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Old Akais are sexy - the ultimate Akai thread
Old 20th March 2012
  #1
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Old Akais are sexy - the ultimate Akai thread

So I've been listening to a lot of older deep house and dub techno recently, and I've had a hard time replicating the gritty, deep sound of lots of the chords and pads. Everything I do sounds too shiny and metallic and clangy. Could it be from the converters and 12 bit memory in the samplers from around that time? Anyone here run their gear into something like a s900 to get a grittier sound?
Old 20th March 2012
  #2
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Try recording the sample at a pitch that's twice as high, then let the sampler play the sample back at half speed.

What are you using right now for sample playback?
Old 20th March 2012
  #3
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sounds like you are using plug ins and dont have very good DA´s..

metallic and clangy reminds me to my FF 400 and the ableton internal sampler...

anyway..grittier can be many things.. i wouldnt vall the sound of old samplers gritty..but darker fits the description well..but can be anything from akai , roland, emu, ensoniqu they all will sound better than the plug ins i know..from the cheapest to the most expensive model..
Old 20th March 2012
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
Try recording the sample at a pitch that's twice as high, then let the sampler play the sample back at half speed.

What are you using right now for sample playback?
I'm just recording straight to ableton @96k via a duet.

It's great for most of the stuff, but certain sounds I want to be more, well, "deep" and just bitcrushing and EQing doesn't seem to be doing the job.

edit* especially when I record the JX8P. I feel like I should be getting darker, dirtier, deeper sounds out of it.

edit 2* although I suppose I cooooooould try recording that stuff an octave up and then pitching the samples down an octave
Old 20th March 2012
  #5
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Just switch off all interpolation (or set it to lowest quality). Alternatively, give 112db Morgana a try.

If that doesn't get you what you want, find a fully loaded/expanded Akai and see if that helps .
Old 20th March 2012
  #6
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will do, yoozer

although you know gearslutz has really gotten to you when you go

PFFFFT $169 for software?!

why would I do that when I can just spend an 2x as much and get the original thing for the (marginal) effect I'm going for?

Oh boy, I've become such a slut.
Old 20th March 2012
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apres garde View Post
So I've been listening to a lot of older deep house and dub techno recently, and I've had a hard time replicating the gritty, deep sound of lots of the chords and pads. Everything I do sounds too shiny and metallic and clangy. Could it be from the converters and 12 bit memory in the samplers from around that time? Anyone here run their gear into something like a s900 to get a grittier sound?
Yep. Using S1000 for that same reason. Anything from S900 to S1100 will help your plight in different ways. They ARE the sound of early 90's house. Very apparent as soon as you take a soft synth note and sample it in, make a patch and play. Even the filter, although no rez, sounds great pulling down on a chord sample to make it hum beautifully in a kind of woody way. Not 'wet and squelchy-analog', but very musical and woody. Brought me right back. I used to work in a studio with a Soundtracs IL and later Jade in the 90's, and all the house that came through was basically two or more Akai S1100/1000's(laterS3000/3200's), Atari and synced 2", any synths bonus......they ARE the sound of 90's house.

Forget getting those tones from software. Sorry Yoozer, tried Morgana and it just sounds like another type of 'broken shiny'. ITB will give you variations of broken shiny ad infinitum, but what OP is asking for is unbroken musical, and yes, those Akais will give it to you.

I'd get an S1000 (I did......again, after 20 years since I bought the last one. Slight price difference.....lol) or S1100 for hotter output and slightly smoother sound and some nice verb and more features. But I like the S1000. Sample. Make patch within seconds. Play. Record into audio. Switch off. Oh, and it sounds great to just run things through at various levels all the way up to full burn, strapped over an I/O plug in and then bounce onto any audio.

Get one! You won't regret it. I just payed £50 to my door for my minty S1000. LOL What's to lose...? Oh, and the sound you get for kicks and hats....and snares.......Yum!!

P.S. It's nothing to do with any '12bit memory' though, whatever that is...... ;-)
Old 20th March 2012
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apres garde View Post
PFFFFT $169 for software?!
That's why I said "try" - they've got a demo

Quote:
why would I do that when I can just spend an 2x as much and get the original thing for the (marginal) effect I'm going for?
Because you don't know for certain yet that the magic is in that sampler.

It might be in the desk. Or the effects. Or the outboard. Or... (and that's far worse because the search for that particular magic fans the fire of spending far more)
Old 20th March 2012
  #9
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Just checked ebay and an s1000 in good condition just went for $100. Sounds like it might be the solution I'm looking for!

