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AKAI Z8 or MPC4000 Tricks & Tips ?
Old 9th July 2010
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AKAI Z8 or MPC4000 Tricks & Tips ?

Any AKAI Z8 users or MPC4000 users out there with sampling Tips / Tricks or hidden functions ??

Note: if you want a hard and fast composite of a lot of findings in this thread then you can jump to POST #37

I believe the the Z8 and 4K share the same engine.

I'm looking into interesting ways to use the modulations section to maipulate the samples loop points or start end points.

but anythings fine.
Old 10th July 2010
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Could do worse then have a look here:

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Old 10th July 2010
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Originally Posted by Muser View Post
I'm looking into interesting ways to use the modulations section to maipulate the samples loop points or start end points.
Akai samplers are generally limited, if not plain horrible for this sort of thing. do you have the manual for it? (just dl'd it and am reading through it now.) page 59 lists the available modulation destinations, it looks like your only option is 'start' modulation (not sure if it's sample start or loop start, or both) for individual keygroups (which i guess could be just one key/sample if set up like that). a fair amount of mod sources are available, so you should be able to do at least a bit with it. not sure if sample or loop start/end can be assigned to the Q-link knobs (the manual isn't clear on what can be assigned to these), but this isn't something you'd usually want to do by hand anyway. not sure if there's anything in the looping functions that would help either.

i know that on the MPC-2000xl you could assign velocity to control the sample start point, i don't see any mention of this on the Z8 besides doing it through the mod matrix (which is better anyway). but yeah, Ensoniq and E-mu samplers were always far better for this sort of thing, it looks like Akai didn't improve on it much with the Z8.
Old 10th July 2010
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Thanks Guys.

I think it's sample start for the zone layer.. I do have the manual yes, as a PDF + the updates. I think the manual said that the sample start only responded to velocity (which is what the value in the zone layer is for) OR EXT 1 to 8 .. which I think are the Q knobs OR a Q knob and a Mod source (as EXT 8).

as yet I don't seem to have got the start point shifting, I also combined the LFO to drive the EXT which supposedly drives the sample start.

I haven't exhausted the test on this yet. and I may have made some errors.
basically I am looking for a Granular effect here.

there may be more modulation tricks too as this is where all the power seems to be.

I did find that you can route the FX in and out of each other quite easily, so you can set up a Quad FX system.. that sounds pretty good.
Old 10th July 2010
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The Z8 has a really good resampling feature.

go from 8 / 16 or 24 bit with any sample rate upwards from 4Khz. also in 3 levels of quality.

you can determine the Hz to single Hz increments.
Old 19th July 2010
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Akai Z8 setting up Polyphonic Aftertouch.

Step 1:

1: select multi page button
2: select F2 Main
3: Arrow to chan
4: press Window button to check filtering

Note: This should be able to be set on a per Multi basis

Step 2:

1: select program page button
2: select F5 P-BEND
3: Arrow down to Aftertouch
4: set depth
5: press Window button and set to POLYPHONIC

Note: This should be able to be on a per program basis

The Aftertouch modulators should now be polyphonic on this program.
Old 20th July 2010
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Slice file in Recycle, export as Akai .akp

as referenced from this page.
Making Akai Z8, Ak.Sys & Recycle work together - Future Producers

I just tried this and it works great. The only thing so far is that the midi file received in the Z8's own midifile player page states it will not play the Midi because it only accepts Format 0.
I can't as yet find how to make Recycle default output this format. but I think this can be done as a separate export.
a Default mode would be nicer though.

EDIT: on OSX I was able to use the demo version of Sweet Midi X and set the preferences to output the midi as format Zero. There is enough scope to re save the Midifile before the Demo stops working. When I play the recycle midi file in sweet midi there seems to be a pulse on channel 10 ?? odd. the separate midi export in recycle seems to have no difference. It was still a format 1 file.
Midi file manipulators players on on Mac are surprisingly thin on the ground. a bit like Audio to MP3 converter apps. sigh

well it worked... so

Anyhow: QUOTE:

Hi, i'm trying to figure out how i can slice a .wav file (a drum break) in Recycle, import the sliced hits and .akp program file into my Z8 over Ak.Sys, and have the .midi file in Cubase 4 triggering the slices in the Z8. I have gotten this far:

1. Slice file in Recycle, export as Akai .akp Program File with "export as one sample" deselected from Recycle's Process menu. This puts all the sliced hits (around 50 of them), an .akp file and a .midi file all into one folder.

