Basic info for the Akai mailing list.

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  Welcome to the Akai samplers mailing list.  As the name implies,
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  There are some useful web sites for Akai users:
      Akai Professional's official web page.  Lots of good stuff, including
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      The unofficial Akai samplers webpage.  Contains a bunch of
      useful information and some good shareware to work with various
      Akai samplers.
      Atmosfear's sample site.  Lots and lots of samples, in a number
      of formats.  There's also useful shareware here.  (Doesn't exist
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I've just got my S2000 sampler out the box and I'm doing exactly what the manual says, and I can't get any test sound out! Why?

Almost certainly because the system boot-up disk does not have a sample sound stored on it. The manual writer does not mention this because he is a sadist who likes to make strong men weep in rage and frustration.

The person who arranged the disks is in turn a evil pervert who gets his kicks by perpetrating fiendishly clever pranks onto people like you :-)

Notice how you keep dropping the floppies onto the floor from their specially designed plastic holder? This means that after some days the metal slider on the floppy will be so warped that you will not be able to extract it from a floppy drive. You will then be forced to destroy the floppy, the drive, or both in your attempts to free it.

Also, after booting up, when the LCD reads "test program", you don't actually have something that will pay when you press the play button. This is done to make your heart sink, and make you believe your machine is a dud.

Also, after booting up, people may try to load the sample sound library provided (using LOAD, DISK, FLOPPY,GO) then go to single mode (SINGLE) and press PLAY to try and hear a sound. No sound? This is another thoughtful little trick the disk arranger has done to make you howl in despair. The first few sounds have a keyrange that is beyond what the default setting is for the play button.

Take heart!

Turn the dial to make the next sound available (should show up on the LCD) and press play again. Still no sound? Turn dial, to next sound, press play again, repeat until you get a sound.

Got a sound? Great, shut the system down and read the manual for a few will begin to understand things by a process of osmosis...

Actually, the manual's pretty good once you get a bit used to the sampler. Better than other manufacturers' manuals. It just assumes things wrongly at the start.

How do I get my PC WAV sample to Akai format?

  1. Use SDS (MIDI sample dump standard). This sends the sample over MIDI, is mighty slow, and doesn't preserve name or looping information. But there's a free DOS program to do it, called 'sdxsend'. You can find it at A few commercial programs do SDS, including Sonic Foundry's Sound Forge.
  2. Use SCSI sample transfers. This requires that your sampler is hooked up to your PC via SCSI (a seprate problem on its own, it would seem, but not impossible). It's supposed to be pretty fast (though the numbers on Sonic Foundry's web page are disapointing -- 8 seconds to send or receive a 5-second sample?) and I believe some programs preserve looping information by sending that along via MIDI at the same time the SCSI dump happens. A few programs will do this. I know Steinberg's Recycle does, but it's not just a WAV editor, it's a pretty neat loop-editing tool. Most importantly, MESA from Akai will do this, along with a ton of other stuff, and it'll be free to Akai owners. Way to go Akai.
  3. Use AkaiDisk 2.0 [aka Adisk] to write Akai-format floppies from WAV files. I've never tried this, but it's a nice idea. [see FAQ: "What does Adisk do?"]
  4. Dump 'em by audio. This is what I generally do now--patch my cheapo soundcard to the sampler's input and dump stuff that way. It's fast, easy, and doesn't sound too bad. For stuff like vocal samples from movies, you'd never know the difference. For synth sounds you may want to use SDS instead.

-- Scott Evans

akaitools is a freely availabe Linux/Perl based collection of tools (located at It can convert RIFF .wav files (as well as Ensoniq files) to Akai format. It works with SCSI drives, including the Zip drive. It is really only for Linux/Unix lovers at the mo'. It's a brilliant tool for making a cataloguc of all the akai files you have and can handle multis. Together with Keykit this is a killer combination for pc sequencing.

Wav_Akai is a Windows program that can send any .wav file (mono or stereo) to an Akai Sampler S900, S950, S1000 and S1100, an SDS mode is also available. Check it at

Can I do a digital audio copy from CD-audio to my sampler?

Yep, some cheapo cd-drives let you copy cd-audio digitally to .WAV format and then you can move the .wav file to the sampler. Save yourself the cost of a pro DAT unit!
The best of the cd-grabbing software seems to be the shareware programme cdda available at

CD-audio copy only works with some brands of drives, SONY CDU33A, MATSUSHITA/CREATIVE, and not with others (Mitsumi FX series and NEC).

Mitsumi tech: "Mitsumi does not support this function, in cooperation with the music industry." ( (this is not a valid reason if you have a sampler CD, for example, with copy permission enabled. Booooo hisssss! to Mitsumi).

What about MESA for the PC?

Please don't ask about it, please don't bitch about it, we are really tired of the whole thing. Akai has been saying it will be available within a month or so since August 1996. To date (September 16, 1997) it has not been released. Some people have said it will be downloadable from the official Akai page. Check the page out, it may be there now...

MESA is currently (Sept 16 1997) in beta testing. (see for latest info). No more beta testers are required. Basically, it'll be a Windoze 95 package.

