Akai X7000

Akai X7000 Image

The X7000 was Akai's first major Sampler Keyboard instrument similar in style and format to the E-mu Emax, Ensoniq Mirage, EPS and Roland S-10 sampling keyboards. The X7000 has about the same sampling features as the rack-mount S-900, which were great in 1986. Variable 12-bit sampling up to 40kHz, 128K RAM for storing only a few seconds worth of samples and a complete suite of basic sample editing functions including looping, auto-looping, truncating, multi-sampling and re-sampling capabilities, tuning and so on. It even features a few dedicated parameter buttons above the keyboard for quick access to the LFO and other modulations.

This sampler sounds pretty good. It's got a lo-fi edge due to the fact that it's only a 12-bit rather than 16-, 20- or 24-bit sampler. The slow 2.8" built-in disk drive is not exactly compatible with much. But you can use it to store your samples or load samples from libraries for Akai's S-612, S-700 and X7000. Editing samples is straight forward and makes this synth a great entry-level sampler. However, the LCD display is small so editing can be tedious. It also features a cool analog-like filter with cutoff. But for enhanced analog-like editing, the X7000 can be hooked up to the AX73, AX60 and VX90 synthesizers via the DD-X5013 Voice Cable so you can run the X7000's samples through these synth's analog circuitry.

The built-in keyboard makes the X7000 good for performances and it also makes a good first Keyboard for any budding musicians looking to get into sampling - either for cheap or for some lo-fi sampling. However, it does have advanced functions for users looking for some more elaborate or malleable sounds. These include the multi-sampling and re-sampling functions, sample reversing and alternating, keyboard splitting, and the option to upgrade using the Expansion Memory PCB which increases the number of samples available to 16 and boosts multi-sampling from 6 to 16 splits. There was also a rack-mount version, the S-700, also a few leaps ahead of the original S-612 but also still a couple steps behind the classic S-900. The X7000 has been used by The Chemical Brothers.

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36 Visitor comments
July 9, 2009 @ 9:41 am
As I said in the comment below the Quick Disk drives are seriously hard to come by. I think they were only used in early Akais and Amstrad word processors. I got lucky with my X7000.
Keep looking though because they're sure to be cheap.

This site deals with old Amstrads and occaisionally have drives for sale though not at the time of writing, they do sell the disks though. Might be worth enquiring...

June 1, 2009 @ 10:03 pm
where can i find a replacement 2.8' drive for my Akai X7000
March 9, 2009 @ 10:32 am
It's weighs more than me... but this is the seccond unit I've owned, along with my S612 and S01 it forms that foundation of my retro hardware archive!
February 17, 2009 @ 6:38 pm
This was the first piece of hardware I ever got and I found it a rubbish skip outside a college in 1999. That oh so elusive and obscure 2.8" disk drive had bust and I luckily recalled I had an old word processor somewhere with a working drive....swap.... problem solved.
Using floppies for sampling can be a pain but I'll never retire my X7000, it's a quality built keyboard and I've currently got it MIDIed out to a Waldorf Blofeld, it sits so snugly on that blank space on the right.
October 15, 2008 @ 6:33 pm
I agree, the X7000 is a masterpiece of simplicity. It might not have many features, but the moment you chuck in a string sample it's like having an army of old Victorolas under your fingers. I've got five samplers of differing vintages and the X7000 is a definite keeper.

Great fun to mess around with, and an endless source of ideas.
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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 - 6 voices
  • Sampler - 12-bit linear, 4kHz - 40kHz variable sampling rates
  • VCA - Release Time Control (Decay)
  • Effects - Vibrato from the LFO
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Keyboard - 61 keys with velocity
  • Storage - 128K internal RAM (8 seconds at 4kHz); 2.8" Quick Disk (QD) External storage
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1986
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Synthony

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