How Akai changes the music industry forever

We were attended to this kickstarter project by Ian Boddy. He wrote: “Some of you may know that I worked for Akai in the UK during the 1990’s. My boss at the time who gave me that opportunity was David Caulfield who is planning a book on the heyday of Akai when the S900, S1000 & MPC60 ruled the roost. Go give it your support.”

Thanks for taking the time to look over my project. My name is David Caulfield and I was lucky enough to work at Akai Professional during a key era for the music Industry where we released a series of cutting edge products that put incredible technology (for the time) into the hands of countless musicians that collectively transformed the face of music forever! The story is so remarkable that I would like your help to create a book that can recount it all while we are all still around to tell the tale!

This kickstarter project can be found here.

The Story!

This book will tell the story of how Akai Professional took the music industry by storm; how the development of ground breaking products put sampling and sequencinginto the hands of musicians unleashing a wave of creativity that continues to this day.

Covering the period from 1984 to 1995 this book will be loaded with fascinating and remarkable interviews with the designers and developers who designed the S-900S-1000, MPC-60 and subsequent highly successful Akai Professional products.

There are many people I plan to speak to during the production of this book; already confirmed and lined up for interview is David Cockerell head of Akai’s British software development team and the original designer of the S-900. David had already established a name for himself previously at Electro-Harmonix where he designed legendary guitar pedals such as the Electric Mistress but it was his creation of the Instant Replay looping pedal that led to directly to Akai Professional’s very first sampler the S-612!

In addition I’ll be talking to Toshi Tamaki who was Head of Research and Development in Japan. It was Mr Tamaki who masterminded the development of the Akai Professional range of products. It was his guiding hand and experience that headed up the design team.

Also lined up for interview is Roger Linn the inspiration and software developer of the MPC-60. Roger designed the LM-1 the first programmable drum machine that used acoustic drum samples. The LM-1 was revolutionary and Roger quickly followed it with the Linndrum and Linn9000.

Akai Professional UK

I ran Akai Professional in the UK for ten years; ten fantastic years when Akai Professionalgrew from nothing to be a major influence in the music industry. I was also Chairman of the Product Development Committee, which was a team of people drawn from different countries that advised R & D on market requirements. I will be talking to some of those who were part of this team. There will also be stories of product demosexhibitions and concerts mixed in with the experiences of top line producers and musicians who were part of the scene at that time. This book will also be full of in-depth details of product specifications, product reviews, analysis of sampling and sequencing techniques and much more!

Akai Professional around the world!

Also contributing to this book will be my ex colleagues from around the world. There will be exciting stories from Japan, the USA, France, Germany amongst others. The success of Akai Professional was a direct result of this talented team of people. 

The Market!

I won’t leave out the competition either! There will be stories and comments from Industry professionals at Roland, E-mu Systems and Yamaha about the impact of Akai Professional products in the market, as well as an in-depth review of what went before Akai came on the scene.

Share in this exciting journey!

It would be great for the Akai family to be fully involved in this project and I welcome your suggestions as the book develops. I want you to share in this journey with meas this book comes together through the posting of regular, insightful updates allowing you to see the book take shape and learn more about the content during its creation!

Plus there may be some interesting stories from some of you about Akai during the early years. Who knows, your story might end up in the book!

I need you to support the creation of this book in what is a time limited opportunity to get involved! I have no plans to sell after the funding period is reached.

Right up to date!

The current Akai professional line up of products has a strong following and I will be devoting a chapter to cover the products and their devotees. It is great to see the Akai Professional line continuing to be a great success!

There are a great many Akai Professional users from those days and I will be approaching as many as possible and have already lined up notable musicians and producers for interview. Some of the musicians and producers associated with the following from that period include;

  • The Rolling Stones, 
  • Duran Duran, 
  • Hans Zimmer, 
  • Robert Palmer, 
  • Europe, 
  • Pet Shop Boys, 
  • Depeche Mode, 
  • Eric Clapton, 
  • Bros, 
  • Psychedelic Furs, 
  • Gary Newman, 
  • Art Of Noise, 
  • Alan Parsons, 
  • Level 42, 
  • Rob Davies, 
  • Ryuichi Sakoto, 
  • Thomas Dolby, 
  • Frankie Goes To Hollywood, 
  • Howard Jones, 
  • Black Box, 
  • Massive Attack, 
  • Ricky Lawson, 
  • The Stranglers, 
  • Greg Phillinganes, 
  • Simple Minds, 
  • Ace Of Bass, 
  • Kate Bush 

The Book – Look and Style

The book will be A4 size (11.75″ x 8.5″) , with a full colour picture section and available as a pdf, soft cover or hard cover. Additionally there will be an optional set of four wonderful product posters available with a printed version of the book. These posters will be A3 size (folded to A4 for shipping with the book) four colour printed on high quality Pro Digital Silk 150gsm paper. 


If you are an Akai Professional fan and interested in professional music recording, or just in learning more about a key part of music industry history then this book, covering that incredible era, is a required purchase!

Thank you for taking the time to read through my project. I very much hope you choose to support this project and take part in its creation, from start to finish, in making the definitive book on a remarkable period for the music industry!