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Akai s3200

Hello, I've just picked up an Akai S3200 for £40. No manual and just a 'start up' floppy disk inserted.
I have no real idea about what it can do so I thought I'd ask you good people.

Basically I've been using Ableton for about a year now with varying degrees of success.

I've picked up this hardware sampler for a few reasons. 1) because I'm interested in using hardware stuff as a way for me to concentrate a bit more and get off the endless vst roundabout. And b) I have a medical issue with staring at a computer screen for too long so in trying to get my screen time down to a minimum.

Just wanted some friendly advice from people who have a similar setup or have used one.

Do I just sample vinyl on it? Is it best used with a keyboard? Can I get other floppy disks with sounds on them? Can I/should I plug it into anything else? My MacBook with ableton?

I also have an alesis 3630 and I'm in a similar situation with not knowing how best to use it.

I came across this video with a similar setup

Hyped Up - Akai S900, Alesis 3630 quickie - YouTube

Where are the drum sounds coming from? Is it all sampled from vinyl?
Just feels like a minefield tbh but I'd love to give some stuff a go if anyone has any experience?
Maybe it won't work out but I thought, for that amount of money, might be worth a shot right?

Also, please don't say "read the manual" because I haven't got one.

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  • Hello Chris,

    Thanks for posting!

    First of all, here's the Akai S3000 series manual:

    Akai S3000 Series - Operator's Manual

    The S-3000 series is capable of quite a lot and a look through the manual is absolutely required to get started.

    In that video, it appears he's using an Akai S950 for just one or two elements of that groove. You can see him turning the master volume down/up through the recording. From the computer screen he appears to be recording the S950 output into Ableton Live (via some audio interface) as well as another track (not sure from what). The bulk of sounds seems to be coming from Ableton and there's no way to tell where they came from before that.

    If you like that type of workflow, there are some questions you would have to ask that poster. What's the audio interface? How are the S950, the 3630, and (what I think is) an old Ensoniq FX unit integrated/patched into the mixer and/or into Ableton?

    I would only call this type of thing a "minefield" if you try to jump straight into it without a fundamental understanding of signal flow, mixer routing, computer audio interfaces, and (most importantly) MIDI. Without the basic knowledge, you can still build a setup like this, but once one cable is disconnected or a software setting changed, you're stuck!

    Anyway, lots of things to think about. Let me know if this helps!
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