Synth Site: Akai: S20: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.2 out of 5
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andrew a part-timer user from usa writes:
errrm....no, you can't sample a new loop while one is playing.

and there really are a shitload of bugs. i've started to notice more and more...things like quite often when all the 16 banks contain samples, the pads for the first 4 samples dont do anything unless you're in edit mode...and the priorities seem to get fucked up sometimes; high priority sounds often will be muted by lower priority sounds with a different loop setting...and such.

but overall quite nice. mine's strictly a drum machine (hell, with 8 voices what else can you do?)

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Feb-01-1999 at 21:11
ROCKY a professional user from USA writes:
THE S20 IS STATE OF THE ART FOR A PHRASE SAMPLER.IT ALSO DOES PITCH SHIFTING ACROSS THE KEYBOARD PER SAMPLE.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jan-26-1999 at 19:37
Steve Burkett a hobbyist user from New Zealand writes:
Whoops!

I wanted to mention that you can't load stuff off floppy while the sampler is playing something... The S2000 and higher can I believe, so this is gonna stuff you up a bit if you wanted to get a cheap sampler for live work...

But saying that, you can sample a new loop while one is playing, so that sorta makes up for it..

Steve.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Jan-22-1999 at 05:36
Mörökölli a hobbyist user from Greenland writes:
It's great, buy it immediatly.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Dec-30-1998 at 15:20
Steve Burkett a hobbyist user from New Zealand writes:
Okay peeps, listen up!

Thinking of buying a first sampler but don't want to spend loads of cash? The S20 is your baby....

It's such a capable little bit of kit, which when used in conjunction with a semi-decent PC is sooo close to being a fully fledged sampler.... Why? Because Akai had the good idea of putting a floppy drive on the thing... Now you can grab sounds off the internet, off your sample CD's or wherever, load them in to your PC (I use an Amiga but hey...) and then use some sample editing software to clean up the loops, add some reverb, stuff in a bit of compression, and stir well with ReCycle... Then drop the sample back on to floppy as load back in to the S20....

You can't really do that with the Yamaha SU10 or the Roland SP-202.... Yes, floppies are a BIG hassle, but if you have some patience, you can certainly get some wicked results out of this box... The other great thing is that its sooo easy to use, you can just grab samples really quickly, and then touch them up later... I dunno how one is supposed to get non-clicking loops on the fly straight off the decks, but since you have the floppy, you can pre-record all your samples, and save them off for using in a set...

Crap things... Only 4 sample playback at a time _IF_ you are using full stereo samples... This sorta sucks, the specs said 8 voices, then I realised that a stereo sample is 2 voices... So you drop a drum loop down, a bass loop over the top and some jingly jangly shakers or something over that and you're left with a mere two voices... But if you cut the samples back to mono then you free some voices up... A trap for the newbie I guess...

Okay, sure I'd love to see some knobs for filters, and ring modulators and the Time-Stretch feature of the other two low end samplers, but you can't have everything, and with that floppy and your PC... Well, you can make do... Akai definitely should consider another version, with these options, as I think they'd make a killing... Add a few extra assignable outputs for external processors and you have a little box that you can take on the road with you or have it set up in the bedroom studio, and it'll be a god send....

Oh.... And if you DO happen to get one of these, defintely get a MIDI keyboad (any will do!) and you'll start to realise the power of a sampler...

Bedtime methinks...

Steve.

Summary: If your a person thinking about getting in to making music, or want to add some little extra's in to a live performance/dj set, then the S20 is the one for you... With that floppy drive, the possibilties for sound manipulation are endless and you get to keep them when you turn the power off...

Marks off for Akai being right gits and leaving off the fun stuff of the other much cheaper phrase samplers....

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Dec-23-1998 at 06:32
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