Roland's SP-404 MKII sampler gets powerful new sequencing features and effects

1 month ago 20
PR Distribution

When I went hands-on with Roland's SP-404 MKII backmost successful October I said it was "becoming" my favourite sampler. Fast guardant a fewer months and it is firmly entrenched successful that spot. Of course, nary portion of cogwheel is perfect, and there's ever country for improvement. So Roland is pushing retired a 2.0 firmware update that lone further cement's the 404's spot astatine the apical of my list.

Perhaps the biggest summation is simply a caller TR-style (as successful TR-808) measurement sequencer. While the SP bid has ever appealed much to those that privation the escaped consciousness of unrecorded instrumentation, being capable to punch successful a basal four-on-the-floor footwear that's close connected the wealth is ever nice. That's particularly existent if your consciousness of bushed is lone so-so, but it besides makes the 404 much utile for genres that are each astir being close connected the bushed similar location and techno. And successful immoderate ways, it's really much versatile than your mean TR-style sequencer since patterns tin beryllium up to 64 bars (or 1,024 steps) successful length. 

In summation to being capable to programme beats by manually punching successful idiosyncratic steps, you tin besides present grounds to patterns successful chromatic mode: load up a illustration of a azygous enactment and conscionable play a melody into a pattern. Previously this had to beryllium done via resampling, i.e. creating an wholly caller illustration of the melody you played.

Roland SP-404MKII

Terrence O'Brien / Engadget

But wait, there's more! Now chromatic illustration playback has 3 antithetic modes — plain aged monophonic, legato (great for sliding bass lines) and polyphonic — truthful you tin crook a azygous soft enactment into a chord. And, I can't judge I'm saying this, but it gets amended still. Roland has vastly improved the clip stretching algorithm. Frankly, it was borderline useless before. Now, successful summation to the default "vinyl" mode of transportation shifting (just playing things backmost faster oregon slower), determination are 2 Variphrase modes (these alteration transportation without changing playback length): Backing, for things with chiseled attacks similar drums and guitar; and Ensemble for sustained sounds similar strings and synth pads. Backing is inactive a small unsmooth sounding, though it handles drums decently enough. But Ensemble is lightyears beyond what the 404 antecedently had, and is cardinal to making that caller polyphonic illustration playback mode useable.

Now if this was each Roland added, it would beryllium a beauteous large deal. But the institution besides included 4 caller autobus effects: SX Reverb, SX Delay, Cloud Delay and Backspin. Plus there's present a Harmonizer connected the input FX paper and a 2nd mentation of reverse playback borrowed signifier the SP-303 for those that truly privation to thin into the lo-fi heritage of the range. And, connected apical of each of that, the Skip Back diagnostic can, astatine immoderate time, callback audio from up to 40 seconds successful the past wherever its anterior iteration had a 25 2nd maximum.

In short, Roland took what was already a beauteous large portion of euphony cogwheel and made it adjacent much alluring. Now if lone they weren't wholly retired of banal everywhere. 

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, autarkic of our genitor company. Some of our stories see affiliate links. If you bargain thing done 1 of these links, we whitethorn gain an affiliate commission.

Read Entire Article