Montag, 15. März 2010

Akai MPC 2000 Tips


1. Go to Shift + Program and Hit F2 PARAMS

2. Highlight Decay and hit Open Window

3. Put VELO> Attack: 0

VELO> Start :100

VELO> Level: 0

4. Go back to Shift + Program and Hit F2 PARAMS and Put overlap of the sample to MONO ( or noto off but it wont work with polly)

5. Hit 16 level button and put it to VELOCITY

Now tap your 16 pads and you will hear its playing your sample at different start points on all your pads.

(TIP) This auto chop trick works beat on 1-4 bar samples

Drawback of this trick is you cant adjust the start and end point of each chop.

How to automate your MPC2000&2000xl

You can sequence in mixer is how..

1 shift mixer

2 go to set up in the mixer screen.

3 turn record mix changes to yes.

Now play in/record you sound in the mixer screen,not the main screen.

While you are recording the sound in move the pan left and right(this also works on the volume)When the seq loops you will see it moving be itself

Extreme pans

For extreme pan`s,hit shift program and pull up the same sound on a couple different pads then pan them left and right and play them in that way.....Sounds too dope on a shaker!

How to get a bpm readout of a sample/loop

First cut your loop start and end so it is perfect.

Then go to loop..

On the old 2000 hit fit.

On the new 2000xl hit edit and loop from start to end.

edit your end points till it is looping perfect.

Now in your trim screen hit params

This is were you tell it how long the sample is.

4beats a bar so if it was 2 bars set 8 beats.

It will now give you the bpm,tempo of the loop.

You can also adjust the pitch from this screen hi or lower and it will give you the new tempo..

Time stretch on the 2000xl

First refer to tip 3 how to get a bpm readout.

When you have that done and know your bpm

got to your trim screen and hit edit.

Now scroll all the way up to time stretch.

Pick what kind of sound this is,low freq,hi freq,music ect/

Then select bpm

In this screen you have source tempo(what tempo you sample currently is)

Under that you can pick what tempo you want to stretch too..

hit do it...ban you stretched a loop.

Now hit shift program and assign it to a pad

Track mutes on the old 2000

We all know the mpc2000xl has a track mute button,allowing you to mute out many tracks at once....but 2000 owners did you know your old mpc2000 dose it too..

Here is how

Go to your main screen while your seq is playing.

to the right of your track number you have "on" (or "off" if that track is muted) .Highlight "on" now open window...

There it is the same track mute screen the mpc2000xl has.

Now by pressing your drum pads is will mute out tracks.

How to play/map out a sound from your mpc2000xl to you keyboard controllers keys to play ay multi pitches on the keys
Go to your program/params page select your sound,and go to"auto chromatic assign".This will put the sounds across your keyboard controllers key pads.

When this is done it will create a new program,and you wll also have to go to drum one and reassign the program you were using.

Then to excess the mapped out sound,go to drum 2 in your params and assign the new program you made and make it drum 2 on your main screen.Refer to loading multiple programs in your manual if you still need help with this.

When you trim your samples,hold down shift and use the note slider.

This way is much faster when cutting/trimming a sample

How to chop a sample using your zones

First sample something.then go to shift trim and edit your sample.Then decide how many samples you want to make out of this sample(1-16)

Now hit zone in your trim screen.On the right side you will see zone and a number.

Open the window on the number and set ti to how many zones/samples you want to create.

Now on the top right turn xplay to zone.Now when you hit f-6 is will play the part you are editing.

edit your start and end points for all of your zones.When you are ready to chop hit edit in your trim screen and go to slice sound.Create new program no.

Now all you have to do is assign the samples you created in your program screen.

Manipulating samples to sound as if they are sustained notes

Grab a sample that doesn't change up too much. Go to note parameters and make sure the note has a smooth attack and not a thump to start off with, but rather a nice fade in that cuts off the first peak off(if that applies, eg. a horn blast). Also, make sure your sample has decay so that the note fades out smoothly. Now, your sample should almost seamlessly play at a constant volume level. When recording, just hit that padin such a rhythm that the sample seems to be playing seamlessly. This trick is tougher but it makes the mpc like a synth no bullshittin'. Now if your sample, changes up, the same applies but remember it overlaps. So say your sample changes up in 2 parts, either sustain the first part or the second part so they sound fresh.

Normalizing sounds on the mpc2000.(boosting the db)

Have you ever sampled something too low on your mpc2000 or Xl,and when you go to drop it to the board the signal is not loud enough,and you have it turned up in the mixer...

Ok go to mixer and set...see ware it says 0db...well highlight it and you can boost it up 15 db.

Copying a track from one seq to another seq

Go to your main screen.

Hit f 2.on top left turn it to edit/copy.

On top right chose from seq# and track #.then choose the seq # and track you want to copy it t

How to get a sound to play at full velocity after its tapped in

In the main screen, when you [open window] on velocity, there's a "mult val%".

You go there hit the pad you taped it that you want put to full level.

Then put the mult val% amount all the way up.

Now hit do it.

Akai S1100 hard disk recording

Akai's S1100 hard-disk recording option caused quite a buzz on its release, and even now makes this well-specified sampler even more versatile. CHRIS CARTER passes on some hard-won tips for making the best of S1100 HD recording.

Until quite recently, the question we were asked most often by visitors to our studio was "Where's the tape machine?" Like many musicians who record at home, we started with various Tascam and Fostex tape machines and have tried them all, from cassette multitrackers to reel-to-reel 2-, 4-, 8- and 16-track machines. As most hard-up musicians know, the running costs on a 16-track tape machine can be a real burden and you're tempted to start 'economising' by re-using tape and skimping on servicing -- both big mistakes.

