It has been a marathon week of circuit bending for me. After knocking out the Roland DDR-30, I turned my sights to the Akai S01. Almost 20 years old, the Akai S01 is, to put it mildly, a bit of a relic. I originally picked mine up in the late 90’s for around $100. Nowadays it’s…well…not that valuable. With 15.6 seconds of sample memory, it’s power is dwarfed by any of today’s soft samplers.
The process for this bend was very similar to the DDR-30. I identified the two chips of interest and started wiring up leads for the 1/8 inch jack patch panel. The biggest issue was the fact that I was working with a surface mount chip vs the DIP ROMs on the DDR-30. This made for some very tight wiring. The first chip wasn’t too much of a problem, however the second gave me no end of trouble. After wiring up the lower chip, I realized that I had a number of contacts touching.
As I started probing to identify the short circuits, I found that most of the pins on the second chip linked directly to the same pins on the first chip (something that should have occurred to me before). With that knowledge, I started pulling off the wires that shared a contact with the first chip, leaving only a few unique bend points.
The front panel was done the same way as the previous one, although I added four multiples to help expand the patching possibilities.
I’m learning that a circuit bent S01 has a ton of sound mangling possibilities, although there are a few bends that effectively kill the MIDI signal to the unit. Also, it seems like you need to strip out the patch cables before you can reload sounds from the floppy disk. All in all though, I’m very excited to start digging into this. Here’s a little demo of what it can do: