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WIDE Open - Akai S612 - Opinions?

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:30 am
by translucencecs
Ok - this is pretty broad, as indicated by the title, but I'm interested in people's general feelings about the Akai S612...

Yes, I know it's "crappy" by modern standards, but I'm not really interested in a sampler, per se - I already have an Emu ESI-4000 that I'm MORE than happy with. (Actually, "overjoyed" describes it best!)

What I really want is something kinda different... Just don't ask me what that is - if I knew, I wouldn't be fishing for ideas here!

If I were to get an S612, I'd definitely get one with the QD drive, although that in itself seems to be something of an albatross...

Any thoughts?

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:02 am
by Analog Freak
Well, they're easy to use, full of character, and really shallow in depth of programming. They are also very limited in terms of sample memory, and there isn't an upgrade path that I am aware of. Saldy, you can't multisample with this machine, which is a really big oversight in my opinion. On the plus side, it sounds like nothing else, and the filters can do insane things to aliasing samples. Another cool feature is the sample start and end sliders. They allow you to change the starting and ending times of the sample on the fly. I don't think the QuickDisk drive is really much of an asset, you can load samples over MIDI almost as quickly, and you don't waste 2U of rackmount space and have to spend ages hunting down more disks if you just transfer samples over MIDI. Overall, if you are willing to put up with its shortcomings it is a worthwhile machine. Just don't expect it to replace your E-Mu.

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:23 am
by translucencecs
Hmmm. Nope - no illusions about the S612 replacing the ESI-4000!

I mused for a LONG time before settling on the Emu, and I'm entirely satisfied with my choice... What I wanted there was something to give me clean sample reproductions (it's the first time I really used a sampler musically - I don't count my old Electribe S!) with the minimum of personal stress, and it does that very well.

What I want now (additionally) is something TOTALLY different - hence my consideration of a really old lofi sampler with analogue filters!

I'm curious, though - does the S612 do SDS MIDI down/up-loads? Otherwise, would I need any software other than the basic SoundForge that I'm using with the ESI, in order to transfer samples between the PC and an S612?

I'm far more interested in having an alternative "instrument" than a regular "sampler", if that helps anyone..! :)

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:23 am
by niemand630
I love my s612. Actually have two of them although i usually only use one. It was my first sampler and i use it far more than my other ones (s2000 and a4000). I often find that when i try to do something too musical on it i get disappointed, but if i keep things really simple within a couple octaves i get great results. its great for just making a quick sample of some noise and then finding quick loop points and instant drone...
or to just add warmth and low-fi loveliness to samples....although lately ive been contemplating "upgrading" to a prophet 2002. not sure yet.
worth the $50 or so dollars they seem to go for.

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:33 am
by Analog Freak
To answer your question, I don't think the Akai uses SDS. I just use some software called S612 Sample Dumper. It is available from this website: http://www.planet-zero.org/wiki/index.php/AkaiS612

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:28 pm
by piRoN
The Akai S-612, S-700, and X-7000 all use Akai's proprietary sample dump format, they added SDS with the S-900.

Great machines with a lot of character to them.

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 4:18 pm
by phloem
They are so cheap for the sound you get that you really can't go wrong. The disk drive isn't necessary, I don't have one.

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:35 pm
by fdneighbors
I just got mine as my first sampler and I wanted to checkit out with my ax60 synth. It is very LOFI' easy' and versatile for its short sampling time.
I have been making samples with my bass clarinet and running it thru my J-Station and just getting some crazy sounds with it.
Get the Disk drive and some disks with it if you find it. you will want to save the wacky stuff you can make!
Good luck!

Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:54 am
by Sorcerio
piRoN wrote:The Akai S-612, S-700, and X-7000 all use Akai's proprietary sample dump format, they added SDS with the S-900.

Great machines with a lot of character to them.
It was still proprietary at this point too, I think.

Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:04 am
by piRoN
You mean the S-900? As far as I know it had an early implementation of the SDS standard, but I think it would also perform Akai proprietary sample dumps. Not too sure about that though, I've only used other people's S-900s.

Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:59 pm
by xp50player
Wow, I wish I would have known about the sample dump thing when I had my S700. It sucked having to load 8 double sided disks for one piano multisample.

Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:23 pm
by Constantine
I wonder if there are more 'vintage lo-fi' sounding samplers other than Akai S-xxx , and not something that takes a lot of space and priced tens of thousands dollars when first released :) ..?

Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:33 pm
by translucencecs
Constantine wrote:I wonder if there are more 'vintage lo-fi' sounding samplers other than Akai S-xxx , and not something that takes a lot of space and priced tens of thousands dollars when first released :) ..?
Casio SK-series...

Yamaha VSS-series...

Emu Emax...

Roland S-series...

Or you could just get a Commodore Amiga with MIDI interface - 8-bit, low rate sampling and can take a hard drive!

I'm most interested in the Akai S612 for the combo of lofi sampling + analogue filter! :twisted:

Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:47 pm
by Sir Ruff
translucencecs wrote: I'm most interested in the Akai S612 for the combo of lofi sampling + analogue filter! :twisted:
bare in mind though that the "analogue filter" is basically just a tone knob... no rez, envelopes or anything. Anyone know what db/oct it is?

Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:52 pm
by translucencecs
Yeah, I'm aware of that - I'm not specifically interested in a 303- or Moog-type affair - just something to mess with the sound a bit more!