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Looking into a decent sampler/ groove machine- opinions?

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  • Looking into a decent sampler/ groove machine- opinions?

    I have been looking at Roland SP-404 linear wave samplers and wondered if anyone had an opinion on them?

    I had been watching a couple of Roland VP9000's which sold pretty quickly, but the technology was pretty old as they were produced in the 1990's and the line has been discontinued, although the Variphrase processor was pretty impressive in the youtube demo.

    IMG_0978.JPG

    These units retail for around $500 USD.

    I know the link above leads to a discontinued model, but the 404-SX and 404-A models are still in production and i was wondering which one is actually better.

    Any thoughts?


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    Last edited by Sonic Bodhi; 03-15-2019, 11:52 AM.
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  • #2
    Originally posted by Sonic Bodhi View Post
    Any thoughts?
    Hi Avery,

    Well, my initial thoughts are, it records its samples in 16bit, which would put me off straight away. And although it is portable, it is still quite large.

    But it is more than just a sampler so I suppose it depends on what you want to do with it. Will you, for instance, be using its performance and track building capabilities? And will you be playing it live in one of your improvised performances? If so, then, yeah, it would definitely bring something to the party.

    As for which one is better, the 404SX, according to the Roland website, has been replaced by the 404A so you will only get a 404SX on the second hand market. Spec wise, they seem to be the same, with the A coming with additional samples.

    cheers

    ​​​​​​​andy
    I may not post anything useful, but at least I do it often

    Bandcamp // SoundCloud // YouTube

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    • #3
      Thanks for your thoughts, Andy!

      I settled on an SP-404 SX, which I ordered on Amazon. I will see how much I like it very soon.. To me, 16-bit depth is way better than the 4-bit depth I had on the old Yamaha VSS-30 I had back in the 80's, and I had a blast with that back in the day. I'm looking at creating lengthy samples to loop, as well as using the onboard DSP effects, which I hear are very much worth the investment. You can use the unit as an outboard line efx processor, if nothing else. The main draw of the 404A for some users is that it syncs with the Roland TR-8, which I have no need or desire for. But the ability to work in real time on the fly for live performance is definitely a great draw for me, as well. I'm hoping I can use my Kronos as a midi controller with the unit, and expand my musical palette thereby.
      https://metapop.com/sonic-bodhi
      https://www.youtube.com/user/SonicBodhi1
      https://sonicbodhi.bandcamp.com/
      https://hearthis.at/sonic-bodhi-iw/

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sonic Bodhi View Post
        I settled on an SP-404 SX, which I ordered on Amazon.
        I'm surprised you got one, Avery, because according to the official Roland website that have been discontinued. I can only assume that they have only recently been discontinued and that there are still plenty of new units knocking around.

        I look forward to hearing what you come up with
        I may not post anything useful, but at least I do it often

        Bandcamp // SoundCloud // YouTube

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        • #5
          Originally posted by synkrotron View Post

          I'm surprised you got one, Avery, because according to the official Roland website that have been discontinued. I can only assume that they have only recently been discontinued and that there are still plenty of new units knocking around.

          I look forward to hearing what you come up with
          Thanks! These were discontinued recently, because a couple of weeks ago, when I looked at the Roland page, they were not listed as discontinued. I did find one through Amazon.com. The two units I was watching on Reverb.com sold really quickly. It seems samplers are coming back into vogue. I saw two Roland VP9000 units sell rather quickly on Reverb as well.

          https://metapop.com/sonic-bodhi
          https://www.youtube.com/user/SonicBodhi1
          https://sonicbodhi.bandcamp.com/
          https://hearthis.at/sonic-bodhi-iw/

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sonic Bodhi View Post
            It seems samplers are coming back into vogue.
            Really?

            Interesting that... I have a Yamaha A3000. Bought it pretty much when they came out in 1997. Didn't really get on with it to be honest and I should have got rid of it back then. A quick search shows you can pick these things up for around £200 now.

            I just find samplers to be too much of a faff.
            I may not post anything useful, but at least I do it often

            Bandcamp // SoundCloud // YouTube

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            • #7
              IMG_0427.jpgIMG_0428.jpgIMG_0426.jpg This is the actual unit I received in the mail today in my parcel box. I was able to figure out within a couple of hours how to make a sample from my Korg and loop it. A bit of a learning curve, but not impossible. Didn't help that the included owner's manual was only in Japanese, but I had previously downloaded the english version online. I always expect some kind of confusion will take place when learning the ins and outs of a brand new device. I expect once I learn this thing inside and out, I will be able to do more complex things with it- but the next important step is to learn how to implement MIDI with the Korg as controller. I couldn't get that going yet, but I expect I will have to do some research in the Roland knowledge base, and community.
              https://metapop.com/sonic-bodhi
              https://www.youtube.com/user/SonicBodhi1
              https://sonicbodhi.bandcamp.com/
              https://hearthis.at/sonic-bodhi-iw/

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