Magazine Archive

Home -> Magazines -> Issues -> Articles in this issue -> View

Akai 3000 Series Samplers

Akai's new 3000 Series sampler range - the MT guide

The brand new heavies previewed


Just as the issue you now hold in your hands was about to go to press, Akai unveiled a new range of upmarket samplers intended to replace the venerable S1000 series. Not exactly an everyday event, I think you'll agree - and certainly not one we could let pass by without mention in these pages. So here, without further ado, is MT's preview/overview of the 3000 series, PLUS (is this on the ball or what?) an exclusive opportunity for you to win one of the new samplers, worth £2999 in the shops! Can you afford not to read on? No way...

THE NEW LINE-UP



Akai are releasing not one, not two, not even three, but four sampling modules based around a new custom LSI chip developed in-house by the company. Two of the new models, the S2800 and S3000, should be available by the time you read this - watch out for full reviews in next month's MT. They will be followed later in the year by the CD3000 and the S3200.

Although the underlying technology of the 3000 series may be new, in many respects - not least visual appearance - the new samplers emphasise continuity, familiarity and (importantly for the legions of S1000 owners) compatibility with Akai's previous samplers. Balancing the imperatives of market demand and technical innovation, the company have come up with instruments which, on first impressions at least, are evolutionary rather than revolutionary - instruments calculated to keep the company at the forefront of both sampler design and the all-important 'market share'.

New features which help to distinguish all four modules from the S1000 generation include 32-voice polyphony, resonant filters (at last!), effects processing (echo, chorus, pitch-shift and delay), a solo legato performance mode, and a faster MIDI response time. The new modules have more in common than not, but at the same time there are significant differences which are determined by their different asking prices. For instance, as the least expensive of the four, the S2800 can only be upgraded to 16Mb of sample RAM (maximum on the others is 32Mb), can't be fitted with an internal hard disk, forgoes the XLR audio inputs of the other modules, and has two individual outputs compared to the others' eight.

New features include:

  • 32-voice polyphony
  • resonant filter
  • Assignable Program Modulation
  • faster MIDI response time
  • built-in digital effects on all models (though only the S3200 has reverb)
  • Keygroup routing to effects
  • envelope templates
  • new pitchbend mode offering separate up/down ranges
  • larger disk directory
  • Legato Solo performance mode
  • balanced inputs and outputs
  • context-sensitive Help pages
  • cursor diamond replaces cursor dial

Meanwhile, at the other end of the price spectrum, features unique to the S3200 (the S1100 of the new range) include a second, multimode filter with one-band EQ; a hi/lo EQ balance section; reverb processing; two-track hard disk recording which, unlike on the S1100, can be used in conjunction with the reverb; SCSI, AES/EBU and SMPTE boards all fitted as standard; 8Mb of sample RAM fitted as standard; and provision for an optional internally-fitted 105Mb hard drive or 128Mb (3.5") magneto-optical drive.

The S3000 is effectively the standard machine of the range, compared to which the other modules offer either more or less features. In many ways the most intriguing of the new modules is the CD3000, which comes fitted with a CD-ROM drive but forgoes analogue audio inputs. The drive can handle both CD-ROM disks and standard CDs, making the CD3000 an attractive proposition for anyone who regularly makes use of sample CDs.

Two features of note on the module are the direct digital audio signal path between drive and sample RAM, and the option of over-riding, by means of user-programmable Setup files, the parameter settings stored on CD-ROM disks.

S2800


Spec


Sampling resolution: stereo 16-bit linear with 64 x oversampling
Sampling rates: 44.1kHz, 22.05kHz
Internal processing: 28-bit
D/A conversion: 20-bit with 8 x oversampling (L/R); 18-bit with 8 x oversampling (individual outs; each one has its own DAC)
Polyphony: 32 voices
Default sample RAM: 2Mb
Maximum sample RAM: 16Mb
Maximum number of samples: 255
Maximum number of programs: 254
Filtering: Low-pass, -12dB/oct with resonance
Envelope generators: 2
LFOs: 2
Effects: echo, chorus, pitch-shift and dela
Standard audio inputs: 1/4" phono (balanced) x 2
Standard audio outputs: 1/4" phono (unbalanced) x 2
Assignable independent audio outputs: 1/4" phono jack (unbalanced) x 2
Connections: stereo headphones jack x 1, footswitch jack x 1, MIDI (In, Out, Thru)
Interface boards: SCSI and AES/EBU digital I/O, both optional
Onboard storage: 3.5" DSHD/DSDD floppy drive
Display: 40 characters x 8 lines (text), 240 x 640 dots (graphics); backlit
Casing: 2U 19"
Weight: 7.7kg

CD3000


Spec


Sampling resolution: stereo 16-bit linear (internal digital signal path from CD-ROM unit)
Sampling rates: 44.1kHz, 22.05kHz
Internal processing: 28-bit
D/A conversion: 20-bit with 8 x oversampling (L/R); 18-bit with 8 x oversampling (individual outs; each one has its own DAC)
Polyphony: 32 voices
Default sample RAM: 2Mb
Maximum sample RAM: 32Mb
Maximum number of samples: 255
Maximum number of programs: 254
Filtering: Low-pass, -12dB/oct with resonance
Envelope generators: 2
LFOs: 2
Effects: echo, chorus, pitch-shift and delay
Standard audio inputs: XLR (balanced) x 2, 1/4" phono jack (balanced) x 2
Standard audio outputs: XLR (balanced) x 2 1/4" phono jack (unbalanced) x 2
Assignable independent audio outputs: 1/4" phono jack (unbalanced) x 8
Connections: stereo headphones jack x 1, footswitch jack x 1, MIDI (In, Out, Thru)
Interface boards: SCSI, fitted as standard
Onboard storage: 3.5" DSHD/DSDD floppy drive
Display: 40 characters x 8 lines (text), 240 x 640 dots (graphics); backlit
Casing: 3U 19"
Weight: 9.7kg