2. I then select all of the contents of this folder and drag them into the Ak.Sys "Memory" section (they won't drag into any other section). This creates a Program with the same name as my sliced sound, a .midi file, but the "Sample" section only contains one slice for some reason. Ak.Sys says this sample is 00m 00s in length.

3. After setting the correct midi & audio ins/outs in Cubase 4, when I import the .midi file into Cubase and press play, all I hear is an extremely high pitched and extremely short sound being triggered repeatedly whilst climbing in pitch, sounding nothing like my sliced sound (a drum break) did in Recycle.

Why is there only one slice in the Sample section of Ak.Sys? There was 50 slices so shouldn't there be 50 in here? In the "Programs" section of Ak.Sys however it says there are 50 keygroups in the Program created, (the rest says "Program number: Off", and "Type: Keygroup"). When i enter the "Program" section on my Z8 and press "KGRP", all the slices are listed. However when i press "Sample" on the Z8 only the one sample previously mentioned is here. I have tried dragging the seperate sliced wav's over individually but to no avail.


EDIT: It's cool i've figured it out. For anyone in the future who encounters this problem, it was this:
I'd exported the break from Recycle as "thewinstons_amenbrother2.akp", it seems it was the length of the name of the file that was causing the problem. After i'd shortened it to "amen break", Ak.Sys loaded up all of the slices and now everything works fine.
Old 20th July 2010
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Also, I found out the the sample start modulator can only work up to 9,999 samples. but that is either way so, if you have a start position 9,999 samples in then, you get the 9,999 samples in either direction.

There should be a sysx command for the start and end sample point though. not looked into that yet. anyhow, scope for granular there.
Old 25th July 2010
Old 26th July 2010
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most excellent. thumbsup
Old 27th July 2010
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you might be interested in this e6400.

Old 1st August 2010
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AkSys & Griffin Powermate

It is possible to use a Griffin Powermate to alter many controls in the AkSys Akai Editor & remote Panel emulator for the Z8 and S6000 detachable remotes. This virtual remote should also work on Z4 and S5000.

By right clicking on the sampler icon at the top of the BROWSER window, you can launch the ak.Sys ‘virtual’ remote panel:

The key which increment & decrement the values on screen are,
control / + & -

These need to be the keypad +/- keys not the keyboard +/-.
The keypad ones can be programed into the powermate control panel as normal but you may need a full keyboard with the keypad section.

it may be possible to type in a hash (#) before the +/- if you don't have access to a keyboard.

Note: this is the case with Macintosh OS 10.4.X running the Mac OSX version of the Akai AkSys software.
I have no specific information for other versions.
Old 7th August 2010
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Go Hardware !

I'm sittin on an MPC4k and an S6K maxed. They sound awesome! The E-mu range is also very warm with amazing filters. I used to used the EXS24 religiously but now, I see no reason to go back to software. The sound is what it's all about.
Old 12th August 2010
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you can jump to the modulation pages by being on various screen locations and hitting the window button.

so if you are on the filer page and on the filter type selector, hitting (window) button will jump you there.
Old 15th August 2010
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Loop in release.

a possible cause of clicking note offs, is often due to the following settings not being correct.
this happens, especially if you have a loop in the sample for sustain playing.

sometimes you could set up a loop and use this technique, just to have a better ADSR sustain of say, an 808 Kick.

sample button.
F2 loop
select Mode to (LOOP) <--- top right of screen
press - WINDOW button



to monitor the sample as you normally hear it in context of the program or Multi.


1 - sample button.
2 - F1 / Trim button
select Monitor to (MULTI) <--- top right of screen

you can also choose (PROGRAM) as well. but if you are using a Multi then MULTI is often best.
Old 5th October 2010
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Akai Z8 MPC-4000 Engine Structure 1

AKAI Z8 Level Settings.

for this example I used a Normalized Tampura sample. any differences in using a full scale white noise sample may show some different values.
but this seems an adequate enough test for now. This test is carried out at 16Bit - 44.1kHz.

