[LAU] Strange aiff files

Erik de Castro Lopo mle+la at mega-nerd.com
Tue Nov 3 15:55:32 EST 2009

Thanks Brent,

Its the ocassional email like this that makes it all worth while.


Brent Busby wrote:

> This thread has been very helpful for me too.  Several years ago, I 
> sampled an entire drumset fairly exhaustively at multiple volumes, mic 
> distances, etc. with an Akai MPC2000 and a pair of Earthworks condenser 
> mics.  I use the sample set a lot now that I'm living in an apartment, 
> partially because it's really nice, and partially because the set that 
> was sampled was the one I used in my band twenty years ago, so it's 
> fairly nostalgic that I "virtually" still have my drums.  (And partially 
> because I'd probably be evicted if I tried to bring a drumset in 
> there...)  Actually it's fairly eerie to listen to in headphones with no 
> EQ or effects -- if you sequence things a human drummer would do, which 
> I can do because I'm a drummer, you'd swear it was that drumset.
> The MPC2000 saves its samples in its quirky SND format that I haven't 
> had anything handy to translate into other formats up until now, so I've 
> always worried about dependence on the Akai hardware samplers.  They're 
> still popular now, but I've seen plenty of gear become obscure that used 
> to be common.  Even worse, the Akai filesystem is a bizarre mutation of 
> DOS/FAT that gets long filename capability from a kludge completely 
> incompatible with the one Microsoft ended up using in Windows 95 and 
> later.  The files look like FILENAM~.EXT when mounted as FAT, and you 
> have no way of finding out what the real names were on the Akai from 
> looking at the directories in Windows or in Linux.
> Today, this thread about sndfile-info made me try (on a lark) running 
> sndfile-info on one of my Akai SND files, and it floored me -- it knew 
> everything about the sample.  It saw the original Akai filename embedded 
> in the file.  It even knew specifically that it came from an Akai 
> MPC2000.  I tried converting it to a standard WAV with sndfile-convert, 
> and that worked too.
> Later, after looking at the libsndfile web site, I did see that MPC2000 
> compatibility was added earlier this year, but I didn't expect that when 
> I tried it, so it did surprise me.  Usually, when something says it has 
> Akai support, they mean S1000 rack sampler format.  This is very useful.
> -- 
> + Brent A. Busby	 + "We've all heard that a million monkeys
> + UNIX Systems Admin	 +  banging on a million typewriters will
> + University of Chicago	 +  eventually reproduce the entire works of
> + Physical Sciences Div. +  Shakespeare.  Now, thanks to the Internet,
> + James Franck Institute +  we know this is not true." -Robert Wilensky

Erik de Castro Lopo

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