About five years ago our 16-track Fostex tape recorder and Akai S950 sampler both desperately needed replacing, and we took the decision to sell them and change over to a MIDI-based hard disk recording system. After months of research, we concluded that the limited systems then available were far too expensive and we almost decided to stay with tape. Fortunately, we were offered a new Akai S1100 and S1000 at a price we couldn't refuse. The S1100 was launched in 1991 as a replacement for the highly respected but ageing 16-bit, 16-voice S1000. The principal differences between the two machines are an improved audio system on the S1100, with 24-bit processing, the inclusion, as standard, of a SCSI interface, a digital effects board, an AES/EBU digital output, a SMPTE interface, and a hard disk recording function (introduced with the version 2.0 software). We decided to take the plunge and began a fretful transition from tape to disk, courtesy of the S1100's HD option. After a couple of early catastrophes while recording vocals onto a Syquest removable disk (quickly replaced by a more reliable optical removable disk drive) we eventually developed an efficient, fast and very reliable system under the control of a MIDI sequencer and mixing down to DAT. While this method of recording may not be to everyone's taste, we found it a pretty painless transition. The S1000/S1100 series of samplers are well known for their ease of use and this, in my opinion, accounts for why they have become an industry standard. Even so, there are hidden depths to the S1100 and a lot of parameters to wade through, and many people just use the basic sampling, editing and playback functions -- so if you're considering HD recording, and have access to an S1100, the following tips could help you achieve some rewarding results, though they should also be applicable to users of later Akai samplers with HD recording facilities. For the purposes of this article I will assume that most readers have a basic working knowledge of the S1100 version 4.3 operating system.


When it comes to vocals, a decent microphone will make more of a difference to the recorded sound than any amount of later editing or tweaking. A good microphone technique is also encouraged -- try to get as high a level as you can sung into the mic, and if your vocalist has a soft or quiet voice try to use an active or phantom-powered microphone, as these usually produce a higher output level. This will reduce the need to turn up the input gain too far, because while the input preamps on the S1100 are very good they aren't totally transparent, and increasing the input levels will eventually introduce unwanted noise. If possible, don't put the mic through a mixer first, as the mixer noise level, even if low, will also add more noise to the S1100 preamps. I use an old Sony ECM-56F electret condenser microphone that can be powered by a mixer or a battery but sounds particularly good when running on new batteries and plugged directly into the S1100's XLR input -- no hum and no noise. Although the S1100 jack inputs have more gain available than the balanced XLR inputs they are best avoided for use with microphones, as they pick up mic hum more easily and (because of impedance mismatching) the tonal characteristics are not as well suited to vocals. Other options for microphone recording could be to use a high-quality stand-alone preamp or vocal processor to add EQ, valve warmth, compression, limiting or gating.

It's worth spending some time setting up the input levels correctly on the DD RECORD page (EDIT SAMPLE>DD>DREC>TAKE) before you begin recording. This is because the 'linear' level display doesn't show the correct levels while the S1100 is in DD record mode. For some reason, it always shows the input levels about 30% lower than they really are, and if the input level control is set too high, serious digital clipping will occur. Make sure you know what your loudest peak is likely to be and mark the level control with a wax pencil as your absolute limit for that session.

Any S1100 HD recording works best when running in parallel with a MIDI sequencer. The S1100 DD record mode defaults to note C3/60 on MIDI channel 16 for its HD/DD record/playback trigger. The note should be placed a couple of seconds in front of where the S1100 will drop into record or playback. This forward delay is in addition to the default S1100 pre-delay of 500ms and allows the hard disk plenty of time to jump into action before the recording begins. The MIDI note, or the track it is on, should be locked or isolated so that any successive playbacks always remain in sync. If you intend to play back multiple takes, different MIDI note numbers can be assigned to each take on the DD PLAY page (EDIT SAMPLE>DD>SONG>S.ED), but remember that only one take (either mono or stereo) can play at once. An alternative way of playing back multiple takes simultaneously is outlined below.


If you are playing back a lot of different takes that need to be butted very close together or overlap each other, this becomes impossible using the HD/DD recording feature alone. Over the years I've developed a technique for transferring S1100 DD takes into the sampler RAM for better manipulation and control. To achieve this at the highest quality with no loss and no noise, an Akai IB104 digital audio interface must be fitted to your S1100. Using this interface, it's possible to save DD takes to DAT and then digitally load them back into the sampler RAM for editing and keygrouping. A lot of memory is essential for this procedure, with 8Mb RAM the minimum, 16Mb recommended and 32Mb an ideal configuration.

• The first thing to do (particularly if you only have 8Mb of RAM) is choose only the takes that are essential and save these to DAT, either one at a time or in bulk. This is accomplished using the ONE or ALL buttons on the TAKE BACKUP page (EDIT SAMPLE>DD>PLAY>BU.S). Connect a DAT machine to the IB104 interface, using the co-ax or optical connectors, and begin the backup (see the 'Stick to 44.1kHz' box). As the backup proceeds, mark your DAT tape with ID numbers to help guide you through it when you play the tape back later.

• Next go to the DIGITAL INTERFACE page (EDIT SAMPLE>REC1>DIGI) and set the source to DIGITAL and the input to either ELECTRICAL or OPTICAL, depending on the type of connections your DAT machine has; leave the receive rate at AUTO.

