Added: 05-Jan-99 | Author: admin
New price: out of production | S/H price: 350-400 , (UK)
Akai S900The silver box from Akai, was for most, their introduction to professional quality/featured sampling...... At the time of release, only the Casio FZ series, the Emax, and the Mirage were real consumer options to the S-900, and the Emax was way expensive (at around 3k in the UK), the FZ was also more expensive, and the Mirage was an 8 bit nightmare... (hey don't get me wrong here, I've got 2 mates with Mirages, and their tapes kik some serious butt!)..... But anyhow.... Designed at Southampton University in the UK, (if the stories are true), the S-900 quickly became THE sampler of choice in the UK... (although it wasn't so popular in the states apparently, where Emu ruled supreme)
Now the S-900 is actually a tad more expensive secondhand than the mighty Emax..... so I'd have to recommend the Emax, FZ, and Roland S series above the S-900, due to those samplers synthesis features which are distinctly lacking from the old S-900...... However, it's a good little unit for sampling, looping etc, and will certainly do the job, with lots of 12 bit gusto....
The Akai S900 is 8 note poly, 12-bit sampler, featuring a maximum of 11.75 seconds of sample time at its highest sampling rate of 40kHz, or even more with sampling rates as low as 7.5kHz. Ram memory is 750KB and is not upgradable.
You get 8 pages for editing.... (Play, Record, Edit sample, Edit program, MIDI, Utility, Disk, and Master) which are accessed by pressing one of the eight buttons along the bottom of the good-sized display screen. To the right of these buttons is a numeric keypad, curser control buttons, and a playback button (plays back a sample after recording it, which is well useful when editing !!).
On the right side, there's the control wheel, mic and line inputs, input and output level knobs, and trigger input for triggering recording start or play-back.
Editing on the S900 gives you looping, and you get crossfade looping in Version 2.0 of the operating system. There is also a few analog-like editing parameters including a filter (non-resonant) controlled by its own ADSR envelope generator, an additional ADSR controlling amplitude, and an LFO.
There is also a function called "Warp" which is a very basic envelope controlling pitch, causing the sound to slide up to pitch. Velocity switching of two samples was also available.The S900 is equipped with a mix out, a left/right pair, plus eight separate voice outputs (one for each voice). Options for the S900 included the IB-101 A/S HD interface, and Marion Systems' MS-9c which changed the S900 from 12-bit to 16-bits. When it's successor, the S950, was released, Akai offered a software upgrade for the S900 that added many of the S950's features....... Don't know anything about these upgrades tho....
So..... not my first recommendation for a s/h sampler in this budget, but for loops and general sampling, it's a good little unit.... I did a remix of a track once where the client was using one of these, dunno how well it sold, but it got played on one of the top UK TV shows...... quality is fine....But apart from the spec's above, I don't know alot about them, as I chose the Emax for my first sampler....
|Sampling System||12 bit linear|
|Sampling Rates||40.0 kHz -- 8.0 kHz|
|Filters||Digital moving low-pass filter (-12 dB/octave) ( v4.0 operating system only)|
|Display||Back-lit 40 x 2 characters (640 x 60 dots)|
|Storage Devices||3.5-inch 2DD floppy disk|
|Standard Inputs||1/4-inch phone jack (unbalanced) x 1|
|Optional Inputs||1/4-inch phone jack (unbalanced) x 8 (ASK-90 drum trigger board)|
|Standard Outputs||1/4-inch phone jack (unbalanced) x 3|
|Assignable Outputs||1/4-inch phone jack (unbalanced) x 8|
|Footswitch||1/4-inch phone jack x 1|
|MIDI||DIN-5P IN x 1, OUT x 1, THRU x 1|
So.... the S-900 workhorse..... eventually upgraded by the newer S-950, which retained the 12 bit system, but added better facilities from the S-1000 OS such as time-stretch..... I've no idea what the s/w updates for the s-900 gave the user....... So.... comments please !!!.......
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Total stars: 60 | Total votes: 14