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Tired of inserting virtual samplers into your tracks only to see your Mac or PC grind to halt with CPU overload? If so, you'll love these feature rich hardware alternatives. Capable of 24-bit/96kHz operation, the sonic quality of these two samplers is second to none. Combine that with a powerful synth engine that features no less than 36 different resonant filter types and a comprehensive mod matrix and you can do some serious sound mangling. However, unlike any other sampler (hard or soft), the freely assignable Q-Link controls allow unprecedented real-time interaction and performance possibilities, especially live.

The Z4 and Z8 are the world's first 24bit/96kHz hardware based samplers. Designed for professional audio production, the Z series samplers offer all the advantages of dedicated hardware plus the interface power of ak.Sys PC/Mac control and networking software.

These samplers have been developed using the undisputed skills of all our worldwide engineering teams in tandem and the result are a pair of super-samplers with the heritage of the "S" series but incorporating operational features from the unique "MPC" range and effects from the highly acclaimed "DPS16" and our stomp boxes.

To this extremely potent mixture we've added flexible realtime performance control via the Q-Link knobs on the front panel making the Z4 and Z8 unique in the hardware sampler market.

And to make sure all this power runs smoothly....

At the heart of the new Z series is our new custom designed LSI sampling engine which, coupled with a high performance Intel™ Strong Arm CPU provides ultra fast audio processing.

All these features put together make for an extraordinarily versatile instrument which is perfectly suited for both studio and live applications.

A new breed of sampler from the company that set the standard in sampling technology.


24-bit/96kHz operation (*)
Q-Link knobs for realtime performance control
Automation of commonly performed sampling functions such as normalise and sample assignment
36/6-pole resonant filter types with special 'Triple' mode
New 24bit/96kHz 4-channel effects processor (**)
Quick FX for rapid sound manipulation (**)
Capacity for up to 512Mb on board SDRAM using off-the-shelf memory
USB host/slave connection - use off-the-shelf USB keyboards for easier naming and USB drives.
ak.Sys software for computer control over USB
64-voice polyphony
Dual independent LFOs with internal and external modulation control and MIDI clock sync
Balanced analogue I/Os providing full 24bit/96kHz A/D and D/A conversion
Sample rate conversion (**)
Choice of analogue or digital assignable multiple outputs
Sound Library compatibility with a wide range of Akai and other formats
FAT32/DOS disk format and .wav implemented as native format
.AIFF also supported using Mac ak.Sys
Removable front panel on Z8
* Polyphony is halved when running at 96kHz
** Requires the effects board to be installed which is optional on the Z4


For the first time, a sampler now gives you immediate live hands on control. The Z4's four Q-Link knobs and the Z8's eight Q-Link knobs can be separately assigned to allow flexible realtime performance control of a wide variety of selectable parameters including level, pan, filter cut-off and resonance, start offset, effect send, tuning and more. Control of an entire program or a sound assigned to a single keygroup is possible.

Each assignable Q-Link knob can generate MIDI controller data so that all performance information can be recorded and played back from a sequencer.


Both the Z4 and Z8 offer 6-pole digital dynamic filters (3 x 2-pole filters per voice) which allow realtime control of the cut-off frequency and resonance from the Q-Link knobs or via MIDI control change messages.

The new filter design not only supports all filter designs available in the powerful S5000/S6000 but allows new variations such as the triple filter consisting of three independent 2-pole filter blocks.


A USB slave port allows direct connection to a PC or Apple Mac for use with our highly acclaimed ak.Sys software which has been developed to work with the new Z series.

This graphically rich remote control and networking solution provides complete Program and Multi editing. ak.Sys also allows you to transfer files between your sampler(s) and your computer for efficient organisation of sound library, etc., and for speedy communication with your favourite computer music software.

The intuitive nature of this computer based interface means the Z4 and Z8 are easy to manage and since all the DSP processing takes place in the sampler, they relieve the strain on your computer allowing it to run efficiently while simultaneously using other audio applications.