• Now go to the sample RECORD page (EDIT SAMPLE>REC2) and set the parameters as you would normally for: NEW NAME, STEREO or MONO, SAMPLE LENGTH and PITCH, and so on. The input level doesn't need to be adjusted, as you're recording from a digital source. The S1100 display should indicate that it's receiving at 44.1kHz or 48kHz, depending on the output of the DAT machine.

• Play back the DAT tape and record the previous DD takes into the sampler RAM a section at a time. At the beginning of each take you will hear a very short burst of digital data -- this is irrelevant information that can be edited out on the sample TRIM page (EDIT SAMPLE>ED1). The takes can also be edited into shorter blocks, deleting any silences or pauses in the process to save RAM space.

Once the vocal takes have become samples, a wealth of editing facilities is available to you -- retuning, stretching, squeezing, reversing, combining, looping, and so on -- and, if you have access to a Mac or PC sample editor, other functions, such as EQ and level re-scaling and special effects, could be used.


When you've assembled your re-sampled takes, they can be put into keygroups, and if you have sufficient RAM it's possible to have 20 or 30 vocal phrases spread across a keyboard. Using a MIDI sequencer you can now arrange and rearrange the vocal takes with ease on a keyboard. Vocal takes can be cut and pasted on screen if you're using a computer-based sequencer, timing can be adjusted and shifted, and takes can be overlapped and double-tracked.

If the S1100 is a major part of your setup, it could be pretty inconvenient having the sampler RAM full of vocals. One of the most useful features of the S1100 is the ability to play back samples and stereo HD takes simultaneously. An often-overlooked part of this duality is the ability to mix down the contents of the RAM -- samples, keygroups, and so on -- onto the hard disk. To achieve this:

• Prepare the MIDI sequencer to play back the rearranged and edited vocal takes, and include a separate note (C3/60) on MIDI channel 16 to trigger the S1100 DD record/playback function, as mentioned earlier.

• Put the S1100 into DD record mode, play the sequencer and record your samples onto the hard disk.

The sampler RAM is now free for loading in instruments, percussion, or whatever. With this arrangement it is possible to have a stereo mixdown of vocals (or instruments) playing back from the hard disk on outputs 7 and 8, with individual outputs 1-6 and the stereo L/R outputs available for more instrument samples, without any loss of polyphony.


Many of my comments on vocals can also be applied to other recordable sources, acoustic and electronic. If carefully recorded there is little difference between a DAT recording and an S1100 HD/DD recording, and with its real-time stereo digital output the S1100 is ideally suited to digitally recording your work into any S/PDIF-equipped DAT machine, digital mixer or digital soundcard (PCI, NuBus, etc).

Second-hand S1100s seem to hold their prices quite well and are not seen in classified ads as often as the S1000, as satisfied users appear to hang on to them for longer. Currently you can get hold of an S1100 for around £1000 to £1300 depending on its condition, the amount of RAM and whether it has a IB104 card. Points to look out for when buying an S1100 second-hand are what operating system it has (currently v4.3 and preferably in ROM for much faster booting), whether the display is nice and bright, and whether it comes with a copy of the revised instruction manual, which is pretty important if you want to get the best from the machine. [If you own, or find, an S1100 which doesn't have the software with the HD option, an approved Akai service centre can supply a new EPROM with the latest software. Panic Music (01954 231348) charge £45 for this service. Thanks to Adam at Panic for his help.]

When you consider that the Akai S1100 is a superbly specified industry-standard sampler with probably the largest sample base in the world and a stereo hard disk recorder, you begin to appreciate what a bargain this machine really is.


The wonderfully named Real-time Stereo Digital Output is more than it appears to be. Although it uses the professional XLR balanced AES/EBU configuration, don't let this put you off: it is compatible with the more popular consumer S/PDIF standard. I have two leads for use with the RSDO: a long one with a phono plug for connecting to a DAT machine, and a very short one with a quarter-inch jack plug which connects to the IB104 digital co-ax socket, for performing digital mixdowns as mentioned elsewhere in this article. It's very easy to make your own S/PDIF digital lead if you just follow these directions. Looking at the rear of both the XLR and phono or jack plug, connect the pins as follows:

• XLR pin 1 to phono/jack centre tag or tip.

• XLR pin 3 to phono/jack case or shield tag.

Take a look at the accompanying diagram for a more graphic idea of how to make the lead.


To get the most from the S1100 a hard disk is essential, especially if you want to try HD/DD recording. For some reason Akai have a formatting limit of 500Mb, no matter what size the hard disk, so Jaz drives are out! But even a relatively small hard disk can store hundreds of samples, keygroups and programs, and loading and saving times are reduced to seconds. Most types of SCSI drives can be used, but beware of old, slow models: these can cause a stuttering or chopping effect when stereo takes are played back.

An option endorsed by Akai is the use of 3.5-inch optical media. The most popular and cost effective is the 230Mb format, as the original 128Mb format is being phased out and the newer 640Mb type are still expensive. Optical disks are very cost-effective (about £70 for a pack of 10), reliable, and immune to stray magnetic fields. The best buy at the moment must be the dinky Olympus MO230 drive (without a fan, so ideal for audio work, and available from Mac & More on 01442 870300) at £351 including VAT. The price also includes 10 230Mb disks. An even cheaper, if slightly smaller, option is an Iomega Zip drive, although the disks work out more expensive than optical in the long run.

