Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

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Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by JuliusRe » Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:15 am

Hey guys,

I would like to be able to get a sound similar to the vintage Akai S950 sampler out of my modular. The ALM Busy Circuits MUM M8 seems to do a great job in mimicing the S950´s filter. As far as my understanding goes, I would additionally need a module that can reduce the sample rate of my audio signal (e.g. a sample being played back on my Disting mk4) down to 12 bit. Would something like the Doepfer A-189-1 Bit Modifier do the job? Or am I missing a key point of the S950 sound?
Any advise would be really appreciated :hmm:

Cheers!

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by goldplate » Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:49 am

I'm not expert in aliasing but the most sought after things in the 12 bits sampler seems to be their proper bit reducing function, so just taking any bit reducer like a Doepfer seems to be missing the key point in this.

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by mamonu » Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:00 am

you could of course provide samples to your Disting mk4 that are already transcoded to 12bit..

take your fav wav editor:

if disting accepts 12bit files -> batch process to 12bit.save to sd card . done

if disting doesnt accept 12bit files then batch process your samples to 12bit. then process them back to 16bit
(so as a file they are 16 bit but in reality the quality is 12bit and you are wasting a bit of space)
and then put those files in disting
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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by daphnid » Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:49 am

I have and S950 that I use a lot. There are a couple things beyond the sample rate reduction and bit crushing that make it sound the way it does, at least the way that I use it. One is the timestretch, which does a lot of weird things to your signal, especially when pushed beyond reasonable settings. It can turn simple speech into utter alien madness. It's one of the most important things about the sound of that sampler.

The other thing is the transposition. When you record something and start playing it at different pitches it really starts to take on a different quality. I often record beats at 1.5-2x the bpm and transpose down to get that super crunchy sound.

You also have quite a range of sample rate reduction options when recording a sample in the S950, which was intended to save space and allow you to create longer samples. Every old sampler sounds different the way it aliases and transposes, but I've never found a bit depth/sample rate reducer that comes close to sounding like any of them really. It's not just the fact that they are 12 bit samplers, it's the sum of their parts. Reducing your sample to 12 bits and running it through a filter clone is just a fraction of the equation.

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by coolshirtdotjpg » Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:24 am

Just a heads up, you are asking about bit depth, not sample rate. Sample rate is the rate at which information is sampled and reconstructed, bit depth refers to the actual amount of information in each sample. It's fairly easy to replicate low sample rates, not quite as easy to replicate older A/D and D/A converters. You could probably get in the ballpark, but the time stretching is probably not going to sound similar, unless there is a clone of that functionality in euro. Also, if you like the specifics of that sampler, you probably already have developed tastes and aren't going to be satisfied with roughly in the same ballpark. I think you could match the sample rate reduction of transposition by using something like the doepfer bit modifier, and sending in your pitch information into the volt per octave input, so that as you go lower, the sample rate reduces, you will want an attenuverter to dial in the sound you want. Also probably want to do filter tracking as well. The Mum8 might do some of that work for you, as switched capacitor filters tend to alias as the filter closes.

This all depends on how much you care, and what parts of the sound you want to emulate. Also bear in mind that you can buy the actual sampler for less than the cost of having one voice of it in euro, depending on how long you are willing to wait to find one. Some pros/cons of each (having owned vintage akai, ensoniq and emu samplers):

Akai S950:

Pros:
Already has the sound you are looking for
Polyphony
Possibly Lower Cost
Time Stretching

Cons:
Potentially more likely to break/Harder to Service
Interface is less hands on
Less Flexible Signal Path
Takes Up Space

Eurorack:

Pros:
Ultra Flexible Signal Path (can be used to process things other than samples)
Likely Easier to Have Serviced
Already has Modern Specifications (aka, easier to transfer samples, etc.)
Tiny
You May Already Have Components of it in Your Existing System

Cons:
You Will Never Get The Exact Sound of the Akai S950
More Work For Simple Tasks (slower)
Monophonic
No Replication of Time Stretching Function
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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by trickness » Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:08 am

BUY A SQUID SALMPLE to go with your Mum M8

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by locobitch » Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:03 am

I asked myself the same question I was coming to the conclusion that the best way is to using my computer has a sampler for the bitcrushing and pitch and time stretch and then going out to the MUM M8.
It exist the awesome RX950 plugin, instant gratification on snares and kicks and the filters are really nice for ITB but there is no resampler option for this typical pitch and time stretch. For that you have the excellent free project http://the-akaizer-project.blogspot.com/. You can also achieve almost the same results with TAL sampler also :)
The Rossum sampler is also an option in eurorack if you want to stay full modular but it's EMU genes not Akai.

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by daphnid » Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:48 pm

coolshirtdotjpg wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:24 am

Akai S950:

Cons:
Potentially more likely to break/Harder to Service
Interface is less hands on
You may want to replace the floppy drive with a card reader as it's the most likely part to break> But as vintage samplers go the Akai's are rock solid. Also its interface is a breeze once you get used to it. That big dial is so luxurious. And it's just not got that many settings.