In fact, such is the level of integration, you'd be forgiven for thinking that you are using a software sampler... except you're not! And when you're ready to take your show on the road, dedicated hardware travels much better than a computer!

If you already own an Akai S5000 and/or S6000, you'll be relieved - even amazed! - to know that these 'old' samplers integrate seamlessly into ak.Sys V2.00 allowing you to use both alongside each other - share drives and drag and drop multis, programs and samples between the two instruments. Similarly, the MPC4000 integrates smoothly into ak.Sys.


The brand new 24bit/96kHz 4-channel multi effects processor offers over 40 effect types. Alongside the standard reverb, chorus, flanger, phaser, auto and touch wah, rotary speaker, pitch shift, delay and more including compressors, noise gates, touch and auto wahs , you'll find some different and extremely useful effects such as the Pitch Corrector (for keeping those wandering vocals in tune).

Sampling Data format 24/16-bit linear encoding (WAV format)
Sampling rates 44.1 kHz (20Hz - 20kHz audio band width)
48 kHz (20Hz - 22kHz audio band width)
96 kHz (20Hz - 40kHz audio band width)
Sampling time (unexpanded memory) 180/120(16/24bit) seconds mono 44.1kHz
166/110(16/24bit) seconds mono 48kHz
83/55(16/24bit) second mono 96kHz
90/60(16/24bit) seconds stereo 44.1kHz
83/55(16/24bit) seconds stereo 48kHz
41/27(16/24bit) seconds stereo 96kHz
Internal Memory 16Mbyte, expandable to 512Mbytes using 168-pin SDRAM DIMMs (PC133/PC100, CL2, ECC/Non, 256MB max.) 2Slot
Sound library compatibility S1000, S2000, S3000, S5000, S6000, MPC2000 .snd, MPC2000XL .snd
MPC3000 .snd, Emu™ EIII (*)

Polyphony 64-Voices (32-Voices : 96kHz )
Filter Digital dynamic multi-mode filter (2-pole x 3 with resonance) per voice
Envelope generators 3 x Digital Envelope generators (2 multi-stage) per voice
LFO 2 x Multi-Wave Low Frequency Oscillators per voice

Z8 Effects 4 x channels of multi
Z4&Z8 Display Backlight 248 x 60 dot graphic LCD
Z8 Frontpanel Detatchable
Q-Link knob x8 Z8
Q-Link knob x4 Z4
Connectors REC IN 2 x 1/4-inch stereo phone (balanced)
STEREO OUT 2 x 1/4-inch stereo phone (balanced) 6dBm
ASSIGNABLE OUTS IB-48P OPTION 8 x 1/4-inch stereo phone (balanced) 6dBm
HEADPHONES 1 x 1/4-inch stereo phone 60 mW (32 ohms load) max.
MIDI 4 x 5-pin DIN (IN x 2, OUT/THRU x 2)
SCSI Interface 1 x 50-pin high pitch SCSI
Z8 S/P-DIF digital I/O 2 x RCA input/output
Z8 Word clock input BNC (75 ohms terminator On/Off)
USB Host x1, Slave x1 (V1.1)
Drivebay 3.5inch x1 (ATA)
Z8 Power Requirements 100-240V AC 50/60 Hz 60W,without options 24W
Z4 100-240V AC 50/60 Hz 60W, without options 19W
Z8 Dimensions (W x H x D) 483 x 91 x 415 mm (EIA 2U )
Z4 483 x 91 x 402 mm (EIA 2U)
Weight Z8 6.4kg, Z4 6.1kg
Accessories AC power cable x 1
Sound Library Disc x 1
Cable set for IDE drive x 1
Remote cable (mini DIN 6pin 1m) x 1 (Z8 only)
Operator's Manual x 1
Optional Accessories EB4JS Multi Effects Board (Z4 only - standard on Z8)
IB-4D S/P-DIF Digital Interface Board (Z4 only - standard on Z8)
IB-4ADT 8-IN (2ch selectable)/8-OUT adat™ Interface Board
IB-48P 8 Individual Output Board

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