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Yamaha A3000

Postby cfb4 » Wed May 12, 2010 3:35 pm

Yeah, I'm excited! Been using a Yamaha A3000 and quite fond of the sound - a totally different hit from the Akai and Kontakt realm where I usually dwell. Anyway, fitted it with a SCSI HD quite a while back - worked well but the *noise* - that SCSI drive sounded like a lawnmower, and it was seriously harshing my mellow!
Enter the solution: a SCSI - IDE bridge and an IDE to Compact Flash adapter. I was, like, this is never going to work, *but it did*!
Now I have 4 GB across 8 partitions, and vintage sampling never sounded so good! :bouncy:
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby arkieboy » Wed May 12, 2010 6:24 pm

Hi, cfb4

Could you tell us what bits you are using and where you got them from. I have an A3000 and an EMu E5000 Ultra which could benefit from being quieter.

BTW I like the A3000 a lot - particularly the effects - but it got relegated from my live rig because the patch changes were a little slow as was bank loading...

Steve
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby Samuli » Wed May 12, 2010 6:36 pm

Me too!

Please, please tell us all about it!
A while ago I thought about that possibility but then gave up thinking "It´s never gonna work".

I´ve got fully loaded A5000 and EX5R, both of which could very much gain on that solution.

Best wishes
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby cfb4 » Wed May 12, 2010 8:22 pm

Right, here goes......

*Disclaimer* this is CF card sensitive - the system 'likes' some CF cards and 'mocks' others so please don't get mad at me if it does not work on your sampler. You'll need the SCSI card installed on your sampler and you might need to be familiar w/ setting SCSI ID numbers with the jumpers.

1) I got the idea from this site - but sourced my stuff through ebay as an experiment. So credit where credit is due
http://www.scsiforsamplers.com/cfcard.asp

2) First I got one of these SCSI to IDE thingys:
http://cgi.ebay.ie/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230450465086&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

3) Then one of these IDE to CF doofers from this local and very reasonable trader:
http://cgi.ebay.ie/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290416959152&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

4) The CF card that worked for me was this (from another super-fast-delivering 'bayer):
http://cgi.ebay.ie/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260462587011&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

However the A3000 only does eight 512 MB partitions, so I'm only using 4 GB of this. Still, this one worked a treat and it is *much faster* than the other two I tried - so Kingston Elite, you got yourself a job. I also tried a Transcend 2GB and a Transcend 4GB - the Transcend 2GB worked fine and the Transcend 4GB sulked forever so go figure.

5) Each board needs it's own supply. You'll need the power lead to go from the A3000 PSU 4 pin header to the new SCSI adapter card, and a Y to the CF card supply. The A3000 came with this - it's a generic supply found inside samplers (like the S5000 and S6000 use them. So you'll need:
The slightly atypical A3000 plug to a normal HD 4-pin + a Y to a smaller 'floppy style' plug for the CF card board.

6) you'll need a SCSI 'ribbon style' connector to jump off the board on the inside (assuming you're putting it inside the case like I did)

That's about it - the new SCSI card showed up on SCSI address 0 which was unused, so that was fine. My external CD is on SCSI 4 (off the back) and the Yam Self ID is on SCSI 1 so all was peachy. The rest you'll get out of the Yamaha Manual - the online PDF is easier to read and navigate (it's colour!) than the drab hard copy. [Volume] [Command] is where you go to bulk copy folders around the SCSI bus.....but you probably know that already
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby Samuli » Wed May 12, 2010 8:40 pm

Thanks a lot!

I really do like the meaty sound of my Yamaha hardware. Every time I dabble the ivories through these devices I get inspired. The same magic just does not happen with softsynths.

So - to make them work better is one gem of information!
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby cfb4 » Wed May 12, 2010 8:46 pm

Yes, I like all my hardware stuff too. Good luck with the upgrade
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby Richie Royale » Thu May 13, 2010 7:57 am

Interesting! I have a, currently unloved, Emu E-Synth Classic, which has some front panel problems, but none the less, I'd like to bring it back into the fold at some point, but can't be bothered with the Zip drive faff.

I must say though that my 5-10 year old Zip disks still work, so credit to Iomega for making a quality product. I wish I could say the same about the EZ Flyer ones from Syquest.

