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.

Lookup Akai S612 Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a Akai S612? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

44 Visitor comments
March 9, 2012 @ 3:01 am
Lots of fun, and a bit of work. Most fun feature for me were the start and end point sliders, which you can cross for some crazy looping frenzies. Bulky and completely superseded by almost any other sampler, with a (now) ridiculously huge optional Quickdisc drive, it'll always raise a smile with any gearslut with a soul. Don't pay a lot, but expect to be surprised by how creative you can get on this very limited but cute relic. Most importantly: it has an earthy growl to anything you sample into it that will always have a place, somewhere.
February 5, 2012 @ 11:26 am
if anyone has one of these in good condition with or without a disk drive, I'd love to buy it! zphillips at gmail
November 21, 2011 @ 5:44 pm
This is a fantastic highly usable piece of kit. Many talk of moving the sample sliders for glitchy fx which is cool. But what I really like about this thing is the 12 bit sound. Take any bass sound from any of your synths and sample a note and listen to how well that bass sound suddenly fits in to the mix.

Ive also put whole drum kits through this, sampled each sound and then transferred to one of my other samplers. Wow, does it sound really good. Different to an MPC 60, maybe even better..in a crunchy cool kind of way. Takes some effort but be assured results are well worth it
August 23, 2011 @ 10:39 am
I always wonder how Matthew Herbert did their records albums, and i saw a video where he use one of this. I bought mine and is some of the best distintive gear a have, nothing sound like this one. I really love it. Very simple and intuitive.
June 22, 2011 @ 11:26 pm
My dad bought one of these second hand in the early 90s. Note that you *can* transfer samples via MIDI sysex. He had a sample editor/librarian for his Atari ST, though he also had the disk drive. Loading off the disk drive was quite a bit faster than a sysex transfer...

I remember you could move the loop points with the faders on the front while a sample was playing and it would make this loud clicking noise, kind of like a ratchet wrench...
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.41 (197 Votes)

  • 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

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.