I'm not yet satisfied that I have a proper grasp of exactly how the structure of the Z8 engine is set up and what the best ways to use the modulation section is to drive the Amplitudes and Levels. I am not quite sure if the Amplitude destination is the overall programs Amplitude OR a given KeyGroups Amplitude. I suspect the later. if it is the KeyGroups Amplitude then it is the KeyGroup Amplitude which would need to be lowered to (say) -60dB before (velocity >> Amplitude) is used in the modulation section, for example. Also this approach would effect ALL zones in THAT KeyGroup. it may be better to have the Amp Envelope or the Velocity or Velocity Tilts set up to control individual Zone Levels instead. especially if you intend to get creative.

Given the sensitivity of the Gain staging's ability in this Engine to either induce cramped dynamics / level distortion & Filter distortion & envelope release clicking artifacts (if not very careful) the Z8 Engine is at one time very tricky and sonically very powerful, because of these structural design features.

Anyhow.. here is a little of what I found in my first stage.

With the Z8 Master Level setting set @ 0dB <--- This is on the Utilities GLOBAL page. press the Utilities button.
the Tampura sample was normalized.
in this case the maximum possible output level showing on the Z8's output meter <---- This is in the Record section.. it has a dedicated button.
(for a a single normalized sample) is -3dB.

This is with the program (Level) & Zone Level & KeyGroup Level & Filter Attenuation (All set at Zero).

IF I add a copy of this single Zone set that SECOND Zones level to -9.2dB you will hit Zero on the meter.

IF I then set both these Zones to -3.5dB & increase the programs level to +0.1dB then this also hits Zero on the meter.


For this Test I set the Z8 Master Level setting set @ -6dB <--- Utilities GLOBAL page. press the Utilities button.

IF I then set both these Zones to +6dB & increase the programs level to -2dB then this hits the meter @ -2.5dB.
NOTE: adding a third Zone copy allows for this -2.5dB reading on the Z8 output meter to then exceed Zero on the Z8's master Meter..

NOTE: working again on only Two Zones and not Three.
increasing the program Level any more has NO further effect.
-2.5dB can NOT be exceeded by increasing the programs volume while using these two zones.
ALSO when increasing the KeyGroup level, it also is not possible to exceeded this -2.5dB Level.

Interestingly, adding extreme Resonance on a 2-POLE LP Filter and altering the Filters frequency at this point shows that this limit then creates a possible distortion into the signal as the resonant gain in dB hits this headroom wall. This happens (without) overshooting -2dB in the Meters. However, IF the Filters attenuation is dropped to -18dB then, the distortion clears up (but) the meters then overshoot Zero. This indicates that the gain structure in some way limits overshoot in one condition and allows to occur in another condition. odd.

I am not sure if this Filter attenuation is the same as the KeyGroups Level or if it is a Filter attenuation.
The reason I don't know IS. you can have NO Filter selected and set the attenuation to -18dB and the KeyGroups overall level seems to drop.

This is as yet still unclear to me, in regards to the Gain and Level structure in this Engine configuration.
Old 6th October 2010
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Amplitude & Modulation Matrix.

Amplitude & Modulation Matrix.

This information in many cases will also pertain to AKAI MPC4000 - S1100 - 3000 - 3200 - 5000 - 6000 samplers.
Though the 5000 & 6000 have a mod matrix it is not as fully flexible as the Z8 Engine. But the TILT and VELOCITY architectures
in all these machines seem to share very similar Logic.


In the Filter page, (attenuation) is apparently, the input level from the Zone Samples, to the filter.
as this (attenuation) alters the KeyGroup level EVEN if no Filter is selected then it can be theoretically used to reduce the level.

The aksys manual states the Following.
"in extreme cases where the (attenuation) is unable to reduce the distortion, one option is to re-scale the level of the actual sample(s) in your sample editor.

so potentially the Filter is placed just after the sample in the architecture along with attenuation control.

