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Got an Akai s900...is this that magical gritty 12 bit sound? Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Got an Akai s900...is this that magical gritty 12 bit sound?

Hi!

I just got an new AKAI s900 and have been experimenting a bit with it to get that dirty 12 bit sound. I recorded some samples in hot and what I hear is definitely a drastic change in character, less dynamics and a bit of a bit reduction/drivey distortion. Now, I am recording directly from my audio interface into the Mic Input from my audio interface send the audio from the output of the 'Mix' at the back of the AKAI back to my audio interface (which means I can hear and edit the audio in realtime). Im not sure whether I got it right, because I heard some people say you first need to record, save it to floppy and then send the audio out of the AKAI s900. I posted an a/b audio example below, which consists of a simple drumloop the first 4 bars in normal state and at the end the loop processed with AKAI S900 in which I change the distortion from subtle to extreme. Can anybody tell me whether I have this right, because I always thought the 12bit character meant a cutting in high frequencies, which doesnt seem to be the case here. Although the drivey distortion has a character similar to some of my analog mixers and does sound quite pleasing to my ears

(Do not listen the clip at too high volume btw!!)
Attached Files

a_b akai s900.mp3 (1.88 MB, 292 views)

Old 6 days ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Bits don't really have anything to do with frequency content. That's the sample rate, the lower the sample the lower the maximum frequency you can represent is. Look up the Nyquist theorem.

The number of bits refers to how many digits are in the number that represents each sample. 8 bits means that each sample is represented by a (whole) number between 0-255, 12 bits is 0-4095, and 16 bits is 0-65535. So it's sort of like having more pixels in a monitor, you can draw a finer-grained picture.

As for the S900, yes, the monitor path is analogue so you need to record the sound to be hearing any artifacts of sampling. Else it's just distorting the preamp in the input. (It's a good distortion, mind you)
Old 6 days ago
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by niklasni1 View Post
Bits don't really have anything to do with frequency content. That's the sample rate, the lower the sample the lower the maximum frequency you can represent is. Look up the Nyquist theorem.

The number of bits refers to how many digits are in the number that represents each sample. 8 bits means that each sample is represented by a (whole) number between 0-255, 12 bits is 0-4095, and 16 bits is 0-65535. So it's sort of like having more pixels in a monitor, you can draw a finer-grained picture.

As for the S900, yes, the monitor path is analogue so you need to record the sound to be hearing any artifacts of sampling. Else it's just distorting the preamp in the input. (It's a good distortion, mind you)
Thanks! So:
1. in my audio example Im monitoring directly, which means Im only distorting the preamp?
2. If yes, then how can I achieve the artifacts of sampling? I also tried recording some stuff into the AKAI (where you have only max 12 seconds of sampletime with the 16k samplerate) and played that back, but didnt really experience a change in sound compared to what I have now in my audio example.
Old 6 days ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 

get a s950.
Old 6 days ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by neoking View Post
Thanks! So:
1. in my audio example Im monitoring directly, which means Im only distorting the preamp?
Yes.

Quote:
I also tried recording some stuff into the AKAI (where you have only max 12 seconds of sampletime with the 16k samplerate) and played that back, but didnt really experience a change in sound compared to what I have now in my audio example.
Honestly, that's because the whole thing is incredibly overblown. There is *some* colouration, of course, but it's not night and day like you'd think reading this place. Yes, I've owned one.

Try recording something and changing it around, though - repitch it, use the envelopes and filters, that will allow its character to emerge. It's an instrument meant to be played. It's basic, sure, but you can do some pretty cool things with it and a sequencer and some sounds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by babylonpanic View Post
get a s950.
Isn't that basically an S900 with more memory and timestretching? They work in much the some way as I understand.
Old 6 days ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
NEXUS-6's Avatar
 

Hey I can remember when low bit rate was considered a bad thing..

Now it's hip & they charge you extra for it... Cool beans..
Old 6 days ago
  #7
Gear Addict
 
Forbidden Planet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by neoking View Post
Thanks! So:
1. in my audio example Im monitoring directly, which means Im only distorting the preamp?
2. If yes, then how can I achieve the artifacts of sampling? I also tried recording some stuff into the AKAI (where you have only max 12 seconds of sampletime with the 16k samplerate) and played that back, but didnt really experience a change in sound compared to what I have now in my audio example.
Yes, you need to record into the sampler and play it back. It depends on the sound, but basses and drums definitely tend to get punchier.
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