|Price||~£1800/£2000 new, ~£400 used|
|Synthesis type||Digital Sample-based Subtractive|
|Memory||2MB (32MB upgrade option)|
|Effects||none (4x50 EB16 option)|
|External control||MIDI (IN, OUT, THRU)|
For adding sounds to the sampler, the S3000XL featured a 3.5" floppy drive that read Akai-formatted floppies, and a SCSI port to link with an external storage device, such as a zip drive a cd reader or an external hard disk for storage of longer, or more samples. The built-in 2 MB of RAM could be upgraded up to 32 with (2x16) SIMM that Akai provided. Iomega Zip drives were very commonly used for storage and backup. This was especially important considering that the device could play back MIDI files to external MIDI devices, thus syncing samples with any number of other MIDI instruments. A great benefit was that during live performance the Akai could take the role of the computer to trigger the other instruments. Other upgrades included various extra cards such as the EB-16 & IB-304f.
The S3000XL had 8 outputs, and two 1/4" phone connector inputs, allowing for the S3000XL to operate as a hard disk recorder. The interface consisted of 32 buttons, eight of which were function keys, three knobs, and a four-key directional pad for navigating the 240x64 display, located in the upper-middle portion of the sampler.
The Akai S3000XL is widely considered to be one of the most versatile and useful samplers produced, primarily due to the large screen, and easy-to-navigate interface allowing for quick and in-depth sampling. However, there were some problems apparent in the S3000XL and other Akai samplers as age dawned on them: the LCD screen's backlight faded easily and built-in memory capacity was not so wide.
Akai S2000 is a stripped down, economic version of s3000XL featuring only 2x16 character LCD display, no internal SCSI connector fitted and was usually sold with no options installed. Regardless, it is functionally identical and accepts the S3000XL options listed below (sans internal hard disk) also including the IB-208P 8-channel output board, standard in S3000XL.
- Akai EB16 'SampleVerb' 4x50 effects board
- Akai FMX008 8MB Non-Volatile Flash ROM
- Akai IB304f 'ProFilter' filter board
- Akai MESA editor
- Akai OS v2.0
- Akai SHD524 524MB 2.5" SCSI Hard Disk