How to import Akai S1000 CDs into Kontakt and Ableton Live
Here's how I managed to import my Akai S1000 format sample CDs into Kontakt 5 and Ableton Live 10 Suite in OS X.
How to rip the CDs to image files
- Open the terminal. (Applications, Utilities, Terminal.app)
- Pop your Akai S1000 format CD into your drive.
- You'll probably get a popup window that says "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer." If so, just click on Ignore.
- Type in
drutil status, and note the disk number of your CD-ROM drive (e.g. /dev/disk3 or /dev/disk4). Its partitions are appended s0 onwards, e.g. /dev/disk3s0, /dev/disk3s1, etc. Its first partition, s0, is the actual Akai format data. The others, if there are any, are all audio tracks.
- Rip the CD using the command
sudo dd bs=1024 if=/dev/disk4s0 of="Desktop/Foo.iso", where disk4s0 is whichever disk-number-s0 appeared for you, and Foo is the name of your sample CD. You'll need to enter your administrator password, because your CD drive is very secure. (Akai CDs aren't really ISO 9660 format, but some programs will only look at CD rips with that extension. The "s0" bit says to only look at the data partition, ignoring the audio tracks if there are any.)
- Eject the CD with
- Do this for all the CDs you want to rip.
It should go without saying, but only format shift CDs that you own and are keeping.
How to import those image files into Kontakt
- In Finder, go to Documents, Native Instruments, Kontakt 5.
- Make a new directory (folder) called Images.
- Drag and drop the .iso files there.
- Wherever you keep all your Kontakt samples, make a directory for each of your sample CDs. If you want to be especially neat, then make a directory for all your imported CDs first, then make all the other directories within that one.
- Open Kontakt 5.
- Click on Files at the top.
<workspace>, click on Virtual Drives, then Akai, then the first sample CD you want to import. (You might need to click on the Refresh arrows first.)
- With the sample CD selected in the tree at the top, click on Partition A in the separate directory listing in the next window below, then shift-click on the last Partition to highlight them all.
- Click on Import at the top.
- Select the appropriate directory you just made for that particular sample CD, as both the Instrument Destination Folder and Sample Destination Folder. Click on Convert.
- Repeat the process for all the other sample CDs you want to import.
How to import those image files into Ableton Live
You can also import the same image files into Ableton Live by simply dragging and dropping them onto the Browser Sidebar on the left (not the Browser Content Pane next to it). You have to do this one file at a time. Make sure you picked a filename you're happy with for each .iso file, as (minus the extension) Ableton Live will automatically use it as the directory name.
Apparently this feature has since been removed from both Kontakt 6<!— Cite https://web.archive.org/web/20220902175245/https://www.native-instruments.com/forum/threads/released-kontakt-6.335589/page-4#post-1688979 —> and Ableton Live 9.<!— Cite https://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?p=1595223#p1595223 —> (Presumably Ableton Live 8 had a simpler method than what I've been doing in version 10.) Propellerhead have similarly long since stopped updating and supporting Reload. If you want to use Akai sample CDs in a DAW, you may well need a 2000s era computer to import them.
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