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Yamaha A3000

29-Mar-2017

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Yamaha A3000



Category:  Products / sampler / yamaha

Added: 05-Jan-99  |  Author: admin

New price: £ 850 cheapest  |   S/H price: ??

Yamaha A3000



YAMAHA A-3000
Reviewed by 'Mindspawn'


OK, here's the skinny on the A3000 sampler from Yamaha. First of all, the unit is not exactly budget priced. Coming in at around $1600.00 US, the A3000 is falling right in the range of several medium priced samplers like Akai and Emax equipment. What do you get for your green? One helluva great sampler! The A3000 starts off modestly enough, coming configured with 2mb RAM, a floppy disk drive, SCSI port (50 pin socket out the back), two inputs in the front panel, a headphone jack, one pair of stereo out jacks, one pair of assignable out jacks, and MIDI in, out, and through. It is capable of being expanded to 128mb of RAM via 72 pin simms. Yamaha also gives us 16 parts multi timbrality and 64 note polyphony. One can add an external hard drive or CDROM, as well as an internal hard disk. There's also an optional I/O expansion board supposedly available from Yamaha (the shop where I picked this one up had no info on when the boards would be in stores), that will add three stereo assignable output pairs, a CD/DAT (S/P DIF) in and out, and an optical in and out.

Alright, so you've dropped your dough on this beast, and you've got no cash left for expansion at the moment. Can the A3000 get it done on its basic configuration? You bet. Yamaha really must have listened to some actual music folk when designing this box. You got your master volume and record dials, decent sized display, five push/twist knobs for various parameter editing and real time control, five mode buttons, six function keys, a command key, an assignable key, and the audition key, all right up front and well layed out. Oh yeah, there's a big black power button there to, but it's off to the far right and is even recessed (ever accidently punch your power off during a show - BAH!).

Moving into the guts of the beast we have an excellent ability to record samples (dry or effected via the A3000), and the sample tuning functions are superb. You grab yourself a mic or hook up a CD player to the front input jacks and you're in business. While very recording setup is very configurable, the recording meters are not available during the actual recording process (least not that I've figured out yet). You can lay on up to three effects during the recording phase if you want (or you can do it after, or even...not at all....). After you've got your sample loaded, you can do trimming and looping, via twiddlin' with the knobs on front. This little feature is awesome. It lets you set your start, end, and loop points, while listening to it. You can loop the whole thing or just a portion. All the samples are assignable to programs and can be set to recieve on any MIDI channel, and you can set up user banks for playing groups of samples. The samples are assignable to keyboard notes, and key ranges are assignable.

From here we take a brief tour of the filter functions. You get six basic filter types with cutoff, gain, and Q/width all adjustable. You can muck around with cutoff sweeps etc., until you go nuts, play with the filter sensitivity, scaling, and EQ. You also get three envelope generators (EG's), that cover amplitude, filter, and pitch. Within these various functions are gobs of adjustable parameters, but if you get lost, one push of the knob and you're back to your sample (a second push of the knob will take you back where you were). With all the LFO's and what not to play with you might be tempted to sell off yer' synth! Once you start adding in the effects and you get "your sound" just so, you can save the effects configuration to a favorites list where you can recall them at any time. There's over 50 effect to play with, everthing from wah and flange to scratch and reverb, and you can use up to three effects at a time in various combinations.

I could go on and on about the techie parts of the A3000, but that's not gonna get across how easy this thing is to use, or how versatile it is. You can literally generate sounds that could be straight from a moog with this thing, yet it's the perfect phrase sampler. Oh, and did I mention that when I plugged in my keyboard and started banging about, with nothing more than the basic sine wave that comes standard in your setup, that in just a few seconds of twiddling I had a really impressive, very FAT, moogish bass thingy happenin.' Sweet! The A3000 can also record sequences, but little else in the way of sequencing - nor is there any MIDI clock sync - works great for "ideas" though. Keep Cakewalk about for the real sequencing chores. Well to really get a feel for this beast go down to yer local goods shop and play it, then buy it, cos yer never gonna be able to do without once you've had it.