My current feeling is that the sample hits the architecture in this order.
SAMPLE > attenuation > Filter > Zone Level > KeyGroup Level > Program Volume.

I get the feeling that the AMP Envelope operates on the KeyGroup Level.
If this is the case then that could explain why high resonances in the Filter seem to start to make an audible click on NOTE OFF events.
presumably it is because the filtered sound has high resonant volumes SO when the note off event closes the AMP/KeyGroup Level
the level of the feed from the Filter is high. so you somehow hear this function.

I'm not fully sure about this as yet.. but it's possible.


Notes on the MODULATION section:

Velocity >> Amplitude. I am thinking that because the Amplitude is essentially the same as the (KeyGroup Level)
then, the AMP envelope also drives the KeyGroup Level (effectively).

I get the feeling that the AMP ENV is strictly imposed.
e.g. there is NO Mod routing destination for AMP ENV level, but there is a Source for AMP ENV.
This makes me think AMPLITUDE / AMP ENV & KeyGroup Level are all the same Gain Stage / VCA.
So it seems to me that the KeyGroup Level should be dropped to around -14dB or -18dB before driving the
AMPLITUDE destination with a positive VELOCITY value in the Mod Matrix.

TILT VELOCITY Tilts the Velocity Scale.. SO if you set TILT VELOCITY to (-19) and the destination is set to AMPLITUDE
the lower velocities would get louder & the higher quieter. Because I think this operates on the (KeyGroup Level) then,
a setting on the KeyGroup Level of -14dB would Set the TILT pivot point.

EDIT: actually sometimes you can clearly hear low velocities suddenly disappear when you alter the TILT.
so if differing KeyGroup dB Levels make the velocities disappear while the TILT value is set to some - or + value extreme
then the KeyGroup Level would be a good candidate for WHAT is actually being Tilted.

Anyhow. here is just about the only link on the web where someone is discussing the gain structure and TILT VELOCITY function on the Z8 Engine.

MPC4000 » Same level from +6 dB to -12 dB!?
Old 11th October 2010
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Midifiles to AuditionZ8 patches (or) active programing

Here are 23 midifiles you can use for loading into the Midifile player in the Akai Z8.

I have set them up correctly by exporting them from (Logic in my case) as a format Zero. you set that option up in Logics prefs and then you can export any selected part in the Logic arrange page. best to remove the volume events and program changes (though you can have those filtered in the Z8).
Sometimes people program expression by using Volume (but rarely).

often it is also good to make sure all the events are on the same midi channel. Format Zero exports also need to have any multichannel midi parts to be in the same Logic part I think. it's at least good practice to have that before you select the part for export.

Also, it's a good idea to name the parts with the original bpm and then, before you export a part as a format zero, change the master bpm in Logic to match. then the file has the bpm burned in and also it's in the name.

when you have the format zero midifile from Logic, I have found it still won't play in he Z8 until I run it into sweetmidi (an OSX app) and then save it out. as explained in post #7.

These Midi parts are from the Midi that is with the apple-loops engine that comes with Logic. some are combo Midi and Logic instruments so you can get at the midi etc. I took those small parts and extended them to about 160 Bars each & glues them together, because the Z8 looks like it won't loop play Midifiles.

These are handy for auditioning any programing you are doing in the Z8.
The Z8 is actually a quite good Midifile player too. I wonder if you can actually fill the entire 512Meg ram with Midi . hmmm

The Midi player in the Z8 is under

Feel free to post any other useful midi parts. I remember that the EMU Proteus 2000 had some good auditioning parts.

My parts are Piano & Electric Piano.
Named typically.

Upbeat 85bpm EP01 <-- EP stands for Electric Piano
Delicate P 80bpm 2 <-- P stands for Piano

The AkSys Editor for the Z8 and Z4, S5K S6K and MPC4K is proving to be really very good.
you can drag the midi parts right into the MIDIfiles folder in AkSys.
you can also Edit a sample in your computer sample editor and choose which sample Editor to use.
I find Logic to be a great Sample Editor & I have tried a lot of Editors.
When the sample loads into the sample Editor (logic in my case) the samples are copied from the Akai Z8
to a folder on the computer. The Folder is in Application support in the Library of the user Folder on OSX.

