AKAI SAMPLER MEMORY
Q) I want to expand my AKAI s2000,3000/3200XL,CD3000's RAM, what type of
model/brand of SIMMs should I buy?
Q) DO EDO RAM WORK WITH AKAI SAMPLERS?
Q) What capacity SIMMs go into the two memory slots in my AKAI?
Q) Can I insert two different capacity SIMMs in my AKAI?
Q) I have an old 's' AKAI series sampler, where can I find an expansion board?
A) To expand your AKAI's RAM by the book you need 72pin SIMMs exactly:: Single Sided - No Parity - Fast Page 70ns or faster 72pin ones. Their capacity can be 4 or 16MBytes and can be mixed together but I suggest you not to in order to avoid hardware incompatibilities. If you cannot find Fast Page SIMMS then EDO can work too as long as they match the above characteristics (except the fast page part ofcourse;) but you won't be using they're Extended Data Out characteristic so don't think you're speeding up your sampler by using them. To be absolutely certain, the only way is to try them out for at least a weekend by loading all you possibly can in your sampler's new RAM and doing some memory movements like DSPing, deleteing, reloading without clearing memory etc and keeping your sampler on for many hours. If all is fine you shouldn't get any "glitching" or strange noises in your samples as result of your operations - if you do, or even manage to crash the OS, then probably your AKAI doesn't like much those new SIMMs. This testing period should be conducted for installing FastPage RAM too ofcourse, one can never know of defective products.
Q) How do I install the SIMMs in my AKAI?
Q) What handling precautions must I take before touching ESD sensitive devices?
Q) What is ESD and what are ESD devices?
Q) Can I BLOW my AKAI if I do something wrong?
A) Installing new SIMMs in your AKAI is quite simple. Turn off and unplug your sampler from the mains and place it on a stable flat surface. Unscrew the philips type screws (4 lateral and 1 one the back) and lift the cover from the backside and pull it away from the chassis. Now BEFORE touching any "interesting" part inside GROUND yourself; this is easily achieved by touching a metal surface that is connected to a ground lead like your PC should be or a nearby radiator or whatever appliance you have near you as long as you touch a clean metal (not painted) surface. This is to prevent the so called ESD (Electro Static Discharge) on the electronic device and it's components. Just to keep you informed, in normal weather conditions with normal humidity (60%) there is not much static accumulation because it is continuosly "discharged" through the humid air to ground reducing the ESD fenomenon; but if you are standing on a carpet in a dry windy and sunny day with rubber soles on then you can easily reach 5-20KV (yes Kilo Volts) in a matter of a "BRUSH" and become a potential hazard to any exposed electronic device - just think of what happens in those quite cold, dry and windy days when you step out of your car and ZAP, "shucks, there we go again" you think... that's what exaclty what happens to any Integrated Circuit you touch, especially the more sensistive CMOS types like your RAM chips on your SIMMs. Now that you are informed of the big loss you can incounter with ESDs, you can proceed in inserting the SIMMs (or SIMM) in their appropriate slots which are located in the front right-hand zone of the akai frontwards view behind the flash memory slots - I presume that you have the SIMMs in an antistatic bag ofcourse;) A hint: start with the REAR SIMM slot or you will have great difficulties in inserting the second SIMM:) As you can notice the SIMMs are slightly asimmetric so that one can only insert them the right way. You can achieve this in the try-it-out but gentle manner: get a SIMM and insert it diagonally (at about 40 deg angle) until you see the silver slot contacts "grasp" your SIMM's ones keeping an eye on the middle notch (that dent in the middle). Hint: Start with the leftmostIf it is the right way around, the notch will match the slot's one so you can proceed in clipping in the module by lifting it until it is vertical and you hear the clicks of the two side brackets; a fancy way of doing this is by pushing the SIMM upwards with your two thumbs and using both your index fingers to "open" the brackets so that the SIMM will snap in without much pressure. Now, double check the contacts on the slot and your memory's ones and then the notch indent in the middle. If they do not form a quite parallel line or the notch is not in place, you could have inserted your SIMM not "deep" enough in the slot groove or even not the right way around! I'm quite severe on this operation because if the SIMM is inserted partially or incorrectly there could be not one but various short circuits on the slot contacts created by the same SIMM contacts not being in place and this means that when you power up your AKAI there will be smoke sizzles pops and crack - a major disaster! If everything looks OK, repeat these steps for your other SIMM if you have one. Now you can proceed in laying the cover back on your akai and powering it up (don't put the screws back on yet). You should read now your new total RAM MWord amount; that's exactly HALF the MBytes you just installed so it's 16MWords if you installed 32Mbytes. Put the screws back on (first the back one then the rest) and that's it. If you're not reading the correct amount, like only half, then you probably don't have the right kind of SIMMs and you'll have to replace them.
Q) Why does my AKAI display only 16 even if I have installed 2x16MByte
Q) What is a Mega Word?
A) The AKAI samplers work with a Mega Word basis becuase they sample and work with16bits at a time and not 8. So if a byte is 8 bits and a word is two bytes, the amount of MWords your AKAI reports multiplied by two will give you your usual Mega Bytes. Again, ALL the sampler's values are referred to 16Bit samples and so he can calculate, based on the basic duration of a sample at 44.1KHz. (1 divided by 44100 that gives us the sample duration which is 22.6757 microseconds) the total duration of your sample through a simple multiplication. Following this method of work, the AKAI can give you directly the amount of free memory left and so the subsequent free seconds available.
Q) I am looking for old AKAI 's' series memory type, not the XL
series, where can I find it?
Q) I've heard of a special 32MB board for old AKAIs, do you know anything about it?
A) Older AKAI 's' series (s1000/1100/2800/(CD)3000/3200) do not use standard SIMMs but they need the proprietary AKAI memory board (and is much bigger than a normal SIMM) which can still be found if you're lucky at an AKAI reseller or you can find luckily a few "clones" of these boards which work very well. Furthermore, the standard old 's' AKAI series could not be expanded over 16MB "by the book" but the actual AKAI hardware could handle 32MBs - so finally a couple of compatible 32MB solutions were released for the joy of these AKAI owners! There are a couple of versions: one is practically a memory board "doubler" where you can fit 2x16MB boards in your AKAI. Another "cleaner" solution is a single AKAI-Memory-to-SIMM adapter that emulates 4x8MB AKAI boards.
Here is a link to where you can find more detailed info about this expansion board for your delight:
http://www.firstpr.com.au/rwi/smem - (Robin Whittle's page)
And here are a few links regarding the standard or "clone" expansions: