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
May 26, 2012 @ 3:38 pm
Hi, i have a x7000 with a few boxes of diskes with some others that have lots of samples on them, if anyone is looking for them make me an offer. email me at sound_bombin@hotmail.com or trevorsmith02@hotmail.com.
March 1, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

I have no idea what the differences are between EPROM v1.0 and v2.1 are. Mine came with the updated EPROM already installed. Sorry I can't be of further assistance... As far as I can tell, the feature set is unchanged from what is described in the manual, with the exception of having 16 samples and 99 programs like I said before.

Also, to correct myself, you can layer or keymap all 16 samples in a program, but as it only has 6 note polyphony, it does you no good to actually layer more than 6 over a given keyrange.
March 1, 2012 @ 11:02 am
One of these is anachronistically featured in the film 24 Hour Party People. New Order's studio has one although the scene is set in 1982.
Scandinavian popsters Ace of Base also used an X7000 on their hit All That She Wants, I'm pretty sure the sound used is actually the test tone from the sampler put through reverb.
I've seen these actually given away before due to the disk drive issues but even without the drive, it's a solid keyboard that makes for a decent, if bulky, midi keyboard. Samples don't take too long to send via midi sample dump though if you really want to use the sampler.
February 20, 2012 @ 9:42 pm
excellent dinsaur sampler : very simple to use. immediate results and huge lo-fi sound...
punchier than my s900... BUT : the drive is a damned piece of crap : easy to fix if belt is dead, but disks are nearly impossible to find!!

mine has os 1.0 and the SXM007-X battery backed RAM upgrade too... need to change both batteries I guess (few bugs when editing samples)...

for bilal: can you please tell us what are the differences between eprom v1.0 and v2.1?
thanx ;-)
cheers to everybody ;-)
February 15, 2012 @ 1:41 pm
Mine has Eprom V2.1, and the SXM007-X battery backed RAM upgrade - 16 samples and 99 programs, all non-volatile. You can layer or keymap up to 6 samples in a program. I'm using it with an AX-60.

I disagree that autoloop is bad. Works well for me with simple waveforms. You just have to get close to a good loop before you use it. But sustain looping is still an artform, no matter the sampler...

At full bandwidth, you can only transpose up an octave, so you may need to downsample, which adds some noise. You could also sample a higher pitch; as there's no limit to downward transposition.
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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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