Formatting a hard disk for use with the S1100 can be very slow -- in excess of 20 minutes for a 230Mb optical, though it all depends on how the disk is partitioned. When formatting for HD/DD recording, the disk can be partioned entirely for DD takes, in which case a 230Mb optical would give about 22 minutes of stereo recording. Alternatively the disk can be divided into two or more partitions, with one partition for DD takes and one or more for samples, keygroups and programs. A disk partitioned for DD takes and samples takes the longest to format. But here's another exclusive tip. If you are about to start a session recording to HD and you suddenly realise you haven't got a formatted disk and can't wait 20 minutes, try this.

Go to the S1100 FORMAT page (DISK>FORM) and set the parameters as follows:

Partition size: 1Mb, max: 1.

Now press ARR, followed by YES. Twenty seconds later you'll have a fully formatted disk, ready to roll. The only downside is that the disk can only be used for HD/DD recording, but it's probably best to keep separate disks for samples and HD/DD recording anyway.


The sampling frequency of the S1100's real-time stereo digital output and analogue HD/DD recording are fixed at 44.1kHz. Unless your DAT machine will only record at 48kHz you should always transfer or back up at 44.1kHz, because although the S1100 can convert from 44.1kHz to 48kHz when making backups, the pitch of the take will be affected when you load them back, so your vocals will be out of tune. Sticking with 44.1kHz also makes things simpler when performing a digital mixdown.


• 16-bit linear sampling at 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz.

• 16-voice polyphony.

• 24-bit internal processing.

• Stereo hard disk recording.

• Real-time DSP effects.

• SCSI interface.

• SMPTE read/write.

• 32Mb RAM, maximum.

• 200 samples, 100 programs.

• Stereo output.

• 8 assignable outputs.

• Digital output.

• 320-character display.

• Options included the IB-104 S/PDIF optical/co-ax digital interface and various sizes of internal hard disk.


Here's a never-before-revealed, exclusive Chris Carter tip for users of S1100s with the IB104 interface fitted.

The S1100 manual tells you that to perform a mixdown from RAM to disk you must connect the two rear analogue L/R outputs to the front L/R inputs. A better way, which keeps everything in the digital domain, is to connect the real-time stereo digital output to the IB104 S/PDIF co-ax input and configure the S1100 as follows (for XLR pin connections see the 'Welcome to the RSDO' box).

• Go to the DIGITAL INTERFACE page (EDIT SAMPLE>REC1>DIGI) and set source to DIGITAL and input to ELECTRICAL.

• Next go to the DD RECORD page (EDIT SAMPLE>DD>DREC) and set source to DIGITAL, d.rate to AUTO, start to M.NOTE+DEL, stereo mix to OFF and mode to either STEREO or MONO.

• Now go to the TAKE page (EDIT SAMPLE>DD>DREC>TAKE), name your mixdown and set the length to a suitable figure.

• At this stage you may find the mixdown level is too soft or loud, and although it seems as if there is no way to adjust the input level, because you're in the digital domain, there is a workaround. Go to the DIGITAL STEREO OUTPUT page (MASTER TUNE>Dout), which sets the level for the real-time stereo digital output socket. Here you have a choice of 0dB (default), -6 dB or +12dB. Make your adjustments and return to the TAKE page.

• Set your MIDI sequencer as described earlier and record a digital mixdown. One of the benefits of this digital mixdown method is that, in theory, an endless number of DD mixdown sessions can be performed without any loss of quality.


Unusually, the S1100 doesn't use a timecode to stay in sync while in DD mode, unless you use the internal (or an external) SMPTE generator to play takes from the QLIST. Instead, the S1100 relies on the timing accuracy of the connected hard disk and MIDI sequencer. I've used various sequencers, both software and hardware, from different manufacturers, and on the whole they stay in sync to the same degree as do hard disks. While writing this I tried an experiment with a drum pattern recorded from a MIDI sequencer onto the S1100 HD with the DD record function triggered by a MIDI note at the beginning of the pattern. I played back the sequencer and the S1100, triggering the DD take from the same note, and apart from some slight phasiness the rhythm patterns were still in sync after eight minutes. Pretty impressive!

Akai S1000/S1100 Sampling Tips

1. Save!

This one may seem obvious, but it is also one of the most important. There is nothing worse than losing samples and programs that you spent hours setting up. Also, MAKE BACK UP COPIES. If you are using a hard drive take the time to save a copy to floppy disk, and store it in a safe place. It may be a time consuming process, but those back ups may save you time and money one day.

2. Edit Copies

When editing samples, you are better off editing a copy of your original sound, rather than the original sample itself. Keep the original sample stored safely. This way if anything happens to the copy you are working with, you always have the original sample to go back to.

3. Program Templates

Setting up new programs for all of your new samples can be a time-consuming process. The time required for setting up programs for your samples can be significantly reduced by using program templates. Rather than creating a new program every time, set up a few general purpose templates that can be re-used. The most common use of templates is for drum and percussion programs, where the same keymaps can be used for different drum and percussion kits, but templates can be used for any other type of program as well.

4. Phase

Although virtually every piece of MIDI gear has some related delay, the Akai S1000/S1100 samplers have one parameter that should be set for optimum performance. This is the Note On Sample Coherence (in Edit Program) which sets whether your stereo samples play in phase or not. If this is set to ON, then the sampler waits for the samples to be in phase before it plays the note. This presents a slight delay and (for the most part) can be compensated for by shifting your music by, say 6 or 10 ticks. If this option is set to OFF, then your timing will be better, but your stereo samples will play back slightly out of phase. (For S3000 series sampler users this does not apply since the new samplers are phase locked.)