Some further investigation is required on how I could make this work for my Emu.
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby David Etheridge » Fri May 14, 2010 5:28 am

Hi Ritchie,
I'm surprised that you say that about the Syquest EZ drives.I've been using them for the last decade for Atari hard drives -my original purchase was secondhand, too - and they've never been anything but utterly reliable.
Go figure, as they say?

Best wishes,
Dave.
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby OneWorld » Fri May 14, 2010 7:29 am

cfb4 wrote:Yeah, I'm excited! Been using a Yamaha A3000 and quite fond of the sound - a totally different hit from the Akai and Kontakt realm where I usually dwell. Anyway, fitted it with a SCSI HD quite a while back - worked well but the *noise* - that SCSI drive sounded like a lawnmower, and it was seriously harshing my mellow!
Enter the solution: a SCSI - IDE bridge and an IDE to Compact Flash adapter. I was, like, this is never going to work, *but it did*!
Now I have 4 GB across 8 partitions, and vintage sampling never sounded so good! :bouncy:


I have one of these and agree the sound is rich thick and punchy. I once tried to go all software and sold an a5000 but it wasn't long before I was trawling Reader Ads to get another - I ended up with an a4000 with hard drive, 128 meg and external CDRW. The only problem that I do have is that it is not so easy to map my own samples to the keyboard, although the 8 CD set has some very good samples anyway including the analogue synths, and the drums and percussion are excellent too.

You say the max partition is 512 meg but the manual says an IDE drive can have a maximum of 8*1 gig partitions. Is it different for the compact flash drive?

Would it not work with an 8gig CF card?

Why use a SCSI to IDE bridge when there is an IDE connector in the A4000 anyway?
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby Richie Royale » Fri May 14, 2010 7:42 am

Hi Dave,

I only had four disks before moving on to Zip, but the last time I tried to access some old work, which was some time ago, the drive just didn't spin up. Not sure what model I have, but it is the smaller caddy that is slightly larger than a Zip drive caddy rather than the larger device that I can find on the net. It takes the standard 135 disks IIRC.

It's no loss to me as the work is over ten years old. I do miss the little "zing" when they spin up though!
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby arkieboy » Sat May 15, 2010 8:00 am

@oneworld

The A3000 has SCSI only and (afair) a smaller partition size.

Steve
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby Samuli » Sat May 15, 2010 10:32 am

To cfb4,

did you find any performance gain on solid memory compared the SCSI hard drive?
This is very interesting since loading times on regular A3000-5000 can be quite sluggish...
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby cfb4 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:06 am

OneWorld wrote:
cfb4 wrote:Yeah, I'm excited! Been using a Yamaha A3000 and quite fond of the sound - a totally different hit from the Akai and Kontakt realm where I usually dwell. Anyway, fitted it with a SCSI HD quite a while back - worked well but the *noise* - that SCSI drive sounded like a lawnmower, and it was seriously harshing my mellow!
Enter the solution: a SCSI - IDE bridge and an IDE to Compact Flash adapter. I was, like, this is never going to work, *but it did*!
Now I have 4 GB across 8 partitions, and vintage sampling never sounded so good! :bouncy:

I have one of these and agree the sound is rich thick and punchy. I once tried to go all software and sold an a5000 but it wasn't long before I was trawling Reader Ads to get another - I ended up with an a4000 with hard drive, 128 meg and external CDRW. The only problem that I do have is that it is not so easy to map my own samples to the keyboard, although the 8 CD set has some very good samples anyway including the analogue synths, and the drums and percussion are excellent too.

You say the max partition is 512 meg but the manual says an IDE drive can have a maximum of 8*1 gig partitions. Is it different for the compact flash drive?

Would it not work with an 8gig CF card?

Why use a SCSI to IDE bridge when there is an IDE connector in the A4000 anyway?

Hi there,
sorry, missed this :blush:

The A3000 partition size is 512 MB - maybe the A4000 is different. On my A3000, the partition size was 512 for both a SCSI HD and for a CF.

