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Roland's most popular portable sampler just got turbocharged.
The portable Roland SP-404SX Sampler is a powerful, creatively stimulating music production tool for DJs, musicians, producers, and live-sound engineers.
The acclaimed Roland SP-404 performance sampler takes an exciting leap forward with the SP-404SX. In addition to the fun, fast, hands-on features of the original, this updated Roland sampler offers enhanced sound quality with pure 16-bit linear sampling, improved DSP (digital signal processor) effects, smooth effects switching, a more versatile pattern sequencer (with a shuffle feature), and easier data management with SD-card compatibility.
Sample anywhere, anytime using the Roland SP-404SX sampler's built-in microphone. And since the SP-404SX portable sampler runs on AC or battery power (6 AA batteries), it's easy to record wherever and whenever inspiration strikes. Just power-up, point, and record.
Line and mic inputs are also available for recording direct or with an external microphone. The Roland SP-404SX's sampling format is uncompressed WAV for high-quality audio capture.
The Roland SP-404SX sampler is made to be played. It's packed with interactive controls for jamming along with loops and patterns. Put your fingers on the 3 non-slip control knobs, 12 trigger pads, and Sub Pad for rapid repeat triggering in real time. On dark stages or DJ booths, the Roland SP-404SX is a performers dream with illuminated rubber pads and a bright LED screen.
Create a signature sound using the SP-404SX's 29 DSP effects, which switch seamlessly during live performance. Essential onboard effects include spacious reverbs and choruses, plus filters and delays. There are also unique, esoteric effects built in, including a voice transformer and looper. With the DJFX Looper, you can create short loops (such as machine-gun-like "da-da-da-da-da" sounds) and control reverse playback with the knob. You can also create scratch effects like on a turntable. Connect the SP-404SX to a DJ mixer and use it as an effect processor. Seventeen of the effects have a "limiter" mode, which keeps the effects from overloading. This is great for live DJ performances when you don't want to lose control of the effects in the heat of the moment.
In addition to the endless supply of loops you can pack into the Roland SP-404SX sampler, you can also create your own tracks in real time with the Pattern Sequencer, complete with quantize mode, which includes shuffle feels. Creating patterns is done in real time. You can loop two measures (maximum 99 measures), for example, then play and record only the bass drum and the snare. Next, add the hi-hat over the top, and keep adding more instruments while the SP-404SX loops. The sampler can store 120 patterns (12 patterns x 10 banks).
When you play a pattern with the Pattern Sequencer, the LEDs surrounding the display blink according to the tempo, which is a handy feature during live performance.
SD card memory
Start sampling right away with the included 1GB SD card. You can easily expand the sampling time using up to 32GB SDHC. Import audio files from your computer using the included software (Mac or PC) and assign them to the SP-404SX's pads. WAV and AIFF files are accepted. The software is fast and easy to use, as it displays the Roland SP-404SX's pads onscreen. You can even use it to convert SP-404 format files to the SP-404SX.
Don't pass up this portable sampler ideal for DJs, musicians, producers, and live-sound engineers who like to trigger jingles.
Reviewed by 2 customers
Displaying reviews 1-2
Comments about Roland SP-404SX Portable Sampler with Effects:
I'm satisfied with the SP-404SX but it's not perfect. I was looking for a playback machine that I could play 3-4 minute backing tracks to play guitar/bass and sing along to, it's perfect for that, it accepts stereo wav files and it's easy to transfer files to it with the included software.
The effects are awesome and are highly editable. I haven't really used the pattern maker on it, I do my sequencing on the computer then just dump the finished wav file to one button so I have no need for it. The mic input is useful but it only has a 1/4" input so you'd need an adapter to plug in an SM58, all the effects can be applied to the mic.
I like that the buttons light up to show what sample is playing but they feel stiff and awkward, I'm used to MPC pads. The volume and effect edit knobs feel flimsy, you'll want to take care of them or they can probably break or get bent. Also the adapter connector in the back does not feel solid and it wiggles around, if the power cable gets yanked or if the unit falls it can easily break. I thought the SP would be more solidly built overall but the bottom part is plastic and the top is a really thin cheap piece of metal, it is nowhere near heavy duty so take care of this machine if you buy it.
The outputs are RCA connectors in the back and a 1/4" headphone out in the front, wish it had 1/4" stereo outs in the back but I just bought a 5$ RCA to quarter inch adapter for that.
I'm still exploring it and have performed live with it a couple times, the lights are very helpful live on dark stages. People that use this machine are JonWayne and Madlib, it's a great box but could use some improvements, still it's the best box for my needs.
Comments about Roland SP-404SX Portable Sampler with Effects:
Overall this machine is great for what it does, but if it had a song mode for sequencing it will be perfect for the studio as a stand alone machine.
For the DJ on the go this is great with hands on performance, but as a producer it is lacking in the sequence department. You 'll have to make a long pattern to emulate a song mode feature. The sampling is awesome. A 16G SD card will give you 24hrs of sampling time. That's a lot for just inserting a memory card rather than installing one.It saves and loads to the memory card on the fly which is great.
The sample rate is CD quality and this machine is built very well. It is nice and compact for space saving.
The value is a good deal seeing that you get to sample over 24hrs on a memory card of 16gigs.