[sdiy] Sampler or turd polisher?

Batz Goodfortune batzman-nr at all-electric.com
Fri Dec 9 12:38:17 CET 2011

Y-ellow Adam 'n' all.

At 10:11 PM 12/8/2011 +1000, Adam Inglis wrote:
>If you're interested in how the sampler *sounds*, you could pick up an
>Akai S3000XL and an old SCSI compatible computer for a few hundred or
>less, and have loadsa fun. I am constantly amazed at how good mine
>sounds! I talk to it via Classic OS or Mac OS 9.2 ...  and a USB-to-
>SCSI adapter.

SCSI it self isn't the issue. I already have computers that can talk SCSI 
to the A4K. It actually plays nice apart from the FS. I was tempted in 
buying an S5K or S6K at one point. But I was put off after being told that 
the Akai's had much the same issues. I also looked at an EMU box from 
around that era. Also having SCSI issues. I can't remember the model. I 
forget the details now but there were a couple of issues I couldn't 
resolve. Whilst the Akais are better appointed FS wise, they still have 
issues because their SCSI implementation was primarily designed to service 
out-board Zip/Jaz drives the same as the Yamaha box was. Whilst I've never 
been able to put any of this to the test, the word is that I'd be buying 
into a similar mess.

Thinking back to when I worked in the shop, I only ever saw people transfer 
files that way. Via Zip or Jaz disks. Never directly connected to a 
computer. And I'm thinking that maybe that's not such a bad solution for 
the A4K. It would get me out of a hole at least. Except I have no idea if 
it lays down an ISO FS on the zip/Jaz disks or if it insists on it's own 
whack format. In which case I could go to all that trouble, -buying a pair 
of zip/jaz drivers off of EvilBAbY and getting them all rigged up.- only to 
find that the computer still can't read the disk spewed out by the A4K. 
(And visa versa)

There's also the little matter of the Akai Z8. This perhaps, would be my 
ideal sampler box. I've hunted high and low for one but they are very thin 
on the ground. If you've got one, you're not likely to want to sell it. 
It's a killer. And the one person I found selling one, wanted too much. 
Especially considering that they were in the US and the cost of shipping it 
out here added maybe 600 bucks to the price.

But the Z8 is possibly the best sampler Akai ever came up with. Then they 
dropped the bundle and gave up making samplers altogether. The Z8 is USB so 
it talks to anything. And comes standard with digital I/O. Which for me, is 
a definite requirement.

I am strange. I Run against the grain and often like to take the path less 
travelled. But I actually like the way Yamaha boxes are laid out. Even the 
old DX7, through it's tiny little LCD window, posed no threat to my skill 
at programming them. I have no problem finding my way round the A4K. It 
would be nice to be able to get some samples into it. I'd even buy an old 
mac just to translate if that's what was required.

But in a way, it's heartening. In that I'm not the only one to have found 
all these so called, professional software solutions, to be more than a 
little wanting. Yet all I hear these days is. "Oh you just do all that in 
software now." Spoken mainly by people who's only live keyboard skill is 
pressing the one marked "Play." What I'd like to see is a reliable 
statistic of how many people have had, even a glitch, whilst amidst a live 
performance. What OS and what software they were using. I'm guessing 
no-ones game to keep score. But even in testing some of this crap out, I've 
had some masterful bombs.

Thanks again to all.

Be absolutely icebox.

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