Nicey's apparently finished the job, it's Akai Japan who are waiting to launch it. But no one really seems to know, including Akai.

In the meantime, there are some enterprising people working on the S-Project, which is a basic MESA-like software for the PC.
Details at

What sample editing programs are there that work with Akai machines?

Steinberg describes Recycle! as "The Ultimate Tool for Sampled Grooves" but is also very useful for all sorts of challenges and full of creative tools. Take a look at Steinberg's products on their site.

Alchemy 3.0 is supposed to be able to load samples to all the major samplers over MIDI. I have it, but to be honest, I have not had any time to try this yet. Alchemy is also set up to record through your computer, so you can sample with your computer, do the editing there and just dump the finished sample down to your AKAI. I will post details in the next couple of days, cause I want to know. I haven't even hassled with MESA yet and I think Alchemy will be a better alternative if it works properly.

Cons:I think it only runs on Macs (but I may be wrong)

It costs $300. :(

Tim Gotch (

D-SoundPRO is a shareware Macintosh sample editor. It has had rave reviews from people on the list. Check it out at

An Phail Daor ( says:

On the PC there are quite a few sample editors such as:

Soundforge and Recyle will transfer samples to/from a PC using SCSI after a bit of hacking to get around some of the SCSI recognition problems. (see FAQ entry on connecting up a PC to the scsi chain).

I think all of them of capable of sysx dumps - not too sure though.

(spurdydoo mode ON) writes:
There is a very professional sample editing program for the Atari ST/STe/TT/Falcon (and compatibles) that works over SCSI with Akai S1000 and up.
For more info, see
Mikael (I have assimilated Benny) Hillborg
(spurdydoo mode OFF)

[more on software that does groovy things with Akai stuff welcome]

How do I send my Akai stuff across the net?

With DOS, at the mo, you can send an Akai floppy disk from here to there by using Teledisk. Teledisk can do a raw read of what is on the Akai disk, and can copy it as an MSDOS file (to your hard disk). Zip the thing and send it across to your friend over the net. Your friend can then convert the thing from an MSDOS file and copy it to an Akai formatted floppy using Teledisk at her end (it seems that the destination floppy should be the same density (720k or 1.44M) as the source floppy for Teledisk to work correctly). For more on Teledisk, see the FAQ entry.

If you want to send just a few samples/programs/multifiles across, you may be better off with just using Adisk to copy the samples/progs etc to your pc separately and sending that off. For more on Adisk, see the FAQ entry.

If you are using Linux or Unix (a kind of Linux), you can use akaitools to write your akai files to a unix filesystem. You can then send the unix files anywhere via the net.

MESA (Real Soon Now?) may make all this obsolete.

What does Teledisk do?

Teledisk can be downloaded here.

It does three things:

  1. it can do a raw read of an Akai floppy and convert it to an MSDOS format file onto your hard disk.
  2. it can read the MSDOS format file and stick it back onto an Akai format floppy.
  3. it can make a copy of a Akai floppy onto another floppy (equivalent to (1) and then (2))

For both Teledisk and Adisk you should use a healthy 720k or 1.44MB floppy which you know has no bad sectors. (obtaining genuine sony disks these days is far too dodgy since the chinese started making fake copies of them). Also, it seems that the source floppy and the destination floppy should be the same density (720k or 1.44MB).

What does Adisk do?

Adisk is Paul Kellett's brilliant tool for handling Akai floppies on the PC: It can

The guy who designed it is a hero of our times.

For both Teledisk and Adisk you should use a healthy 1.44MB floppy which you know has no bad sectors. (obtaining genuine sony disks these days is far too dodgy since the chinese started making fake copies of them). If you are having problems with Adisk, see the FAQ about Akai-formatting and Dos-formatting. For handling akai hard drives

What kind of RAM do I get?

For the S2000 you get 72pin, 70ns (or less) SIMMs. Parity or non-parity doesn't matter. 16MB modules are the best to go for (it upgrades the minimum machine from 2MB to 18MB (and an additional 16MB will then increase it from 18 to 32 total--that's right, the base 2MB isn't available in the last increase). You may be able to use 8MB modules, though it is not recommended, and you can use 4MB modules.

SJPH says (about the S2000): after the OS loads, it should say 9 megawords (18MB) or 16 megawords if 32MB is installed.... this is the test! [that the memory is plugged in and working]

It is a good idea to test the RAM. You usually have a choice between Fast Page Mode and EDO RAM. Some EDO RAM is not fully recognised by the sampler, and the sampler will see half the real value. Eg, if you buy 2 x 16 MB of this type of RAM, and add it to your 2 MB S2000, the S2000 will say that there are 9 megawords total (and not 16 megawords like you want it to - remember 16 megawords=32 MB).

I had this half-memory problem with Goldstar 2x16MB EDO RAM on the S2000. Incidentally, this Goldstar RAM also reported half the memory on a Pentium 60 intel motherboard, but reported full memory on a P100. Very strange.

Other people have had no problems with EDO, and some claim problems after a while with EDO under heavy usage. My suggestion is to stick with Fast Page Mode RAM if you can, but in any case, always test the RAM in the sampler before buying, or arrange a swap-scheme with the RAM supplier if the RAM doesn't work properly with the sampler.

