Akai Pro S6000
The Akai S5000 and S6000 are powerful professional samplers with easy to use interface. The S5000 and S6000 use DOS and .wav files as their native disk and sample format. Recognizing that .wav is fast becoming the worldwide standard for audio interchange, the adoption of these formats allows .wav files to be loaded directly for instant playback from any PC formatted hard or removable disks attached to the samplers. In addition, sound files downloaded from the Internet can be easily loaded and played back. Other natural advantages are that off-the-shelf disk utilities and commercially available .wav and shareware sample-editors can be used without any special transfer or conversion routines. An added benefit of these formats is that interleaved stereo .wav files are treated as one sample, instead of two mono L/R, enabling easier editing. However, we haven't forgotten our existing customers as the new samplers will read S1000 and S3000 sound libraries as well making the decision to upgrade your sampler even simpler.
The S5000 and S6000 can record to RAM or directly to Hard Disk, and replay from either is transparent - the result: seamless replay of multiple 'virtual' samples direct from hard disk (the number being dependent on size and speed of drive) without the need to load into memory. The Virtual Sampling function also allows you to assign disk recordings to keygroups, so long recordings may be triggered direct from disk within the context of a program. Not only does this enable disk recordings to be processed via the sampler's filters, Floss, envelopes, etc., but a program containing 'virtual' samples appears in a Mufti just like any normal program where it may be mixed, tuned, and sent to the effects, elegantly integrating traditional sampling and disk recording. Flexible recording options let you sample sounds via the analog inputs, digitally using the onboard I/Os, or with the optional adat™ interface. By selecting the sampler's own outputs as the source, you can rerecord samples with effects when using the optional EB20 20-bit 4-channel multi-effects processor.
A Revolution In Sampler Hardware
The hardware specs for the two machines are impressive and include 64 and/or 128 voice polyphony, multi channel effects (standard on some configurations of the S6000 and upgradable on the S5000), stereo digital I/O and the capacity to handle up to 16 individual analog outputs which can also be configured as stereo pairs. Two MIDI In/Out/Thru ports provide 32-channel multitimbral operation, and the two SCSI ports mean flexibility in a SCSI chain. The Wordclock connector allows the new samplers to be integrated into an all-digital environment, and an optional adat™ interface provides stereo digital inputs and sixteen digital outs for direct connection to digital mixers. (adat™ is a registered trademark of Alesis Corporation USA)
8Mb of RAM is standard, and each unit is expandable to a maximum of 256MB via 4 SIMM expansion slots - a colossal level of memory giving over 50 minutes of mono sampling at 44.1kHz. The Flash ROM software operating system allows future upgrades to be downloaded from Akai's Web site and saved to floppy disk for reprogramming.
A Revolution in Editing Power
There are 26 different filter types including 4 and 2 pole resonant lowpass, bandpass and highpass plus notch, peak dual notch, dual peak and many more. All of these can be controlled using Akai's Assignable Program Modulation (APM) - used to patch up to 14 controllers to 17 destinations turning the sampler into an extremely powerful synthesizer.
The Edit Sample pages utilize a large waveform display which shows both an overview of the entire sound together with a zoom function for more detailed editing. Looping is straightforward with the Auto Find function or Loop Start/Loop End for user definable setting, a Loop Lock facility, backwards/ forwards looping and Loop Crossfade which offers a selection of curves.
New implementations of edit options include Trim which allows you to extract, erase, cut and discard in one convenient pop-up menu, a choice of fade curves, Join, Mix and 3-band digital off-line EQ with variable gain, frequency and Q for each band. Timestretch uses algorithms imported from Akai's highly acclaimed DD1500 Digital Audio Workstation. As well as offering stereo, phase coherent timestretch processing, a series of presets optimized for various types of sound eliminate the need to adjust complicated parameters. Other DSP derivatives of Timestretch include Pitch Shift calibrated in semitones, useful for retuning samples through key changes, and BPM Match for matching tempos to prerecorded tracks and samples.
Whatever way you choose to work, the sampler can bend to your will. A Utilities page provides the means to customize settings such as whether MIDI notes are shown as numbers or keys, loop lengths as a time value or samples and if you want the Ent/Play button to play back a key as one note, a chord or an arpeggio. We've added a screen saver too.
A Revelation in MultiMode
Akai's Multi Mode makes setting your sampler for multitimbral operation simple, providing 32 Parts which can each be assigned a different Program and MIDI channel. Every Part also has its own Level, Pan, Tuning, Transposition, Output Routing and Effects Send (when fitted with EB20), and up to a staggering 128 Multis can be loaded at any one time. While Multi Mode allows you to edit superficial attributes such as Part level and out routing, Edit Program allows you to further manipulate sounds with extensive filter options such as 2 x multi-wave LFOs, 1 x multi-stage and 2 x ADSR envelope generators. To simplify things further, the Quickload function enables programs to be located and loaded directly into Parts, making complex multitimbral setups quick and easy to achieve.
