Vintage Sound Module

The SG01v is a little (half-rack) synthesizer module produced in 1995 by AKAI, together with other half-rack modules.  It is a "vintage synth module", hence you won't find realistic grand pianos, saxophones or acoustic guitars here; instead, you will be treated to a series of classic synthesizer and keyboard patches.

I was pleasantly surprised by this synth - because it sounds really good, and even though this is not a super-programmable module, it still is a lot of fun and a nice addition to any musician's studio.

The SG01v features 256 patches in its memory, all inspired (and/or sampled) from classic instruments such as Roland Juno and TB-303, Moog Minimoog, Oberheim OB-X, PPG, Solina etc.  There are also two banks of classic-sounding drums (a la TR-808 and Simmons).


The polyphony is 32 notes, and it is 16-channel poly-timbric.  The editing capabilities are a bit short (Shape - attack & release- , Tone - filter cutoff -, Special - depends on the tone selected), but you can do more via MIDI editors - for instance, via NRPN you can change the reverb settings (the module comes with a set of 30, but will need an external fx module to really make it "shine".)

Other very useful features include the mono/legato mode (used in a lot of the synth bass presets), and most importantly, the aftertouch - that adds incredible expressivity to this module.

Check out the AKAI SG01v audio demos here below.


AKAI SG01v factory demo songs:

Hear the five on-board demo songs:

1. The Episode

2. Winds

3. Dead Line

4. Nomado

5. Damage

AKAI SG01v audio demos in mp3:

NOTE:  I recorded these SG01v demos going through a T.C. Electronic M300 effects processor to "help out a bit", since the SG01v on-board reverbs are a bit short.  Different reverb/delay settings were used, according to the type of sound played.

Stream all demos below


Patch name with audio demo My comments
001_MEGA_BRASS Classic '80s synth brass
004_HP_SWEEP Magnificent resonant synth sweep
006_BIG_PAD_SWP Very nice and warm synthesizer pad.
008_BAND_PASSING Typical band-pass filter synth
010_DRAMA Beautiful syn pad
015_BIGSYNTH1 Quite nice.
019_TRILL-PAD1 Super late '70s poly
020_JX3P-POLARIS From Roland's warm synthesizer JX-3P
023_KUBOTA_BASS Outstanding analog synth bass, with plenty of (tamed) attack resonance.
025_OCTAVE_BASS Mega-Moog syn bass
026_SYNC_BASS1 Useful for D 'n' B
030_JUNORGBASS Classic Techno Juno patch
031_AN_BIGBASS1 Incredible synth bass - with the superb mono-legato mode.
032_MM_BASS1 Classic Minimoog
035_MM_BASS4 And another one
041_STACK_EPF1 Typical Yamaha DX7 FM electric piano patch.
044_LA_E.PNO1 Beautiful, warm Roland D-50 style electric piano
048_HYPER_CLAV Realistic Hohner Clavinet
051_P5+SOLENA Beautiful sound!  A mix between Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, and ARP Solina.
052_PADDING Fantastic analog synth/pad - perfect for mid-'80s dance pop music.
053_DELICATE_PAD Thin but good.
054_HI_STR_SYN1 Sublime analog strings... beautiful.
057_SQUARE_PAD A la Jupiter
059_WARM_FILTPAD Lots of nice LFO
060_JUNO_PAD Classic Roland Juno
061_OBIE_X_PAD Great Oberheim OB-X sound
064_MATRIX_PAD And here's Oberheim's Matrix-12
068_PROFIT_PAD This is the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5
070_BELL_PAD Digital niceness
074_CLASSIC_PPG_2 And the classic German P.P.G. - a digital dream machine
077_PPG_PERC_VOX Nice early PPG vox
078_PPG_VOCALISE Powerful digital sounds
083_SFT_BRASS2 Superb use of the aftertouch to open the filter.
086_TRANCER_BRS Powerful synth brass.
089_AFT_BRASS The aftertouch doing its job.
096_MWHL_LESLIE2 Pretty realistic Leslie effect obtained with filter and LFO settings assigned to modulation wheel
098_CHURCH_ORGAN Very good pipe organ patch
101_VP330+SELINA Beautiful  - two classic instruments:  Roland VP-330, and ARP Solina String Ensemble.
105_RHAPSODY_STR And here's a fantastic Elka Rhapsody string machine
106_SOFT_SERINA Softer version of the Solina...
110_OMNI_STRINGS And here's the ARP Omni. Beautiful.
111_FUNK_LEAD1 Typical 1970s Funk monolead.
115_FLUTEY Analog lead
117_PORTASYNC Nice oscillator sync
118_FIFTH_SYNC1 Progressive sound
121_HOWELLING Very good wind fx
124_COMPUTER_SH1 Typical sample & hold sound
125_COMPUBLEEP As most notably used by Kraftwerk
126_SPACE_BELL Intriguing, atmospheric
128_SFX_PAN Cool special effect