I'm using an 8 gB CF card but with the partition restriction I'm only using 4 of those gB. I'm just going to leave it in because it is working fine and also it took a while to set up.
There may be a useable IDE connector in there - is it used for the floppy? I have not investigated this avenue though seeing as how the SCSI is working well and loading and saving swiftly....... I might just leave it until the next time I have the Yam open. Worth checking out though, thanks for the suggestion.
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby cfb4 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:12 am

Samuli wrote:To cfb4,

did you find any performance gain on solid memory compared the SCSI hard drive?
This is very interesting since loading times on regular A3000-5000 can be quite sluggish...


Hi there,
yes, it loads quickly enough, seems faster than the SCSI HD. Though the removal of the harsh SCSI HD sound was the main payoff :D
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby johnny h » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:06 am

cfb4 wrote:
Samuli wrote:To cfb4,

did you find any performance gain on solid memory compared the SCSI hard drive?
This is very interesting since loading times on regular A3000-5000 can be quite sluggish...


Hi there,
yes, it loads quickly enough, seems faster than the SCSI HD. Though the removal of the harsh SCSI HD sound was the main payoff :D

You can also remove the internal fan. It is unnecessary and really annoying imo...
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby Waltern8tor » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:39 am

I had an a5000 fully loaded. I did a mod to the fan by soldering a resistor to one of the wires, which slowed it down significantly and it ran very quiet.

I sold mine complete for $500 nz after I hadn't switched it on for a year.

It was a fantastic machine sonically, but it did have its quirks;
very slow load times, very particular about its ram ( I think I got new ram from 3 different sources on 3 different occasions before it worked properly!), and those rotary encoders drove me up the wall.
It felt to me like Yamaha was on the cusp of achieving the ultimate Sampler, and one more model/revision would have done it. Weren't these almost MLan capable? but they ditched it and moved on to the motif series workstations, they even used the same expansion boards as 4000-5000 series

I bought Kontact to replace it, but to be honest, the interface here is really annoying and all my attempts to simply map samples have resulted in constant crashes. I've realised my mistake too late. Possibly great if you just want to load sample libraries and tweak a little...

akai usb transfer is fantastic, would consider a Z series or mpc with jjos, but akai effects are pants in my opinion.
Why Akai won't increase Sample and bit rates and up spec their samplers is beyond me. How is a mpc2500 a move forward from a mpc4000?
they have gone backwards I my opinion.

Was holding out to see what dave and roger came up with linn drum wise but not holding my breath.

I had an S950 back in the day, very limited, and floppy disk drive but analogue filters and warm sound.

If only I knew then what I know now. Go the hardware!

I must be getting old if A series samplers are vintage. Its all computers these days as my grandfather used to say
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby cfb4 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:08 pm

johnny h wrote:
cfb4 wrote:
Samuli wrote:To cfb4,

did you find any performance gain on solid memory compared the SCSI hard drive?
This is very interesting since loading times on regular A3000-5000 can be quite sluggish...


Hi there,
yes, it loads quickly enough, seems faster than the SCSI HD. Though the removal of the harsh SCSI HD sound was the main payoff :D

You can also remove the internal fan. It is unnecessary and really annoying imo...

Agreed Johnny H - that fan is ripe for a mod! :)
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby cfb4 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:14 pm

Waltern8tor wrote:I had an a5000 fully loaded. I did a mod to the fan by soldering a resistor to one of the wires, which slowed it down significantly and it ran very quiet.

I sold mine complete for 00 nz after I hadn't switched it on for a year.

It was a fantastic machine sonically, but it did have its quirks;
very slow load times, very particular about its ram ( I think I got new ram from 3 different sources on 3 different occasions before it worked properly!), and those rotary encoders drove me up the wall.
It felt to me like Yamaha was on the cusp of achieving the ultimate Sampler, and one more model/revision would have done it. Weren't these almost MLan capable? but they ditched it and moved on to the motif series workstations, they even used the same expansion boards as 4000-5000 series

I bought Kontact to replace it, but to be honest, the interface here is really annoying and all my attempts to simply map samples have resulted in constant crashes. I've realised my mistake too late. Possibly great if you just want to load sample libraries and tweak a little...

akai usb transfer is fantastic, would consider a Z series or mpc with jjos, but akai effects are pants in my opinion.
Why Akai won't increase Sample and bit rates and up spec their samplers is beyond me. How is a mpc2500 a move forward from a mpc4000?
they have gone backwards I my opinion.

Was holding out to see what dave and roger came up with linn drum wise but not holding my breath.