5. Extra Outputs

Need more than the eight individual outputs for your samples? With a little clever programming you can get up to eleven outputs by using the stereo outputs and the Effect Send as individual outputs. To use the stereo outs as individual outputs, set up the sample(s) in a separate program (Remember, you can have multiple programs with the same program number active at the same time). In the SMP2 page of the Edit Prog mode, pan the sample(s) left and /or right as desired. This allows individual samples to be output from either the left or right stereo outputs. The same idea applies to the Effect Send output. Set the sample(s) up in a separate program. (On the S1000 you will then need to turn the effect output field of the RESP page of Select Prog mode to ON. With the S1100 you need to go to the MIX page of the Select Prog mode and turn up the level of the f/x field.)

6. Keyboard Splits

If you are trying to set up some custom keyboard splits, try this: Rather than setting up new keymaps each time you use a program for a different application, try adjusting the key range setting of each program in the MIDI page of the Select Prog mode. The values set here will override the key ranges set in the Edit Prog mode. This gives you a quick way to create custom splits without re-editing your keyboard mappings for each program.

7. Digital Interface

For anyone out there who doesn't have it or know about it, buy an IB104 Digital interface. It not only allows perfect sampling of direct to digital sources , but it also allows you to use outboard converters, should you desire. These can provide a better signal-to-noise ratio, resulting in better sounding samples. In addition, the digital interface allows backup of RAM or hard disk to inexpensive DAT tape. Well worth the price of admission. Remember though, use good quality cables for your digital signals or the integrity of your samples may be compromised.

8. Layer upon Layer

If you are using the S1100, or one of the S3000 series samplers, and you need to create huge layered sound f/x beds without using up all of your polyphony, try this. Load all of the required samples into the sampler. You can play up to 16 samples at once (or eight if you're using stereo samples). These can all be triggered at once and recorded onto DAT tape digitally. This can be resampled into your sampler digitally. You now have the same sound , but you are only using one voice (or two if in stereo). This is great for building up sound beds, or for those really massive sound effects. The same thing can be done on the S1000 using the JOIN function, but recording the sample to DAT through the real time digital outputs of the other samplers is quicker and easier.

9. Sampling your Synths

When sampling from some synths it can be difficult to achieve the exact same sound on the sampler. Many synths are now sample-based, and are capable of transmitting sample dumps using the Sample Dump Standard. Using the SDS dump will usually sound better than just sampling the sound directly.

10. Maximum Gain

As obvious as it may seem, maximize your gain level switches on the front panel for the best input level. Be careful not to overdrive the inputs. This is commonly done by using the Mic input for non-Mic level sources, and can result in some very nasty-sounding samples.

11. Boosting Levels

If you have some samples that need boosting, try using the A->J function on the JOIN page of the Edit Sample mode. You must create a new sample by entering a new name first. Then set up the scale field to boost the sample. (Be careful not to boost it too much, though.)

12. Filtering

The filters on the Akai samplers are controlled from the FILT page of the Edit Prog mode. The frequency field is used to adjust the cutoff frequency of the filter. With the value set to 0, no sound will pass through. With the value set to 99, it should allow all of the sound to pass through. However, even with the value set to 99 it is possible to open the filters a little bit more by adjusting the Filt setting on the SMP2 page of the Edit Prog mode to +50. This will fully open the filters and can make a real difference on sounds containing a lot of higher frequencies.

13. Deleting Samples

Deleting samples on the S1000/S1100 samplers can sometimes take a while, especially when memory is getting full. To save time, try clearing the memory and reloading the samples you need rather than deleting the unwanted ones. For example, when working on a new project you may be using programs that were previously constructed for other projects, and you may only need a few samples from that program. Make a copy of the original program and delete the unwanted keygroups. Now the samples that are no longer needed can be deleted as well. But rather than delete each sample one at a time, save the program(s) and samples that you want to keep to disk, then clear the memory and reload. This is much faster than deleting individual samples.

14. Real Drums

Try setting up a drum program with stereo Toms. Make sure the Note On Sample Coherence is turned On. In the SMP3 page of the Edit Prog mode, set up one side of the stereo samples with a fairly large negative value. When the samples are played softly, they are played slightly out of phase. This causes them to sound a bit dull. As the samples are played with a greater velocity, they begin to play in phase, creating a fuller sound. Coupled with velocity switching this can be used to create a very realistic drum program.

15. Looping

Looping your samples can sometimes be a real challenge. Some sounds can be looped without much effort, while others don't ever seem to loop right. Place your loop point near the end of the sample, but not at the very end -- always leave a little bit of data after the loop point. When creating loops try letting the sample play continuously while editing your loop points. By auditioning the loop as you are editing, you can make minor adjustments and hear the results immediately. You can either hold the ENT/PLAY button, hold a note your controller, or use a sustain pedal.

16. Speed Sampling

If you need samples and you need them fast, try this. Rather than creating a new sample each time you record, try making one long sample with five or six sounds (or more if need be). The samples can then be divided by copying the original sample, then cutting the unwanted portion each time. Remember, though, always edit the copy, not the original. Another technique you can use to speed up your sampling sessions involves naming your samples. Rather than creating a new name for each sample when it is recorded, just use the NAME function to change only one letter of the name. This way you can concentrate on you sampling, and name your samples later when you have more time.

17. Mixing

In some cases when setting up a mix between programs it may be better to lower the level on some of the programs rather than boosting the level of the quiet one. The reason being, the Lev (level) field on the Mix page, and the loud field on the SMP2 page will affect the velocity response. If the values are set to 99, your programs will not respond to velocity. For the best velocity response, try not to set these values any greater than about 80.