Can I trigger some pads on a sampler and play it in real time, just like one acoustic drum?

You can definitely do it with any sampler (Akai or otherwise). But you need two other things: triggers and trigger->MIDI converters. Lots of people sell triggers; Roland has the ones that come with the TD-7 kit, and I have drummer friends that like them. They're not cheap though. You can also build your own triggers using cheap Radio Shack piezos and drum practice pads; I've seen these and they work quite well. There are a number of kick drum triggers that you can put your regular kick pedal on. To convert trigger->MIDI, you can use an Alesis D4 (which also has drum sounds). Also, Simmons made an MTM, which takes 8 trigger ins and converts them to MIDI.

I guess Akai also makes some kind of trigger setup on their own, because their samplers have settings for them, but I don't know anything about these--does anyone?

-- Scott Evans

Any recommendations for sample libraries besides the Akai Samplers Sound Library?

Jules has a reviews page. It needs filling up though--you are invited to help in this.

What's all this about version numbers?

MESA has a version number, the operating system (OS) has a version number, and the EPROM chip (boot rom, firmware) in your box has a version number.

MESA for the Mac is at version 1.3 at the moment. The new MESA for the Mac is still being beta-tested. It will be released with a PC version. The developers are calling it MESA II.

For the S2000, Akai Japan say: newest operating system at 1.5, and newest firmware at 1.5. If you use flash ROM (FMX008), you need OS 1.3 at least and firmware 1.5. You can use OS 1.5 with firmware 1.0 if you do not have flash ROM. With firmware 1.5 OS can be boot up automatically from the FMX008.
The official akai FAQ covers what the differences between the OS's are quite nicely over here.

[update - the S2000 now has an OS 1.51 released, MESA betas are running on an OS 1.90 apparently].

The official Akai list of the latest released software versions is over here.

I can't format a floppy with Adisk! I get the message Sector Not Found! Why?

Try Akaiformatting floppies which you know have no bad sectors. Also, cleaning your floppy drive might help.

Problem could be a bad sector on floppy. Bad sectors are not a big deal in DOS, because they get zoned off. If you format a floppy with no bad sectors in dos, then you will have 1457664 bytes free. If there are bad sectors then you will have less than 1457664 bytes free.

Try dosformatting the dodgy disk in the windows file manager's formatter, and see if the pop up at the end says you have 1457664 bytes formatted. If you don't, then I would guess that that's why Adisk barfs.

-- PJ

(PS. "Akaiformatting", "dosformatting" ???? - I must be turning German or something....oh dear, I *knew* I was losing my sense of humour...)

I tried using Adisk and had the same kinds of problems you are having. The disks always said S900 and were useless so I gave up and chucked the program... that was when I was playing around with an S01. Since getting on this list I've tried adisk again with my S2800 and have had great success. I think you may be formatting non-high-density disks? The S2800 can read S01 disks without a problem but Adisk can't: S01 disks appear as S900 disks, but the data is garbage and you get errors. Try reading one of the factory disks. If you can't do that you may have a problem with your diskdrive. Good luck.

-- Scott Koue

Is there a way to burn a CD-rom of an Akai-formatted hard disk?

To burn your own AKAI format CD-ROM you first have to create a harddisk with all the AKAI volumes, sounds, programs and stuff that you want to have. (Remember the max size of an AKAI drive is currently 512MB. A CD ROM has got up to 650MB)

When you are happy with your drive and think nothing needs to be changed you can start burning. This is done by a so called SCSI copy (which is available from most burning software).

An SCSI copy simply transfers an exact image of your source SCSI volume to the traget (the CD ROM). You have to do it this way because the AKAI format is not recognized by any standard computer file system - but this way you work on low driver level and your computer simply doesn't care what sort of data it works on.

-- Miron Deyssenroth

What CD-drives work with the Akai?

Plextor PX-43CS and Sony CDU-6211 work with the S1000 and with a Kurzweil K2000. Sony CDU-76S is claimed to work with both too. - Steve Roitstein (

Apple CD-300 or CD600e works fine with all my gear. - Josue Arias (

Sony drives work fine too. (zubin)

They can't use NEC drives. (miron)

Stay clear of NEC CD-ROMs. Many people (including myself) have had no success getting these working with the Akai. I use a Toshiba SCSI CD with no probs. - Fish (

One year ago I had to buy a 3x Toshiba CD-Rom drive cause the 4x (Toshiba) didn't seem to work with my S1100. Does anyone use/is it possible to use a faster drive with a S1100 ?
-- (Jeepay)

The Toshiiba XM 5401 (4x), and 3401B work.

Milo Hyson ( says: If it's available in your part of the world, APS makes a 12x external (scsi) CD-ROM drive for $200 US. That's what I got and it's great.

more: The item number is listed as 57010127001. It's described as a 12x External Slimline Macintosh CDRom drive. The unit price is $179.95 U.S. before sales tax and shipping. The package includes a 3 foot (1 meter) SCSI cable with what ever connector configuration you need and a passive terminator.

