Akai S950

HxC Floppy Emulator Akai Keyboards/Samplers support
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jandoe
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Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:08 pm

Akai S950

Post by jandoe » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:24 pm

Hi,

It would be really cool if the floppy emulator could be used with an Akai S950 Sampler. Maybe I can provide the necessary information (Drive Model, Floppy Images etc.).

sincerely
Jan

Jeff
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Re: Akai S950

Post by Jeff » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:24 pm

jandoe wrote:Hi,

It would be really cool if the floppy emulator could be used with an Akai S950 Sampler. Maybe I can provide the necessary information (Drive Model, Floppy Images etc.).

sincerely
Jan
Hi,

a picture of the internal floppy connection is a good start.
After try to read an Akai S950 floppy disk with the hxc tool:
http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emu ... r_soft.zip
(user manual :http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emu ... Manual.pdf)

Did you have the sd hxc floppy emulator ?

jandoe
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:08 pm

Re: Akai S950

Post by jandoe » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:57 am

On the following site are some informations about the floppy drive and the pin configuration:
http://floppy.shugart.free.fr/page.php? ... /index.htm

I also found this site about replacing the floppy drive of an Akai MPC 60 (released around the same time)
http://blog.retrosynth.com/archives/200 ... kai_m.html
As I got this Teac FD-235HFA529 laying around (ripped of an Akai MPC 2000xl) I configured the jumper settings and soldered the bridge as recommended (S14 to force 720K Mode) and it worked!

I'm trying to provide a floppy disk dump in the next days.

I don't have the emulator yet. Is it possible to estimate how likely it is that the s950 drive can be emulated ?

Thanks!
Jan
Attachments
s950_floppy_bottom.jpg
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s950_floppy_back.jpg
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Jeff
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Re: Akai S950

Post by Jeff » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:17 am

jandoe wrote: I don't have the emulator yet. Is it possible to estimate how likely it is that the s950 drive can be emulated ?
as far i can see there are no problem for the S950 support.

I am waiting for your dumps.

Another question : is there a particular file format used to store S950 disk images?

jandoe
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:08 pm

Re: Akai S950

Post by jandoe » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:48 am

Some Information about the disk format
http://mda.smartelectronix.com/akai/akaiinfo.htm#1

floppy dumps follow!

thanks
jan

jandoe
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:08 pm

Re: Akai S950

Post by jandoe » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:18 am

Finally I was able to make some floppy dumps. Sorry for the delay.
They can be downloaded here: http://jandoe.de/akai_s950_floppy_dumps.zip

regards
Jan

Jeff
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Re: Akai S950

Post by Jeff » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:57 am

jandoe wrote:Finally I was able to make some floppy dumps. Sorry for the delay.
They can be downloaded here: http://jandoe.de/akai_s950_floppy_dumps.zip

regards
Jan
Thanks.

There are nothing special with this floppy images. You can use them with the SDCard HxC Floppy Emulator without problem.

wezmabini
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:15 am

Re: Akai S950 & S20?

Post by wezmabini » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:46 am

Thanks both of you for the information above.
I am hoping that an old Akai S20 can be resurrected similarly.
Can you throw any light on that possibility?

jeffe
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:40 am

Re: Akai S950

Post by jeffe » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:19 pm

I'm very positive the S20 could be upgraded the same way...it is just a normal disk drive.

Great sampler ;].

wezmabini
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:15 am

Re: Akai S950

Post by wezmabini » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:15 am

That is such great news - Thanks a million!!
WHat do I need to know to wire it up?

jeffe
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:40 am

Re: Akai S950

Post by jeffe » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:56 pm

Read the documentation on how to use the HxC properly, but wiring it up is literally a drop in replacement for the floppy drive. The same cords plug into the same sockets...no modification necessary.
I made a video of the install on my Ensoniq EPS, and you can see I do no modification to the machine besides removing the drive. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yM2o0W5Y0pI

wezmabini
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Re: Akai S950

Post by wezmabini » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:21 pm

Thanks again. Having established that it can be wired in, my next concern was naturally the software.
I found this, which looks helpful.
http://www.shlock.co.uk/Utils/OmniFlop/OmniFlop.htm
You probably know it; it writes in various floppy formats including Akai S series.
I am hoping I can format and load a USB thumb drive that the S20 will recognise as an Akai disk, via the emulator.
Am I off track?
The S20 being so compact, will be fantastic on stage if it can read a thumb drive.
Any further guidance re the software would be much appreciated.

wezmabini
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:15 am

Re: Akai S950

Post by wezmabini » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:23 pm

BTW your video is really well made, and the soundtrack is great.

jeffe
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:40 am

Re: Akai S950

Post by jeffe » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:31 am

Thanks
The soundtrack is all from the EPS factory disks, megamix style.

OmniFlop will work fine, it is what I used to image my EPS disks. The cool thing about this emulator, and disk imaging in general, is that the programs don't actually need to really understand the format, they just have to copy it and reproduce the data properly.

I read in disks to OmniFlop, created generic images, then used the HxC software to create images from 'raw' files. I am not too well versed in this, but I did need to change some settings to be able to properly reproduce the disks into an HFE image (for use on the emulator). I found the settings via the EPS thread in this forum.

Maybe I should have included this first, or should put a link to it in the YT vid, but here is the full writeup on the process:
http://casavista.blogspot.com/2011/02/r ... assic.html

Keep in mind that you still have to fake the sampler out into thinking it's using 'disks', so it won't be any faster and you will still need to 'swap disks' (via a button press). However, with the S20 having such a huge memory capacity for it's pads, this might be something you just need to do once at the beginning of a performance...I don't know how you use the machine.
Also, one thing I failed to realise, is that create new disks, currently, you have to create them on the PC and drag 'blank' images into the emulator. It's not a huge deal, you just copy and paste an image of a blank, formatted disk and make sure they are on the card already. Requires a little foresight, and note-taking to remember which files are on which image.

Btw, I am using the SD card version, which I would highly recommend over any usb solution for a sampler. leave the computer at home.

ps. Totally unrelated, did you know the S20 is bendable? http://www.circuitbenders.co.uk/synthmod/S20.html

jandoe
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:08 pm

Re: Akai S950

Post by jandoe » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:58 pm

Hi,

Today I hooked up the SDCard Floppy Emulator with my Akai S950 and successfully stored a freshly sampled sound on the sdcard, switch the 950 off and on and successfully loaded the sample:)

Initially the disk LED was permanently on so I opened the S950. The floppy connector on the mainboard of the S950 (see the attached picture) is reversed. I cut off the plastic thing on the plug on one side of the ribbon cable, so i could connect it in reverse. Now the LED stopped being permanently on.
s950_floppy_connector.jpg
s950_floppy_connector.jpg (109.73 KiB) Viewed 11237 times
I used a custom raw floppy image with the following setting:
Track type: MFM
Number of tracks: 80
Sectors per track: 5
Two sides floppy
Sector ID start: 1
RPM: 300
Sector size: 1024
Bitrate: 250000
GAP3 length: 50
Interleave: 1
Skew: 0
Total Sector: 800
Total Size: 819200

Now I'm going to build a nice case for the floppy emulator to fit in the drive bay of the s950.

Thanks Jeffe and LOTHAREK (fast shipping!...twice;)

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