.

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ken long



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Chaconne]
      #978778 - 28/03/12 07:28 PM
Quote Chaconne:

£150?




Recent eBay sales in the US have seen them go for $500 on average... crazy.

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ken long



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #978782 - 28/03/12 07:39 PM
look - dogged, no SCSI, and standard RAM $599 and 3 offers.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Akai-S950-s-950-12-bit-rack-Sampler-vintage-DEAL ER-/140727484561?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20c4030091#ht_1114wt_1184

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Chaconne



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #978785 - 28/03/12 08:05 PM
Ha - I was just looking at a few ads in the back of SOS. I'll keep a check on ebay then, I mean maybe that sentimentality might melt away!!!

( i see someone hoping for £150 just for the 750K RAM!)

@ Hollowsun 'a fairlight at 1/10th the price - ' thats a good description of how I felt. It seamed a limitless machine to me at the time.

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vinyl_junkie
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #978787 - 28/03/12 08:47 PM
The S2800 was my first sampler and loved it, great manual too. It pretty much taught me sampling. Probs the most overlooked thing on it was the "help" button but I thought it was cool.
The 8meg Memory expansion though was almost as much as the sampler hahah

Edited by vinyl_junkie (28/03/12 09:03 PM)


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ken long



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Chaconne]
      #978793 - 28/03/12 09:59 PM
Quote Chaconne:

Yeah it can toughen up a riff if its a bit 'soft synthy', and err...

I guess one or two elements find there way into some tracks, but I'm not sure its vital. On the other hand its a nice looking machine, and worth nothing really so it stays. I think if I did the mod to replace the drive with a card reader, and it had a good selection of kits ready to go it would feel like it was earning its keep - but floppies - it seams a bit embarrasing now!




Floppy emulating card reader takes this baby into the 21st century. Hahaha.






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Chaconne



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #978794 - 28/03/12 10:25 PM
OK - thats pretty cool.

I have looked over that site and considered this - its not a bad price - but the site is a bit confusing.

Can you put stuff on the SD card from a computer, or does it save things only from the S950 memory?

Plus, what do you do, fill it up, save the data / programs, then clear the memory for another load etc? If you dont mind answering a couple of queries here publicly it might interest others...?

Thanks

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ken long



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Chaconne]
      #978851 - 29/03/12 08:52 AM
Quote Chaconne:



Can you put stuff on the SD card from a computer, or does it save things only from the S950 memory?




No and yes. The card will act exactly like a floppy. You create a 950 disk image for the card. You save to the card as you would a normal floppy except that you obviously now have a great deal more storage on a single card.

Quote:

Plus, what do you do, fill it up, save the data / programs, then clear the memory for another load etc? If you dont mind answering a couple of queries here publicly it might interest others...?





No problem... That's not my machine but I've done this to another sampler of mine. You can sample / load as much as your sample time permits (i think 26 seconds on full 2.25MB, IIRC). I'm not sure if you can create partitions on the card but as you mention, you can offload the card contents to your PC for a more permanent archival storage.

So 2 real advantages:

1. no longer need to store many floppies (which fail).

2. flexible archival tool for projects.

and of course, the ability to share your project with someone else without mailing them the floppies!

On my 3000, I also use a CF solution but via the SCSI. It allows me to edit my audio ona PC, then convert it to the sampler's format, load it onto a CF card and into the unit. I have 32 partitions on a 1GB card which I can pick and choose samples from or load entiore programs. It really saves so much time and allows me to back up my projects easily.

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chris...
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Chaconne]
      #978869 - 29/03/12 10:02 AM
Quote Chaconne:

Can you put stuff on the SD card from a computer



No.

Quote:

or does it save things only from the S950 memory?



That.


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Pitchfork
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: chris...]
      #979948 - 03/04/12 04:36 PM
Not to drift off the post, I have also just scored an s950!

In good nick with 1024kwords? - 1.5mb? It will go nicely with my S3200.