When you have finished Editing in Logic it is good practice to then close the song and not save.
This seems to release the samples from Logics control. Trying to re-edit the sample in AkSys can result
in AkSys throwing up an alert. Closing the Logic Song and quiting and reloading AkSys sorts any of those
application issues.
Attached Files
File Type: zip Midi for AKAI (19.2 KB, 164 views)
Old 12th October 2010
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Don't connect a Z8 (or) Z4 via SCSI to a computer

It looks like you had better not connect a Z8 (or) Z4 via SCSI to a computer.

It looks from reading the AkSys Editor manual that the Akai Z series samplers are SCSI masters and this will likely be a fixed SCSI setting.

This is the same with Ensonq samplers I believe.

I am not sure about this with regards to the AKAI S5000 or S6000 SCSI system. It is possible that these can have the Master SCSI mode changed.

generally though, it is better to use USB and keep the SCSI system for drives and CD-Rom only connected to the samplers.


I have just seen in the Utilities page a SCSI self ID user changeable SCSI address number,
so I don't know why the Manual connecting the Z8 to a computer over SCSI is a bad idea.
with SCSI though, it's usually better safe than sorry and the USB is far better anyhow.
Old 13th October 2010
Lives for gear

Thanks for gathering all this useful information.

Here is something Muser helped me realize that I overlooked at first in the manual:

"to monitor what the Multi is doing while you are in program you need to,
press program.
press F1 <--- though this does matter because it is the same on all program pages.
Arrow to (monitor) on the top right of the screen and use the wheel to select what you want to be hearing. in your case (MULTI).

The same seems to generally apply even when in the sample Page.
I just tested. you can not only monitor the MULTI while in the sample page, you can also still play and edit the sample you are looking for."

After using the Z8 for a while, I'll say it seems the usb connection is often unreliable for pc because of what some people describe as timeouts, but it seems this problem may not be an issue when using a mac. If there is a PC user out there who has a Z8 and never seem to lose the usb connection to Aksys, please let me know.

One thing that seems to be missing in this sampler is that you cannot modulate envelope depth from velocity or cc (filter EG depth for instance etc) or anything really, except the data knob, or "sysex" may be possible in some way like the data wheel, maybe not easy though.
Old 13th October 2010
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Thanks for gathering all this useful information.
yw Andrew. it works as a good reference point for me too.
I have actually used it myself once or twice.. heh

"to monitor what the Multi is doing while you are in program you need to,
press program.
press F1 <--- though this does matter because it is the same on all program pages.
Arrow to (monitor) on the top right of the screen and use the wheel to select what you want to be hearing. in your case (MULTI).

The same seems to generally apply even when in the sample Page.
I just tested. you can not only monitor the MULTI while in the sample page, you can also still play and edit the sample you are looking for."
yeah, there are a few hidden screen modalities. The modulation matrix is the weirdest to get to. I usually go,
PROGRAM - Button
Arrow Down to the Cutoff freq
WINDOW - Button

quite a few other things come up in various selection places on the front panel controller actually. just spend some time moving around and pressing WINDOW.

There are things you can't do on the AkSys Editor btw. but you can call the Virtual front panel up in AkSys. when you open Aksys you can right click on the Main (Z8 Sampler) icon in the window and select (Show Front Panel).
The Griffin power mate works on that Virtual panel too.

After using the Z8 for a while, I'll say it seems the usb connection is often unreliable for pc because of what some people describe as timeouts, but it seems this problem may not be an issue when using a mac. If there is a PC user out there who has a Z8 and never seem to lose the usb connection to Aksys, please let me know.
It would be a good idea to find out if there is a trick to making sure the USB doesn't timeout. you should make a GS post about it. Quiting AkSys is no big deal actually, I do that pretty often anyhow but I would not be happy if everytime I moved to the software I had to quit it. especially if the Z8 is fully loaded. I do get some freezes sometimes but I haven't worked out where those happen yet. I had the Z8 on permanently for about 5 weeks recently and eventually it froze. certain combinations of using AkSys (and or) having midi running into the Z8 with AkSys running can freeze the Z8.