The reason why APS sells their equipment so inexpensively is because all they really do is purchase (in bulk) internal drives made by other companies and repackage them inside their own custom cases. In this case, it's a Toshiba.

I tried a Pioneer x10 internal scsi and refused to load work cooperatively with a Zip and Win95... not to mention the Akai. Then I tried a Toshiba x4 and it works perfectly after some win95 finetuning.... ;-)
Pere Amengual

Miikkali Leppihame :
(Talking about Panasonic drives) I have tried both CR-506 (8X speed) and CR-533 (double speed) models. When I try to load from the drive, the CD spins (I can hear it and the busy light goes on) for a while and S2000 says "Searching for SCSI disk". Then the sampler says "SCSI disk not found!".

those cheap Reno CDROM players (the ones that double as portable CD walkmans) work with the S2000.

How can I use my Jaz or Zip drive?

First things: connections - the 25 pin cable that you get with your Jaz or Zip plugs straight into your sampler and works fine. The connection is a straight pin to pin one (for the zip - I don't know about the jaz but probably for that too - you can check it with a multimeter). If you are chaining the sampler to more scsi devices, you should really use ribbon cables - the sampler scsi port is very finicky about connecting up more gadgets.

Remember, the port on the sampler is a SCSI port, not a parallel port, so do not get the parallel port versions of the zip/jaz drives.

The connector socket on the zip drive/jaz and on the sampler is a DB25 socket - a standard printer port. If you are connecting your pc via a scsi card to the zip/jaz, you may have a 50 pin port on the pc, and in that case you need a cable adaptor which converts from a 50 pin scsi to a DB25 pin thingy.

You can get a 540 MB hard disk for the Jaz (they don't seem to be available any more though) and get it formatted to 512MB. You can't do anything with the remaining space, no hard disk recording, storage, sampling, using the sampler operating system. So it may not be worth getting the 1GB disk if you can get the 540MB one.

On the other hand: If you have a mac, use the MESA software to Access the jaz drive, and you'll have access to all of it. I gather from this list that the MESA for PC is not about yet so this is not an option for PC users. (Ashley Drees)

With samplers that support hard disk recording, you can actually use the zip to do it without problems. One zip gives you about 10 minutes of 16 bit 44.1KHz stereo (cd-audio) sound. The zip *is* fast enough - just.

You can't use the zip disk's copy machine software to make a duplicate of an akai zip disk using the PC in windows 3.xx. The zip software does realise the akai disk has a 12 bit format, but can't do anything with it. However, you can do a duplicate in windows 95 according to Juergen Mossgraber ( He says you have to select "copying my sectors" not "copying files" in the options dialog to copy the Akai-formatted disk.

MESA keeps crashing or won't work properly! Any suggestions?

Mesa 1.3 won't run on OS8 on the Mac. You have to use OS 7.x.

Here's my Akai setup:
I couldn't get everything to work at the same time (Mac wouldn't boot and S2000 wouldn't recognize HD)
Here's the solution:
In the Mesa folder on the Mac, there is a folder that contains updated OS for the samplers for use with Mesa. Being the good boy that I am, I followed the instructions in the README file that said to use this OS because no other would work with Mesa.
As it turns out, this version of the OS is actually OLDER than the version that comes on the regular OS disk. I learned this from a pissed off tech support guy at Akai today.
I booted from the original floppy and what do you know, everything worked!! Go figure.
That's the last time I read a README file.
Now if only Mesa wasn't such a crappy sample editor...
John Fonseca

The official Akai faq says that it is due to bad quality scsi cables, and recommends ribbon cables be used instead.

I'm using MESA 1.3 with a Power PC with ALL the extentions off. There's no other safe way. -- (Steve Mullany, Messernger Music)

Try running MESA 1.3 on the boot-drive. On non-boot drives you get problems. -- Miron (paraphrased)

Marco, ( former seller and purveyor of fine Akai wares in Italy, writes:

"Last but not least while selling AKAI samplers I had some problems too with my clients.

Believe me or not: I solved everything by selling them Dynateck SCSI cables! Many other "good reputation" cables have failed."

[insert "mama mia!" and hand gestures in the above in the appropriate places]

My guess is the problem occurs mainly in the S2XXX and S----XL series, where Akai changed the SCSI port design to stop the interface blowing up during hotplugging [hotplugging: connecting up devices while the power is on] - PJ
(see the FAQ entry on hotplugging).

[DrBurt rants (about MESA on the mac)]:

I have no problems (other than the hassle of it all) in using my Syquest 88 and 270 MG drives with the S2000 and MESA. (Your symptoms seem to come from your SCSI chain. SOme 270 drives behave as terminated devices even when they are not visibly terminated. As usual, troubleshoot by stripping down the chain to essentials, and testing as you add each new device. A MAJOR drag, I know!. I wish there was a good SCSI SWITCH BOX. Does anyone know of one? Centronics makes an unreliable A/B switch.)

Some carts I format as Mac drives, and use MESA (with which I have MANY problems - or rather MESA has problems!) to send samples and programs to the S2000. Some carts are Akai formatted.

