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
Master David
October 12, 2012 @ 4:42 pm
I have two of these under both of my Emu Sp 1200's fine machine.
September 30, 2012 @ 1:02 pm
Picking up a pretty fresh S900 next Saturday. Any suggestions on how to hook it up with my 707/727 ? Could be nice to be able to trigger the samples from the different pads of the TR, would it work via midi or should I look into getting hold of the trigger-inputs expansion?
September 20, 2012 @ 9:22 am
Ed, what you do is use a keyboard or sequencer to control it via MIDI.
September 13, 2012 @ 9:57 pm
Okay, I'll admit this right off the bat. I'm fairly new to the synthesizer world, and it's been really confusing. Lately I've been seeing tons of samplers and synthesizers that do not have actual keys, and are basically boxes with buttons on the front. How exactly does one use synthesizers/samplers like these? The S9000 is exactly what I'm referring to. I get that this is a stupid question, but I really want to know. How are these types of synths used? Is a controller attached somewhere? Please answer!
May 1, 2012 @ 12:45 am
The article wont tell it has analog lowpass filter with cutoff (non resonance), which can be set up to work as a envelope follower. Also, this article wont tell you, this sampler is the best sounding AKAI amongst MPC60, 950, 1000 and 1100.
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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.
  • 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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