Yamaha A3000
Yamaha A4000
Yamaha A5000



INTRODUCTION
Since Akai pretty much defined the terminology most people use to describe the architecture of a sampler, and since Yamaha totally abandoned that terminology when they developed their A-series sampler, I think we need a little translation note here, for those coming from Akai land to get their feet wet with a Yamaha.

"Multi" in Akai = "Program" in Yamaha.

"Program" in Akai = "Sample Bank" in Yamaha.

"Keygroups" in Akai = "Sample" in Yamaha. There is no keygroup data structure. Key ranges, original note, output, level, pan, tuning of the sample are defined in the sample data, but they can be overridden by Sample Bank settings. Even if you're not in the market for a hardware sampler, the A5000 makes a pretty wicked outboard effects unit. Six effects, fully routable, with most parameters controllable via MIDI CCs.


EDITORS / REMOTE CONTROL UTILITIES
bZone v0.98u3 - Written by Peter Govaers. This is THE editor for the A-series samplers.
[ www.bzone.be ]

Mixermaps - Created by Guiseppe Mendoza. "Yamaha A3000 Cubase mixermap and Cakewalk Studioware, as well as a lot of information on the sysex for doing it yourself on any sequencer other than the two above. These offer remote control of the A3k buttons, all of them."
[ Guiseppe's Homepages | download | local mirror ]

A3K Remote v0.06 - Written by Richard Millican. This utility presents a set of buttons which can be used to remotely interact with all the front panel controls of the A Series samplers. The text entry feature does not work with the A4000/5000, unfortunately.
[ download ]

PC1600X A3K Remote - Some clever author took the A3K Remote, extracted the Sysex values for control and mapped them to the Peavey PC1600X MIDI controller. If you have a PC1600X you can use its sixteen faders and buttons to interact with the front panel controls of your A-series sampler.
[ download ]

SCSI DATA TRANSFER / DISK MANAGEMENT UTILITIES
SMDIXfer GUI v0.04b - Written by Christian Nowak. A graphical interface for sending and receiving samples to and from your sampler. Works with any SMDI capable device. Also includes a workaround fix for an A Series bug where sending samples via SMDI destroys sample frames in a looped sample. More details in the readme.
[ SMDIXfer GUI site | local mirror ]

Disky v1.0.2/1.0.3 - Written by Jay Vaughan of ampfea.org. Remote SCSI disk management utility for A-series samplers.
[ Disky at Ampfea.org | disky1_0_2.zip | disky1_0_3.zip ]

SMDITools - Written by Olivier Doaré. This is a set of five command-line programs to exchange samples with an SMDI compatible sampler.
[ SMDITools site ]

How to set up Sound Forge 6.0 to send/receive samples with your AxK

1. Hook a SCSI connector up between your computer's SCSI card and the AxK. Get your computer to see the AxK by either turning the AxK on before you turn on your computer, or going to the Device Manager and refreshing the hardware list.

2. TURN OFF BULK PROTECT in the UTILITY > MIDI UTIL-SysEx page on your sampler. Note: You must do this every time you power cycle your sampler.

3. Open Sound Forge, load a 16-bit WAV file you want to export to the A5000, go to the Tools menu and select "Sampler..."

4. Click "Configure," then go through the list of samplers and select "A3000" (works fine with my A5000, although, I believe the definition "SMDI or SDS capable sampler" will work as well). Select the "SCSI" radio button. You might also need to select the SCSI host adapter that you wish to use. I didn't have to. Click "OK." The previous screen should now list your sampler.

Yamaha A3000
Adapter: aic78xx
Sampler: YAMAHA Sampler A5000 0150

5. Click "Send Sample." Sound forge will begin sending the active sample. The status bar at the bottom of the Sound Forge window will indicate the time remaining in the transfer. If you send a sample with the same name as a sample that already exists in the AxK's memory, it will add an asterisk to the name of the incoming sample.

MISCELLANEOUS UTILITIES
a3kcalc.html - Written by Dave Silvester. An HTML page with a calculator to get timesynced delays on your A3000. (On an A4000/A5000 just use the T-Dly, T-DlyS, and T-XDly effects which sync to MIDI clock.)

A3000 Hertz - Written by Guiseppe Mendoza. "A3000 Numbers to Hz calculator programmed in RapidQ Basic, very simple..." [ local mirror ]

OPERATING SYSTEM UPDATES
Available from www.yamahasynth.com. OS v1.50 is the latest (and probably last) OS revision for the A4000/A5000. Update 2010-12-03: These files are apparently no longer available from yamahasynth.com, so here are some local mirrors. [ a4k150.zip | a5k150.zip ]

If a version number does not appear when you call up the LOAD-OS screen in DISK mode, the unit's OS version is earlier than 1.50.

MODS
A4000 Boot-up Screen Hack - This fellow got into the OS update files with a hex editor.



A3000 Internal SCSI Zip Drive Installation - Documentation by Tod. No drilling required.



LINKS
www.yamahasynth.com - The official Yamaha keyboard website. OS upgrades for the A4000 and A5000 are still available here, as well as PDF versions of manuals.

Yahoo! Groups: YamahaA5000 - An active forum of A-series sampler users.

Yahoo! Groups: YamahaA5000 Files - The files page for the above group, including many helpful documents.

Yahoo! Groups: YamahaA5000 Links - The links page for the above group.

Yamaha A3000 Hacking - Courtesy of Tod. Contains info about cleaning and/or replacing your AxK's knobs, and mounting an internal Zip drive in place of the AxK's floppy drive.

Guiseppi's Homepages - Mr. Mendoza has some mixermaps for the A-series samplers, and an "A3000 Numbers to Hz" calculator in the Software Synthesis section of his site.

axk
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