Released in 1988, the Akai S1000 has proven to be one of those landmark instruments in the history of digital samplers. It was one of the first affordable 16 bit stereo samplers to hit the market with tons of new features that were missing from most other instruments of that era. It's 16 bit, CD quality sound and "time stretching" feature made it one of the best selling samplers that Akai ever produced. The S1000 contained lots of advanced edit capabilities for looping, truncating, sample merging, tuning and even analog-like parameters to control its filters and envelopes. The original units shipped with only 2 megs of RAM, but you could expand it to a whopping 32 Megs via the memory expanders that were available from Akai and third party companies.
Speaking of third party companies..... With the ability to add a SCSI port to the S1000 (which let you connect a CD-ROM drive to it), a whole host of sound companies started to pop up and create new sounds for the S1000. Literally thousands of CD's were released during the 90's from hundreds of different companies making the S1000 the most popular instrument ever to create sounds for. So popular in fact that the S1000/S3000 formats are considered a "universal format" and can be read by just about any hardware or software sampler released over the past twenty years.
The S-Series was expanded over a eleven year period from 1988 to 1999 with a whole host of "S" samplers. They even produced a little known keyboard version S1000-KB which featured a 61-note keyboard with velocity and aftertouch sensitivity and room for an 80MB hard disk. The S2000 (a slimed down version) was made for the low market. The S3000, S3000-XL and S3200; added onboard effects, Digital I/O, SCSI and SMPTE interfaces as standard features and finally culminating with the S5000 and S6000; which were a totally redesigned user interface and boosted the max memory to an unbelievable 256 Megs. An amazing feature circa 1999! Another fundamental change to the architecture of the S5000 and S6000 is that Akai adopted the PC WAV file format as the standard for storing samples. By this time the computer was starting to become much more important in the home and pro studios replacing tape based machines which had ruled until then.
The Little known S1000-KB and "Flagship" Akai S6000 Digital Samplers
Akai started to see the writing on the wall and discontinued the S-Series in 2000. The faster computers, software samplers and amazing computer programs released during the past decade have meant the death of the hardware sampler as we once knew it. Akai still produces a whole host of hardware samplers, but mainly in the form of the "sampling drum machine" made popular by their MPC series. Most people now use their computer and software sampler and can store as much sample memory as you can fit on your hard drive. As a result you now see sample library that contain several gigs of memory. Something that just would not be practical to store in hardware anymore.
The sounds listed above are available on floppy disks for all S-Series samplers. We also have the complete collection available on CD-ROM with our Elite or Midi Mix CD's Most S-Series samplers also will read WAV files so be sure to check out our WAV database. Our WAV library is massive and filled with tons of cool stuff which you can download and start using in your tracks today.
If your just getting into digital samplers and on a budget, an old S-Series sampler is worth looking into. You can probably pick one up for a couple of hundred US dollars on Ebay.
If you have any questions or comments please contact us via phone or e-mail. Thank's for your support and Happy Sampling!