Samplers => Hardware Samplers & MPCs => samplers - early 90s => Topic started by: chrisNova777 on December 03, 2015, 08:54:55 PM

Title: Akai S01 (dec 1992) MIDI Digital Sampler - 1 output
Post by: chrisNova777 on December 03, 2015, 08:54:55 PM

there is no SCSI on the s01

Year Released: 1993
Standard Sample Memory: 1 MB
Max Sample Memory: 2 MB
Bit Depth: 16-bit
Max Sample Rate: 32 kHz
Polyphony: 8 notes
Dimensions: 483 mm x 431 mm x 88.1 mm
Weight: 6.7 kg
This is a 2-space rack unit.
Title: Re: Akai S01 (dec 1992) MIDI Digital Sampler - 1 output
Post by: chrisNova777 on August 06, 2017, 04:51:37 PM
Akai are no newcomers to budget sampling — indeed, it was they who started the whole 'affordable sampling' ball rolling, first with their S612 and later with the excellent S700/X7000 machines, the latter being flawed only by their very restricted sampling time and their reliance on the costly 2.8" Quickdisks.

The new S01 has been designed to a price, but rather than compromising on sound quality, storage or sampling time, Akai have chosen instead to limit features to the essentials. Unlike the S900 and 950 samplers which use 12-bit convertors, the S01 uses full 16-bit conversion, like the S1000 and S1100 models, but at a fixed sampling rate of 32kHz. This translates into very low noise and distortion, with an audio bandwidth somewhere between 14 and 15kHz, all of which bodes well for clean, accurate sampling. As standard, the S01 comes equipped with a little over 15.5 seconds of sampling memory which can be used all at once or to hold up to eight separate samples; an optional memory expansion doubles the available sampling time but the maximum number of samples in memory at one time remains at eight. The eight samples may be allocated to a keyboard split or addressed multitimbrally on different MIDI channels, but as the maximum polyphony of the unit is limited to eight notes playing simultaneously, it's more realistic to use the S01 for playing just one or two parts at a time.

While the technical specification is admirable for a sampler in this price range, many of the features taken for granted by those used to working with Akai's more up-market samplers have been omitted, and whether this poses a problem for you depends very much on how you work. Not only is this a mono unit, but there is only a single, mixed output so there's no way to separate sounds when mixing other than to record them to tape. Also gone is the comprehensive envelope shaping of Akai's more expensive samplers, to be replaced by a basic release time parameter, but speaking as an S950 user myself, I find that most of the time that's all I need. Another cost-cutting measure is the simple LED display, which replaces the rather more informative LCD readouts used on Akai's other machines, but on the plus side, the operating system is the very embodiment of user-friendliness.

Physically, the unit is instantly recognisable as an Akai sampler, the 2U case being finished in Akai's beige livery. The internal disk drive is a standard, 3.5" unit capable of using either standard Double Density (DD) disks or the higher capacity high density (HD) disks. MIDI implementation is quite conventional, but Akai have thoughtfully provided two MIDI In sockets with a front panel switch to select between the two — useful when switching from master keyboard to sequencer control. The audio output is also duplicated on the front panel.

One glance at the front panel should give you an idea of how the operating system works. The major functions are set out in the form of a four-deep, eight-wide matrix of printed legends. Beneath the printed matrix are the record button and eight selector buttons. Cursor buttons are used to select the required parameter from the matrix, horizontal and vertical LEDs following the selection, while the data entry knob can be used to change the value of the parameter selected.

Recording a sample is relatively easy, and the input level control has an associated sensitivity switch for selecting between -12dBm (typical home recording line level) and -52dBm, for lower level sources such as electric guitars, effects pedals and so on. Though there is no dedicated level meter, the matrix LEDs function as a bargraph during record and, as is the case with other Akai samplers, the recording process can be triggered automatically by the input signal, simply by setting a triggering threshold. Pressing the Bank selector button relating to the sample you've just recorded plays it back without the need for a keyboard, which is good for quick confidence checks.
Title: Re: Akai S01 (dec 1992) MIDI Digital Sampler - 1 output
Post by: chrisNova777 on January 27, 2019, 03:07:26 AM
Title: Re: Akai S01 (dec 1992) MIDI Digital Sampler - 1 output
Post by: chrisNova777 on November 25, 2019, 06:49:07 AM