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Akai S6000 Sampler - questions about upgrading


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  • Akai S6000 Sampler - questions about upgrading

    I will try to keep this short and to the point but I have many questions which I can't seem to find definitive answers to. First off, a brief introduction.

    I purchased a used Akai S6000 Sampler about 8 - 10 years ago. I had purchased it to use as a tone generator for all my sequencing. (composition) Shortly after, I discovered Logic Pro and soft synths and allowed my Akai Sampler to collect dust. Now after all this time, I am wanting to make use of this unit and it seems like a great piece of gear to use for gigging in my cover band. The specs on the unit are:

    OS v2.12
    -I have a 2GB external hard drive
    -I have an external CD Rom
    -I have a floppy drive (I believe they all do)
    -72mb of RAM

    So here are all my questions:

    What is the largest size hard drive (preferably internal) that I can expand this unit to? I saw someone on ebay claiming there was a 181 GB Seagate that could be mounted internally but 2 days later the listing was gone! hmmmm...

    What is the maximum RAM I can have installed?

    Are they any other upgrades that are recommended? ( I know about the USB card option)

    Do I have the latest OS (v2.12) and if not, how/where do I upgrade it?

    What is the best way to find (free) or buy samples?

    I am looking to make this unit a dedicated gigging sampler and am willing to put some money/time in it but want to know if I can get anywhere from 5 - 10 years out of it. We are strictly a cover band, playing a lot of 80s music and some new tunes. Is it wise to spend any money on this sampler and will I still be able to get new sounds out of it in 5 years?

    If my hard drive crashes in 5 years will it be near impossible to find a replacement?

    What is the best way to back up the hard drive? Do I need to buy two and use my external hard drive case to back up all the stuff on to?

    I have a ton of EXS24 samples on my Mac (use it through Logic) Is there a quick and easy way to convert them all for the Akai?

    Any other advice?

    Thanks, I appreciate any input.

  • #2
    You can find most answers if you search (Google is your friend).

    You can find the latest OS (2.14) and manuals on http://www.akaipro.com/s6000/?tt=5

    I would propose to get a static harddisk or a CF card drive for your S6000, check http://www.scsiforsamplers.com/ this way you minimize the risk of losing data due to hardrive failure. SCSI harddrives makes alot of noice too.

    Max RAM is 256 MB.

    One recommendation is to buy the USB (ak.sys) expansion card. They are not made by Akai anymore so you'll have to find one second hand (150-200 dollars). This way you can easily transfer samples from your computer to the S6k.

    Gear: Mackie Onyx 32.4, Focusrite Pro40+Octopre2, Triton Extreme+MOSS+EX800, Roland XV5080+D550+MKS7+MKS50+MKS70+MKS80+JP8080+S550+Jun o60, NordRack2, StudioElectr ATC-1, Ensoniq ESQM, Yamaha A5000+An1x+SY77+TG77+TX802+TX7+MotifRackES, Akai S5k+MPC1k, Pulse, Blofeld, Mopho, VirusIndigo2, EmaxRack, ESynth, Rogue, ProOne, Machinedrum, Drumulator, M1AM1, Linndrum

    Effects: API Lunchbox+512C, MPX550, Boss SE50+SE70+CE300+ROD10, UAD2, Powercorex2, LiquidMix, VVerb, 1204, DP2, Filterbank


    • #3
      Thanks for the advice. I am already leaning towards a static hard disk but the maximum size that is available (compatible?) is 16 gigs. I really want to load this unit up with samples and it seems like 16 gigs will go really quick.

      I'm already looking into the USB expansion card.


      • #4
        Well, with max 256MB ram you're still looking at 64x what you can load in the sampler at a time. Plus with removable flash media you can just buy more cards and swap if you need more banks.

        I have no idea what you are doing gig-wise so it's hard to say whether 16gb is a lot or not. But I think most people would feel that for live use you could squeeze multiple programs out of 256mb a lot of the time and still have great-sounding programs. Maybe not a piano depending on how expressive you need it to be.


        • #5
          Thanks, I will definitely look into the flash cards. and I am currently buying RAM to max that out. Maybe 16 gigs with all that will be fine.


          • #6
            Wait, wait. You CAN use large hard drives with the S6000 but it will only read the first 9 gigs on each drive. Believe me, I learned this the hard way. The gentleman at SCSI for Samplers will verify this if you don't believe me. It's a SCSI limitation.