MATRIXSYNTH: VINTAGE AKAI X7000 12-BIT SAMPLING KEYBOARD & SYNTHESIZER

Friday, October 13, 2017

VINTAGE AKAI X7000 12-BIT SAMPLING KEYBOARD & SYNTHESIZER


via this auction

"The X7000 was Akai's first major Sampler Keyboard instrument similar in style and format to the E-mu Emax, Ensoniq Mirage, EPS and Roland S-10 sampling keyboards. The X7000 has about the same sampling features as the rack-mount S-900, which were great in 1986. Variable 12-bit sampling up to 40kHz, 128K RAM for storing only a few seconds worth of samples and a complete suite of basic sample editing functions including looping, auto-looping, truncating, multi-sampling and re-sampling capabilities, tuning and so on. It even features a few dedicated parameter buttons above the keyboard for quick access to the LFO and other modulations.

This sampler sounds pretty good. It's got a lo-fi edge due to the fact that it's only a 12-bit rather than 16-, 20- or 24-bit sampler. The slow 2.8" built-in disk drive is not exactly compatible with much. But you can use it to store your samples or load samples from libraries for Akai's S-612, S-700 and X7000. Editing samples is straight forward and makes this synth a great entry-level sampler. However, the LCD display is small so editing can be tedious. It also features a cool analog-like filter with cutoff. But for enhanced analog-like editing, the X7000 can be hooked up to the AX73, AX60and VX90 synthesizers via the DD-X5013 Voice Cable so you can run the X7000's samples through these synth's analog circuitry."

6 comments:

  1. I don't know where the 40 kHz sampling comes from, the maximum sampling rate is 16 kHz. It may play at 40 kHz, could that be it...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's on Wikipedia sourced from http://patcharena.com/patch-sheet-akai-x7000-sampler-keyboard/. I don't know for sure myself. It's just what was listed in the auction listing. Wikipedia of course can be hit and miss.

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    2. Manual on polynomial shows it at 40 kHz: http://www.polynominal.com/akai-x-7000/index.html

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  2. I had seen 40 kHz in the manual but only now I finally understood the sampling rate setting: it is displayed as bandwidth, not sampling rate. This confused me. The display gives you max 16 kHz bandwidth and it does not tell the actual sampling rate at all. I did the math also to confirm. There are approx. 32k points in one sample = memory slot (we can see this from sample end/loop edit figures). If we divide 32 kHz by 40 kHz we get approx. 0,8 seconds, which is stated as the sample length at max bandwidth. Thank you! I finally got it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for clarifying! This is useful info. I didn't have one myself to check.

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  3. I'd be happy to help with other details I can extract for the unit. One of my personal interests is the OS versions. I've got V1.3, and I've heard V1.6 is the last one you can use with ASK-70 memory expansion (or without). What exactly is changed/improved with each version, is not generally (or at least easily) available. Some things are, like crossfade looping, which is not found in V1.3. Would need to network with users to find out the truth. With battery backed up SRAM memory expansion (SXM007-X) you need to use OS V2+, and you cannot use that OS without the memory expansion. That expansion would be just right for me, I'd like to switch the power on and start jamming. I assume the 6 internal memory slots would still be volatile and it would be fine - use them for temporary sampling / with disks / MIDI dump. The problem is I haven't found any for sale. My disk drive is waiting for a new belt, so I haven't used much time with X7000 yet.

    Things to study and consider:
    1) building a custom battery backed up memory expansion
    2) "tapping" the memory with auxiliary hardware (FAST read/write of samples and/or the whole memory, using SD cards for storage perhaps -> the sample data in-memory structure, performance data stucture?)
    3) The MIDI dumps: I've seen it done on computer, but where is the actual SysEx definition? And could I send all the samples I need from computer in one session? It takes time so I'd let it load "the bank" while I'm preparing other things.

    ReplyDelete

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