I am hoping to use the 950 as an fx unit to grunge up some VST's and the like, as well as loops


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vinyl_junkie
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #979978 - 03/04/12 07:43 PM
I really don't get the grunge thing with these 12 bit things... Not to sh*t on any ones bonfire but I think it's one of the most over rated things ever.
When you say grunge first thing that comes to mind is this


I've had MPC-60's and they sound nothing but nice..

Edited by vinyl_junkie (03/04/12 07:58 PM)


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vinyl_junkie
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #979987 - 03/04/12 09:22 PM
Have a listen for yourself

http://soundcloud.com/fromafarawayplace/sets/sampler-shootout/

There are much better samplers out there to "dirty" up the sound than the poor ol' 950 which imo is a good clean sounding sampler..

Edited by vinyl_junkie (03/04/12 09:26 PM)


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johnny h



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: vinyl_junkie]
      #979990 - 03/04/12 09:59 PM
Quote vinyl_junkie:

Have a listen for yourself

http://soundcloud.com/fromafarawayplace/sets/sampler-shootout/

There are much better samplers out there to "dirty" up the sound than the poor ol' 950 which imo is a good clean sounding sampler..




The dirt is in the aliasing when you tune the samples


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vinyl_junkie
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: johnny h]
      #979991 - 03/04/12 10:01 PM
Quote johnny h:

Quote vinyl_junkie:

Have a listen for yourself

http://soundcloud.com/fromafarawayplace/sets/sampler-shootout/

There are much better samplers out there to "dirty" up the sound than the poor ol' 950 which imo is a good clean sounding sampler..




The dirt is in the aliasing when you tune the samples




It still sounds clean, if it's anything like the MPC-60 it sounds damn good.. The SP-1200 on the other hand now there's filth, it's like a ring modulator or something.

To be honest the S-3000 sounds worse than the MPC-60... The further you transpose the more muffled the sound gets and it starts becoming like mush, sounds cr*p. It's not gritty/dirty in a nice way imo where's the SP is.

The MPC-60 stays clean and I couldn't really hear any obvious aliasing when transposing, the kicks retain that punch and clarity whilst on the S-3000 you loose punch, fidelity and the will to live.

It could have something to do with this (taken from a SOS article)

"A good sampler should use high-quality interpolation algorithms that are far kinder on samples, even when they are transposed in either direction some distance from their base pitch. As samplers developed, though, the progression wasn't always smooth — for example, the Akai S1000 and S1100 used so-called 'eight-point windowed sinc interpolation', which was a good algorithm allowing a good deal of transposition in either direction, and which introduced artefacts only with extreme transpositions. But the later S2000 and S3000 family used linear interpolation, one of the most basic methods available, as a cost-cutting exercise to make the range of samplers more affordable. In practice, this meant that samples couldn't be transposed too far away from their base pitch without transposition artefacts being heard (a kind of metallic 'mush'). In my experience, hardware samplers seem to handle transposition better than software ones, perhaps because hardware samplers have dedicated circuitry built into them devoted to interpolation, and maybe also because the software that drives this hardware will often be written in the lowest level of machine code to ensure optimal performance under all circumstances, unlike the software interpolation 'emulators' responsible for transposition in a software sampler. Of course, low-quality interpolation will have no effect on recordings when they are played at their sampled pitch, but the usefulness of a sampler is reduced if it can't transpose audio too far away from its original pitch."



Edited by vinyl_junkie (03/04/12 10:13 PM)


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vinyl_junkie
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #979997 - 03/04/12 10:22 PM
Did a how to chop a sample video on the mpc-60 where I sample a record at 45rpm then slow it down in the sampler.. I know the vid is kinda crappy quality but I can't hear any extra grit when I'm dropping that sample down the octaves

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u4m5qZhX7M&feature=autoplay&list=U U0ysg8Om_zET-YzX9lUZhZQ&lf=plcp&playnext=2

What I will say though is the 60 takes out a bit of bottom end when sampling, this was very clear when I sampled some SH-101 and replayed it back on some speakers that can play low..
Transposing the sample down gave you back this low end in a really nice way without making it muddy.. Being a S-3x man this really is something lovely


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hollowsun



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: vinyl_junkie]
      #980003 - 03/04/12 11:42 PM
Quote vinyl_junkie:

It could have something to do with this (taken from a SOS article)

"A good sampler should use high-quality interpolation algorithms that are far kinder on samples....