Really though, take a listen to the accompanying Real Audio file. It's a little tune called "Rush" that I did on the A3000. The samples are from everywhere: kits, samples from 4 track sessions, a mic bit or two, the Internet, my VCR, etc. I was basically trying to use a wide range of techniques and functions of the A3000 to show it off. The sequencing was done just using keyboard direct to the A3000, with the exception of a short bit of bass stuff that was sequenced from the SEQ 303 software program, then sampled into the A3000 as the A3000 played the sounds. This whole setup will fit onto a floppy, samples and all, with room to spare. All in all, I give the A3000 very high marks. A few grumbles, like the lack of MIDI clock syncronization, etc., but in particular, if you're a creator of sound, or you want a sampler for performances, the A3000 should be tops on your list to check out.













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User Comments

Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: steve
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 28-Apr-99

I got one - its nice. Will be even nicer when I've upgraded to version 2. Only drawback is lack of good display - though at £850 new (last year) you cant complain. Millennium Music is currently advertising V2 + additional IO upgrade together for £140. See Sound on Sound mag for details

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: Steven
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity:
Date: 21-Jul-99

I got one couple of weeks ago (OS.2), it kick fucking ass. I even now just pinch a little in the opportuneties and i'm thrilled.
I'm working on a project now and have used the loopremix on a loop and waay that rocks.
Now i just need cash to put more ram in and puh a upgrade of the computer.

Greetings
Steven

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: kevin mills
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 23-Jul-99

Just bought an A3000 V2, 128 RAM & output board. It certainly does kick copious amounts of butt. The filters are superb, the interface is difficult at first but soon works, and the overall sound is wicked, big and punchy (but you can make it as shitty lo-fi as you like thanks to those filters), good compression and fx onboard, loop remix (works like Recycle to rearrange beats), beat changer (changes speed of breaks while maintaining pitch) and loads of other stuff. Great sampler.
Now the downside:
1/You can't initially transfer files in other formats from anything except floppies, sample by sample. Once they are in the A3000 memory, they can be saved and reloaded quickly to/from Zip (but not CD writer - bummer). It will read Akai s1000 HD floppies directly BTW
2/You don't have a 'grid' screen page like the Akais/Emu where you can compare outputs, midi routing etc. This is a big headache but I guess you can't have everything. I'm still more than glad I made the switch from the old S1000
Well that was a blah but I thought I'd share it with you anyway

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: ruh-ney
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 18-Aug-99

Well, I bought one... Got no Sleep 4 Days on end. Love it!
But, I had a hardtime working things out with this thing as works so different then a normal synth.
Or is it just my old-school type of approach towards midi gear? Don't know.

In any case... Its working it's ass off. It's now fully running in my studio, and I'll never part from it.

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: Daren Ager
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 19-Aug-99

I have used all the major samplers of the past 10 years and I have to say the A3000 is definately THE BEST.
Critics would say the lack of a waveform display lets it down, but in reality you will not miss it. The ability to read WAV files is great, if you really need to see your waveforms use soundforge or similar save to WAV then chuck it in the A3000 for further mangling.
Forget the Akai's and the Emu's there's a new kid in town and he kicks their butt.

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: malteluebbe
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 19-Aug-99

The A3000 is the worst sampler I have used so far. The user interface is anything but intuitive, the knobs are the shitiiest I have ever felt.They jump!
And the internal harddrive makes a noise that drives me craZY!
Have you people ever used an Akai or Kurzweil?
How can you say it is the best in a decade?
Ever heard the filters of an EMU?
The A3000 sucks!!!

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: dsb
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 20-Oct-99

well i havent used all the major samplers of the last ten years, this is my first actualy, having said that i can hardly imagine how this sampler could be better. awesome filters, fx, resampling, real time adjustment of prettymuch all parameters, the posibilities are endless.