And you know what I mean. 12 bit RESOLUTION haha

Just starting a new job so cash is a little tight, but that'll be my first splurge

Although I will feel a little guilty for using a classic piece of gear as basically an effect processor!
Old 20th March 2012
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
It might be in the desk. Or the effects. Or the outboard. Or... (and that's far worse because the search for that particular magic fans the fire of spending far more)
Old 20th March 2012
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apres garde View Post
Just checked ebay and an s1000 in good condition just went for $100. Sounds like it might be the solution I'm looking for!

And you know what I mean. 12 bit RESOLUTION haha

Just starting a new job so cash is a little tight, but that'll be my first splurge

Although I will feel a little guilty for using a classic piece of gear as basically an effect processor!
You will be stuck in a constant smile for a week after first trying it out. And you're not just going to use it as an effect processor, it'll be an instrument too, as once you've got a sample in there that will turn into chords you'll find yourself playing the keyboard, grinning, while that relief of 'having found a solution' trickles down your spine.....and then tweaking the cutoff over the MIDI playback onto audio......
Old 20th March 2012
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apres garde View Post

lol....yes, a nice desk doesn't hurt either.......
Old 20th March 2012
  #13
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Sounds lovely. I wasn't even thinking about running the MEK in there and building chords off that. Liking the possibilities!

And while outboard gear is lovely, both my finances and space restrict it. I have almost everything in place to get working on the first EP -- I have about a dozen songs at various stages of completion -- and really want to get the most out of the gear. I MIIIIIIIGHT pickup a small eurorack unit of a few modules -- pittsburg generator, make noise maths, etc -- if I don't go on vacation this summer, but other than that the akai should give me the basic sound I'm looking for.

If it's successful, THEN we can talk about really slutting it up :D
Old 20th March 2012
  #14
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Subosc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by apres garde View Post
Just checked ebay and an s1000 in good condition just went for $100. Sounds like it might be the solution I'm looking for!

And you know what I mean. 12 bit RESOLUTION haha

Just starting a new job so cash is a little tight, but that'll be my first splurge

Although I will feel a little guilty for using a classic piece of gear as basically an effect processor!
s1000 is 16bits, just sayin...
Old 20th March 2012
  #15
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I'm pretty sure the sound you are looking for you cannot get using software alone. I've tried Soundtoys, PSP etc and while nice they never got that "real" sounding "grit" you get from hardware. Some of the metallicness of your sound might even come from your duet, which sounds a little "shiny" - some like the Apogee sound, I don't.

I would advice you to pick up an Akai that sounds either like the MPC 60 or the MPC 3000. The 60 and 3000 are widely considered the best sounding MPCs. The 2000 and later models are more about the workflow and less about the sound which is more transparent. The S1000 is inferior sounding too, I suppose.

The 3000 adds this cream / weight / punch to the sounds put in, but less crunch like the 60. Whle it's 16 bit, it's still lofi. It's sound and swing is what I'd call "instant deep house". 909 samples sound great in it!

Cheaper options, without the swing:

Akai S900 = MPC 60

S3000/S2800 = MPC 3000 (but not the S3000XL!)

I had the S2800 (it's the best bang for buck, if stereo is enough) and currently have the MPC 3000 and while never directly A/B'd them, they sounded pretty much the same in my ears.
Old 20th March 2012
  #16
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Right, I was talking about the s900, which is 12 bit

But I'm pretty sure that plenty of the people whose sounds are inspiring me at the moment used s1000s, so 12bit vs 16 bit processing shouldn't be THAT big of an issue
Old 20th March 2012
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Forget getting those tones from software. Sorry Yoozer, tried Morgana and it just sounds like another type of 'broken shiny'. ITB will give you variations of broken shiny ad infinitum, but what OP is asking for is unbroken musical, and yes, those Akais will give it to you.
That's reality. Picked up an MPC3000 recently for crafting beat loops. No combination of software foolery gets this knocky slightly-low-bit tone.
Old 20th March 2012
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apres garde View Post
Just checked ebay and an s1000 in good condition just went for $100. Sounds like it might be the solution I'm looking for!

And you know what I mean. 12 bit RESOLUTION haha

Just starting a new job so cash is a little tight, but that'll be my first splurge

Although I will feel a little guilty for using a classic piece of gear as basically an effect processor!
when you want it really dark n fat and 12 bit the s900 might be even more interesting..
its a bass monster and there is a software version that allows filter modulation..

s-1000 is 16 bit

i also have seen s-1100 for 100.- too, you might prefer that over a s-1000 because it has an inbuild fx board and some other extras.
Old 20th March 2012
  #19
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reminds me, I must get my s950 out of my parents' attic.