It is much easier to program the S2000 using MESA than the S2000 front panel, so that leads users to store their data on Mac formatted drives.

But it is much easier to save and load Multis from Akai formatted drives, rather than use MESA. THis is partly because MESA seems to have NO WAY TO LOAD OR SAVE MULTIS!!!!!!

(Please, someone out there, prove me wrong!)

This is so lame! The user has to send EACH PROGRAM, ONE AT A TIME to the S2000! If you have 16 programs, as I often do (my Roland SP700 permits 32 programs), and it takes 2 minutes (optimistically) to load each program, that's 32 MINUTES THAT THE USER HAS TO SIT THERE AND LOAD UP THE S2000!!!

Does anyone have a fix for this related problem? Say you have 20 samples on your Mac formatted HD, and you want to send them all to the S2000 via MESA. How do you load them all at once? Drag and drop seems to do nothing. The Akai tech support dept. tells me THE USER MUST LOAD EACH SAMPLE INTO THE AKAI ONE AT A TIME, waiting for the loading process to finish before starting the next load. and EACH TIME YOU LOAD THE FINDER WINDOW THAT OPEN UP DEFAULTS TO THE TOP OF YOUR FOLDER AND SELECTS AIFF FORMAT. To get the SdII files to show, you have to selct that option from a popup menu EACH TIME YOU LOAD A SAMPLE!!!! My S2000 has 32 MB, I can easily get 60 samples!!!

[more from DrBurt]:

A few more 'imperfections':

- Using the 'Duplicate' command on a Program in the Sampler Editor can (about 20% of the time) result in 'garbage' values in the Sample Assign page. Ascii characters, and wild values like -190 show up in the tuning fields!!

- Intermittant corruption of the Envelope values (as shown in the Envelope Windows)

- switching between the Sampler Editor, the waveform editor and the sample assign page will throw the S2000 out of Multi modeand make using the OMS Keyboard to hear your sounds impossible until you physically press 'Multi' on the S2000's front panel. This happens EVERY time.

When I convert a Kurzweil sample via Alchemy to the S-1000 the samples sound as if they were not looped properly (click, click). What can I do?

- TONE (

I had a similar problem with converting Akai to Peavey SP and found that one of the parameters was only off 1 number and the clicking went away. Try changing the loop length or end point of sample or loop start point or loop end point. Change 1 parameter at a time if it doesn't work go back to the original and try a different parameter. If all you have to do is change 1 parameter, count yourself lucky. Sample conversion is not always seamless, some programs work better than others. Let the manufacturer know, the program should work if it's designed properly

Gerry Peters

How can I handle Akai formatted hard drives?

On the Mac:

  1. MESA
  2. Interpreter
  3. Transferstation (don't know this one)

-- Miron

On the PC:

Use Hiroyuki Ohsaki's akaitools in linux. It's cool, but really only for geeks at the moment. It handles S3000 type multis, and you can back-up your entire AKAI zip disk into the Linux operating system. The latest version of akaitools is freely available at:

How do I use my keyboard controller to trigger the S3000XL when I'm using MESA? (Rob Laufer)

Tech support at Akai told me there was no way to trigger your Akai sampler from your MIDI keyboard while in MESA. However, there is a tool available from a pulldown menu in MESA, a tool called OMS Keyboard. It's a picture of a MIDI keyboard that can play only one note at a time when you mouse-click on it.

Since you mention you use Performer, you may not have OMS installed - it seems likely that OMS is necessary to get the OMS Keyboard to work. OMS is available free from Opcode, I believe.

How can we complain to the software maker of MESA directly? Akai has shown no interest in upgrading the product, despite my many conversations with them.

-- DrBurt

Is hotplugging SCSI devices to Akai machines a Good Thing?

[hotplugging: connecting up devices while the power is on]

No! You can blow the interface, and you'll have to take it to the Akai repairman.

On the other hand, some people hotplug all the time and don't have problems.

This seems rather like letting your baby play in the traffic 'cos he hasn't been run over yet. Why take chances?

How do I connect up my PC to the SCSI chain?

That is, without having to connect and disconnect things, with the idea being to transfer samples via scsi for editing on the pc, for example.

Ruben van der Leij ( says:
You can have two controllers on a SCSI bus, provided you give them different ID's. See docs for your SCSI-card for details. You have to make sure you closed all files in one system before opening in the other. Consider it *highly unsafe*, but not impossible.

For HDR (hard disk recording) you're better of with something like a 2920 or 2940, both from adaptec. If you want to get the most out of a drive that IOmega controller just won't cut it. For general use it's pretty good, however.

you should be able to leave everything connected - just take care with the termination and SCSI IDs and all should work well. My setup is:
PC SCSI CARD (terminated) - Internal SCSI CD-ROM - ZIP Drive - Akai S2000 (terminated)
This works with no problems whatsoever. - Fish (

What SCSI cards and drivers and so on do I use on the PC?

> I just installed Win95 and find that my Adaptec Interogator
> utility is no longer able to detect my S2000. It WAS able to do
> so under Win3.11, and it does presently detect my Zip drive , but
> it doesn't see the S2000. I've heard this problem mentioned
> before, and someone seemed to offer a solution of some
> sort....can anyone comment?