I just did that when copying a Multi I had been Editing and then changing the Style on a Yamaha RM1x (which sends out prog changes over Midi) THEN I tried to delete that Multi and it Froze.

One thing that seems to be missing in this sampler is that you cannot modulate envelope depth from velocity or cc (filter EG depth for instance etc) or anything really, except the data knob, or "sysex" may be possible in some way like the data wheel, maybe not easy though.
yes, I am coming to think that Akai samplers impose their Envelopes directly over the sample in the KeyGroups. I haven't fully worked that out yet. BUT you can CC the filter ENV and that did seem to do something akin.
I need to recheck that at some point. Instead of using a CC in your DAW to test it you can use one of the knobs on the interface and Assign one of the Q-Link controls as sending EXT 1 to one of the Multi Parts which corresponds to the program your will set the Mod Matrix source the be (EXT 1)

I will put the Mod Matrix control list in the next post.

If you get a sound that seems to be distorting, I would take that opportunity to try the following. it's quicker in the Editor.

Try to find the relationship between the
KeyGroup Level -
the Filter Attenuation -
the Program Level -
the Velocity >> AMPLITUDE (and)
the Level Fader db on the Multi.

make sure that the Master Level under (Utilities / Global) is set to -12db.

you'll notice that as you increase or decrease the Velocity to AMPLITUDE value up to about 15 to 19 there is an impact on the distortion.

IF you lower the KeyGroup Level you will notice a decrease in saturation, especially if the sound has a lot of lows and low mids. you will also notice that you get more clear velocity to amplitude signature. The low velocities will start to fall away. This is an odd relationship in gain architecture.

IF you then alter the Level Fader db on the Multi you wil sometimes notice that for about the first -3 to -6dbs you don't always hear much.

This indicates that it's really easy to overcook the saturation in the sound. it's more as if the dbs start to all Bunch Up into the higher dbs.

It's tricky, but at least it has scope of interesting subtle saturations and gain distortions. Loading CD-Roms with higher than +9 +11 +13 +15 +17 or +19 values in the Velocity >> AMPLITUDE mod matrix is often responsible for this.

Rule of Thumb.. try dropping the Keygroup Level to -4db or -6db or -8db
then alter the Velocity >> AMPLITUDE mod matrix Level to any of
+9 +11 +13 +15 +17 or +19.

before you do that, make sure you have the edit (ALL) keygroups for the program selected so you are doing to ALL Kgs.
check to see if every value is the same though for the values you are altering in ALL the keygoups.
OR you can have the edit (ADD) keygroups for the program selected so you are Adding to ALL Kgps as a differential.
Old 13th October 2010
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Example of modal nature of the WINDOW Button.

While a “Lo” or “Hi” parameter is selected, press the WINDOW button.
The Key Span window appears, as shown below.

Then you have access on the Z8 panel to these.

Keygroup X-fade: (OFF, ON) When set to “ON,” a crossfade is applied to notes where
Keygroups overlap.
X-fade curve: (LINEAR, EXPONENTIAL, LOGARITHMIC) This selects the curve
for the crossfade between overlapping Keygroups.
Set via MIDI: (NO, YES) This determines whether or not a connected MIDI keyboard
can be used to set the Keyspan. When set to “YES,” and either the Keyspan “Lo” or “Hi”
parameter is selected, the MIDI keyboard can be used.


In my AkSys Editor on the zones pages of programs, there is a setting as part of the Velocity (Range(s) for each Zones section in each KeyGroup.
one of them is called RT for (realtime) X-Fading of the 4 Zones. it can be individually set for each KeyGroup (looks like).
I have no idea WHAT!! it is.

in my particular AkSys user PDF manual, it isn't shown. so it must have been added later. Any knowledge about this would be appreciated.

onto the Mod Matrix.

Selects the modulation source.
The following sources can be selected:

CONTROLLER: (Control Changes can be assigned),
EXT 1–8 (for use with the Q-Link controls),
•EXT 1
•EXT 2
•EXT 3
•EXT 4
•EXT 5
•EXT 6
•EXT 7
•EXT 8
•CTRL 0 to 127

what the DOT means.
Modulation sources with a quarter-note (•) use the modulation value at the time a key is
pressed and ignore further changes. For example, when the “BEND” modulation source
is selected, the sustained note changes as the bend wheel is moved. However, with the
“ (•) BEND UP” modulation source, the sustained note does not change as the bend wheel
is moved.