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: kulma
Email: Email supplied but hidden
http://www.saunalahti.fi/~abast/kulma
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 28-Oct-99

I'm buying a sampler in the near future, and my two top choices at this moment are the A3000, and the SU700. How much do these machines differ in the inside? I read someplace that they're practically the same, but then again on the Yamaha site they're specs were a bit different. All feedback appreciated, e-mail preferred, thanks.

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: Bastiaan
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 12-Nov-99

Anybofy know what are the differnces between V1 & V2, i saw an a3000 version adverstised with a 3gb hardrive for dfl 2400,- (1100€) is this a good buy? And what would i have to pay for the upgrade to v2 or couldnt i even do that? I am currently in the market for a sampler since i gto sick of my soundcards (low quality, lack of outputs etc..) Should i go for the a3000 or for a fully expanded akai s2000 which would in this case cost about the same....

greetz, Bastiaan

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: Ian Quick
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 15-May-00

This think kicks ass, but as per the reviews I don't need to iterate over it again. Just to answer some other people's questions.

1. Why the hell would you want to use a floppy to transfer samples..jeez...get a cheap scsi card and then you can use SMDI to transfer everything fast(relativley) and digitally.

2. About the hard to use interface, go
download b.Zone, it makes editing the A3000 from your pc so easy it's not funny ;)

3. Don't buy v2, find a v1 and the upgrade consists of one eprom chip. Just send it to the guy on a3k-list@teklab.com and he will upgrade it to v2 for FREE!! so check out http://www.a3kcentral.com for your info

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: John
Email: Email supplied but hidden
http://www.onlocation.dk
Activity: part-timer
Date: 16-May-00

Satisfied costumer here... works really well with an external harddrive as well - quick and stabil... floppy is IRRITATING slow though...

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: Liquid Todd
Email: Email supplied but hidden
http://www.liquidtodd.com/
Activity: part-timer
Date: 09-Aug-00

I'm having trouble using the A3000
with Recycle. I can get the sounds
into the machine, but I can't get
Pro-Tools to play the notes back. I'm
using a Unitor 8 - is that the
problem? Help!

-LT

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: N
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 10-Aug-00

Todd

If you take this question to the Yamaha forum on this site you will get some help.

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: N
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 10-Aug-00

Todd

If you take this question to the Yamaha forum on this site you will get some help.

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: N
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 10-Aug-00

Todd

If you take this question to the Yamaha forum on this site you will get some help.

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: grant overend
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 10-Aug-00

This is a wicked sampler. Having 3FX units is crazy. The sounds you can tweak out of it are unheard of. Original even. I luurv it. The sound is Excellent. Sure there are some beefs (ie SCSI/Disk speed) but they are outweighed by it's ease of use and sound results. Also there is an EXCELLENT support list @ www.a3kcentral.com
Go and buy one now!
BTW Get some form of storage cause you'll produce lots of nice work and then you'll have to put it somewhere won't you?

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: Lu-Ko
Email: Email supplied but hidden
www.mp3.com/luko
Activity: Professional
Date: 10-Aug-00

I got one of these when they first came out and it really is the best sampler around. It's a very good idea to buy a ZIP drive with it 'cos nearly everything you produce will spill over onto two or more disks. The extra memory and i/o boards handy if you can afford it.

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: rec_play
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 23-Oct-01

I have one home studio, with the A3000, 128mb, hard disk, floppy, zip, output board I bought about one month, therefore I do not have a formed opinion, seems good, but still I did not explore the serious one. Necessary of driver of the A3000 for windows 2000, I bound sampler to the computer, and it now it asks for this to driver. I thank to reply for the mail or forum.
Rec_play

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Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: Jasper
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 26-Oct-01

ask this in the sampling or main forum, there are plenty of a3000 owners who have fixed the problems you have (you can get a dummy driver from somewhere to fix this)

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Last added comment

Product:  Yamaha - A3000
Name: Peter Hibbe
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 13-Oct-09

There is a brand new SCSI batch transfer freeware for the A3000 Sampler in development! You can search Google for happyaxk and look at the video. This video makes me to dig up my old A3000. I hope it will be coming soon.

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