Win95 prevents communication with the Akai because it doesn't identify itself as a 'standard' device. You will need to disable the W95 SCSI adapter (in device manager) and use the DOS SCSI driver (ASPInDOS) in you config.sys file as for W3.11. Then you should be able to talk to the S2000 from SF (this method works for Recycle at least).

Unfortunately - you guessed it - you won't be able to access your Zip drive from W95 with the SCSI driver disabled. If you often use the Zip from W95, I recommend setting up multiple hardware profiles and rebooting when you need to access the Akai from Windows. Yes, major hassle - but it's only a temporary solution....

> If MESA-PC is for Win95 only, how can it work if Win95 can't
> detect the S2000? And I imagine that a SCSI sample dump from
> SoundForge would now be impossible as well.

To use MESA-PC you will need to use a new OS for the S2000. AFAIK this will be available on floppy and won't need a new prom (can anyone confirm this?) The idea is that the S2000 will correctly identify itself so W95 should be able to work with it.

The question is then, will SoundForge and Recycle still recognise the S2000 with the new OS???

- Fish

MESA is developed on 2940 U/U W cards but they are by no means cheap nor required, a cheaper option should be fine. Robert Nice (

The zip zoom scsi board (aparently a 1505 adaptec with no on board bios) works,

so does the adaptec 1540, adaptec AVA-2902, and 2910. You can chain things up with

the zip zoom externally (and internally too if you solder up an IDC sconnector for the inside).


I'm not going to update any more on scsi problems. Luca's amazingly good site at is taking over this part of the faq and deals with akai scsi problems in exhaustive detail.

Where can I get the boot disk/latest OS for my Akai Sampler? What do I do with the downloaded file in this strange Teledisk format?

You can try getting the latest operating system from your Akai dealer or Akai themselves. They seem quite happy to give it to you when you hand in your old floppy. The OS releases are now officially available on the net at but people sometimes have problems with all the little tricks involved.

For the S2000, a Teledisk image of the OS V1.51 is also available here. (The source disk is apparently a high density (1.44MB) floppy, so use a 1.44MB floppy to put it on to at your end in this case).

This is what you do to make an S2000 system boot-up disk once you have got hold of the Teledisk td0 file. Note that you will need Teledisk, and possibly Adisk as well.

  1. Get a 3.5 disk of the same density (that is (high, 1.44MB) or (low, 720k)) as the original disk the td0 file came from and Akai-format it. You can do that with your sampler if it is up and running. If you can't do it with your sampler 'cos you don't have any system software on it, then use a PC as follows:
    Get a PC with the adisk program on it and use ADISK /F to Akai-format a disk on the 3.5 floppy.
    Make sure the floppy has no errors and there are no error messages from the Akai-formatting process. Shutdown all other processes and do it under pure dos if you have problems doing it in a dos box under windows - it seems that multitasking can cause floppy errors.
  2. Run Teledisk on that td0 file you picked up so that it copies the file to the Akai-formatted floppy disk.
  3. You should then have a 1.51 system floppy. Now try booting the s2000 with the 1.51 system floppy disk in the drive. If all is well, the system should boot up and tell you how many megawords (equals megabytes divided by two) there are as well as the OS version number. The screen should then switch to saying:

      1 prog active

That's it! Your boot floppy works! Now make a copy of it before you forget!

S3000? S2000? S2800? S3000XL? How does the machine numbering go in the S-series?

...the "3000" series is the older line of Akais (s2800, s3000, s3200, cd3000). The "2000" series is the newer line (s2000, s3000xl, s3200xl). I've always thought this naming convention was a really awful move on Akai's part. They went from the 1000 series to the 3000 series to the 2000 series, but then they have overlapping names within those series (s3000 and s3000xl, though the XL is part of the s2000 series -- sheesh). (Scott Evans)

confused? So are Akai: I ordered an S3000XL manual from Akai(UK)'s spares supplier and ended up with, you guessed it, an S3000 manual. (tash)

"under the hood", the s2000 is pretty much the same as the s3000xl

Will Mac MESA run on a PC with a Mac emulator software?

Executor at is a Mac emulator for the PC.
It didn't run MESA last time we checked though.

My S2000 data/select wheel is slipping! What do I do?

If you are in a country with an official akai dealer, take it back to them to get it fixed. There was a batch of S2000 that got shipped with defective wheels which gave up the ghost very soon.

If you are in a country without an official Akai dealer, and it is impossible for you to get it to an akai dealer, then treat the wheel as gently as possible and hope that MESA II is useful enough to stop you having to use the wheel.

How to fix it yourself is covered in the font-of-wisdom here. This will of course void any warranty that you have, and should only be done by people who are competent with their soldering iron.

How do I get the S2000/MESA/Mac to share a SCSI chain?

