Akai S900

Akai S900 Image

Akai S900

The S900 sampler was Akai's first truly professional sampler, released in 1986. Its sampling specifications were pro-quality at the time: 12-bit stereo sampling, 7.5kHz to 40kHz variable sampling rates and a maximum of 63 seconds of sample time at 7.5kHz. Up to 32 samples can be created and stored to disk along with any edit settings. This was one of the first rack-mount samplers to use a built-in disk drive. Although the drive could load sounds while you play, it was still a very slow process.

Editing and programming the S900 is a very good precursor to the advanced S3000 series. There are lots of advanced edit capabilities for looping, truncating, velocity crossfading, tuning and even analog-like parameters to control. Individual outputs for each of the eight voices, stereo mix out, stereo input, MIDI and trigger inputs round out this machine as a professional vintage-status sampler that still proves to be very useful even for today's musicians!

Akai S950 Image

Akai S950

The S950 soon followed the S900 and offered increased memory and sampling rates. The sample rate was now variable from 7.5 to 48kHz and it could hold up to 99 samples in memory. Memory could be expanded from 750KB to 2.25MB. The S950 is used by Fatboy Slim, Moby, Skinny Puppy, Depeche Mode, Future Sound of London, Sneaker Pimps, The Bomb Squad, Dr. Dre, DJ Premiere, Prince Paul, Vangelis, Digable Planets, A Guy Called Gerald and Asian Dub Foundation.

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43 Visitor comments
July 22, 2011 @ 2:18 am

I looking for operating system for akai S 950 ver 1.2 but on akaipro.com is not found. Anybody knows where i s possible download it?
July 14, 2011 @ 4:43 am
Roots Manuva made his entire first album with an S900 or 950 and an Atari ST 1040
April 12, 2011 @ 6:43 pm
This was also used by Fast Eddie
Lennie De Ice
October 24, 2010 @ 7:27 pm
uh....! i would just like to say i got my S950 when they first landing back in the day, i was time stretching stuff b4 it was fashionable ..I was experiment with all of my equipment to see how far i could go with them... the a mount of sounds i could cram on a 1.4 dd disks you would be very surprise..! Then i got a memory card installed that which gave me 1.2 mgs,
there was a lot more you could do with S950, program changes,volume control etc. but you had to go into utility page to activate it.
But i never started using a computer til maybe late 1990...!Which was then on Atari 1040, i use a software called Avalon sample editor,which allowed me to deep edit & Tranfer samples from Atari to S950 via Smidi. i still use my bit from back in the day with new tech but it will never beat outboard kit....
I still use the same sampler in my tunes today to give me a bit more grit on my drums as well as the big brother S5000.(1987-2010)..Peace.Lennie DeIce
October 11, 2010 @ 3:56 am
Yeah - but thats that Onyx style - SLAM HARDER!
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  • 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.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 voices
  • Sampler - 12-bit linear, 7.5 - 40kHz sampling rates (63 seconds). Up to 48kHz in S950.
  • Memory - 750 kB RAM in S900 (not expandable). 750 kB (standard) to 2.25 mB RAM in S950.
  • VCA - ADSR
  • Effects - None
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Keyboard - None
  • Storage - 750K internal RAM. Up to 2.25MB in S950
  • Control - MIDI plus optional 8 trigger-inputs via ME35T-board
  • Date Produced - S900: 1986
    S950: 1988
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Akai Pro and

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