Very nice piece of vintage gear :) This is probably the most powerful and advanced hardware sampler. It has so many possible modulations, parameters to choose and it has great midi implementation. 24 bit DA, 20 bit AD, 128voices of polyphony, 6 powerful fx blocks + many different great filters, up to 128 MB of waveform memory (expandable by 72pinn simms). The little brother A4000 has 64voices and 3 fx blocks. You can use IDE or SCSI hard disks and drives. A5000/A4000 can read cd-roms or floppys from akai S-series, yamaha tx16w, E-mu EIIIx and Roland S-760. Imported data includes keymapping and looping only. You can import wavs or aiffs from fat32 (Windows) drives also. Unfortunately there is no software that converts different format programs to yamaha. But! you can use AWave or Chickensys Translator for reading or just load akai disks.
Very nice feature is that you can use a4000 as realtime FX processor, 3fx or 6fx (a5000) at once!
FX list is huge, very good and unique effects. You can route FXs to any output. For example You can send one FX to main out, second to digital out, and third to sub out :)
A3k_faq_2000-05-31.pdf (for A3000 but it may be helpful)
A5000 Guide to Accompanying Disks.pdf
mastering_the_music_website_lifecycle.doc (found @ a4000 yahoo group)
Latest A4000/A5000 OS 1.5:
a4k150up.hqx (for Mac)
a5k150up.hqx (for Mac)
A4K-5K-update.zip (update by midi files)
jomox sysex dumper – use it for midi os update | local copy: mac pc info
NiceWave2-00.exe (soft for akai for scsi sample transfer, but useful for yamaha too)
C6 SMID sample dump utility free tool for uploading samples via midi (mac and windows) / local copy: mac windows
SysExDumper_3.0.1.dmg (for Mac)
YamahaVoiceEditorA5K_MacOS9.sit (for Mac)
akbrowser.dmg (for Mac)
I found some stupid limitations. For example. You can’t set panning by key.
Even Akai s1000 had this feature. There is control key to pan function, but it pans whole channel not individual notes.
Second limitation is filesystem blocks. Even if you have 8gigabytes hard drive you can have only 8 partition max.
Every partition has limit of volumes and files. You can’t use whole space for many samples, you will fill all available blocks very fast.
So you can’t use 8gigs of space. You can’t transfer all content from factory cd-roms to internal harddrive.
The best solution is to have scsi CF reader and few 1-2gb cards for all factory samples.
Loading samples from cd-rom is very slow so its much better to load it from harddrive or cf card.
IDE CF readers do not work in most cases because Yamaha is very picky about cf-cards connected to IDE port :)
But i found that industrial Wd Silicon Drive II 2GB works.