Synthstuff Akai SG01V
I got this recently from the Delsin Records yard sale, fishing behind the net for some
exotic gear this little module was all that was left after a tsunami of greedy gear addicted producers plundered through the machines. Like a sad ugly puppy nobody wanted I decided to pick this up in my never ending adventerous journey for new unexplored sounds…
The SG01V is the blandest MOST boring looking synthesizer ever: mundane grey,devoid from any sparkle of entiousasm or fun – looking like it came from the spare parts of a 1991 Transnistrian dishwasher control panel mixed with the dynamics of a yellow nicotine stained AlbanianCBradio (official state version)
AKAI must have had some corporate guideline were fun and colors were not allowed – electronic music equipment is a SERIOUS business – lets make it look like drab lab equipment remembering you of horrible nightmares in Hi-school chemistry class!
Manufactured in 1995 by the Japanese Akai brand this was an early rompler-rack-synth that jumped on the vintagesynthesizer-hype bandwagon. Sort of like a Roland MT-32 packed to the max with a lot of old synthesizer samples that AKAI probably had lying around anyways in their huge S-series sample libraries. But the Roland MT32 is brimming with fun and its box is reminding you of cool exciting things like an Atari VCS2600 or more realisticly an alarm clock in Darth Vaders vacation home guestroom. An MT32 is also pretty deeply editable (through software though), the AKAI SG01V not really…it’s more like a homekeyboard with cool sounds in a little box.
2 banks of 128 sounds, all samples/rom waves from (or sounding like) various vintage synthesizers like the Juno, JX3P, Korg M500, Minimoog, TB303, Yamaha DX, Prophet 5, Oberheims, PPGs lots of electric pianos, organs, swooshes and much more.
There are some ok sounds in here, but nothing really spectaculair – the sound is a bit characterless not much alive like the Roland or EMU counterparts (JV1080 + Vintage expansion and EMU vintagekeys module for example). You can edit the sounds a bit through the front panel: tweak the filter (TONE), envelopes (SHAPE) and something vague named “SPECIAL” (A unique parameter that is specially selected depending on the program you are using – according to the manual…this makes it sound like an artisan cheese)
There are some effects too, reverb delay etc. nothing special again just clean (and definitely not fun!) SERIOUS effects. Almost forgot the DRUMS – yes MIDI channel 10 has a drumbank! A jollyhappy mishmash of several vintage drummachines like -you can guess- the 808, Linndrum and probably some obscure AKAI boxes. Here are some mp3 sound demos just jamming with this little box, through some analog delay and my Nomium Crystal compressor, no multitracking – all sequenced in multitrimbal mode: