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Rapper and producer Kanye West is well known for his Grammy-winning music, successful fashion line and controversial antics.

West is among the most acclaimed musicians of the 21st century, and is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 32 million albums and 100 million digital downloads worldwide.Kanye West began his early production career in the mid-1990s, making beats primarily for burgeoning local artists, eventually developing a style that involved speeding up vocal samples from classic soul records.

West uses four primary pieces for sampling, sequencing and recording duties: An Ensoniq ASR-10 keyboard, an Akai MPC2000 MIDI Production Center, a Roland VS-1880 24-bit Digital Studio Workstation and a Gemini PT-1000 II turntable.


  1. Roland VS-1680 24 Bit Digital Studio Workstation.

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The VS-1880 Digital Studio Workstation re-sets the standard in professional and affordable hard disk recording studios. This complete tabletop workstation packs all the features of the best-selling VS-1680 Digital Studio Workstation and adds some exciting new enhancements, including 18-track playback, 24-bit A/D-D/A converters, and faster CD mastering through a dedicated CD-RW Mastering button.

Direct audio CD recording and data backup using built-in SCSI port and optional compatible CD-R drive

The VS-1680 is a bold step forward in professional audio recording.

Self-contained 24-bit, 18-track digital recording workstation with built-in digital mixing, optional effects processing, and CD-burning capabilities

18-track simultaneous playback, 8-track simultaneous recording with 288 Virtual Tracks

28-channel, fully automated digital mixer (18 tracks + 10 input channels)

24-bit A/D-D/A converters for superb sound quality, particularly when used in 24-bit MT Pro recording mode

Optional effects include world-renowned Roland COSM modeling for guitar amps, microphones, speaker modeling, mastering tool kit, reverbs, space chorus, vintage effects and lots more

Dedicated CD-RW Mastering button for instant access to CD-burning menus

Onboard Auto-Mix function for creating perfect mixes

Faster CD Writing Mode records in Audio CD Image Format

Accepts up to 2 optional VS8F-2 Effect Expansion Boards for up to 4 stereo/8 mono effects

Advanced editing functions like strip silence and back time editing

Note that this product is no longer in production. Similar capabilities can be found in the VS-1824CD 24-bit Digital Studio WorksMachine


2.  Akai Professional MPC2000XL MIDI Production Center Sample Works Machine


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The Akai Professional MPC2000XL MIDI Production Center combines a 64-Track MIDI Sequencer and a 32-voice Stereo Digital Sampler, with 16 velocity and pressure sensitive rubber pads, providing rock solid sequencing and drum programming combined with powerful sampling facilities in one convenient and portable desktop unit.

Also includes:

Data format: 16-bit linear WAV

Sampling rate: 44.1 kHz

Memory: 2MB standard, expandable to 32MB with 72pin SIMMsn

Preset sound memory: 8MB FlashRom option (FMX008M)

Recording time: 21.9 sec. mono / 10.9 sec. stereo (2MB), around 6mn mono / 3mn stereo (32MB))

Polyphony: 32-voice

Filters: 1 dynamic resonant 12dB/octave low-pass filter per voice

Number of active programs: 4 (with up to 64 pads per program)

Maximum samples in memory: 256