One of the nice features of the S1100 is the SMPTE reader/generator. The S1100 can be used as a master device, generating the SMPTE time code for the rest of your equipment. While it is being used as the generator, it can also be receiving and responding to incoming MIDI signals. This also works on the new S3200 sampler. Very cool!

19. Saving Parameters

Parameters such as the basic MIDI channel, all recording setup parameters and so on, can be saved so that each time you start up your sampler you can load your parameters from disk. When you save a copy of the operating system (O/S) to disk, these parameters are saved as well. These can be loaded each time you need to restore these parameters. You can save different copies (on different disks) for each different setup that you may need. For example, if you are planning a big sampling session, you can adjust your sample recording parameters, such as the sampling mode (stereo or mono), the recording time, and the rate (to name a few), and save a copy of the O/S to disk. The O/S can be loaded from disk before the sampling session and all of your recording parameters will be set.

20. More Tracks

Use the S1100's, or the S3200's direct-to-disk recording feature as another set of digital tracks. It sounds great and is very useful for doing dance remixes, both live and in the studio. In live situations you can play digital backing tracks with random access flexibility. Try changing the order of your songs on your DAT machine thirty seconds before the show starts! In studio situations you can assemble nondestructive edits and arrangements of the song and lay the samples in through MIDI all from the S1100 (or S3200) and a sequencer. Very cool!
Creating Programs on Akai S-Series Samplers

One of the most commonly asked questions heard from new users of Akai's S-Series samplers is "Once I've got my samples recorded, how do I get them to appear in a program?" In this guide we'll define the various elements of a program and provide a step-by-step example of building a basic program.

Before getting started, however, we'll need to cover a few basics. First, with Akai samplers, samples and programs are completely separate entities. Samples are the individual sounds that are either recorded or loaded from disk. Programs on the other hand, determine things like how and where the samples will be played back from. MIDI channels, output settings and key spans are examples of program parameters. Once you get the samples into your sampler (either by recording or loading from disk), the samples will not automatically appear in a program. You must specifically assign your samples to a program in order to play them back in the Select Prog mode, where normal playback is done. Otherwise you will only be able to access your samples in the Edit Sample mode, which can really limit the musical possibilities.

Program Structure

Since Akai introduced the S1000, the program structure has basically remained unchanged. While there have been many new features and enhancements added to the various models over the years, the basic structure has remained the same. Programs are built from Keygroups. Keygroups are just what the name implies: a group of keys where samples are assigned. There are many parameters that can be adjusted within a keygroup, such as filter settings, envelope settings, MIDI channels, audio output assignments and so on. (Information on all of these parameters is beyond the scope of this document, and can be found in the Operator's Manual. This document will cover just the basics of setting up a program.)

There are four screens in the Edit Prog mode that are essential in creating programs. These are the MAIN, KGRP, SPAN, and SMP1 screens. The parameters on these screens will be set on every program that you create. Of course there are many other parameters that can be adjusted as part of a program, but these four screens contain the minimum requirements for creating a program.

MAIN: New programs are created here by either renaming an existing program, or by copying an existing program. You can also delete programs from memory here, but note that you cannot delete a program if it is the only one in memory.

KGRP: On this screen you assign the number of keygroups for your program. In most programs you will need a keygroup for each one of your samples, although it is possible to have up to four samples in a single keygroup.

SPAN: This is where you set up the note ranges for each keygroup in your program. The left side of the screen contains a graphic representation of a keyboard. The right side of the display shows the keygroups currently in memory, and the note ranges assigned to each one.

SMP1: This is the Sample 1 screen. This is where the samples in memory are assigned to the keygroups that you have created.

Example Program

The best way to learn about creating programs is to actually create one. In the following example we will create a program consisting of several drum samples assigned to the keyboard as follows:

Step 1: Loading the samples into memory

Before we can start building a program we need to get the sounds we want to use into the sampler. This can be accomplished by: a) recording the samples through either the analog or digital (if you have them) inputs; or b) loading samples from disk. (You may need to refer to the appropriate sections of the Operator's Manual for information regarding recording and loading procedures.)

In this example we will be working with the following sounds: Kick drum, Snare, Hi-Hat Closed, Hi-Hat Open, Tom, and Crash Cymbal. Once the samples are in memory we can begin setting up the program.

Step 2 : Naming the Program

Press the EDIT PROG button. This takes you to the main screen of the Edit Program mode. There are four things that can be done on this screen. You can:

Select a program for editing

Copy programs

Rename programs

Delete programs

Creating a new program is done by either renaming an existing program, or by copying an existing program. For this example we will assume that the only program in memory is the Tone Program (which is there by default when the sampler is turned on).

Now, we could make a copy of the Tone Program and edit the copy (instead of the original), but in this example there isn't any reason to do that. So, we'll just rename the Tone Program to reflect the type of sounds we are using:

1. Press the NAME button (Just above the ENT/PLAY button).

2. Use the various buttons on the front panel to enter the name "DRUM KIT 1".

3. When the name has been entered correctly press ENT/PLAY.

4. Press REN (located on F7) and this will rename the program.

Step 3: Changing the number of keygroups

Proceed to the KGRP screen by pressing F2. This is where we can change the number of keygroups in a program. In most programs you will need a keygroup for each one of your samples. (There may be situations later where you want more than one sample per keygroup, but that is not required for this example.) So, for this drum program since we have six samples, we will need six keygroups.

The only field that we are concerned with on this screen is "Change number of KEYGROUPS" (or "Keygroups in Program" on the S3000 series samplers). By moving the cursor to this field, you can use the +/< button to increase the number of keygroups, or the -/> button to decrease the number of keygroups. For our example program you need to press the +/< button until you have six keygroups.