From 'The lost art of sampling' wot I writ!


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vinyl_junkie
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: hollowsun]
      #980004 - 04/04/12 12:02 AM
Quote hollowsun:

Quote vinyl_junkie:

It could have something to do with this (taken from a SOS article)

"A good sampler should use high-quality interpolation algorithms that are far kinder on samples....



From <a href="/sos/sep05/articles/lostscience.htm" target="_blank">'The lost art of sampling' </a>wot I writ!




Damn fine read that mate!

Although it still bugs me at night that they cheeped out on the S-3000 series lol (I'm sad :-)

Were the XL's any different to the non XL models in the way they transposed samples etc?


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Pitchfork
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: vinyl_junkie]
      #980016 - 04/04/12 07:25 AM
Quote vinyl_junkie:



Were the XL's any different to the non XL models in the way they transposed samples etc?




I read and I think Hollowsun mentioned (I could be wrong?) that the Akai S3000, S3200 and S3200XL were the same, but the smaller 3000XL was made in a different country and sounded different?

There are thousands of posts now about the non-XL vs XL, and as an owner of the original S3000 3u (since sold) and now owner of the S3200XL 3u, (same as you VJ ) I can't really tell much difference?

Edited by Pitchfork (04/04/12 07:25 AM)


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vinyl_junkie
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #980084 - 04/04/12 11:13 AM
Coolio Think you'll like the 950. I know it's odd but I loved not having a waveform display on the MPC-60! The one on the MPC-2000XL is the worst, having to wait for the waveform to buffer.. proper lame!! Especially considered you don't have this issue on the rack samplers

The closest thing I had to the original S-3000 was a S-2800 which was pretty much the same thing other than the amount of ram it could take, outputs and physical size.

It's been too long to remember how it sounded the only thing I can remember is if you sampled with the backlight on you would have a very slight high pitch whine in your samples.


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Chaconne



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #980263 - 04/04/12 11:32 PM
You raise some interesting points V.J.

I would say that the S950 is actually quite 'nice', but indeed it does subtract bass. I would hesitate to use it now for sampling nice analogue synths.

I find it gives a sort of 'glassy' texture to samples - making the sound a little distant. The other thing it seams to do is hype the mid range a bit, and add attack to dynamic samples. A way to hear this is to sample a riff using chords from a soft synth, something a bit stabby say, and on playback it will have more body and attack - almost like it has been through a compressor.

But I agree, there is very little grain or dirt on anything recorded on an S950 - but it does make the sound slightly hard in some way. If you listen to say Peter Gabriel records from the 80's you can hear how lots of low grade sampling actually makes for quite a rough mix. Those early digital 80's albums sound quite harsh. Once you get to the next generation - by the S1000 - things sound a lot smoother - house records from the period sound quite analog, rather than grainy.

One good trick with the S950 is to make a tiny loop, until the buzzing makes a note, and then use that for a dirty electro side chain bass. Bit of trial and error for the right sample, but any bit of complex audio will generally do - MONSTER!!!

--------------------



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Agricultural Grunge



Joined: 10/10/13
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Richie Royale]
      #1069801 - 10/10/13 10:47 PM
I'm on the verge of installing some extra ram for one of my S950s. I've opened up the bottom panel. I'm assuming I just place the ram modules on the raised panels on the bottom left? I was looking for a tutorial or some documentation on installing memory but couldn't find anything. I know these things are built like a tank but don't want to damage anything.

