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.

Lookup Akai S900 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.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Akai S900? 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.

43 Visitor comments
April 9, 2014 @ 3:29 pm

No realtime filtering possible when monitoring, but preamp for distortion purposes is fantastic and can be monitored realtime. Filtering (non-resonant lowpass) is available when sample playing. What comes to glitching, the myth goes every 12-bit samplers does it, which is not true at all. Akais does not glitch. Instead they are clean, and does amazingly punchy and crispy sound.
November 8, 2013 @ 10:56 am
You need to add Easy Mo bee to the list of users !!!
November 3, 2013 @ 1:03 pm
Is it possible to just use these machines for presence distortion and glitch and filtering by running mixdowns through them, or do you have do it on a sample-by-sample basis individually and do all your sequencing on the machine itself instead?
April 17, 2013 @ 9:13 pm
I now own two of these beasts (950) what this thing does to drums and breaks is incredible and no software clone/pluggin/emulation has ever gotten close. Pluggins resampled a sound into a psuedo bitrate - hardware samplers actually sample at that bitrate live through its converters. Plus the s900/s950 will let you overdrive the input for even more crunch. Cop one quick before prices get silly!
Sunny Bob
October 23, 2012 @ 4:33 am
Picked one of these up a couple of months ago an dim very happy with it. I have an MPC4000 and wanted some 12 bit sound but didnt want to get an MPC60 - so got this instead. The sound is remarkably cool (and I dont make hip hop). Really makes kiks, snares, and hats chunky and fat sounding. But its even better on bass sounds. Sample a VST bass note and the difference is incredible vs the super clean and lifeless VST. The MPC4k and the S950 are really a perfect match together. Im very glad I didnt go for an MPC60 which I would have had to pay a lot more for features (sequencer/pads) I dont need
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Rated 3.92 (333 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.
  • 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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