Stream all demos below



Patch name with audio demo My comments
002_MYSTIX_PAD_1 Sparkly digital pad
004_SQUARE_WOW Mysterious and fascinating synth
008_INVERT_FILT1 Nice inverted filter envelope.
010_EPIC_SYNTH1 Incredible polysynth, very useful for many genres.
011_JUNOTRANCER2 More Roland Juno cool.
014_JUNOTRANCER3 And some more.
016_JMJ_POLYSYN Jean-Michel Jarre inspired sounds.
017_M500SYNTH1MW The cute Korg M-500 monosynth
020_SWEEP_BASS Mega-powerful sweeping filter bass
021_FUNK_BASS Typical '70s funky synth bass
022_KNOCK_BASS Good '80s synth bass
022_RUBBER_BASS Beautiful Moog, similar to the sound used by John Barry in "The Persuaders' Theme"
028_TB303_1 The classic silver acid box - Roland TB-303
029_TB303_2 More TB-303 awesomeness.  Realistic.
032_BASS_9 Nice, solid synth bass
033_BASS_10 Techno
039_MM_BASS_12 Another cool '70s Minimoog bass
040_KIMINIAITA1 '80s goodness!
045_E.PIANORGAN Nice, melancholic
050_HARPSICHORD Realistic, classic harpsichord.
051_EPF_STRPAD Beautiful Yamaha FM electric piano + analog strings pad
056_DETUNE_PAD Warm and nice.
060_TOMITA_STR Quintessential analog string ensemble.
067_PORY_MOGUE Wavy Moog
068_ALMOST_VOCAL Digital larynx
069_ROUND_PAD Early '80s analog pad
071_SPIKE_BASS Digital bass
072_PPG+ANLGBASS Classic mix.
074_PPG_BASS1 Typical "cold" PPG bass
077_FM_BASS1 Yamaha DX7 standard
080_FM_BASS4 A variation
081_ANA_BRASS1 '80s polysynth
090_MONSTER_BRAS Polka dream.
094_MAGIC_BELLS Spacious, dreamy wind-bells.
096_ORIENTL_BELL Nice analog bells
101_TOMITA_VOX1 Classic Tomita synvox
102_VOX_HUMANA Another classic analog vox patch
105_VOICES1 Early digital choir
106_SOLO_SOPRANO Magnificent analog vox patch
112_ANA_WHISTLE Beautiful, useful analog vox lead
114_ONDES_MARTIN Inspired from the Ondes Martenot, an early synthesizer like the Theremin.
115_HAMMER_LEAD Warm lead
118_AWAKE_MAN Typical '70s Progressive lead, a la Yes' Rick Wakeman
123_MISTY_STORM Cool synth sci-fi fx
126_VCS_SWEEP1 From the EMS VCS3 synthesizer, an early British monster synth used by many famous acts.
127_S+H_DRONE_MW Classic sample & hold on the filter.  The mod wheel speeds up the effect.


Drum banks
Patch name with audio demo My comments
Drums 1 & 2 Solid offering of classic drum samples - a la Roland TR-808, Simmons, and others.


Features at a glance
Year of release: 1995
Polyphony: 32
Presets: 256
Rhythms: 2 drum kits
Keyboard: n/a
Responds to velocity: yes
Responds to aftertouch: yes
Sound generation method: Sampled
MIDI: in, out, thru
Sound expansion capabilities: no
Effects: Reverb (30 types, not editable)
Controls: buttons
Outputs: one stereo pair
Display: alphanumeric, backlit red


AKAI SG01v pictures (click on thumbnails to enlarge)


AKAI SG01v manual

available at

Reset the AKAI SG01v to factory

Power on the SG01v while pressing the DATA "UP" and "DOWN" buttons at the same time.



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AKAI SG01v review with audio demo