As a few of you have maxed out your s950, anyone able to post step by step idiots guide.

Also where can pick up some fixing nuts for these, I don't want the memory to come lose like the original post.

Thanks in advance.


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hollowsun



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: vinyl_junkie]
      #1069814 - 11/10/13 05:51 AM
Sorry - lost track of this thread until it resurrected today.

Quote vinyl_junkie:

Damn fine read that mate!





Glad you liked it

Quote vinyl_junkie:

Were the XL's any different to the non XL models in the way they transposed samples etc?



Please bear in mind that it was a long time ago - you might not even have been born when these things came out!!

The S900 (like the Fairlight and other early samplers) used a variable sample rate such that when you played, you were actually 'playing' the sample clock . . . much like just speeding up/slowing down a tape recorder.

Later Akai samplers used interpolation such that some chip in there did some clever sh!t where, if transposed down, the sampler (very cleverly) fills in the gaps and if transposed up, the sampler (very carefully) removes samples. All modern samplers use interpolation. But there are various types of interpolation. The S2000 and S3000 and derivatives (including XLs) used (as I recall) second order linear interpolation which is kind of basic but not too expensive implement (read 'cost effective' ... which is the thing when you're designing to a price point). The S1000 and S1100 used better interpolation (3rd order sinc ??) and the S5/6000 used high quality LaGrange interpolation.

All this means in practice is that samples taken in and S2000, 2800, 3000 and XL variation will sound gunkier when transposed to extremes ... but that can be part of the appeal, however! The S1000 has better interpolation meaning things transpose better BUT...

The envelopes weren't de-zippered, hence the 'thhhrrrrp' you can get with bass sounds and others that don't have sufficient HF to mask it.

If you want a bit more dirty laundry (I don't suppose it matters now), the S900/950 was only nominally 8-voice - with extreme upwards transposition, 6-voices or less!!

Quote:

Although it still bugs me at night that they cheeped out on the S-3000 series



Well... a moot point. They didn't "cheap out" as such - they just tried to simplify production and make stuff more 'affordable' ... at the time. I was there at the at the time and there was no conspiracy - it was a reasonable compromise ... at the time given the technology. Old ROMplers were the same (or worse).

Me? I don't understand the mania with old samplers - fabulous in their time 30 years ago but of their time. SO many better options these days. But whatever - each to their own and whatever floats the boat, etc..

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vinyl_junkie
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Mud on the road]
      #1069912 - 11/10/13 05:56 PM
Ha wow, fantastic post! Wasn't expecting to see a reply after all this time

Earlier this year I was given a S-1100 as a present so I could compare it to my 3200XL

As you say the 3x series does sound a bit more muffled albeit it's not always a bad thing depending on what kind of sound you want.
Interesting you mention envelope zipper noise. That's the first thing I noticed on the 1100.. Because the click things can seem more "punchy" Although at times it robs the attack from some sampled sounds. I initially wasn't sure if it was just because the env's were quicker.

Old samplers? I think they are fun in their own way especially when you use them in combination with more modern stuff.
Whilst most people who grew up on them probs find them a bore and chore to use now days I find them quite inspirational.

I was surprised at the spacey pad sounds I got when I set my Lexicon reverb to "infinite" on the decay setting and by accident tapped my guitar... So I quickly sampled the drones in the Akai, looped the sustain and I had something usable very quickly


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hollowsun



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: vinyl_junkie]
      #1069956 - 12/10/13 01:29 AM
Quote vinyl_junkie:

Earlier this year I was given a S-1100 as a present



Nice!

