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
Johnny Keys
April 10, 2011 @ 10:47 am
I have 2 of these..had gotten 2 so I could sync and run in stereo, and have more samples, used with Alesis MMT-8. Great fun!
January 20, 2011 @ 2:21 pm
Never - ever - listen to anyone who says a broken drive belt can't be fixed! Granted I missed most of Xmas 2010 but now delighted to have my X7000 working again after 15 years in the attic, as well as the S700 I got off Ebay for £40 that was going to be a parts donor. Get yourself a drivebelt for a ZX Spectrum +128, watch the Youtube clip for the Famicom drive, then be prepared to spend an hour or so gradually adjusting position of the capstan till it picks up the right position on the disk. I'm no electronics spe [beep] t, just a stubborn sod!
January 14, 2011 @ 2:38 am
just got my x7000 from a pawnbroker today - $190aud
great sampler! the belt is gone from age, but this will be a fix for later on.
sounds excellent - once you have messed around with it, especially with the splice settings, you are well on the way on making great sounds!
Take your time to get used to it; i became frustrated with it after about 15min, but a little perseverence with the controls payed off well =)
The autoloop is rubbish however, and samples are best looped manually, if at all.
Great piece of gear!
December 21, 2010 @ 7:49 pm
AX-60 in particular is known for having one of the brightest and harshest sounds of any CEM-based synth.

Really, the only similarity in sound between the X7000 and the EPS is the fact that both of them have non-resonant filters.

If anyone is looking for a belt, any replacement belt for the Famicom Disk System will work. My belt replacement arrived but due to the chemical decomposition of the original belt (turned into some kind of horrid black tar) and the memory back-up upgrade in my X7000, I haven't gotten around to fixing the drive. I did fit the belt though, and I can confirm it is the correct size. The tar residue just seems to be preventing it from spinning correctly.
December 21, 2010 @ 7:49 pm
after a few months of playing with the X7000 (and some extra experience in other samplers from the time), this is definitely one of the best non-resonant 12 bit samplers. as lamster said, it's totally different from the EPS in just about every way, but that can really be a good thing. the EPS gives a dark and sort of moody quality to your samples, crisp but very bottom heavy. the X7000 is brighter than the sun. bass reproduction is pretty unimpressive (especially compared to the Roland S-series), but it can be useful for bass if you have a really heavy patch (say, something solid & FM or self-oscillating analog resonance) that conflicts with something else in the mix. the real strength is in huge leads, ravey UR-style string stabs that slice through a mix or a house organ so bright it's like the lights came up. the X7000 is very similar to its' analog cousins on this, the (continued...)
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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 - 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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