Z8, Z4 the Z-Series Samplers by AKAI

Features include:

Q-Link knobs for real-time modulation control

Intellisample automates critical sampling functions

Quick FX for macro sound munching

Support for 512 MB RAM

64-voice polyphony (32-voice polyphony when a sampling rate of 96 kHz is used)

Virtual sampling mode streams samples direct from disk

New 24bit/96kHz 4-channel effects processor

USB host support accommodates USB floppy, CD-R, HD, MO drives and keyboards

USB slave port provides support for ak.Sys Network and Control System software

192 filters/26 filter types

Up to 3 simultaneous filters per voice

Dual independent LFOs with internal/external modulation control

Internal 20GB IDE hard drive (standard) plus external SCSI connection

Balanced analog inputs and outputs that support full 24-bit 96 kHz A/D/A conversion.

Built-in sample rate converter on the digital input to eliminate rate-matching problems

The Z4 and Z8, 24-bit / 96kHz dedicated hardware-based samplers offer the advantages of dedicated hardware, plus the interface power of ak.Sys. PC/Mac Control & Networking Software.
The Akai Professional Z4 and Z8 samplers are a completely new generation: the heart of the new Z-Series is the new Z-96 LSI sampling engine coupled with a high-performance Intel CPU. This combination provides ultra-fast audio processing with up to eight real-time controllers and 24-bit audio resolution with sample rates up to 96 kHz.

Akai Professional continues to support industry standard formats by adopting the FAT32 disk format and .WAV files as the native formats for the new Z-Series. This provides immediate compatibility with every well-known sample editor already on the market. Combined with the ak.Sys Network and Control System software, the Z4 and Z8 combine both dedicated hardware and computer control, by allowing complete control from a Mac or PC computer. The Z8 provides a removable remote panel to allow convenient control away from the sampler.

True 24-bit, 96 kHz dedicated hardware samplers.
The Akai Professional Z4 and Z8 samplers provide a great dynamic range and improved bandwidth.

Real-time Sound Control with Q-Link Modulator and Q-Link Panel
The Z4's four Q-Link knobs, or Z8's eight Q-Link knobs, can be separately assigned to allow flexible real-time modulation of a wide variety of selectable parameters including amplitude, filter cut-off and resonance, start offset, effect send, sample tune and more. Control of an entire program, or a sound assigned to a single keygroup is possible. Each assignable Q-Link knob is capable of generating MIDI controller data so that all performance information can be recorded and played back from any sequencer.

Sound Creation Features

IntelliSample is a new features designed to reduce the amount of time and effort involved in creating new sounds. It allow you to create ready-to-play programs from an audio sampling CD in one simple step. Included in the IntelliSample suite are powerful features like an AUTO SAMPLING mode, which uses an audio threshold to start and stop the recording process. Samples are automatically named and assigned to a new program or any specified program. It's possible to normalize each sample as it's recorded.

What sound libraries do the Z4 and Z8 support?

The Z-Series samplers support .WAV files, Akai S1000 libraries, Akai S3000 libraries, Akai S5000/S6000 libraries, Emu E3 and E4 libraries, and Roland S700 series libraries. Future support is planned for Akai MPC2000XL libraries.


Support for QUICK FX allows sounds to be easily resampled and simultaneously processed with the internal effects. A variety of presets are available, such as Dirty, Swell, Squash, Stretch, Distant, Fat, etc.

6-pole Filter

Both Z4 and Z8 offer 6-pole digital dynamic filters (3 x 2-pole filters) that allow real-time 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 samplers, but allows new variations such as the TRIPLE Filter, consisting of three independent 2-pole filter blocks.

Massive memory

Z-Series sampler come standard with 16 MB of on-board RAM, and can be easily expanded to a massive 512 MB using readily available 168-pin PC100 or PC133 DIMM memory. Memory can be expanded using 64 MB, 128 MB or 256 MB DIMMs to provide more sampling time.

USB Networking Control Software

Z4 and Z8 feature both USB host support and slave support standard. The USB host port supports direct connection of USB storage devices such as a USB floppy drive, CD-R drive, external hard drive, ZIP drive or MO drive. It also supports a USB keyboard for easier naming. The USB Slave support allows the Z4 and Z8 to work with the ak.Sys Control and Network System to provide complete Program editing, Multi editing, and file management.
ak.Sys Control and Networking System comes standard with the Z-Series.

Sampler Z8 / Z4 Specifications

Sampling Data format: 24/16-bit linear encoding

Sampling Rates:
44.1kHz (20Hz - 20kHz audio band width)
48kHz (20Hz - 22kHz audio band width)
96kHz (20Hz - 40kHz audio band width)

Sampling Time (unexpanded memory):
180/120 (16/24bit) seconds - mono Fs=44.1kHz
166/110 (16/24bit) seconds - mono Fs=48kHz
83/55 (16/24bit) seconds - mono Fs=96kHz
90/60 (16/24bit) seconds - stereo Fs=44.1kHz
83/55 (16/24bit) seconds - stereo Fs=48kHz
41/27 (16/24bit) seconds - stereo Fs=96kHz

Internal Memory: 16Mbyte, expandable to 512Mbytes using 168-ping DIMMS (PC133/PC100,CL2,256MB max.)

Polyphony: 64-Voices (32-voice polyphony when a sampling rate of 96 kHz is used)

Filter: Digital dynamic multi-stage filter (2-pole x 3 with resonance)

Envelope Generators: 3 x Digital Envelope generators (2 multi-stage)

LFO: 2 x Multi-Wave Low Frequency Oscillators

Display: Backlit 248x60 dot graphic LCD


REC IN: 2 x 1/4-inch stereo phone (balanced)

STEREO OUT: 2 x 1/4-inch stereo phone (balanced) 6dBm

ASSIGNABLE OUTS: 8 x 1/4-inch stereo phone (balanced) 6dBm

HEADPHONES: 1 x 1/4-inch stereo phone 60mW (32 ohms load) max.

MIDI: 4 x 5-pin DIN (IN, OUT/THRU x 2)

SCSI INTERFACE: 1 x 50-pin DIN high pitch SCSI

SP-DIF DIGITAL IN/OUT: 2 x RCA input/output

WORD CLOCK INPUT: BNC (75 ohms w/terminator ON/OFF)

USB: Host x1, Slave x1 (V1.1)

Power Requirements:
100-240V AC 50/60 Hz 60W, without options 24W-Z8 / 19W-Z4

Dimensions (W x H x D):

483 x 91 x 415 mm (EIA 2U size) - Z8

483 x 91 x 402 mm (EIA 2U size) - Z4


AC power cord x 1

Sound Library Disc x 1

Cable set for IDE drive x 1

Operators Manual x 1

Optional Accessories:

EB4JS - Multi Effects Board (Z4 only)

IB-4D - SP-DIF Digital Interface Board (Z4 only)

IB-4ADT - 2-IN/8-OUT adat(TM) Interface Board

IB-48P - 8 Individual Output Board

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