Selects the modulation destination.
The following destinations can be selected:

(same again for Zones 2–4)
Old 13th October 2010
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Tally of peculiarities & confusions.

on the Z8 / Z4 front panel, the KGRP/KeyGroup panel page will only show the name of what sample is in Zone-1.

If Zone-1 has no sample but Zone-2 to 3 do have a sample, the KeyGroup number will look Empty even though the KeyGroup does have a sample in the other 3 Zones on THAT KeyGroup.

you need to Arrow down to the Kg Entry on the programs KGRP page Tab (which is F2 under Program) and then hit F3 ZONE. Then you will see the four Zones for that particular KeyGroup.

The First three F1 F2 F3 pages in programs are (Sub Modal).
This is important to look at and understand. e.g. if you press F1 F2 or F3 while in program then, F4 F5 and F6 are always different sub Functions for each of the First 3 (F)unction pages. (e.g. F1 to 3 are Function Modal)
DAWs sometimes call this scheme 'progressive disclosure'.

as a side note, the guy at Hollowsun specified the interface for the Z8 & AkSys. They did a good job on this.
If this unit had a way to mute zones, a couple of AkSys operational additions & a couple of more modulators this unit woud be almost unbeatable. even set against some of the best Plug-in Samplers, It's working out to be a class act.

If you try to record Sample the outputs on the Z8 you might want to quit AkSys first, otherwise AkSys may crash.

The Data in AkSys sometimes becomes a little confused.

I noticed this when I selected a program I had edited and then right clicked on the program icon and selected (save to Mac). I chose to save samples with the program and it was saving a program I had not selected, along with the one I had.
Quitting and restarting AkSys solved this problem.
Old 13th October 2010
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Z8 LFO Mod Matrix Tricks.

Here is an example of a simple application in the Modulation Matrix.

Two slightly different samples are placed in Two separate keygroup.
keygroup 1 has the first sample in Zone 1.
keygroup 2 has the second sample in Zone 2.
both samples cover the whole keyboard range.

LFO1 is placed in two slots as the Source Modulation Matrix and different Values are given to the two Zone destinations AND each keygroup have the LFO1 setting set to Sync LFO at two different Time divisions.

Mod Matrix for keygroup 1
LFO1 >> Z1 LEVEL = Value 31
LFO1 >> Z2 LEVEL = Value Zero

Mod Matrix for keygroup 2
LFO1 >> Z1 LEVEL = Value Zero
LFO1 >> Z2 LEVEL = Value 53

Note: the first keygroup has to have the sample in Zone one and the second keygroup has to have the sample in Zone 2.
The Z8 allows each keygroups LFOs to be independently set.

The three examples are.
1: Single original source sample in one keygroup and the Midi pattern.
2: Same but with the LFO1 modulating Z1 LEVEL @ Value 31
3: with the added extra keygroup / sample & extra LFO1 mod matrix offsets and differing Time divisions.
Attached Files

Zone Mod1.mp3 (413.7 KB, 6454 views)

Zone Mod2.mp3 (410.6 KB, 6364 views)

Zone Mod3.mp3 (716.8 KB, 6380 views)

Old 14th October 2010
Gear Guru
Muser's Avatar
COPYING MADE EASY / ctrls and program changes.

Controller Numbers 32 to 63 look like they may be reserved for something.

If you are in the Multi section and are on Tab Page F2 (MAIN) and arrow across to a parts Midi Channel & then, press WINDOW, you can see the Midi Filter List for that Midi Channel. The Z8 has 32 Channels. 1A to 16B. there you can see that you can not allow or disallow Controller Numbers 32 to 63.

If you then arrow left to the L-R output and press WINDOW again you can globally set that channel to allow program change controls for that channel. the same is true if you arrow all the was to the left.

if you arrow up the the name of the Multi and hit WINDOW yo can choose which of the 32 Midi Channels program changes the Multi (Itself) will respond to.

