The Akai samplers were a technological marvel of their time; a cutting-edge production tool afforded only by those whose names featured somewhere near the single digits of the pop charts. The introduction of affordable sampling kick-started a musical revolution that was equally (if not even more) paradigm-shattering than hard disk recording (which in itself is an outgrowth of sampling technology).

As samplers in general increased in power and decreased in price towards the end of the 80s, the choices became much greater, especially at a more affordable consumer level. By the early 90s, sampling technology had matured to an impressive level. Look back at photos of dance producers’ studios throughout the 90s and there’s a huge chance you’ll see an Akai sampler nestling in a rack.

Akai samplers, whether they were the 12-bit S900 or S950, the 16-bit S1000 or S2000, or maybe even an S3000 for those with a little more cash to splash have contributed to the formation of new music genres and pave the way for an entirely new generation of musicians and music creators. The S series was particularly popular in the UK, where it helped define entire genres. Hardcore, jungle and drum and bass would have turned out very differently without the S series.


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