AKAI S900 as a Granular Synthesizer

The AKAI S900 is a wonderful machine for Industrial Music due to its harsh and powerful sounding 12bit AD-DA converters, so good I even run a BLOG about it!

During the last years I've been using it deeply in my productions and I've being experimenting the weirdest ways to employ it: from a distortion effect unit to a drum module.

Recently I've done an experiment with granular synthesis, small sampled waveforms looped to obtain a continuos sound.

Roland SH-09 Waveform

I chopped some waveforms from my Roland SH-09 samplekit and MIDI dumped them into the AKAI S900. Usually I care about samples dimension as the S900 has only 720kB of unexpandable memory but sample waveforms, or "grains", are so small in size there's really no worry.

The waveforms sound quite close to the real SH-09, even when layering together the squarewave + SUBOSC the result is similar. What starts to go crazy is when I hit two different keys, blending two sounds at different pitches: the AKAI poliphony starts to show its limits so the harshness is guaranteed.

Being the SH-09 a typical techno machine the resulting sounds are quite oldschoolish but the screaming effects are of course totally different: here it's the AKAI S900 character showing off.

Of course this kind of experiment can be done with any waveform or with any sampler.

Here's a downloadable archive with the floppy .IMG for the lucky friends that own an AKAI S900 and the waveforms in .WAV format for anyone who wants to experiment with SH-09 waveforms with Kontakt or whatever.


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