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Darkstar2010
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2nd September 2012
Old 2nd September 2012
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AKAI S1100 Questions

I've read a bunch of threads here on the Akai S1000 & S1100 Samplers and the conclusion was always unanimous that the S1000 & S1100 had a unique sound quality that the thread starter was going for. So recommending any alternative dedicated hardware samplers isn't what my following questions are inquiring about. But I will be asking about MPC's.


I haven't owned a hardware sampler before so I'm a little confused about how to program drum loops on them. I basically just want a sampler for my drum parts. I know I'll be fine with the sound quality of the S1100 because I would be using it to make the same style of early 90s electronic dance music where that sampler was basically the JV1080 of it's time...every project back then had an S1000 or S1100.

How do you program drum sequences on an S1100? Do I have to send midi notes to it from my sequencer?

I can understand how you program drum sequences on an MPC even though I haven't used one before. You hit the pads and you can sequence everything on the unit itself. But how do you do it with an S1100?


Do any of the MPC's have the same quality as the S1000 or S1100 samplers? How about the MPC3000 or MPC1000 in comparison sound-wise?


Thank you for any info you guys can give me..really appreciated!
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DAW > USB MIDI interface>S1100

Use your daw to program. OR hook the MPC to DAW and use it to send data to S1100
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You can also use an ME-35T or similar
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every akai sampler is different

s1100 has unique sound

but maybe mpc 3000 sounds very similar? it's the same sampler era

mpc2000 share engine from s3000 series so both samplers sound different (not so good, not so bright as s1100)
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The MPC60 shares technology with the S900/S950, the MPC3000 with the S3000/3200, the MPC2000 with the S2000/S3000XL/S3200XL.

The S1000/S1100 don't have an MPC equivalent.
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3rd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Haze View Post
DAW > USB MIDI interface>S1100

Use your daw to program. OR hook the MPC to DAW and use it to send data to S1100

I'm trying to get away from programming midi notes into my computer. It is such an unmusical experience constantly having to edit/resize midi notes all day long. I like the way an MPC works, it's very musical the way you interact with it.

I still can't really wrap my head around the way you're supposed to program a sampler... I get that you can hook it up to a DAW and trigger it from a piano roll. But how prevalent was that environment in the early 90s? There's no way everyone had an Atari ST back then to do something like that. Yet everyone had a sampler. So how were they able to program their samplers without computers?
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3rd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkstar2010 View Post
I'm trying to get away from programming midi notes into my computer. It is such an unmusical experience constantly having to edit/resize midi notes all day long. I like the way an MPC works, it's very musical the way you interact with it.

I still can't really wrap my head around the way you're supposed to program a sampler... I get that you can hook it up to a DAW and trigger it from a piano roll. But how prevalent was that environment in the early 90s? There's no way everyone had an Atari ST back then to do something like that. Yet everyone had a sampler. So how were they able to program their samplers without computers?
A lot of people used computers in the early '90s, but people also used hardware sequencers! For example, the Roland MC-500s... I used to play Techno in the early '90s and many of my favorite musicians used the Atari ST1040... BUT also the hardware sequencers- one of my favorite musicians (Digital Boy) used an MPC-60 live as in the video below... I used a Roland W-30 which was basically an S-330 with an MC-500 attached to it

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3rd September 2012
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I know of lots of really good sequencers from back then like...

Akai ASQ10 - Yamaha QX1 - Roland MSQ 700 etc. So finding a sequencer isn't the problem really. I'd like to understand how a sampler is programmed through one before I buy a hardware sequencer. Is it a more musical process like an MPC is? Or is it just programming midi notes all over again like in a DAW piano roll?

So far the MPC3000 is the most appealing to me. It can sequence, has groove, progamming is intuitive, can store the entire song on it. But I'm still so curious about how a sampler is programmed through a hardware sequencer. Do you use your midi keyboard to trigger the drum samples on the sampler? Or you program the notes directly on the hardware sequencer itself? I'm not sure of how it works.
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Its just the same as using a computer -

You either play in real time to a metronome, using a keyboard - for a rack sampler - or using Pads - for an MPC type machine - OR - you enter in using step time - OR you enter in manually each and every number associated with note length duration etc.

With a standalone sequencer, lets say an MC 500, this is connected to either a keyboard, or a rack sampler. If it is a keybaord you can use this to enter in your notes, then quantize etc - just like a DAW now. If it is a rackmounted sampler then you will have to add a keyboard to acheive the same results, or type in manually the music - i.e pitch, duration etc.

Old stand alone sequencers are a P.I.T.A to use these days, you'll just be thingking - why am I not using the computer? Thats all those MIDI sequencers are anyhow - but with no easy visual aids to editing like a piano roll.