S3000


Spec


Sampling Resolution: stereo 16-bit linear with 64 x oversampling
Sample rates: 44.1kHz, 22.05kHz
Internal processing: 28-bit
D/A conversion: 20-bit with 8 x oversampling (L/R); 18-bit with 8 x oversampling (individual outs; each has its own DAC)
Polyphony: 32 voices
Internal processing: 28-bit
D/A conversion: 20-bit with 8 x oversampling (L/R); 18-bit with 8 x oversampling (individual outs; each one has its own DAC)
Default sample RAM: 2Mb
Maximum sample RAM: 32Mb
Maximum number of samples: 255
Maximum number of programs: 254
Filtering: low-pass, -12dB/oct with resonance
Envelope generators: 2
LFOs: 2
Effects: echo, chorus, pitch-shift, delay
Standard audio inputs: XLR (balanced) x 2, 1/4" phono jack (balanced) x 2
Standard audio outputs: XLR (balanced) x 2, 1/4" phono jack (unbalanced) x 2
Assignable independent audio outputs: 1/4" phono jack (unbalanced) x 8 Connections: stereo headphones x 1, footswitch x 1, MIDI (In, Out, Thru)
Interface boards: SCSI, AES/EBU digital I/O and SMPTE reader/generator, all optional
Onboard storage: 3.5" DSHD/DSHD floppy drive, optional 105Mb hard drive
Display: 40 characters x 8 lines (text), 240 x 640 dots (graphics); backlit
Casing: 3U 19"
Weight: 9.7kg

S3200


Spec


Sampling resolution: stereo 16-bit linear with 64 x oversampling
Sample rates: 44.1kHz, 22.05kHz
Internal processing: 28-bit
D/A conversion: 20-bit with 8 x oversampling (L/R); 18-bit with 8 x oversampling (individual outs; each one has its own DAC)
Polyphony: 32 voices
Default sample RAM: 8Mb
Maximum sample RAM: 32Mb
Maximum number of samples: 255
Maximum number of programs: 254
Filtering: low-pass, -12dB/oct with resonance; low-pass, band-pass and high-pass, -12dB/oct with resonance, one-band EQ; low/high EQ balance
Envelope generators: 3
LFOs: 2
Effects: echo, chorus, pitchshift, delay, reverb
Standard audio inputs: XLR (balanced) x 2, 1/4" phono jack (balanced) x 2
Standard audio outputs: XLR (balanced) x 2, 1/4" phono jack (unbalanced) x 2
Assignable independent audio outputs: 1/4" phono jack (unbalanced) x 8 Connections: stereo headphones jack x 1, footswitch jack x 1, MIDI (In, Out, Thru)
Interface boards: SCSI, AES/EBU digital I/O and SMPTE reader/generator, fitted as standard
Onboard storage: 3.5" DSHD/DSDD floppy drive, choice of (optional) 105Mb hard drive or 128Mb (3.5") magneto-optical drive
Display: 40 characters x 8 lines (text), 240 x 640 dots (graphics); backlit
Casing: 3U 19"

Akai Sampler Range '93

S01: £799
S950: £1199
S1000: £3299
S1100 EX: £1799
S1000 + S1100 EX: £3999
S2800: £2199 (available now)
CD3000: £2399 (due in June)
S3000: £2999 (available now)
S3200: £3999 (due in May)

(All prices SRP inc VAT)

The S1000 has been discontinued; Akai UK sold their last few in December. The S1100 will be replaced by the new top-of-the-range model, the S3200, and with it will go the S1100 EX. However, as the only mid-priced machine in the Akai sampler catalogue, the S950 will remain in production for the foreseeable future - the only one of the late-eighties generation of Akai samplers to do so.


Akai support software

3000 series Sampletools

(for Atari ST/STE and Apple Macintosh)
Polystar Librarian and Sample Editor £399
Parastar Real-time Parameter and Sample Editor £199
Wavestar Sample Editor £149


S01 Sampletools

(for Atari ST/STE and Apple Macintosh)
Wavestar Sample Editor £1149


S01

(for Atari ST/STE only)
Pro-ex Sample Editor £49

(All prices SRP inc VAT)


Akai 3000 Series add-ons

EXM-3002 2Mb Memory Expansion Board £149
EXM-3008 8Mb Memory Expansion Board £499
IB-301S SCSI Interface Board (S2800/S3000) £99
IB-302D AES/EBU Digital Interface Board £299 (S2800/S3000) £299
IB-303T SMPTE Interface Board (S3000) £119
HD-108 105Mb Hard Disk Unit (S3000/S3200) £tba
SM0-P301 3.5" Magneto-Optical Disk Drive (S3200) £tba

(All prices SRP inc VAT)


Also featuring gear in this article



Previous Article in this issue

Kurzweil K2000R

Next article in this issue

Akai Competition


Music Technology - Copyright: Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.

 

Music Technology - Feb 1993

Review by Simon Trask

Previous article in this issue:

> Kurzweil K2000R

Next article in this issue:

> Akai Competition


Help Support The Things You Love

mu:zines is the result of thousands of hours of effort, and will require many thousands more going forward to reach our goals of getting all this content online.

If you value this resource, you can support this project - it really helps!

If you're enjoying the site, please consider supporting me to help build this archive...

...with a one time Donation, or a recurring Donation of just £2 a month. It really helps - thank you!
muzines_logo_02

Small Print

Terms of usePrivacy