Ok this is as basic as it gets, but still it’s nowhere to be found on the actual Akai S900 manual, since it deals mostly with pitched sounds and how to spread them on the keyboard.
How do you make a drum program from recorded samples on the Akai S900, and play those sounds from a controller in midi in?
Well, first of all you must understand what a keygroup is.
The keygroup is the number of samples in the program. Or something like that.
-press the function button sample rec, press “letter” function and enter the name of the new sample, scroll down and set the sample rate: choose 16000 for best definition (it will be punchy nevertheless) then scroll the page down until you can assing that specific sample to a key on the keyboard- I normally start from A1. For easier operation, use a keyboard plugged in the midi in port.
-press edit sample function, since they are drum samples you dont want any scaling of the single hits so deactivate any transpose function, then set the sample start and end points.
Scroll the page down and choose (right arrow twice) to discard whatever is before the start and after the end points (aka sample truncate).
-press edit program and choose (right arrow) the name of the sample you just recorded.
At Program screen 03, KEYGROUP, add one more keygroup to the total keygroups by pressing + on the COPY line. Then scroll page down, assign the keygroup to the sample you just edited, and set the sample pitch range-since it is a drum sample, you want the range to be of just one key, so set it to the key you assigned upon recording for both range figures. If you assign it to another key, the sample’s pitch will be affected. You will not be able to listen to the sample as you do this so make sure you write down what note the sample was assigned to.
-press save, scroll down page to (right arrow twice) save prg and samples.
That’s it, plain and simple, easy guide to make drum programs on this legendary sampler.
Remember to drive the inputs a bit when recording-i always record at 16000 (best quality) but sometimes in a drum kit i like to have also low fidelity drum hits, so i record also some kicks and snares at like 8000-they add some dirt, just dropping them in the pattern, they add character.