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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42 Visitor comments
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...
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
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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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