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Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

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Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby Kolakube » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:31 am

I have both of these samplers. The S950 was decided upon by members help from this forum so as a way of thanks I thought Id leave me feelings of the S950 making comparisons to an S1000.

Sound quality wise all as I can say is my ears must be failing. Wrote all over the internet is people saying "ooo you must have am S950 to give you that 12Bit crunch"

Well I can hear no bit crunch at all!! If you set the S950 to the max bandwidth which is something like 48K and compare to the S1000 there is nothing in it. Nothing worth talking about anyhow. This is a technical feat from Akai re 12 bit Samplers.

If you want crunch or rather lo fi, set the bandwidth to a low setting. But then this is all about sampling frequency crunch and not how many bits are used. The S1000 only goes to 20k or somewhere near (Havent the manual to hand) so thats the reason the S950 sounds more lo fi. If the S1000 went to 7k also im sure the results would be similar.

When these samplers first came out in 88 Id have gone for the S950 if sound quality was the only issue as the S950 was far cheaper than the S1000. However these days if a hardware sampler with an akai sound (and not lo fi) is your thing Id go for an S1000. Why? Because you could get 3x S1000s for the price of one S950 and there is nothing in it.

Of course im taking raw sampler to sampler comparison. Stick these two in a mix compressed, EG'd, Delayed and reverbed and I honestly think everyone would fail the pepsi challenge.

If we now move away from sound quality all together and just look at features then the S1000 wipes the floor. With an LCD screen to 32 meg, SCSI (that you can actually buy) I could go on all day.
However, if like me you like very light and easy (I am a guy that finds the SH-101 overwhelming :] ) than the S950 is for you.

To conclude I am very happy I have bought the S950. I personally prefer it to the S1000 as it can sound the same or lo fi but this crunch everyone bangs on about eludes me. Also I prefer the ultra simplicity as it hardly has any features. It can sample, filter, timestetch and thats about it. Suits me fine.

However if you looking for a budget hardware sampler for what ever reason (I can give you plenty) then don't overlook the S1000

Anyone else ever compared these directly?
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Re: Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby ken long » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:38 am

Interesting.

Re: Pepsi Challenge - could you post 2 files to A/B? Obviously, don't label them to keep it blind.
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Re: Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby Kolakube » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:41 am

Hi Ken,

Im not sure if I can post audio up on here but I could Email you.

S1000 back in loft so most likely a weekend thing.

(God! Hope you all agree now. I can hear you all saying mickey its like night and day :beamup: )
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Re: Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby jellyjim » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:40 am

Well there's lots of hype with old gear so that's worth bearing in mind. "Crunch", "warmth" they're very evocative words. But what do they really mean? Who knows. Let's not go down that road again!

I've owned an S900 which AFAIK has an identical sampling engine to the S950. The next Akai up that I've owned would be an S3000 IIRC. Even from memory I would say there was a distinct difference in sound between the two units, particularly on drums. Perhaps not with the S1000. I haven't heard one.

Either way I think possibly the whole 12 bit crunch thing is about how the DA convertors sound when overdriven? Something to do with clipping, headroom, nyquist theorems. You'd have to ask an engineer. Also how the circuitry behaves when summing. It's an age-old technique in hip-hop to layer drum sounds to get some proper booty shaking percussive goodness.

Try comparing the two units by sampling signals that are too hot, ie overdriving the input stages and try comparing them with layered sounds and again with the output stages overdriven.

Meanwhile I made you a picture because I'm supposed to be doing some work for a client but am instead doing EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO PROCRASTINATE :)

Image
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Re: Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby ken long » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:54 am

That's a great montage Jim!

I've got an X7000 which sounds distinctly different to the S1000...
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Re: Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby jellyjim » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:04 pm

ken long wrote:That's a great montage Jim!

I've got an X7000 which sounds distinctly different to the S1000...

Ken ... is there any classic sampling hardware that you DON'T own? ;)
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Re: Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby Chevytraveller » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:20 pm

If I remember correctly, the main thing about the sound of the S900/S950/MPC60 (same sound engine) was the non-linearity of the output frequency response.
Keyboard Magazine did a sound comparison of a number of samplers in '89 i think and this was first pointed out there. The S900 and MPC had a very pronounced mid-range peak in the output response curve.

This may have been misinterpreted as "crunch" but is more like punch as it is far from being flat and in fact has a bloody great mountain in the middle of it emphasising the percussive elements of a drum transient.

for crunch tricks, try resampling a sound played at double speed and then replaying and octave below.. you can keep doing this till you get the "crunch" level you desire.. NB: the Emus are particularly good at this trick :smirk:

:bouncy:
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Re: Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby ken long » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:17 pm

jellyjim wrote:
ken long wrote:That's a great montage Jim!