The following was worked out by Bradford Reed:

Here are some notes on getting a S2000, MESA, and the Mac happy SCSI chain sharers--this is Iomega ZIP specific but might be of some use to a confused person as the documentation that came with this from Akai really (really) SUCKS. I don't know how I'd do this without a Zip though. Also I'm using 7.5.0 which is old but I've found to be very stable so I didn't upgrade. Actually my whole lovely 030 dinosaur system is only 6 mos. old for me and works great most of the time ;-)

My setup is as follows:

IMPORTANT! All SCSI connections & disconnections should happen with the power off on all things!

Create a new music extensions set without the Apple CDROM Ext. or the Iomega Zip Ext. This is basically so that they will be invisible to your Mac as the Mac doesn't like sample disks. (I was first under the impression that the mac and the s2000 could share a drive but this doesn't seem to be the case making removeable media the ideal). Switch your chain around so that the Zip can be SCSI ID#5 (the default boot ID for the S2000). Unplug Zip fom your chain (this is just in case the S2000's disk OS might reek on you drives during a format--don't know nor did I want to experiment). Designate the Zip for use with the S2000 by plugging it into the back of the S2000 set Zip's ID to#5 and set terminate switch to on. Boot S2000 from a floppy and format a new Zip cart (with the s2000's OS) then save the S2000 OS in Partition A:Vol.001.

After formatting, power down and set Zip termination to off. Reconnect Zip into the SCSI chain but leave it right after the S2000 (maybe this not important maybe it is). OK time to test things out. This power up sequence is important because everybody needs to boot. I found that if the mac was off then the Akai would hang but when the mac is on it acts as a terminator (?) or completes the chain or something (?). I don't know--it should load the it's OS now from the Zip. All is cool I hope.

Access Akai sample CDs from the AKAI and your sounds/samples/whatever from MESA. To switch from sample CDs or the ZIP you'll have to change the S2000 HDSK ID# to your CD's drive# in GLOBAL. If you want to get sounds from audio CDs you'll have use another extension set. I figure this is true in 7.5.0. The faqs on Akai site say that if you use 7.5.1 or newer it should take care of the ...disk is unreadable by the Machintosh dialog on 7.5.0. A strange workaround is to ignore the this disk is unreadable dialog by doing nothing and leaving the sample CD in the drive. As long as it's in there the S2000 seems to be able to acess it.

I'm not going to update any more on scsi problems. Luca's amazingly good site at is basically taking over this part of the FAQ and he deals with scsi problems in exhaustive detail.

My MPC2000 takes forever to load samples and crashes! What do I do?

The unbelievably slow scsi transfer on the MPC2000 is a known feature/bug. It should be speeded up by a factor of 3 in the next OS release 1.5. There is a long bug list as well. The latest version of the MPC2000 buglist is available at A lot of people love the machine nonetheless.

Is the EB16 effects board any good?

Scott Evans:

Um ... it sounds great!

Wait, that's not probably what you were looking for. :)

I've had one for quite a while and I'm very happy with it, especially considering its price. Its effects are very usable in mixes and its interface is a dream to use. As a similar-cost comparison, I have a Midiverb 4 and I find the eb16's reverbs much much MUCH better. The Midiverb's reverbs really suck, so it's not really a fair compairson; I'd say the EB16 reverbs are somewhere between Quadraverb and Rev7 quality. The eb16's pitch shifter is also much faster than the Midiverb's.

A few gripes I have about the eb16: 1. Can't send individual effects to specific outputs. All 4 go to whatever output you assign them. 2. Can't control delay times with MIDI clock. 3. Only 670ms total of delay time.

But again, for the money, I don't think it can be beat. Having a few multifx boxes inside my sampler is great.

Where can I get goodies for the older S2800, 3000, 3200 etc?

From Akai, but they are expensive.

Or you can try:

4th St. S E Bandon-by-the-sea
OR 97411USA
Tel 541 347 4450s Fax 541 347 4163

(prices 16 July)

GR-S1000-8 (8MB memory for the AKAI S1000/S1100)     $319.00
GR-S3000-8 (8MB memory for the AKAI S2800, S3000, S32000, CD3000, MPC3000) $275.00
GR-2800/CD3000 MOD (modification to 32MB) $150 Mod/$265 per 8MB
(the above upgrades the 2800/cd3000 from 16mb to 32mb)
GR-MPC SYNC (SMPTE Synchronization chip for AKAI MPC3000) $189.00
GR-S1000-SCSI (SCSI interface for the AKAI S1000/S1100) $149.00
GR-S1000 DIG I/O (Digital I/O for AKAI S1000/S1100) $149.00
GR-MPC60 & MPC60II (750KB memory for AKAI MPC60 & MPC60II) $139.00
GR-S950 (750KB memory for AKAI S950) $139.00
GR-S01 (1MB memory for AKAI S01) $169.00

Sound Logic has S1000 SCSI I/F cards. They are $157 including shipping to U.S. or Canada. They also have memory for all Akai samplers from the S950 on.


Mik Adams SOUND LOGIC 1125 Eleventh Street Ramona,
CA 92065 619-484-9817 (Info) 619-484-9857 (FAX)

adam davidovics ( is making professional standard 8MB ram boards and other goodies for the MPC3000,S3200,S3000,S2800.

