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Akai S2800 and S3000 Digital Samplers (part 5)


Edit Sample

The opening screen presents you with information about existing samples and
offers two recording and three editing pages. Rec1 is the Record Setup page
where you will decide matters such as whether your new sample should be mono
or stereo, how sampling should be initiated, whether the bandwidth should be
20kHz or 10kHz and other important details. As far as I could tell, the second
record page, where recording actually takes place, is identical to the S1000.
A meter to the left of the screen shows the incoming level, and a graph of the
level is drawn out as the signal comes in. When I first saw the S1000 I was
curious about the inclusion of a Meter Off button. I now know that even though
this is what it is called in the manual, and that even though it does actually
switch the meter off, its purpose is this: in normal use, you can monitor the
incoming signal through the S3000 and when a sample is taken it will switch
over to the recorded version so you can play the sample back from the keyboard
immediately. If you don’t like what you hear, press the Meter On button
and you will be able to hear the source signal again – the button should be
called Monitor On. I think I see the point, but I still wish they would change
it to a ‘quick save’ button so you can protect your sample’s
precious existence without having to go to the disk page.

There are now three sample edit pages rather than two with some interesting
extra functions. I should skip over the Trim and Loop pages because they are
almost exactly the same as before (but only four loops per sample rather than
eight), and still with no undo function for the crossfade loop. Maybe Akai should
be checking out the competition on this point. But I said almost exactly the
same, if you delve a little deeper you will notice that as you trim, the screen
scrolls to follow the start and end cursors. What a small point, but what a
big improvement it makes toward ease of operation! I suspect that over a period
of weeks of use, users will find similar small improvements that assist operation.

The extra edit page is a goodie. Many is the time I have had a sample which
needed a little bit taking out to make it perfect. How often have I wanted to
sample a whole length of material and snip out the good bits? Wouldn’t
life be grand if you could sample a section of vocal and silence the coughs
and splutters while leaving the rest intact. The good new is that with the S3000
you can do all of of these things. And you can overwrite a sample, so you no
longer have to waste time typing in a new name even if you are confident about
what you are doing. What you do, in abbreviated terms, is this:

  • Select your sample and go to Edit page 3
  • Set a start and end point for the section you wish to modify. These points
    are temporary and will not change the original sample permanently. Press EXEC

  • Press Chop (remove the section), Cut (silence the section) or Extract (get
    rid of everything other than the section).

There seems to be a slight discrepancy between the three options as to whether
you can hear the results of your handiwork immediately, which you should be
able to, but I’m sure the Akai engineers are working on this already. (It
might be nice if they can work on some automatic naming system to so you don’t
have to fiddle about with names so much on something which might only be in
use for a short time anyway).

Other new goodies include a normalising feature so you can bring all your samples
up to a consistent level (or you can adjust the level manually by ‘rescaling’
if you wish). The Fade function provides either a fade in, fade out or both.
You can do this as part of editing the program, but this will be very handy
particularly when you know you will be setting the sample always to play right
to its end. Features well known and well liked on the S1000 and S1100 are repeated
here, such as Time Scale, Resample and Reverse playback.

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David Mellor

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David Mellor