Akai S900 / S950 Vintage Sampler In-Depth Demo

This video, via Tonelab, takes an in-depth look at the Akai S900 / S950 sampler from 1986, a hybrid digital + analog sampler.

Video Summary:

“I hope this helps to dispel some rumors and show you how to get around your S900 ..or perhaps, if you’re considering purchasing one, then I hope this helps you understand the kind of workflow you may be getting yourself into. Either way, here’s hoping you can turn confusion into creation with this walk-through of the amazing S900.”

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro / History & Specs
4:40 Workflow Concept
5:40 Navigating the S900
9:20 Record Section
9:47 Sample name
10:23 Monitoring
11:00 Sample Type
12:02 Audio Bandwidth
13:10 Recording Time
13:45 Pitch of Sound
14:10 Start With
15:05 Trigger & Rec Level
17:30 Pre-Trigger
18:51 Record Soft Sample
20:30 Record Loud Sample
21:40 01-Edit Sample
22:11 02-Select Program
22:57 03-Loudness Pitch
23:30 04-Replay Mode
23:55 05-Time Direction
24:15 06-Start Point
25:20 07-End Point
26:01 08-Loop Length
26:51 09-Discard
28:00 10-Splice Xfade
29:20 11-Xfade Time
29:38 12-Splice Order
31:54 13-Xfade Loop
33:45 14-VX Time Skew
36:10 15-Create VX
37:55 01-Edit Program
38:45 02-Key Loudness
39:55 03-Keygroups
41:20 04-Vel X-Fade
42:39 05-S Key Range
45:10 06-Filter, Pitch
46:36 07-L Key Range
47:29 08-LFilter, Pitch
47:48 09-Amp Env
50:20 10-Vel Sens
53:44 11-Warp
56:00 12-LFO
57:50 13-LFO A/T Bender
59:40 14-One Shot
1:01:29 15-MIDI Keygroup
1:03:00 16-Output Voices
1:04:24 17-VCF Env
1:06:33 01-Omni
1:07:09 03-MIDI Test
1:08:42 04-Pitch Wheel
1:09:23 RS232
1:10:15 Disk Section
1:12:05 Master Tune
1:12:12 Play Mode
1:13:00 RAM Check

4 thoughts on “Akai S900 / S950 Vintage Sampler In-Depth Demo

  1. Boy does this bring back memories. The time I spent working with this and other synths & modules back then (P5, M6R, TG77, Proteus et al) helped set me up to take full advantage of the myriad softsynth plugins available today. Forever grateful.

  2. Put a USB emulator retrofit on it or die the many deaths of Floppy Drive Syndrome. If you ever fed hundreds of disks in and out of those things, you’ll understand.;)

    1. @S-Trigger Dave
      I put a USB floppy in mine and about a week later it blew up. It sits on the shelf as a piece of “art” now. Expensive piece of art mind you ?

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