Is anyone using hardware samplers too process there sounds? If so what unique sounds can you achive i use mainly AKAI rack samplers?

I have AKAI - S1000, S3000, S3000XL, S5000 with no fx expansions.

I'd like to know more about how you use the samplers and what unique sounds can be made using these samplers to process different sounds.

  • 2
    Welcome to SD! Your question is quite broad. If you can make it more specific, the chance for an answer is better. Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 11:03

4 Answers 4


The most unique thing about those Akai samplers is Akai's time stretching algorithm. After that, there may be some subtle unique coloring due to the choice of DACs. The classic Akai sound comes from their 12-bit samplers such as the S900, S950 and MPC60.


Eventhough I ♥♥♥ DAW-based sounddesign, I'm using an electribe sampler for inspirational purposes/sketching-phase of sounds. Having that said, I only use it because it's really easy/fast to sample sound (from radio/movie etc) and layer it, put some effects on it, and play with the pads at the same time. Phase 2 is sampling the 'approved' sounds into the DAW.


Your samplers are just recorders. So you have to make the new sound with some other device that you sample into your samplers and then use the samplers in a live or studio performance situation. The good thing about this is you have the flexibility to create new sounds from anything and everything.

One thing you can do is make new sounds with various physical objects. A hand saw is the classic example. Anything you can get your hands on and bang together or wave through the air or hit against something can potentially create a new sound that you can sample into your samplers, spread and/or layer across the keyboard, and create a totally new sound.

Another idea is to rent various synthesizers from a musical instrument store, say for a month at a time, and work with those synthesizers to create new sounds and sample those sounds into your samplers.

Same goes for apps on a Mac or iPad or PC. If they generate some kind of sound, you can sample them in your samplers.

  • Samplers are much more than "just" recorders. The S3000 and later have basic synthesis capabilities built in, and become much more powerful with the filter and FX options. Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 23:22

I'm not familiar with those machines but it's safe to assume most sound designers nowadays use a DAW for sampling

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