I think you can have 127 Multis which is really handy as they are akin to Mix scenes on a Digital Mixer.

Note: you can also have all 32 program / channel locations in the Multi All receiving on the same Midi Channel. you can can build large stacks on the Fly. If you are going to do that, copy the Multi First.


Here is the simplest way to Copy almost anything on the Z8. it applies to most things.

select the Multi's Name in the top, by arrowing onto it.
Turn the Dial ONCE to the right
Hit COPY F2 to copy the name into the memory buffer.
Hit WINDOW again to exit that Naming routine.
Hit WINDOW again while the Multi Name is selected
select the source Multi you want to copy <--- this is different for most other objects like Samples or programs but applies for Multi's.
Arrow down to the destination Multi
Turn the Dial ONCE to the right again
Arrow to the end of the Name and add a suffix number to differentiate the Multi for you
Hit F5 DO IT.
Old 15th October 2010
Gear Guru
Muser's Avatar
The function of the RT parameter.

I have found out what the RT X-Fade setting is for in the zones.

If you set a velocity range for say (Zone 4) of say, between 80 to 127 and then,
set up a modulation source from the Mod matrix source to destination
The fourth zone will start to be heard when the LFO exceeds a certain level.

RT means Real Time X-Fade Zone selection.
the Mod source won't function as a ZONE SELECT unless this zone parameter is set to RT.

you can of course then use any of the Mod sources.

Note: a simple way to always test the possible effectiveness of a Mod source is to set the destination to PITCH. you can always easily hear if the Source Mod will actually do anything in that condition.
Old 18th October 2010
Gear Guru
Muser's Avatar
Some of what the Z8 Engine is capable of.

Old 18th October 2010
Gear Guru
Muser's Avatar
PC version of AkSys USB disconnect issues.

Regarding andrewsc PC version of AkSys USB disconnect issues in post #20.

some routines are mentioned in this Forum post.

Read the last 4 posts.

Akai MPC Forums - More ak.Sys info : MPC4000
Old 18th October 2010
Gear Guru
Muser's Avatar
Akai Z8 / MPC4000 Filter knob Value to Freqency.

Not a bad slope.

To some degree I would take this chart with a pinch of salt. because it might depend on how it was generated. it is very possible that many other frequencies are possible, depending on how you offset other factors in the Z8's Mod Matrix or even zone offsets. I would say that it most likely will represent the main master KeyGroups Filter knobs, Value to frequency response. so it is a generalized view but not necessarily a defacto reality.

Values 79 & 80 are the same by the looks of things.

It's interesting that the value of 19 signifies the first change in value.
I have noticed some imported programs from Akai sample CD's contained a +19 Velocity >>to>> Amplitude setting in the modulation Matrix.

what may be interesting to see is if placing TWO
(X) >>to>> Filter
in the modulation Matrix (one with a +19) and (one with a +1) might result in a frequency in-between 21.5Hz & 75.4Hz.

I suppose some second source such as an LFO set to Square with Zero Frequency/Run-Time
might act as some kind of finner grained offset for the Frequencies of the Filters.
Old 18th October 2010
Gear Guru
Muser's Avatar
a Good Velocity to Amp ADSR setup for Drums.

I would urge any Z8/Z4 or MPC 4000 user to try this setting and let me know if it works. The Z8 Engine is not set up with the MOD Source to Destination settings which is normally hard wired & optimized in something like a S5000 / S6000 or even S3000 & S3200.

At first this seems academic (but) I think that Akai has put in some understanding to these Mod sources in previous models of Akai sampler Engine which, they have NOT put into Z Engine patches AT ALL by default.

Later I will put in a picture of the S5000 AkSys Editor so you can see what may be set up as a Default S5000 Mod Source & Destination routing as a possible (standard) set of routings in the S5 & S6000 samplers.

However ....

a Good STAND ALONE DRUM KeyGroup Sensitivity setting.
See next post for more in depth information.

No Filter engaged.
KeyGroup Level = minus (- 41)


Source ---< Depth >--- Destination

AMP ENV ---< 013 >--- AMPLITUDE



A 0
D 40
S 67
R 5
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