Unless of course you just dont want a computer at all - which I understand.
Sometimes they sound nice and tight as well with hardware set ups, and thier quantize algorithms can produce nice results.

The Atari was nearly always used and taken up very quickly, apart from a few people already mentioned. And of course there are people still using hardware sequencers, though not many, all I can think of is Squarerpusher.
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3rd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkstar2010 View Post
I know of lots of really good sequencers from back then like...

Akai ASQ10 - Yamaha QX1 - Roland MSQ 700 etc.
Let's not forget the Brother PDC-100!

I like the the Roland W-30, but you might want to check out how much the prices have dropped on the MPC 4000 or the ASR-10. Once you get a basic understanding, they can do just about everything. I have both and also the MPC 60. MPC workflow is great, but not for everyone. I prefer keys over pads most of the time.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jxff View Post
I prefer keys over pads most of the time.

Yes but I'm only talking about programming drums on the sampler and that's it. Using pads makes a ton more sense in this scenario. But the MPC's are a lot more expensive than an old sampler like an S1100 which sells for around $100 these days. I don't enjoy programming midi notes into a daw with a mouse, or with my midi keyboard. I just want to make music in an intuitive way. I was hoping that an S1100 didn't need to be triggered by an external midi source and you could just program your drum loops on the unit itself. I'd be into that. I don't know if midi is what an MPC uses to trigger its sounds internally but I love the concept of an MPC. You're triggering audio and your midi (or whatever it is) is in the background, it's transparent. I don't want to look at midi notes all day long and edit them all the time. I just want to trigger the actual sound itself and not have to look at the midi note. Like if a person plays a guitar they don't see musical notes flying off of it. That's how I feel about midi notes in a daw for drum programming, it's such a distraction to what I'm trying to accomplish. Instead of having to program in midi notes for drum loops, I wish it would just let me choose the amount of kicks etc I wanted per bar. That would make so much more sense. I think FL Studio has that function, where you can right click and choose to have 4/4 kicks etc...instead of having to program every last midi note.. you can do it in 1 click... but I don't use that program. I don't know what you call those pad things in FL Studio but that's how drum programming should be. You shouldn't have to look at the midi note itself when all you wanna do is trigger the sample. The midi note should be out of sight and if you really wanna edit it for a drum kick or whatever then you should have that option elsewhere. I'm constantly second guessing myself whenever my midi notes are triggering drum samples... Is my midi note too short? Is it too long? Is the velocity right? Did I trigger it in the proper key? Just leave me alone and play the sample! LoL.
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3rd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkstar2010 View Post
I don't enjoy programming midi notes into a daw with a mouse, or with my midi keyboard. I just want to make music in an intuitive way. I was hoping that an S1100 didn't need to be triggered by an external midi source and you could just program your drum loops on the unit itself.
I just think you will have to forget about the S1100.
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Slow down mate!

A sampler is a sampler and a sequencer is a sequencer. A sampler has the sampled sounds in it, mapped out and ready to play, if it is a rack, it would be played/triggered over MIDI.

A sequencer records MIDI note information, which triggers the sampler.

An MPC is both in one box, making MIDI unnecessary, and hence the tightness benefits as the sequencer gets direct access to the samples to be played back without travelling through a serial MIDI cable.

If you want to use an S1100 you will need some sort of sequencer to record notes played, as it hasn't got one built it. Doesn't matter whether it is a hardware box or a computer. If you want to play on pads you will have to get a pad controller. Or you could get an MPC and play the S1100 from the pads and sequence it from there. So, basically an MPC500 (or any other) and the S1100 and you're off. = sequencing and pads from MPC, sound from S1100. Obviously you could also use the sound from the MPC itself.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkstar2010 View Post
I'm constantly second guessing myself whenever my midi notes are triggering drum samples... Is my midi note too short? Is it too long? Is the velocity right? Did I trigger it in the proper key? Just leave me alone and play the sample! LoL.
Seems you want something to do the music making for you.........
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Also.. If you get an S1100 you probably don't want to keymap every sample by hand. I use Recycle to chop up and automatically keymap samples vis SCSI.

