Akai S20

Make / Model: Akai S20
Year: 1998
Purchased: American Musical Supply, 1998
Price: $549

You can hear this on:
F*box ‘ep1020’
Silence Is Suicide LP
Silence Is Suicide ‘Hope & The Anti-Culture’
These records were recorded using this as the sampler.

Build Quality

Solid, but hard to use

Sound Quality



This was one of my favorite pieces of gear. It was poor man’s MPC. Just the sampler part. No sequencer. Want to program it? Buy a sequencer, which I did.

The pads on this thing were hard plastic, terrible. You had to push them very hard.

The sound quality, 16-bit, or 8-bit (so you could save space!). Sounds recorded to a floppy drive, and the highest sample rate? 32kHz.

But it was great. Loading it up sucked, as many times loading the full pads required multiple disks. But there was something satisfying about editing a sample, creating a sample, and saving it to the disc, and knowing it’s yours now.

I made A LOT of beats with this thing in the late 90s.

Loved it.

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Llamatism is a collection of things, a cabinet of curiosities, and reports from explorations on things, by Gary Llama.

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