And just to reiterate, DAW transposition and timestretching sound nothing like they do on an old sampler. They are much, much more accurate and their artifacts sound a lot different, and less pleasant (to me at least). I tried a few of the emulation plugins to see if I could get rid of my old samplers but I'd say vintage analog synth emulation VSTs are more accurate than vintage sampler emulation at this point.

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by yellowecho » Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:01 pm

trickness wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:08 am
BUY A SQUID SALMPLE to go with your Mum M8
:agree: :guinness:

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by SIN_formant_A1472V » Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:27 pm

My s950 is inimitable, if I want the s950 sound, I just go for the s950. If I were to emulate it, and I have tried in the studio using different things, as far as hardware goes, specifically eurorack hardware,
you'd need something that will resample the signal and reproduce it as cleanly as possible. One thing that is often overlooked in attempts at emulating the s950, is the audio bandwidth. Sure, the 12-bit sound is obvious, but the s950 has the ability to dial in specific bandwidths from 3000hz to 19,000hz.

So as long as you are able to control both, the sample rate (audio bandwidth) and the bit resolution with the Doepfer module, it should get fairly close. Naturally, it won't be an s950, but it's always fun to try emulating things with hardware.

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by AbundantChoice » Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:01 pm

If you've got a modular-to-pedal interface, also checkout the Ottobit Jr pedal from Meris. Doesn't do timestretching or repitching, but if you're looking for bitcrushing & sample rate reduction, it's fantastic. It also has a decent filter and a fun "glitch" parameter, along with a funky up-to-6-step "sequencer" that allows you to sequence the sample rate, bitcrush level, or filter level.

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by coolshirtdotjpg » Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:58 pm

daphnid wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:48 pm
coolshirtdotjpg wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:24 am

Akai S950:

Cons:
Potentially more likely to break/Harder to Service
Interface is less hands on
You may want to replace the floppy drive with a card reader as it's the most likely part to break> But as vintage samplers go the Akai's are rock solid. Also its interface is a breeze once you get used to it. That big dial is so luxurious. And it's just not got that many settings.

And just to reiterate, DAW transposition and timestretching sound nothing like they do on an old sampler. They are much, much more accurate and their artifacts sound a lot different, and less pleasant (to me at least). I tried a few of the emulation plugins to see if I could get rid of my old samplers but I'd say vintage analog synth emulation VSTs are more accurate than vintage sampler emulation at this point.
I'm with you on that. I should say the one issues I've had are buttons going bad (E4K) and a floppy drive dying (EIIIXP) not horrible as these things go.
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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by locobitch » Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:37 am

coolshirtdotjpg wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:58 pm
daphnid wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:48 pm
coolshirtdotjpg wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:24 am

Akai S950:

Cons:
Potentially more likely to break/Harder to Service
Interface is less hands on
You may want to replace the floppy drive with a card reader as it's the most likely part to break> But as vintage samplers go the Akai's are rock solid. Also its interface is a breeze once you get used to it. That big dial is so luxurious. And it's just not got that many settings.

And just to reiterate, DAW transposition and timestretching sound nothing like they do on an old sampler. They are much, much more accurate and their artifacts sound a lot different, and less pleasant (to me at least). I tried a few of the emulation plugins to see if I could get rid of my old samplers but I'd say vintage analog synth emulation VSTs are more accurate than vintage sampler emulation at this point.
I'm with you on that. I should say the one issues I've had are buttons going bad (E4K) and a floppy drive dying (EIIIXP) not horrible as these things go.


The question here is to reproduce the closest possible the Akai sound on modular and to my knownledge no eurorack sampler has this typical algorithm found on this old samplers or that even can come close to it. The closest that I found is in software form. The sum of all the parts bring the sound So the filter answered (MUM M8) and the algorithm answered(Akaizer for exemple in soft or TAL Sampler) it rest the DAC coloration for this you have the (RX950 again in software). So yes of course if you want the Akai sound the best is to buy a S950 or a MPC but if you search an alternative to this old boxes is maybe because you want to be maintenance free and without the hasle of the menu diving... Nothing stop you to buy a sampler in eurorack and using the samples that you tweaked and crunched on the computer with this softwares + with the MUM M8 i'm pretty sure you will be happy with the result even if not exactly that Akai sound ;)

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by rew_ » Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:20 am

another +1 on the SALMPLE. it's based on early samplers. I don't have a 950 but the aliasing on the three v/oct channels is noticeably different than my Digitakt or MPC 1000. I run a SALMPLE channel into a Mum M8 all the time, it's great.

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by radar24 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:34 pm

Salmple + mum M8 may do good replicating s950 but with that price range, you may get the real s950 though

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by bemushroomed » Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:17 pm

radar24 wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:34 pm
Salmple + mum M8 may do good replicating s950 but with that price range, you may get the real s950 though
Not really, a s950 is at around $800..

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by radar24 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:46 am

bemushroomed wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:17 pm
radar24 wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:34 pm
Salmple + mum M8 may do good replicating s950 but with that price range, you may get the real s950 though
Not really, a s950 is at around $800..
wow s950 price went up like that? i bought mine in march for $500.

but new salmple + mum m8 make $738 so still similar price range.