Step 4: Setting the keyspan for each keygroup

Next, proceed to the SPAN screen by pressing F3. This is where you set up the note ranges for each keygroup in your program. The left side of the screen contains a graphic representation of a keyboard. The right side of the display shows the keygroups currently in memory, and the note ranges assigned to each one. Adjusting each keygroups note range is done by changing the values in the low and high fields. These two fields show the lowest and highest notes for each keygroup. These values cam be displayed as either MIDI note numbers (36, 60, etc.), or as note names (C1, C3, etc.) by repeatedly pressing the F3 (SPAN) button. As these values are changed, the graphic display on the left side if the screen will change to indicate where these keygroups can be accessed on your keyboard.

To set the note ranges for our example, use the following settings:

Keygroup LOW HIGH

1 36 (C1) 36 (C1)

2 40 (E1) 40 (E1)

3 48 (C2) 48 (C2)

4 50 (D2) 50 (D2)

5 53 (F2) 65 (F3)

6 77 (F4) 77 (F4)

These settings will assign the key ranges shown in the example. As you can see, all of the drum sounds are assigned to only one key except the Tom, which can be played over a one octave range. This gives you multiple tuned Toms from only one sample.

Step 5: Assigning samples to the keygroups

The final step in creating a program is to assign the samples to the keygroups we've created. This is done on the SMP1 screen. The top row on this screen provides information on the key range, keygroup number and program name. Move the cursor to the "KG" field and select "1". This selects Keygroup #1 to edit. Make sure the "ED" field is set to "ONE". If this field is set to "ALL", any editing you do will affect all keygroups in the program. (Sometimes this is useful, but it is not necessary in our example program.)

To assign a sample to a keygroup, first select the desired keygroup in the KG field located at the top of the display. On the left side of the display there are four velocity zones. Move the cursor to the first velocity zone and select the sample to assign to the current keygroup by using the data knob. After selecting the sample you should adjust the V-LO and V-HI fields to 0 and 127 respectively. (The V-LO and V-HI fields set a velocity range for the samples.) After the velocity range has been set you can return to the top of the screen, select the next keygroup and repeat all of the steps for this screen. This must be done for each keygroup in the program.

Basically, that's it

You now have a program ready to play. As you can see, all of the drum sounds are assigned to only one key except for the Tom, which can be played over a one-octave range in order to get multiple tuned Toms from only one sample. Now you should go to the Disk mode and save the new program and its samples to disk.

Of course ,if you wish to do any further program editing you can certainly proceed from here, and there are several other pages in the EDIT PROG mode to check out. For example, you can add filtering to each keygroup, adjust the envelopes, create velocity splits and so forth. Remember to always save your work to disk if you make any changes that you want to make permanent.

Sampling Sounds from Other Keyboards

One of the reasons I bought my S3000XL is because I want to sample sounds from other keyboards. Over the years I have lost a lot of money trading in gear for new stuff and I thought a sampler would be an ideal way of borrowing sounds from friends' new acquisitions. What's the best way to sample sounds off other keyboards?

The best way we have found is to select MIDI Note as the means of starting sampling. Connect the MIDI Out of the keyboard you want to sample to the MIDI In of your sampler (and connect the keyboards audio outs to the samplers audio inputs). By selecting MIDI Note as the start type, playing a note on the keyboard you are sampling will not only initiate the sampling process but will also set the note the sample will be recorded on. In this way, multi-samples of the keyboard you are sampling can be done very quickly.

Some tips for this....

Don't put the unique aspect of the name at the end of the name otherwise you have to move the cursor across the whole name to add the unique identifier for the new sample you wish to create. For example, instead of calling a sample BREATHVOX C3, call it C3 BREATHVOX - that way, you don't have so much cursoring to do when you want to create C1, C2, C3, C4 and C5 versions of the same sound in a multi-sample. If you're feeling really lazy, call them 1C BREATHVOX, 2C BREATHVOX, 3C, 4C, etc.. This way you don't have to move the cursor at all when naming new samples to be created!

Disable the source keyboards effects and record in mono. A lot of the time, many impressive keyboard sounds are created purely with the keyboards internal effects. By disabling the effects, you have a cleaner sound to work with which will be easier to loop and the effects wont be transposing causing strange artifacts to be introduced into the sound. Add effects later using the EB16 or an external effects processor. By recording in mono (which the majority of sounds on the keyboards are), you double your memory capabilities in the sampler.

If the sound you are sampling uses many layers, try sampling each layer separately. This will use more memory but will give you much more flexibility later on for adjusting pan, level, balance, effects, etc., and may be easier to loop. Also, if you sample several sounds in this way, don't forget that layers from one sound can be used with layers from another for more variation. Add effects to the sound(s) later -- don't sample them.

If you really want to sample your friends' keyboards sounds accurately, try initializing the sound and sampling the raw, multi-sampled waveform, adding filtering and layering in the S3000XL. Try to match the keyboards sample mapping (i.e. multi-sample keyspan) exactly for true authenticity. You can add all the other attributes such as filtering, envelopes, modulation, effects, etc., later to re-create the source sound on your sampler. Although looping is likely to be easier on the raw sound, this is a lot more work but ultimately more flexible. This way, you can really acquire a new keyboard in your sampler that is virtually indistinguishable from the source.