He has a guy kinda representing him in the UK Jason Rebello : and is a good bet for Europeans. His crew have a web page at:

Can I put an internal hard drive in my 3000XL?


the short answer is: no, you cannot add an internal HD to your s3000xl.

the long answer is: maybe you can.

the deal is, akai has advertised that you can add an HD, but they do not support it or make it easy, at least in the US. european list members have added HDs, have even received samplers from akai with drives already installed. in the US though, they dont know anything about it, they cant get the hardware to do it, and they are not very helpful.

as the akai comes (as mine came anyway), there's two barriers to putting in an HD: the power, and mounting. there is an internal scsi connector. there's apparently a mounting bracket you can get from akai europe or from some company in germany. maybe you could also rig something up. it's just some bits of metal right? :) there's no internal power connector for the disk -- you'd have to attach your own to the power board. this is presumably not too difficult, but i didnt want to risk it.

btw, the one drive akai lists on the web page as compatible (a toshiba something or other) has never even been heard of by toshiba. but probably any scsi drive will work if you overcome the other crap.

btw, thanks to the various people who helped me figure all this out when i was trying to find out about putting a drive in my akai. especially including the fellow who sent pictures of his drive-enhanced s3000xl. :) i ended up concluding that, at least for now, i didnt want to risk messing with the power board or having someone else do it for me, so i got a scsi enclosure for my HD.

- mike perkowitz

I installed a 3.5" HD in my S3000XL a couple of weeks ago, and it seems to work fine. Mounting was the most difficult part. I installed the HD on a metal mount and fastened that into the three holes between the main board and the power supply (you suggested the same method). I used the power supply connectors on the main board (5 brown wires: - -12v / 0 / +12v / 0 / +5v). Installed SCSI termination on the drive. I'm not sure if this method is safe for the sampler (extra heat, power consumption etc) but it seems ok, and I had no troubles so far. There's only one problem. The HD has SCSI ID 5 so the S3000XL tries to boot the OS from the HD. But it does so before the HD is ready ("HARD DISK READ ERROR"), so I have to wait a few seconds and load the OS manually. Anyone got a solution to that ? If you want more details, let me know.


My display is fading, what can I do to fix it??

Display poblems can be solved by simply asking a tech to remove the display plate behind the screen and install a new one. When u do this your display is as good as new.

The plate is a thin rectangular piece the size of you're display. It is available in the USA from Akai. Yesterday somebody mentioned buying a screen / display for 400$, i got my display plate for 40$ (US) through a friend in New york.

I have so far successfully installed them in an S 1000 and an S 3200. i see no reason why it should'nt apply for all other Akai models though I can't confirm this.

Hope that puts an end to all display queries. If you need to know anything more e mail me Zubin

My sampler wants me to contact Richard. What do I do?

There is a system error on the S3000XL (sys v1.5) when using M.E.S.A.(v1.3 - Mac) which
occurs when trying to switch over to the edit mode (single, multi or sample). The sampler says a system-error occured and advises you to

"tell Richard how you reached this state..." or something.

Casey: "Please let Richard know the actions you performed to obtain this page. Press F8 to continue.'

I've experienced this (hundreds of times) while using my Recycle! 1.6 and S3000XL. I discovered a very 'unprofessional' way to work around this.

A couple months ago, I had this happen to me while working on something with a very tight deadline. Out of anger and frustration, I spun the data wheel when I saw this message and <voila> everything came out in fine order in the 3000. Sometimes Recycle loads garbage into the new program you've just transferred and the new samples go into the last program created prior to the transfer. I've found doing this ridiculous data wheel thing can clear that up, too (about 60-70% of the time). Good luck you'll need it, it seems.

How can I control resonance from an external controller?

Load a sound in.Go to the filter screen in edit prog, set rez to full. Opposite the rez, set rez source to mod wheel, or whatever source you would like to change the rez with. Set to this parameter to +50. Draw a modulation curve in your sequencer(or use your modwheel) with a sound playing, fine tune to suit your taste, and there you go............. seeya Krispy

You can use mod wheel, bend, pressure, or several other sources (LFOs, etc.), and if using a sequencer, you can map whatever you want to one of these sources. See page 100 and beyond of the manual. You can also send the output from the first filter to the second, and create more dramatic effects. Pages 70 - 72 of the manual give you a good run-through of modulation sources. In MESA, go to either the filter page, or the S2 overview to adjust filter modulation.


Where can I get manuals from?

If you want the 3000 series manuals they are available for download at

These may be more up-to-date than what you already have, and may cover the eb16 effects board.

Gosh, what a pathetic FAQ! Isn't there something better?

Thanks for volunteering to improve it! ;-) Feel free to send me additions and improvements to put 'em in. You can best reach me on email.

Remember, there is also the official Akai sampler FAQ. Pick it up so that you, too, can read such gems as:

   Q: My DR8 stopped with "E14" and "E12" indicated in the display.
   A: This is bad news. It indicates a major hard disk fault. Bummer.

Other resources are the Akai font-of-wisdom , Luca's great site at dealing with akai scsi problems in exhaustive detail. and the Akai mailing list archives.