I had an S950 back in the day, very limited, and floppy disk drive but analogue filters and warm sound.

If only I knew then what I know now. Go the hardware!

I must be getting old if A series samplers are vintage. Its all computers these days as my grandfather used to say

That's funny - always found Kontakt really solid - even done live sound-design-for-theatre shows with dozens of Kontakt intruments running - tweaking them live and running 'em alongside atmos in a sequencer - nary a crash or a hang even. Find the NI 5.1 routing a bit flaky on Mac OS X but not unworkable.
Thanks for the fan/resistor suggestion - that fan was beginning to niggle at me now that the SCSI drive is no longer there to mask it :bouncy:
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby Richie Royale » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:17 pm

The fan on my Emu is ridiculously loud. It didn't used to be a problem when the computer I had was even louder! :headbang:

The Emu is long overdue a boot up; I might give it a whirl this month and see what power it has.
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby Waltern8tor » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:04 pm

...Interesting.

I am using Kontact as a plug instrument in Cubase studio 4. Running Mac OSX 10.4.11....Think I'll talk to some NI techies for advice on how best to configure this, It has been very niggly for me.

I'll have a dig around for Fan mod, might have a print out somewhere in dark recess' of my studio cupboard.
There was a wealth of info on Yahoo A series user groups about these units... I haven't been there for about 5 years but hopefully there are still some Die hard users keeping it going. Has anyone checked this? This is where I got the fan mod info originally.
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby cfb4 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:41 pm

which version of Kontakt are you using? Some of the releases definitely need the .1 or so update to make 'em work properly.
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby Waltern8tor » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:24 am

Righto Fan Mod for A4000-5000 and I presume A3000

here is info I have, Very straight forward

Snip positive wire to Fan (red wire across top of PSU)
solder in 120 Ohm resistor

should probably put some heat shrink around this to prevent contact with PSU casing

Hey presto, Doneburgers

I had no overheating issues and could not hear fan, yet it shifted enough air to perform. I think Yamaha over engineered in this department.

Another tip was to decouple SCSI drive from chasis with rubber grommets or sponge. This can also make a more of a difference than you think, especially with older drives.
there is a fair amount of room in unit to do this.

Obviously these are done at own risk and will void your warranty... oh hang on...?
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby Waltern8tor » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:30 am

Any opinions on Emu E Synth samplers?
One for sale here for $350 NZ. Tempted
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby johnny h » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:31 am

Waltern8tor wrote:I had an a5000 fully loaded. I did a mod to the fan by soldering a resistor to one of the wires, which slowed it down significantly and it ran very quiet.

I sold mine complete for 00 nz after I hadn't switched it on for a year.

It was a fantastic machine sonically, but it did have its quirks;
very slow load times, very particular about its ram ( I think I got new ram from 3 different sources on 3 different occasions before it worked properly!), and those rotary encoders drove me up the wall.

The knobs on mine don't work very well anymore. Especially the first one, which is the most important one for navigating. I don't know why they had to ruin a good sampler with some crappy knobs, slow scsi and tiny lcd.

Its got a nice dirty sound to it though, I do like it. I dug it out to play around with but my SCSI card doesn't work anymore and it was slightly less user friendly that i remember.


It felt to me like Yamaha was on the cusp of achieving the ultimate Sampler, and one more model/revision would have done it. Weren't these almost MLan capable? but they ditched it and moved on to the motif series workstations, they even used the same expansion boards as 4000-5000 series

I bought Kontact to replace it, but to be honest, the interface here is really annoying and all my attempts to simply map samples have resulted in constant crashes. I've realised my mistake too late. Possibly great if you just want to load sample libraries and tweak a little...
This isn't strictly true. Kontakt has had some seriously dodgy versions in its time but currently its very stable and incredibly powerful!

The script editor is great, the lfos can be wired up to anything, the envelope shaping is very powerful too. I'd suggest giving it another go.
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:21 am

Waltern8tor wrote:Any opinions on Emu E Synth samplers?
One for sale here for 50 NZ. Tempted


I have one and although the alpha dial eventually became faulty and the contacts got dirty (smoking in the studio kills you equipment), it is a great synth/sampler. Make sure it has the flash ram board in it, other wise it's just a sampler. I made a lot of tunes just using the sampler before DAWs took over. I paid about £3000 for mine brand new over 10 years ago, sadly it's worth a fraction of that, but $350NZ seems alright, provided it is in usable condition.