I have about 500 floppy discs worth of "early 90s hip-hop" samples too - spent my student years sampling every kick and snare and bass line I could find from any random 60 and 70s soul, jazz, reggae, prog-rock albums I could lay my hands on. And then never did anything with them! ah, youth is wasted on the young...
Old 20th March 2012
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ossicle View Post
The S1000 is inferior sounding too, I suppose.


the s-1000 / s-1100 series is better sounding than the 3000 series..

dont has a resonant filter but beefier DA´s.. only problem that stereo samples sometimes are glitchy in the phase.. maybe s-1100 witj later os version have cleared that problem..i dont know..but s-1000 and early s-1100 versions had it..so not ideal for stereo kick drums..
Old 20th March 2012
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apres garde View Post
Right, I was talking about the s900, which is 12 bit

But I'm pretty sure that plenty of the people whose sounds are inspiring me at the moment used s1000s, so 12bit vs 16 bit processing shouldn't be THAT big of an issue
You need to make your own mental picture of what the difference is by comparing. I think of S1000/1100 as more flexible than 900/950, yet still nicely papery coloured for drums and woody for chords. And sweet as when you eq after. Like say put a kick in an S1000/1100 and an S3000/3200. The 3000 will sound bigger off the bat. But it won't have the paper or the wood. It will be nice and direct but in a more shiny DAT machine sounding way. And once you have boosted bass back onto the S1000 kick and some sizzle on top it RULES, far nicer than 3000 series.

The 900/950 is a little grittier. Nice too, but I have a DSS-1 which gives me a better flavour of 12bit grit IMO. And sweet analog filters. Another nice 12bit is original EPS (or was it 13...). But I'd start with an S1000 or S1100. S1100 is 'better', more output, 'better' converters....but I'm not sure I like it better.....
Old 20th March 2012
  #22
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samplers dont need to be workstations anymore.. sampling time and multiple outputs are no issue anymore.. so the oldest are the best...

but that reflects in the price...

emulator II and akai S-612 are the cult machines ..

than emax and akai s-900 or prophet 2000 or 2002...

especially the prophets are a little forgotten ... but i guess thats mainly because nobody sells them..
Old 20th March 2012
  #23
sure the Akai would make a small difference. more important would be using a mid-range mixer and outboard and record everything to a mid range DAT recorder. and at the end mastered onto vinyl

everything was squenced in midi and recorded off the main mix buss in real time, 'live' as it were, that makes a difference too.
Old 20th March 2012
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golden beers View Post
sure the Akai would make a small difference. more important would be using a mid-range mixer and outboard and record everything to a mid range DAT recorder. and at the end mastered onto vinyl

everything was squenced in midi and recorded off the main mix buss in real time, 'live' as it were, that makes a difference too.
what shall the dat do for the sound? many tracks was recorded with tape..often even tapedecks.. and when you delivered dats the cutting often transfered them to tape before the cutting.. at least on the cuttings i ve seen.. maybe that has changed later on.. in any case ther is no beneficial sound in using old dat´s.
Old 20th March 2012
  #25
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I would give the D16 Decimort plugin a go, this really dirtied things up for me.

It's only £33, but you can demo it first...I did and within 10 minutes bought it, worth a shot!

D16 Group Audio Software - Beyond Perfection - Decimort
Old 20th March 2012
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golden beers View Post
sure the Akai would make a small difference.
Yes, like that small difference of wiping the 'almost' off a soft sound by having gone through it. And in the end both you and Yoozer are right in the sense that it will likely lead the OP down the path of more analog exploration...like desks and such......worse things occur in life than exploring things that sound how you want them to......
Old 20th March 2012
  #27
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i do have the option of picking up a k2000s for a nice rate. How do the converters on that stack up to an older akai?


edit* especially when I'd get more use out of the k2000, probs
Old 20th March 2012
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apres garde View Post
i do have the option of picking up a k2000s for a nice rate. How do the converters on that stack up to an older akai?


edit* especially when I'd get more use out of the k2000, probs
rather weak.. but nice for soft things
Old 20th March 2012
  #29
as an S1100 and a K2000 owner I can tell you the obvious answer: get both!


the AKAI's (900's to S1100's) would be better for percussive sounds.

also, for great bit crush mojo: ensoniq mirage.

these are all cheap machines. the S1100 has the bonus of SCSI and a wonderful FX card. i personally never liked the sound of the 3000 series.
Old 20th March 2012
  #30
You can buy something like a S700 for cheap, mine cost me about 50€. You just have to record everything, since the QD drives are **** and mostly not working. But it sounds great for deep house stuff. Here's an example of a Chord, and what happens after I put it through the S700:



The wobbly chord (and the splashy pad) in my signature track were made like that...
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