Akai S612

Akai S612 Image

The S612 was one of Akai's first professional rack-mount samplers, released back in 1985. Some of its features included 12-bit sampling from 4 to 32kHz with loop and truncate functions, an overdub function and mic or line input jacks. Internal memory is only 128KB which gives a maximum of 8 seconds sampling time at the lowest sampling rate available. An optional disk drive that features the quick disk (QD) 2.8 inch format is needed for permanent storage of samples. Only one sample is stored to each side of the disk.

You won't be able to do much with the S612 these days. However it bears some classic traits that may still be of interest. It features a continuous variable low-pass filter and an LFO for modulating and giving your sample an animated edge. It's also fairly simple and straight forward to operate, responds to external triggering and is still very well suited to any MIDI studio applications. It's definitely a limited sampler, but it makes a cheap back-up instrument that may come in handy for lo-fi sounds or triggered effects. It was Future Sound of London's first sampler.

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44 Visitor comments
June 6, 2011 @ 10:24 pm
I have S612, S900 and S950. This sounds completely different from S900/950. Very interesting, especially when acoustic sounds are sampled. Slider and overdub is very cool feature. It can produce very interesting contemporary digital texture without MAX/MSP madness.

I connect this with Eurorack. I've found this is the best sampler for muffwigglers for sure. Super easy to use.
Stefan Tiedje
May 5, 2011 @ 5:03 am
I had a S-612 back then, and the most interesting part was the ability to move the start and end point with two faders which were close together, so that you could move them at the same time. I made some very nice granular synthesis back then by triggering the sample ultra fast via Midi (this was before Curtis Roads published the method). I would record a sentence live into the Sampler and then play it back slowed down, by this simple trick.
Nowadys I'd do it in Max/MSP on my laptop, but there is still no other hardware which would allow this until today. An example: http://bit.ly/jEkTr5
Robin Sutcliffe
December 3, 2010 @ 11:19 pm
Pat, I have some QDs spare, and also a 13pin DIN connector too (not cable, just the connector, but you can build a cable) If you are interested email me ultimatesoundclash@gmail.com
November 10, 2010 @ 12:16 pm
I believe it uses the same 13 pin as Roland's guitar synths. I think I got a knock-off cable (Hosa or somesuch) as Roland's price is very high. Still available, as Roland is still using this cable.
Pat Conway
November 10, 2010 @ 9:55 am
Does anyone know where to get QD's or the 13pin DIN the connects this unit to the AX60? I've ended up with both and the hard drive to save samples but have no discs.

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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
  • YouTube Thumbnail
    Akai S612
    by Frippertronik

    Manual - Click this link to download the Akai owner's manual.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 6 voices
  • Sampler - 12-bit linear, 4kHz - 32kHz (variable) sampling rates
  • Memory - 128 KB (8 seconds at 4KHz)
  • Modulation - LFO with sine wave, speed, depth and delay controls
  • Filter - Continuous variable low-pass filter
  • Keyboard - None
  • Effects - None
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1985
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Akai Pro

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