I've got an X7000 which sounds distinctly different to the S1000...

Ken ... is there any classic sampling hardware that you DON'T own? ;)

Mirage, Emax and Fairlight.

Soon come, Jim. Soon come.
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Re: Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby ken long » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:20 pm

Chevytraveller wrote:NB: the Emus are particularly good at this trick :smirk:

i think this is out of necessity (5 seconds on a 12, 10 on a 1200). Though snares sound "bigger" detuned, they sound more punchy when unnaffected, IMO.
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Re: Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby The Elf » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:21 pm

Ensoniq EPS?

Loved that sampler. I don't really understand why it didn't clean up the sampler market. Its loop finder and loop cross-over algorithms were light years ahead of Akai and those performance switches for introducing layers as you played were inspirational.

And polyphonic aftertouch! Mmmm...

Kinda miss it.
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Re: Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby ken long » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:32 pm

They go for chips now Elf!

Pick one up (EPS 16+) for £100 (rack) £300 keys...

Not sure if they have cash converters in middle earth though... :)
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Re: Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby The Elf » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:52 pm

300 is a bit rich for such a whim (and the Lothlorien sales tax is crazy!)

..but I do admit if I was to see one at the right price I'd like it for the poly aftertouch and buttons. Did the EPS 16 have those features carried over from the EPS?
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Re: Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby Chevytraveller » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:57 pm

The Elf wrote:300 is a bit rich for such a whim (and the Lothlorien sales tax is crazy!)

..but I do admit if I was to see one at the right price I'd like it for the poly aftertouch and buttons. Did the EPS 16 have those features carried over from the EPS?


Yes indeedy.. along with digital FX and more sample memory.. other cheap keys with poly AT(and a nicer action IMO) include the Gem S2/S3 which also had 8 realtime faders and rather nice resonant filters. They go for very silly money (£100-150),
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Re: Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby Kolakube » Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:26 pm

Jim - Love the graphics ;)


Ken - Seriously, please please please get an Emax2. If you have many samplers its such a shame not to own this. If ever your near Durham/Newcastle come see mine.

My set up now is great. I know ive been asking a load of Qs on here lately but thanks to great responses I now have a very basic and small set up that I adore.

If I want to make my J4 (What is the most unique sounding instrument I have ever owned) go multitimbral or even MIDI compatible (until I get the bottle to fit the MIDI kit I bought) sampling it on the S950 would waste of the J4s lush warmth. (Sorry guys if you don't like terms like warmth but I don't know how else to explain)
Instead Id only sample strings/pads/you know nice melodic sounds on my Emax 2. The Akais wouldn't even get a look in.

However I much prefer the Akai's for speech samples, FX, anything that requires a harsh Digital sound. And the Akais own the Emax 2 when it comes to MIDI timing what can sometimes be pritty bad on the Emax 2, but on melodic pieces it adds to the instruments character and that along with ultra warm convertors make the Emax 2 so much more of a musical instrument rather than a recording / replaying device.

Im not one of these who has bought hardware to recreate a VST set up. I mean, what would be the point? I accept the nuisances of each piece. The J4 is so temperamental its borderline schizophrenic. In fact, its fair to say its even more temperamental than a woman! Hmmm, na, not really but getting there. The Emax colours everything in in a nice way and is lazy when prompted by midi. The S950/S1000 sound harsh and cold but are rock solid at everything.
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Re: Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby Kolakube » Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:29 pm

I know I already mentioned this bit Jim - I really love the graphic.

haha. superb!
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Re: Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby jellyjim » Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:36 pm

kolakube wrote:Im not one of these who has bought hardware to recreate a VST set up. I mean, what would be the point?

I just don't get excited by virtual stuff. I don't know why people still argue this. It's what gets your rocks off. If I was a media composer with demanding clients and tight deadlines then brilliant yeah, they're close enough and get the job done simpler and quicker. But I'm not a media composer. I'm a geek, a nerd, an obsessive, a trainspotter. I heart the gear as much as the music.

Same with guitars. I'm not going to be inspired playing some hideous mid-80s pointy-headed BC Rich Hair Rock monstrosity! A nice vintage Strat, SG or Les Paul. Gimme gimme.
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Re: Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby jellyjim » Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:37 pm

kolakube wrote:I know I already mentioned this bit Jim - I really love the graphic.

haha. superb!

You're very welcome. I thought you'd like it. My client's sulking but there's nothing new there :)
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Re: Initial thoughts:- S950 v S1000

Postby Kolakube » Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:38 pm

:D
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