A Sound Buy?
Of course it is if you’re running out of voices and/or outputs. If I wanted
to be really cynical I would say that Akai should have made the S1100 thirty-two
voice polyphonic and given it sixteen outputs in the first place, but it would
have cost a lot more and it’s a hell of a machine even without that, and
it’s good to have a reasonably priced expander in the form of the S1100EX
available. I am advised that it’s best to have the same amount of memory
in both machines, so if you have a 10 Meg S1100 (the original 2 Meg card plus
an 8 Meg expansion) then you should budget for a 10 Meg S1100EX too. The S1100EX
isn’t going to make millions for Akai since of all the people who bought
an S1100 only a few will want another one. It does show however that they are
thinking of the end user, and when it comes to choosing equipment for your studio
it pays to look at the manufacturer as well as the product.
One last thing – If anyone ever manages to build a system with an S1100 and
six S1100EXs, let me know. I want to see it!
Akai have big things in mind for their S1100EX. This is from the manual: “…this
system allows you to add up to six S1100EXs by using SCSI connections. This
will give you, including the S1100 itself, a maximum of 112 voice polyphony
over the same number of MIDI channels, 70 audio outputs, 7 multieffects processors
and a potential memory expansion of up to 224 Megabytes of internal memory.”
About the Akai S1100
The Akai S1100 is a sixteen bit stereo sampler with analogue and digital stereo
outputs and eight polyphonic individual outputs. The sample rate is selectable
between 44.1kHz and 22.05kHz and there is a resampling function so that other
rates can be achieved. The standard memory is 2 Megabytes which may be raised
to 32 Megabytes with optional cards. A SCSI interface comes as standard as does
a SMPTE timecode reader/generator. Options include internal hard disk, and optical
and electrical digital inputs and outputs for hard disk or memory backup on
DAT. The S1100 has a digital multieffects unit with functions which include
reverb, delay, chorus and pitch changing.