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by bemushroomed » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:32 am

interesting, then i guess Busy Circuits are more expensive in the US.. that at least $100 more expensive than in the EU.

doesn't people also modify the s950 with card reader, probably not super cheap either.. i'd personally never use floppy disks.

my prices for s950 were based of prices in Sweden and two that i saw on ebay (one was from china, the other i don't remember). could be that's its cheaper in US.

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by Kattefjaes » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:37 am

daphnid wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:49 am
I have and S950 that I use a lot. There are a couple things beyond the sample rate reduction and bit crushing that make it sound the way it does, at least the way that I use it. One is the timestretch, which does a lot of weird things to your signal, especially when pushed beyond reasonable settings. It can turn simple speech into utter alien madness. It's one of the most important things about the sound of that sampler.
Ah, timestretch abuse like the drums on this?



(Love that sound)

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by miminashi » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:00 pm

Don't assume that because the Mum M8 is a clone of the S950 filter that the Salmple is derived from the S950 as well. The S950 and the Squid Salmple have practically nothing in common when it comes to sample playback.

The S950 was among the last models to use variable clocks per voice, which greatly reduces aliasing when changing the pitch. I don't have a Salmple, but from the description in the manual it sounds like it uses nearest-neighbor interpolation, which pretty much guarantees maximum aliasing.

daphnid's post pretty much hit the nail on the head. While of course you can achieve all kinds of cool and interesting results with different Euro modules, I don't think it's possible to recreate a general "S950 voice" in Euro with current modules.

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by Sookilala » Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:57 pm

Akai s900 owner with card reader here, some points

*The filter is a digitally clocked analog filter, my understanding is there is no AD/DA stage it will not convert the signal into the digital domain and will not reduce bit depth or sample rate. I am uncertain if this is the same for the mum m8 filter, but its my understanding of the MF6CN-100 chip in the s900 and s950

*A big part of the sound of the s900 and s950 is the preamps and there quite a difference between loading samples onto a disk or usb and recording them into the sampler via the inputs, to my ears at least

*Its super cheap to put in a usb floppy emulator if you do it yourself and buy a cheap Chinese emulator. Just need to make sure you buy the right one

*There is a big difference between the onboard ADC chip in the s950 and s900 as compared bit depth reduction in software

*The samplers are an absolute pain to use when compared to modern workflows, but nothing else sounds like them

I don't own one but the mum m8 sounds like a great filter to me :)

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by daphnid » Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:05 am

Kattefjaes wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:37 am

Ah, timestretch abuse like the drums on this?

(Love that sound)

The s950 is great for jungle breaks, it just sounds right. I love it for that.

But this video shows more of what I'm talking about in terms of timestretch abuse. It's kind of like a bizarre karplus strong effect.


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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by wavejockey » Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:23 am

it has been mentioned here but the Rossum Assimil8tor can

do bit reduction, down to 1 bit, continuously, under CV control
can control the interpolation algoritm from propiety, to EMU E4 to drop sample (nearest-neighbour) behavior - and beyond

with the right filter you can mimic vintage equipment
i can do a very nice SP12/00 imitation

regarding sample frequency, yes, i change my samples offline on my computer in batch with the help of sox
http://sox.sourceforge.net/

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by Mungo » Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:59 am

wavejockey wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:23 am
it has been mentioned here but the Rossum Assimil8tor can

do bit reduction, down to 1 bit, continuously, under CV control
can control the interpolation algoritm from propiety, to EMU E4 to drop sample (nearest-neighbour) behavior - and beyond
But it is sill playing back with a fixed sample rate, so you only have control over some of the aliasing and imaging. In classic hardware samplers there can be up to 3 (possibly more) different "sample rates" that are adding aliasing and imagining in different stages and interacting with the particular filters (input and output).
miminashi wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:00 pm
The S950 was among the last models to use variable clocks per voice, which greatly reduces aliasing when changing the pitch.
Very true, the variable playback rate eliminates many of the usual artefacts of classic samplers. Then its the filters and 12bit quantisation which are making the specific sound (before going into its offline time stretch).

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Re: Akai S950 Sampler Sound - ALM MUM M8 and samplerate-reduction?

Post by radar24 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:47 am

Sookilala wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:57 pm
*There is a big difference between the onboard ADC chip in the s950 and s900 as compared bit depth reduction in software
I don't have 900 but my 950 and mpc 60 has very different sound too. isn't mpc 60 based on 900 sampling engine.
950 is great that it offers variable sample rates for different tastes.
but when it comes to sampling drums, i like 60 more for my taste.
i use 950 for more ram and loops.
one thing 950 excels is overdriving record input. 60 breaks sooner than 950 i feel.
off topic but for sampling simple one shot synth note for polyphonic synth patch, S612 is instant gratification imho.
I wish I had at least 3 more units of S612
I also took floppy off from 950 and installed HxC emulator and no more floppy hassle.

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