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An Introduction to Equalization - A free download from Audio Masterclass

An Introduction to Compression: Basic Compression - A free download from Audio Masterclass

Equipping Your Home Recording Studio - A free download from Audio Masterclass

A pair of idiots let loose in the studio - with VIDEO!

An asymmetrically biased microphone with a really fruity tone [with audio]

How technology is killing music

Which DAW sounds best?

Buy an SSL mixing console for a quarter of its price when new!

Is there such a thing as Photoshopped audio?

How can you keep up in the fast-moving music and sound industry?

What are you scared of in the recording studio?

How to edit out pops in speech or singing

"The Teaser!" by Laids Cretins des Alpes

Akai S2800 and S3000 Digital Samplers (part 2)

The rest of the front panel is pretty much the same as the S1000, except more modern looking. The LCD is a touch brighter and clearer, and there is a backlight on/off switch combined with the Display Contrast control.

The rest of the front panel is pretty much the same as the S1000, except more modern looking. The LCD is a touch brighter and clearer, and there is a backlight on/off switch combined with the Display Contrast control. This apparently helps preserve the longevity of the LCD. Around the back we find two inputs and two outputs, available on balanced XLRs and jacks, and eight individual outputs. Professional users of course always like to see XLR connectors, but I do have to award Akai a minus point for their adoption of pin 3 of the XLR as their hot connection - contrary to the recommendations of standards setting bodies, the AES and EBU. As well as audio connections there is the usual trio of MIDI sockets, and three blanking panels. Expansion options for the S3000 include a SCSI card, which you will need if you want to store your samples on hard or optical disk (which you will, very soon after purchase), a digital interface card allows digital input and output and also storage of programs and samples on DAT. The final slot is for a SMPTE card which will be necessary if you want to use the Cue List function to play back samples synchronised to timecode. I did say ‘final’ slot, but after making an undercover investigation - under the cover of the unit that is - I found a fourth slot whose function is currently a mystery to me, there is no provision for its access from the outside world. While I’m inside the S3000 I should also mention that memory expansion is available from the standard 2 Megabytes up to 32 Meg. If the S3000 was a bathtub, 2 Megabytes would be about enough to get your feet wet, so I think you’ll be investing in an expansion soon. Unfortunately, Akai have made the unwise decision to use a proprietary card rather than standard SIMMS modules which are cheap and easily available. Obviously Akai think that they’ll make more profit this way (and of course they are perfectly entitled to do that - all Akai users will want to see the company go from strength to strength). Unfortunately, third party developers will see most of that profit and the user will only suffer inconvenience. Akai should rethink their policy for future product ranges.

That covers most of the physical changes between the S1000 and S3000. Other changes of course include improved audio specifications and capabilities, and new software features and enhancements. I think I need to cover these under a new heading...

By David Mellor Thursday January 1, 2004