The EB20 multi effects processor provides two independent channels of multi effects plus two additional channels of reverb only effects. The two multi channels offer up to six simultaneous effects each, including reverb, echo/delay, distortion, EQ, ring modulation, and a choice of modulation effects such as chorus, phasing, flanging, pitch shifting and rotary speaker emulation. All effects are extensively editable. In Multi Mode, the EB20 is configured as four separate processors with effects sends from each multitimbral channel, but it can also be used as a stand alone dual channel FX processor for other sound sources attached to the sampler.
S5000 or S6000 ?
Some choice! The two samplers share spec levels , so the decision comes down to user requirement and price. Both models have 8Mb RAM as standard (expandable to 256MB), both can be fitted with the new SampleVerb II 20-bit effects processor and VOX64 64 voice expansion boards, and the S5000's 8 outputs can be doubled to match those on the S6000. Unique to the S6000 is the seductive removable front panel and the ability to fit a removable 3.5" drive. It also has User Keys to program often used routines and the bonus of audio inputs on the rear, in addition to those on the front, as a standard feature serving to optimize studio flexibility. Last minute input decisions can be made with the front panel connections overriding those on the rear when the unit is rack mounted. As we said, tough choice. Especially when you look at the prices.
Note: The 'S5000' model comes standard with with 64-voices and 8 outputs. The 'S5000 Studio' model is fitted with the VOX64 and IB-S508P 8-Output Expansion Board. In North America, the 'S6000 Studio' model is fitted with the VOX64 and SampleVerb II, while the 'S6000' does not have these options installed.
* intuitive use of icons, graphics, pop-up windows and drag down menus makes navigation quick and easy.
* Extensive filtering functions offer 26 types of resonant 4-pole and 2- pole lowpass, bandpass and highpass filters and many more.
* 18-bit A-D converters with 64 x oversampling 5th order Delta Sigma.
* 20-bit D-A converters with 128 x oversampling Delta Sigma on all outputs.
* Stereo, phase coherent time-stretch algorithms from Akai's own powerful DD1500 DAW allows pitch shifting and tempo matching.
* 3-band digital off-line EQ with variable gain, frequency and Q for each band.
* 'QUICKLOAD' allows you to load sounds directly into parts for quick and easy assembly of complex multitimbral setups.
* 'Virtual Sampling' functions allows playback of long samples direct from disk.
* 64 or 128 voice polyphony allows complex multitimbral operation and layering.
* The DOS disk format and .wav sample format allows you to hook your sampler's disk drive directly to a PC for easy access to unlimited sounds.
* The outputs can be configured as stereo pairs, individual mono outputs or any combination.
* Reads Akai S1000 and S3000 series sound library.
* Folder-based disk functions makes it simple to organize sound library.
* The 16 function keys put parameters at your fingertips - faster than a touch screen and with the reliability and tactile feedback which only real physical keys can offer.
* The 'WINDOW' key hides lesser used functions keeping screens clear and uncluttered but offers more editing power available at the touch of a button.
* Audition samples directly from hard disk.
* Up to 256MB of RAM using standard off-the-shelf SIMMs
* SampleVerbII (EB20) 20-bit 4-Channel Multi-effects Processor (optional)
* VOX64 Voice Expansion Board (optional)
* IB-S508P 8-Output Expansion Board (optional)
* IB-1616A adat™ optical I/O (optional)
* Note: The 'S5000' model comes standard with with 64-voices and 8 outputs. The 'S5000 Studio' model is fitted with the VOX64 and IB-S508P 8-Output Expansion Board.
* Sampling System: 16 bit linear
* Sampling Rate: 44.1kHz / 48kHz
* Standard Memory: 8MB (expandable to 255MB using standard SIMMs)
* Memory expansion slot: 4 x 72-pin SIMM
* Polyphony: 64 voices (expandable to 128 with optional VOX64)
* Analog Audio Inputs: Front Panel: Left(Mono)/Right - 1/4" balanced jacks Rear Panel: Left(Mono)/Right - balanced XLRs (S6000 only)
* Analog Audio Outputs: Front Panel: Stereo headphone - 1/4" stereo phone jack (with level control) Rear Panel: 1/4" unbalanced jacks x 8 (expandable to 16 with optional IB-S508P)
* Digital Audio Inputs: Rear Panel: 1/4" phone jack x 1; Optical x 1
* Digital Audio Outputs: Rear Panel: 1/4" phone jack x 1; Optical x 1
* MIDI : IN x 2, OUT x 2, THRU x 2
* SCSI: Half pitch 50-pin x 2
* Wordclock: BNC x 1
* Filters: 26 Digital dynamic filter types with resonance
* Envelope Generators: 2 x ADSR with preset templates, 1 Multi-stage EG with preset templates
* LFOs: 2 x Multi-wave LFOs
* Digital EQ: 3-band digital EQ with variable gain, frequency, Q per band
* Dimensions: S5000: 482.6 W x 132.6 (134.6) H x 410 (444.4) D mm - EIA 3U, S6000: 482.6 W x 177 (179) H x 410 (466.7) D mm - EIA 4U
* Weight: S5000: 8.9kg / 19.6 lbs., S6000: 11.2kg / 24.6 lbs.
* Accessories: AC power cord; sound libray disk; operator's manual