Akai S900 Sampler (1986)
Two years after Japanese electronics manufacturer Akai broke ground, they busted open possibilities for hip-hop and electronic producers venturing beyond their tables' mix-match capabilities. The S900 sampler could store and edit more than 30 re-purposed sound bites at once, and made compositional looping and manipulation a reality. Its immediate spawn, the S950, upped the storage space and has been utilized by everyone from Dr. Dre to Portishead. Still, the S900 remains a legacy product for Akai and renowned starter kit for novice beat makers.