Yamaha A4000 / A5000

Yamaha a5000

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 :)

more info at savedbytechnology.com sonicstate.com homepage.mac.com soundonsound.com

Manuals, Docs:
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

Tools, Editors:
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)

28.10.20015 update:
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.

Yamaha a4000 ide cf reader

Yamaha a4000 digital outputs

Yamaha a4000 digital outputs

Yamaha a4000 ide cf reader

Yamaha a4000 ide cf reader

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28 Responses to Yamaha A4000 / A5000

  1. a5000 says:

    Thank you!!! :smile:

  2. tea says:

    great resource for my “new” yamaha sampler.
    keep up the good work.
    kind regards

  3. carlos says:

    keep it up, MANY THANKS

  4. zib says:

    Thanks :razz:

  5. alex says:

    this sampler was really great but i sold mine a few years ago. but when i have it it was very musical intrument.

  6. joursinnet says:

    top of the page there is:
    “You can import wavs or aiffs from fat32 (Windows) drives also.”

    i read elsewhere that it is NOT compatible fat32

    • Martin78 says:

      this is true, 100%
      you can import wavs from dos/windows fat32 disks – floppys, zips, cdroms

      yamaha a4k/5k uses fat32 too, but samples are stored in custom format
      and you can read it on pc, there are some tools for audition or convert yamaha format to wav

  7. dj skope says:

    Nice one Martin! Just dusting off my maxxed out A4000 and in the process of organizing and transferring 2500+ tuned jungle bass samples via SCSI :-0 It’s turned into a 3 day slog but I’m sure it will be worth it once they’re all done :) This place is a treasure trove. My AxK s/w picks: A5000 Remote which I found here is fantastic, especially the macro function – looking forward to re-installing it on a touch screen PC. Zero-X Beat Creator rocks for batch SCSI transfers. Thanks again Sir!!

  8. Mike says:

    Thank you VERY much for taking the time to collect these files and your generosity in hosting and posting them. Also, a huge thank you for posting all the sample libraries!!!
    Much respect.

    • Rasmus says:

      Can’t find these (the original CD’s) here on the page – were they deleted? Would appreciate a link very much.

      • Martin78 says:

        i never posted here original sample cdrom images
        reason is simple, they are copyrighted and take huge space (few gigabytes)

        you can download only tools cd and floppy images with few demos and samples

  9. JP8 says:

    Great resource page! Keep up the good work.

  10. slaw says:

    Thank You very much

  11. briggs says:

    Thanks for supporting this wonderful orphaned sampler Martin. = ] I just picked up an A5000, maxed out the ram and installed an AIEB1 ( and am in the process of upgrading the internal HD to CF and the floppy to an emulator for usb) Time to roll up my sleeves and get busy and you’ve provided so much great info, really appreciate your efforts here. Regards

  12. kalpkiavatara says:

    Hi, first of all, thanks for sharing your knowledge!
    then, just ordered both items in this link, if they ll works it will be SO nice…!
    I ll update this upgrade! Cheers.

  13. Pete says:

    Great resource mate, thanks so much!

  14. Sample Funk says:

    Hi Martin, thank you so much for sharing your excellent work and resources on the Yamaha A-series samppler. I just purchased an A5000 and the IDE card reader you recommended. My sampler came without an internal hard drive cable so I am trying to figure out how to hook up the Molex of the CF card reader to the PSU which seems to be using proprietary 4-pin power connectors. Do you have an idea what these connectors might be and if there is an adapter available? It is larger than a floppy connector and smaller than a common 4-pin molex. Many thanks!

  15. Peter says:

    Hello !

    would be very grateful for some answeres to a person whi just bought the
    Yamaha A5000.

    My goal is to trasfer WAV-files from a PC to the A5000 and I gues the best
    way is to connect anCF-Cardreader instead of the Floppy-drive.

    I already have an Internal IDE-CF-Reader.

    1. Is it possible to use two (2) IDE-Units on Yamaha A5000 at the same time ?
    2. Is there som USB-SCASI-solutions I could use instead of
    the Floppy disk drive ?
    3. How can I see what OS my unit have ?

    Kind Regards Peter from Sweden

  16. Martin78 says:

    You can use SCSI to CF or SCSI to SD converters, search on ebay.
    As i know you can have only one IDE device.
    and you can have few SCSI Devices (Hard Disk, cd-rom or internal reader)

    for checking os version read here: http://faq.yamaha.com/us/en/article/music-production/tone-generators/2157/1610/Downloading_and_Installing_the_Latest_OS_Update_for_the_A4000/?current_page_id=1

  17. Andrew says:

    Hi –

    Has anyone tried using one of these 2.5 IDE SSD drives in the A4000?

    It should work, right? 8GB is the maximum that will work, isn’t it?

    How many pins are the drives the A4000 uses, so I can get the right cable?

    Thanks, all!

  18. Wlaad says:

    Which sample cds exist in A3000/a4000/a5000 format?
    Also, could anyone upload the original sample libraries please.

  19. Giles says:

    Can anyone help me with this one …. I have bought an A5000 and it works fine but it boots from the IDE hard drive which is noisy. It also has a zip drive installed, and no floppy drive. I want to disconnect the hard drive and boot from the zip but I can’t figure out how to do it. I’ve successfully upgraded the OS using the zip, so it’s recognised and working, but I can find how to make it bootable. Help!

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