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Akai S2800 and S3000 Digital Samplers (part 4)

Assuming you have managed to load some material (not too much of a problem I think), then this is the place to arrange for its performance. The main screen will tell you the name of the disk volume, if it has one, and show you the programs that are available together with their MIDI program numbers.

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Select Program

Assuming you have managed to load some material (not too much of a problem I think), then this is the place to arrange for its performance. The main screen will tell you the name of the disk volume, if it has one, and show you the programs that are available together with their MIDI program numbers. Rotate the data wheel to select the one you want. Of course, you’ll want to be more adventurous than this. Perhaps you need to renumber the programs, either to get them into a more logical order or to give some the same number so they can be active simultaneously. Press the RNUM (Renumber) function key. This page is slightly different to the older range with function keys labelled All, Slip and Set. ‘All’ allows you to set quickly every program to the same program number (useful for multitimbral MIDI sequencing). With ‘Slip’ you can adjust one program and all higher number programs will be offset by the same number. ‘Set’ allows you to renumber programs individually. The improvement here over what was previously available is that you never forget to press the Go button (there isn’t one!) and lose all your carefully made settings.

The Mix page (similar to the S1000 v3.0 and S1100) is something I rarely use personally but I can well see why it’s there. If you are building up a sequenced composition within the S3000 then this is where you can set the levels, panning, individual output and effects level for each program. If this were a physical device, it could be a console with an awful lot of faders. I think it’s more practical the way it is. I hardly use the MIDI page myself either but once again I can see why many find it important. It allows control over the MIDI channel of each program, the key range it will respond to, the number of notes available for polyphony, the priority it has over other programs, and a transposition interval. Multitimbralists would probably be turning to this page all the time to make the necessary comprises if there were only sixteen voices available. With thirty-two voices, they probably won’t have to.

The Disk function key under the heading of ‘Select Program’ offers a load only function. I find that it’s convenient to use this with my optical disk library because it saves me pushing the Save or Delete buttons by mistake. I have lost valuable data in the past because the only protection mechanism available is the little slider on the disk. Any update to the S3000 software really should include a ‘Protect Program and Sample’ or ‘Protect Volume’ function.

S1000 and S1100 users will have noticed that if they want to delete one unused program from several currently held in memory, that it often takes quite some time. In fact an inordinate amount of time with an expanded memory. My tests with the S3000 showed that deletion of programs and samples is instantaneous. A significant improvement.

The provision of digital effects on the S3000 is interesting. Effects 1 to 20 all have names suggesting reverb of some kind (Large Room, Plate etc) but they all sound like a triple repeat echo. Of course, the reason for this is that reverb is not provided on the S3000 (only on the S3200), but the FX page doesn’t take any account of this. It could be confusing to someone who doesn’t have access to the manual. The last of the function keys under the Select Program heading is the Mute key which simply turns off the effects.

By David Mellor Thursday January 1, 2004
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