I was talking to my friend Chris about how those S1100 samples do have a sound! He used a couple on a very popular album (but hasn't everybody??) lol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Seems you want something to do the music making for you.........
Editing midi notes all day long is the opposite of what making music is.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkstar2010 View Post
Editing midi notes all day long is the opposite of what making music is.
Sure, but you could be doing that on any sequencer, or not do it on any. And no sequencer will make decisions on whether the note length, velocity or anything else is right for you.....these are the decisions which make it your output, hence what I said.
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Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Sure, but you could be doing that on any sequencer, or not do it on any. And no sequencer will make decisions on whether the note length, velocity or anything else is right for you.....these are the decisions which make it your output, hence what I said.
I understand that. But that doesn't mean I have to program my drums while using midi notes and looking at them. Which is exactly what I've said from the beginning. It isn't my preference to do it that way. If I need to edit the midi notes I still can but I don't want it to be where I start my programming. Like with an MPC, TR 909 etc. You aren't staring at midi notes while you program your beat in. But if you need to fix all the things I mentioned you still can.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkstar2010 View Post
I understand that. But that doesn't mean I have to program my drums while using midi notes and looking at them. Which is exactly what I've said from the beginning. It isn't my preference to do it that way. If I need to edit the midi notes I still can but I don't want it to be where I start my programming. Like with an MPC, TR 909 etc. You aren't staring at midi notes while you program your beat in. But if you need to fix all the things I mentioned you still can.
My point was you don't have to stare at any midi notes in a DAW either, unless you open the edit page.

Maybe what you're saying is you just don't want to look at a full size screen at all. In which case I am totally with you, as regardless what's displayed on there, whether edit screen or arrangement, it sucks away focus from hearing to seeing. Watching music. Hence I have just bought an ASR-X. But I will be knocking up only the basic, running grooves in that and then print with 10 outs (or more, involving an S1000) straight to DAW, no sync, and then build the track from there.......best of both, as arranging in something screenless/small screened does suck.
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3rd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
My point was you don't have to stare at any midi notes in a DAW either, unless you open the edit page.

Maybe what you're saying is you just don't want to look at a full size screen at all. In which case I am totally with you, as regardless what's displayed on there, whether edit screen or arrangement, it sucks away focus from hearing to seeing. Watching music. Hence I have just bought an ASR-X. But I will be knocking up only the basic, running grooves in that and then print with 10 outs (or more, involving an S1000) straight to DAW, no sync, and then build the track from there.......best of both, as arranging in something screenless/small screened does suck.
I only stated my primary problem with programming drum beats into my DAW which is the Midi Note issue I have. I can go on and name 100 other things I dont enjoy about making music solely on my computer. I just mentioned the main reason. And since there are alternative workflows that suit the way I think when it comes to triggering drums...like MPC's or Drum Machines, then I'm obviously going to use those instead. I agree 100% about how it can take your focus away from listening to your music to looking at your music instead. Which is also a part of the Midi Note programming which is still my original issue anyway lol.


I'm not sure what DAW you use but in Ableton Live you program your drums in Drum Racks...All your drum hits are mapped to a piano roll and that's where you program your beats in.

How to: Program a drum beat in Ableton Live 8 - YouTube

If you know of any other ways in Ableton to program drum beats where I don't have to stare at midi notes in the piano roll while doing so...I'd love to know how to do it. Thanks.
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I use Logic. No piano roll display unless I want to see one.
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Logic is the reason I use Ableton. Logics workflow is hell on earth. At least it used to be when it was Emagic. Drum Racks in Ableton is probably the easiest way to program drum beats in the world. It's so simple and fast and intelligently thought out. I just don't enjoy making music that way. My preference is an MPC or Drum Machine. It's more musical than using a mouse.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkstar2010 View Post
Logic is the reason I use Ableton. Logics workflow is hell on earth. At least it used to be when it was Emagic. Drum Racks in Ableton is probably the easiest way to program drum beats in the world. It's so simple and fast and intelligently thought out. I just don't enjoy making music that way. My preference is an MPC or Drum Machine. It's more musical than using a mouse.
So get an MPC with that S1100 then.
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So get an MPC with that S1100 then.
What S1100? This entire thread was to figure out if an S1100 had a sequencer on it before I bought one lol. Yea I'm going to buy an MPC instead.
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What S1100? This entire thread was to figure out if an S1100 had a sequencer on it before I bought one lol. Yea I'm going to buy an MPC instead.


Somehow I got the impression you were after the S1100 for the sound, obviously not. Maybe it is because the simple question of 'Does the S1100 have a sequencer?' (which google would easily answer in a minute...) didn't seem to be at the centre of this thread.....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Haze View Post
Also.. If you get an S1100 you probably don't want to keymap every sample by hand.
On Akai S1100 mapping of 60 individual samples across keyboard takes between 20-30 seconds.
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Somehow I got the impression you were after the S1100 for the sound, obviously not.
I am but I'll be back in the same programming hell that I'm trying to avoid so it isn't worth it. It isn't the only piece of equipment that has good sound quality. The MPC does as well and has the functionality I want.
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Quote:
On Akai S1100 mapping of 60 individual samples across keyboard takes between 20-30 seconds.
Do explain?
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Explain what exactly?
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How to keymap 60 samples in 30 secs by hand....?

Thats three parameters per sample - midi note, upper range, lower range. Even if it was just one param per sample, you would be putting in two per second - without any error or keyboard testing?
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