Akai S1000

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Akai S1000
Zoë Blade's Akai S1000.jpg
Akai S1000 MIDI Stereo Digital Sampler
Dates1988 - 1993
Technical specifications
Polyphony16 voices
Timbrality16 parts
Oscillator1 (Saw Down, Saw Up, Sine, Square)
LFO3 LFOs[1]
Synthesis typeDigital Sample-based Subtractive
Filter18dB/octave digital
Storage memory2MB (expandable to 32MB - originally 8MB maximum)[2]
Keyboard61-key (S1000KB only)
External controlMIDI

The Akai S1000 is a 16-bit, 44.1 kHz professional stereo digital sampler, released by Akai in 1988. The S1000 was among the first professional-quality 16-bit stereo samplers.[3] Its abilities to splice, crossfade, trim, and loop sound in 16-bit CD quality made it popular among producers in the late 80s through to the mid 90s. The S1000 used 24-bit internal processing, had digital filters and an effects send and return, and came with 2MB of RAM (expandable to 8MB, and 32MB after the introduction of the EXM008 RAM boards for the S1100 in 1990).

Version 2.0 of the S1000's operating system introduced primitive timestretching, allowing a sound's pitch and length to be altered independently of one another. Far from seamless, this distinctive sound became popular in its own right, featured on songs such as "Higher State of Consciousness" and "RipGroove".


Several variations of the S1000 were produced:

  • The S1000HD included an internal 40MB hard disk
  • The S1000KB was built into a keyboard, and included room for an internal 80MB hard disk
  • The S1000PB was a playback-only version that couldn't create new samples[4]
  • The S1100, released in 1990, was an expanded and enhanced version of the S1000[3]
  • The S1100EX was an expansion for the S1100, including everything except the front panel, to increase its polyphony and timbrality

Expansion cards[edit]

The following expansion cards are available to upgrade the abilities of any S1000 series sampler:[5]

  • EXM005 2MB RAM (additional three can be fitted, for 8MB RAM in total)
  • EXM008 8MB RAM , released in 1990 (up to four can be fitted, for 32MB RAM in total)
  • IB 102 Atari / Supra hard disk interface
  • IB 103 SCSI interface
  • IB 104 AES/EBU digital interface


The S1000 quickly displaced the S900 as the studio standard sampler. Many bedroom producers could make music using little more than an S1000 and an Atari ST to sequence it, and in the UK this combination was a popular way of producing music in genres from jungle to speed garage.

In an interview taken over ten years after the S1000's release, Boards of Canada's Michael Sandison said "We have five or six samplers, but my favorite by far is still the Akai S1000. It's an old tank now, and the screen has faded so that I almost can't read it, but I know it inside out. It's the most spontaneous thing for making up little tunes."[6] Conversely, Portishead's Dave McDonald simply called it a "horrible thing" due to its primitive interface.[7]

Notable users[edit]

Notable users include 808 State,[8] Boards of Canada,[6] Bomb the Bass,[9][10] Butch Vig / Garbage,[11] Cabaret Voltaire,[12] The Chemical Brothers,[13] Crystal Method, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, the Future Sound of London,[14] Michael Jackson,[15] Jean-Michel Jarre, Meat Beat Manifesto,[16] Moby, My Bloody Valentine,[17] Gary Numan, Nine Inch Nails (S1100),[18] Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark,[19] Pet Shop Boys, Portishead,[7] Primal Scream,[20][21] The Prodigy,[22] Public Enemy,[23] The Sisters of Mercy, The Stone Roses,[24] System 7,[25] Tears for Fears,[26] Tricky,[27] Vangelis, and Vince Clarke.


  1. ^ "Akai Professional S1000 Stereo Digital Sampler". Encyclotronic. Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  2. ^ Blade, Zoë. "Akai S1000".
  3. ^ a b Russ, Martin (2004). Sound Synthesis and Sampling. Elsevier. p. 221. ISBN 0-240-51692-3
  4. ^ "Action Replay". Sound On Sound. April 1989. pp. 86–88. ISSN 0951-6816. OCLC 925234032.
  5. ^ Akai S1000 Series Software Version 2.0 Manual (PDF). p. 81.
  6. ^ a b Micallef, Ken (July 2002). "Northern Exposure". Remix. Archived from the original on 2006-01-17.
  7. ^ a b Wheaton, R. J. (2011). Dummy. p. 76. ISBN 9781441194497.
  8. ^ "Art of the State". 808 State. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  9. ^ Collins, Mike (Jun 1991). "Beat Dis". Sound On Sound. United Kingdom. pp. 24–30. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  10. ^ Goodyer, Tim (Jul 1991). "Beats Working". Music Technology. United Kingdom: Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing. pp. 26–32. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  11. ^ "Behind the Music with Butch Vig". Waves. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  12. ^ "A Chat with Richard H. Kirk". Electronic Beats. December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  13. ^ Kim, Peter (2011). Keyboard Presents the Evolution of Electronic Dance Music.
  14. ^ Trask, Simon (January 1994). "Future Talk". Music Technology. United Kingdom: Music Maker Publications (UK). p. 17. Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  15. ^ Buskin, Richard (August 2004). "Classic Tracks: Michael Jackson 'Black Or White'". Sound On Sound. UK. Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  16. ^ Cogan, Steve (Jan 1991). "Meet the Beat". Music Technology. United Kingdom: Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing. pp. 54–58. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
  17. ^ "Alan Moulder: Recording My Blood Valentine's Loveless".
  18. ^ Buskin, Richard (September 2012). "Classic Tracks: Nine Inch Nails "Closer"". Sound On Sound. UK. Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  19. ^ "Power in the Darkness". Music Technology. December 1991.
  20. ^ Llewellyn Smith, Caspar (2010-10-31). "Primal Scream: The band who made a rave new world". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  21. ^ Doyle, Tom (June 2017). "Primal Scream 'Come Together'". Sound On Sound. UK. Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  22. ^ "Playing With Fire". The Mix. March 1997.
  23. ^ That's the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader. p. 418.
  24. ^ "The Stone Roses 'Fools Gold'". Sound on Sound. February 2005. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  25. ^ Trask, Simon (Oct 1991). "All Systems Go". Music Technology. United Kingdom: Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing. pp. 36–42. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  26. ^ Rue, Dan; Goodyer, Tim (June 1990). "Tears for Fears". Music Technology (Jun 1990): 48–53.
  27. ^ Buskin, Richard (June 2007). "Classic Tracks: Tricky 'Black Steel'". Sound On Sound. UK. Retrieved 2020-01-19.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]