On a related subject, when sampling older analogue synths, try sampling the raw waveforms (i.e. set the synth's filters wide open, flat envelopes, no modulation, etc.), and add all the processing using the samplers filters, envelopes, LFOs and extensive modulation functions afterwards. This is far kinder on memory plus you won't have filter sweeps and the like changing speed as you transpose up and down

Multitimbral Setup (in the pre-S2000/XL series days)

Although the latest S-Series samplers feature a spiffy new Multi Mode, all Akai S-Series samplers are fully capable of working in multitimbral applications, most typically when using a MIDI sequencer. It is possible, for example, to have drums accessed on MIDI channel 1, bass on channel 2, etc. The basics outlined above for making programs still apply here, but with a few additions.

Setting up a multi-timbral program is really very easy, but before we get to an example there is one very important concept to introduce. It is possible to have many programs in memory, and have them all active at the same time. This can be achieved by renumbering your programs to the same number. For example, you can have five or six (or more) Programs 1s. This makes creating multitimbral programs much easier.

Let's say that you already have a few individual programs already created and loaded into memory. We'll assume that Program 1 is drums, Program 2 is bass guitar, Program 3 is piano, and Program 4 is strings. To set up a multitimbral program we will use the renumbering function (RNUM) found in the Select Prog mode.

First, go to the RNUM screen in the Select Prog mode. In this example we will renumber all of the programs to Program 1. (The exact procedure may not be the same for all S-Series models, so please refer to your Operator's Manual for the exact renumbering procedure.)

After we renumber the programs, we can go to the MAIN (or SLCT) screen of the Select Prog mode and select Program 1 for playing. When we select Program 1, all of the programs that we renumbered will become active. To indicate that the programs are active there should be an asterisk (*) by each program name.

The next step in creating our multitimbral program is to assign each of these programs to a separate MIDI channel. This is done on the MIDI screen of the Select Prog mode (or the RESP screen for S1000 owners). This screen shows the programs in memory and their respective MIDI channels (in the "cha" field).

To change the channel settings, just move the cursor to the channel field for each program and set an appropriate value. For our example, let's set our drums to channel 1, bass to channel 2, piano to channel 3, and strings to channel 4. (If you are using a S1000 then you may only be able to display one program's values at a time. In this case you would select the program at the top of the screen, move to the MIDI channel field, and set it to the appropriate value. This process would be repeated until the channels have been set for each Program.)

That's all there is to it. You now have a multitimbral program set up and ready to play. You should be able to play the various sounds by sending notes to your sampler on the appropriate MIDI channels.

Of course, there are many other editing possibilities that we have not covered here. For additional information about other features in the Edit Prog mode, please refer to your Operator's Manual.

S3000-Series Disk Utilities

Because of the enormous amount of data being used with samplers today, it has become increasingly difficult to efficiently manage it all. The Akai S3000 Series samplers now have several new disk utilities designed to make it easier. A special Find function is used to help locate files quickly, and a Tag function allows you to categorize your programs and samples. The CD3000 has a Setup utility for CD-ROM management. These features make managing your sample library a much simpler task.


In the past, if you were trying to locate a specific program on your disk you were forced to scroll through volume after volume until you found it. If you stored similar programs together, and used good naming practices it would help, but it was far from ideal. With the Find function, just type in the name of the file you are looking for, and the sampler will search the current partition for any files containing the letters you entered.

Using the Find function is very simple. Press NAME, and then enter the name of the file you are looking for, and press the FIND softkey. You don't even need to enter the entire name. For example, if you are looking a bass program called Synth Bass #1, just type in BASS and the sampler will search for all files in the current partition containing those letters. When the files are found, a temporary volume is created and the sounds can be loaded from this, just like from a volume on a disk.


The Tag function gives users a way of organizing the sounds they have stored on hard disk. Tags are similar to the Setup function on the CD3000, but with two major differences. First, Tags will work only on a hard disk drive. They can't be used on a CD-ROM because the "tags" are written to disk. Second, any type of file can be tagged, whether it's a program, a sample or an effects file. In a Setup, only programs can be selected.

One good use for tagging would be to group all of the sounds used on a particular song. To set this up we would go to the Tag screen in the Disk mode. First, press NAME and enter the Tag name ("SONG 1" for example), and press ENT. Next, locate one of the sounds used in you song. Press the MARK softkey to "tag" the file with an asterisk. Repeat the process until all sounds used in your song have been marked. That's all there is to it. To load your tagged items, just select the desired Tag, the "Type of Load" you want, and press CLR and/or GO.

Setup (CD3000 Only)

One of the problems associated with CD-ROMs is that because CD-ROMs are read-only, any edits you make must be saved to either floppy disk or to a hard disk. This is normally done by saving an entire copy of the file, which contains a lot of duplicate data and uses up valuable disk space. Now, there is a better way!

The Setup function is a disk management utility designed specifically for overcoming some of the limitations of working with CD-ROMs. In some ways a Setup is similar to a Tag, in that you can define groups of frequently used sounds from any location on the disk (not just a single partition). But that's not all. A Setup allows you to save any changes you made to the samples and/or programs from your defined group of sounds. The entire Setup, including all of the sounds you select and any edits made, can be saved to a single floppy, and loaded with a single key press or MIDI command.

When you edit any of the samples that were loaded from CD-ROM, and go to the Disk mode to save your files, you are given the option of saving only the edits that you made. The edits, and only the edits, are saved to a floppy disk and are associated with the Setup file on the same floppy. If you made any changes to the programs that were loaded from CD-ROM, just save it to the same floppy as well. Not only is this much quicker than saving the entire file, but it is a much more efficient use of disk space!