Quote vinyl_junkie:

As you say the 3x series does sound a bit more muffled



I didn't say it was a bit more muffled. At nominal pitch (i.e. the pitch a sample was recorded at), it will sound absolutely fine, maybe even better than the S1000 (because the D-As on the 3000/XL/derivatives were - if only marginally - better than the the 1000/1100). It's when you transpose on a 3000/XL/derivatives that things are different because the interpolation is different to the 1000/1100's ... but that (as you say) can be a desirable artefact. 2nd-order linear interpolation was very common on popular ROMpling synths of the time so we thought we could make that compromise. Didn't seem to do any harm to sales - the damned things flew off the shelves at the time. If you play everything at nominal pitch and/or without much pitch transposition, the 3000/XL/derivatives were perfectly good. Transpose a sample down two octaves, however, and you'll hear that lo-fi metallic 'sizzle' found on ROMplers of the time.

Quote vinyl_junkie:

Interesting you mention envelope zipper noise. That's the first thing I noticed on the 1100.. Because the click things can seem more "punchy"



Ah! I didn't make myself totally clear (a polite way of saying I arsed up) it was the release that wasn't de-zippered which is why there was a 'thhhhrppp' at the end of notes with insufficient HF to map it

Quote vinyl_junkie:

Although at times it robs the attack from some sampled sounds.



You're doing something wrong then!!

Quote vinyl_junkie:

Old samplers? I think they are fun in their own way especially when you use them in combination with more modern stuff. Whilst most people who grew up on them probs find them a bore and chore to use now days I find them quite inspirational.



Well, fair enough. Christ - no-one was more hardcore about hardware and flew the flag for it for a long time (some might argue, for too long!) than I - I had a hand in the design of most of the stuff in your studio - but things move on. With two 27" monitors here at HS Towers, I can't imagine (or going back to) peering into a fading 240x60 LCD (bigger on S5/6000 of course) to edit samples, map them out, set program parameters and so on. It's a bit (IMO) like using a typewriter, correcting fluid, plopping that into an envelope, trudging to a letter box/post office when we have word processors and email. I don't suppose for one moment you'd consider a 35mm film camera, taking the film to be developed (if you can find a place that can do that now), waiting a week and so on. No - you whip out your mobile, snap and 'share' on Arsebook and Twatter!

Quote vinyl_junkie:

I was surprised at the spacey pad sounds I got when I set my Lexicon reverb to "infinite" on the decay setting and by accident tapped my guitar... So I quickly sampled the drones in the Akai, looped the sustain and I had something usable very quickly



Well, great ... but nowt you couldn't do in, say Kontakt ... except you could add umpteen different filter types, almost endless modulation sources. tons of effects, convolution reverb and so on. and that's before you factor in scripting and/or automation. Is all I am saying. But whatever, each to their own and good luck to you, VJ.

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Richie Royale



Joined: 12/09/06
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: Agricultural Grunge]
      #1070205 - 14/10/13 08:15 AM
Quote Agricultural Grunge:

I'm on the verge of installing some extra ram for one of my S950s. I've opened up the bottom panel. I'm assuming I just place the ram modules on the raised panels on the bottom left? I was looking for a tutorial or some documentation on installing memory but couldn't find anything. I know these things are built like a tank but don't want to damage anything.

As a few of you have maxed out your s950, anyone able to post step by step idiots guide.

Also where can pick up some fixing nuts for these, I don't want the memory to come lose like the original post.

Thanks in advance.




Welcome to the forum.

I've never installed RAM in my 950, but I had my 950 open for cleaning on the weekend and had a look in the underside panel whilst I was at it. The RAM looks like it slots onto the raised pins and that is it. I dont' recall seeing any means of securing it. It looks like a simple operation to slot the RAM on there.

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Adam Inglis



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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram new [Re: hollowsun]
      #1070425 - 15/10/13 12:57 PM
Quote hollowsun:

If you play everything at nominal pitch and/or without much pitch transposition, the 3000/XL/derivatives were perfectly good. Transpose a sample down two octaves, however, and you'll hear that lo-fi metallic 'sizzle' found on ROMplers of the time.





To use my S3kXL, I have to start Midibridge, then Classic, then OMS, then Recycle. Recycle can then load the sampler via a USB-to-SCSI adapter. What a PITA.... until I hear the sound that comes out....

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Adam Inglis
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