Akai S5000 / S6000

Akai S5000 Image


The Akai S5000 and S6000 feature DOS (FAT32) disk format and .WAV files as the native sample format. Stereo WAV files are treated as a single sample (instead of two mono L/R samples) allowing easier sample editing and program creation. Any standard PC WAV file can be loaded directly for instant playback from any PC formatted hard drive attached to the S5000 or S6000 - including downloaded samples available on the Internet.

Both models feature a 64-voice system, and both are upgradable to 128-voices (U.S. Version). Improved programming options allow for up to 128 multi programs to be loaded into RAM at any one time, a 'QUICKLOAD' function to load programs directly into parts, and Akai's APM (Assignable Program Modulation) which offers a comprehensive range of new filters, flexible envelope generators, LFOs and more. The S6000 also offers programmable "user keys" which can be assigned to any page for rapid access to commonly used functions.

The S5000 features eight individual analog outputs (upgradable to 16) and a stereo master analog output, while the S6000 comes equipped with 16 + 2 analog outputs. The S6000 also includes balanced stereo input jacks which are accessible by either the rear panel connectors or via the convenient jacks located on the S6000's front panel.

Akai S6000 Image


The front panel of the S6000 features a removable, full-function remote control panel allowing operation from a convenient location within a 30 meter range.

Samples can be recorded into RAM or directly to hard disk. Playback from either is transparent, allowing playback of long samples directly from disk without having to load them into memory. RAM is expandable to 256 MBytes and the operating system runs from easily upgradable flash ROM. Stereo digital I/0 is standard and both models are capable of handling up to 16 individual analog outputs which can be configured as stereo pairs. The S5000 and S6000 also include two SCSI ports. The Wordclock connector insures easy integration into an all-digital studio and an optional ADAT interface provides sixteen digital outputs.

Both models feature a large 320 x 240 LCD graphic display, with eight dedicated function keys running down both sides of the screen -- placing 16 of the most commonly used programming functions at the user's fingertips.

Akai S5000 Rear Image

S5000 Rear

The Akai S5000 and S6000 offer a wide variety of storage options, including the ability to replace the standard 3.5" floppy drive with an optional, internal Zip(TM) drive. The S6000 also offers an expansion slot on the front panel for an additional 3.5" drive. The S5000/S6000 has been used by Underworld, Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran), Max Graham and ATB.

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41 Visitor comments
November 13, 2012 @ 7:37 am
the hard disk of my akai s6000 rencounter a problem in his HD booting , i seccessfully fixe the problem but some sound not generated as request an some sound program bigining with a interrogative point exp: ?eng1,?eng2
October 13, 2012 @ 5:30 am
@ diggnity ...changing the sample startpoint is possible with velocity only.
download the manual at akaipro.com and search for VELOCITY START.
September 18, 2012 @ 11:01 am

If you're looking to trigger longer drum tracks, either full or in sections I'd recommend the Digitech Jam Man Stereo. You can load straight off an SD card. Zero load time, it's a solid piece of steel and all foot controllable including scrolling through your loops and tracks.

You can set each one to loop, fade out, or one shot too. I'm in an electronic duo and we used it to replace drums from Ableton live for just that reason, it's got some of Live functionality.
September 8, 2012 @ 5:35 pm
answer to threlly:
It is possible, but this seems to be a bit complicated if you just need a drum-playback in a live-situation, and loading time depends on file size. If audio-quality is not so an issue, you could better use a Roland SP404 in my opinion. The Akai has much better sound quality /editing-options, but with the SP404, you can easily import/record your drumtracks and the SP404 offers direct streaming from SD-Cards up to 32GB, , so you can switch the sampler on, tap the pad with your drumtrack and it plays, takes about no time. Just need to set the sample to be played as one-shot
August 20, 2012 @ 12:52 pm
Hi, I was thinking of using one of these for live work.
I believe it can stream audio from the HD whilst you play.
How quick can it load a setup from HD to do this ?
Can it only stream one stereo sample ?
I could use the streaming to play a drum track while I play a line over it.
If it takes longer than 30 seconds it would probably be no good.
thanks guys.
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  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Demos & Media
  • Manual - Click this link to download the owner's manual from Akai.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 64 voices (expandable to 128 with the VOX64 Voice Expansion Board)
  • Sampler - 18-bit A-D converters with 64 x oversampling 5th order Delta Sigma.
  • Memory - Up to 256MB of RAM using standard off-the-shelf SIMMs. Reads Akai S1000 and S3000 series sound library.
  • Filter - Extensive filtering functions offer 26 types of resonant 4-pole and 2- pole lowpass, bandpass and highpass filters and many more.
  • Effects - 3-band digital off-line EQ with variable gain. SampleVerbII (EB20) 20-bit 4-Channel Multi-effects Processor (available as an upgrade)
  • Keyboard - None
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1998/99
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from
    and Akai Pro

    Info from Akai Press Release, July 1998

    Reviewed November 2007

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