The OS is slightly slower than the Ultra series and it doesn't have the beat munging option. It takes ages to convolve a sound, but the rest of the functions are reasonably fast. I thin it takes up to 64meg.

Edit: Oh yeah the "cords" matrix editing is really good for setting up modulations etc plus it has some great filters.
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby Waltern8tor » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:08 am

Perhaps I am being too harsh
I see Native instruments are offering %50 off at mo
good time to upgrade
Only hitch is V4 requires OSX 10.5...
So I'll have to upgrade my OS also as I'm only 10.4
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby Brian Moynihan » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:40 am

Neither the A3000 A4000 nor the A5000 need the fan in my experience. I've had all of them and the first thing I do is simply remove the noisy fan. I suspect that the design of the A Series is assuming that the sampler will be hemmed into a rack case with 10 other extremely hot devices/valve preamps/compressors whatever and possibly onstage under hot lights. If you don't have it in that setting then chances are you don't need the fan. But if you wanna play it safe I guess you can go for the resistor option.

As for the A4000 and A5000, another quiet option for hard drive is a 2.5 inch laptop drive spinning at 5400rpm. These tend to be a lot quieter than big desktop drives. I put an 80gb 2.5 inch in the A5000 and it's practically silent (sans fan too). Yes I know I'm wasting 70gb of that drive but at the time I couldn't source a smaller one!

Also, the partition size possible on the A series. They are all limited to 1GB partitions, including the A3000, not 512mb. Perhaps people are confusing them with the Akai samplers which had a limit of 650mb partitions if I remember correctly.

My (now unused) A3000 still has a set of Jaz 1GB external disk cartridges and I can assure you they are full to approximately 900-950mb on each disk. The limitation that does exist however is that nomatter how large your hard drive you can't get more than 8gb out of it, and that will be 8x1GB partitions as best. Still plenty space for most people!

Putting any kind of high speed disk into these samplers probably isn't worth it as the limiting factor is the eide/scsi interface on the samplers motherboard itself. They are crushingly slow, although the A4000 and A5000 are quite a bit quicker than the A3000 when you use eide drives (yes, the eide is faster on the A4/A5 than scsi is.....go figure)

I use both on the A5000, the internal 2.5 inch drive for silent work, and periodically a backup to a 9gb external scsi drive to keep that disk in sync. I have considered the compact flash option from time to time, mainly because it would allow me to take a 3rd clone of my backup scsi disk back onto another cflash card.


----

The knobs can be replaced. I paid I think £40 for a set of 6 encoder knobs from a swedish electronics site (kept 1 spare in case one got killed in soldering) and these were soldered in as replacements for the failing originals. The A5000 has worked perfectly since.


I do agree with the comments that the yamaha samplers sound absolutely beautiful with really excellent creative effects. Yamaha were probably on the cusp of making the sampler to end all samplers, just as Akai probably were when they made Z8, just at the point that computers took over and destroyed the hardware sampler market. It's such a shame, because despite all the speed and capacity, software samplers aren't better for making music, they're just better for adding another thing you can do while sitting at your computer getting varicose veins, along with email, sequencing, surfing youtube, twitter, photoshop etc. Jack of all, master of none!
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby hollowsun » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:21 pm

Sarah Fjall wrote:software samplers aren't better for making music, they're just better for adding another thing you can do while sitting at your computer getting varicose veins, along with email, sequencing, surfing youtube, twitter, photoshop etc. Jack of all, master of none!
:lol:

Profound wisdom there, Sarah!!!
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby cfb4 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:14 pm

That's funny, my A3000 will only create 512MB partitions. Says so in the manual too. Maybe I'm on an early OS and need to upgrade.

Great point about the evolution of the sampler and the takeover of soft samplers - when I'm teaching my sampling module, I call it 'the rise of the machines'!
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Re: Yamaha A3000

Postby Remeniz » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:31 pm

I was given the A3000 V2 and I agree with everyone here that it sounds very lush and the effects are plentiful! It's great fun to use but that SCSI drive is noisy.

The V2 supports upto 8GB space with 1GB partitions.

Just a quick question. Are all SCSI drives noisy?
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