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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 [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



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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



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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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