Recently I installed a new internal SCSI Flash Card Reader into my Yamaha A3000 Sampler Version 2. You can find the card info here: SCSI Card Readers
The SCSI Card Reader works very well and I have it currently set to SCSI 0. I have also removed the original Floppy Drive and have not needed to use a Floppy since the removal. I also have attached a made in Japan I-O Data CD-RW Drive to SCSI ID 4. This also works excellent for loading up Sample CDs. I found Akai and of course Yamaha CDs to load up well. EMU CDs are difficult and I first need to convert them to Akai format to work.
I have had this Sampler since 1998 or 1999 and really didn’t find much use for it at the time although it was very popular to have here in Japan. I found a great deal on a used A3000 V2 and had to pick one up. Adding the CF Card Reader and finding an effective CD-Rom drive have really opened doors now with the Sampler and I’m finding some renewed interest with it. I particularly like the framework of Partitions, Volumes, Banks, and Samples when working with the A3000. The effects or reasonably good and I find the memory to be ample when working with Multisamples especially with Synth and Drum sounds. For straight up piano and rhodes sounds I continue to use my Fantom XR or Yamaha ES Samplers. I think for Analog Synth Emulations for example, the Yamaha A3000 works very well. Sonically it’s pretty powerful and easy to trigger.
I started out using the popular software bZone 1.0 for editing programs, banks, and samples on the A3000. I also used Adisky for importing Wav files and creating Yamaha A3000 CD-Roms. These programs were installed and running on my trusty old Windows 98 computer which works great. I was able to setup everything and it ran “reasonably” well, but ultimately the setup had too many bugs and froze on me way to much to really get anything done on the Yamaha A3000. SCSI on the A3000 is slow, but my goodness nothing is slower than buggy software and frozen computers. So I researched other solutions and found an alternative that works far better “for me”.
Basically now, I use Extreme Sample Converter (ESC) to convert other format Sample CDs such EMU into Akai format. I then use Translator to import the converted Akai files and create an Akai Disk Image. Nero is then used to burn an Akai S1000/S2000 disk to later import into the A3000. It works very well! I then simply do my editing on the Yamaha A3000 itself because quite frankly it’s faster than using any software editor solution I’ve found. When I say faster I also mean it’s 100% bug free and never freezes.
I also use Awave for identifying the Root Notes, Pitch Values, and Key Ranges of the original patches from other Sample CDs as well for reference. It works great. I also use ESC ( Extreme Sample Converter ) to audition sounds directly from the computer. When I find EMU sample programs I want, I simply create a new custom Akai converted disk. So, using the computer to audition multisamples and find what’s worth tweaking on the A3000 saves time as well. Unfortunately there is no “all in one” software solution. ESC is good for auditioning and converting between formats. Translator is good for burning to a particular CD-Rom Format. Awave is good at providing quick details of how a multisample is mapped, plus it provides great tools for resampling if required.
Below are some brief notes of how I import various program/voice files such as Akai, Roland, and EMU into the Yamaha A3000 V2 Sampler.
Importing EMU Disks of all kinds.
1. Load EMU III Disk into Extreme Sampler Converter.
Source Format = EMU 3/4, ESI, Emulator
Destination Format = Akai S5000, S6000
2. Create an Akai S1000/S2000 Virtual Disk in Translator and add the presets From ESC.
3. Burn the Akai img to CD-Rom with Nero.
4. Turn on your Yamaha A3000 and load up the CD-Rom. It should show you the Partitions and you can select the programs from within.
5. Import the programs/voices you would like which will import the samples into banks and map them.
In the case of EMU Sample Disks I always have to tweak the following for each sample:
a) Key Mapping ( Use Awave or ESC to determine original key ranges )
b) Root Note ( Usually correct )
c) Pitch adjustment occasionally. I turn fine to “0” and adjust coarse as needed.
d) Loop Points may need to be adjust on a sample or two. It’s easy actually and off only by a fraction.
6. Add 1-3 effect blocks depending on what you think the multsample needs. I usually add EQ first.
7. Save the Program to a partition/volume on your CF Card.
Importing Akai Disks of all kinds.
I find “unlike” with EMU disks, I can pretty much import Akai disks without any problems. If I do encounter a problem, I just run through the steps I wrote above. Importing Akai disks into the Yamaha A3000 V2 is pretty easy and trouble free. Note that if you “convert” from another format to Akai it can cause more problems such as with EMU to Akai as mentioned above.
Importing WAV Files.
With WAV files I found burning them into Akai format to work the best. I could import them into a bank very quickly in bulk and then assign key ranges on the A3000. It found it to be very fast and effective. Way better than bZone … waaay better!!
I know there are other Sampler Hardware Solutions out there. I also have a Roland W-30, S-330, S-760 Sp-606, Sp-808, and Fantom XR Samplers. Plus I have a couple of Korg Triton and even a Yamaha RS7000. I primarily am into MultiSample hardware units rather than loop phrase samplers though.
I find the Yamaha A3000 pretty intuitive, easy, and fun sampler to work with ONCE you figure out your own best workflow. For me, I think using the conversion software packages out there along with good ole’ fashion manual button programing to work very well with the Yamaha A3000.
I’ll update this article with more info as I dive in further to the Yamaha A3000 V2.