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Roland SP-303, SP-404, SP-808 samplers.
Old 23rd June 2016
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Roland SP-303, SP-404, SP-808 samplers.

These samplers seem to have a cult following of users, from Madlib, Dibiase, Ras G and Flying Lotus. I understand the fandom of the MPC, SP-1200, Maschine and ASR samplers, but what makes the Roland SP series so special?
Old 23rd June 2016
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
they are really fast to work with. they are very limited but that forces you to a certain workflow and to be creative. the effects are cool. the sound is very nice and colored.
Old 23rd June 2016
  #3
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
They are extremely good for coloring the sound substantially. They do a very good job for super LOFI hip hop as well. They are very portable. I am fairly surprised how many people use them standalone for production, they actually are great for DJ's but I couldn't see myself using one standalone, it would be a nice tool to run sounds through.
Old 24th June 2016
  #4
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
They sound frigging ill!
I have a 505, and the vinyl sim used on long mode, and lofi mode is somewhat epic!
Old 25th June 2016
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tha Knoq ➑️
These samplers seem to have a cult following of users, from Madlib, Dibiase, Ras G and Flying Lotus. I understand the fandom of the MPC, SP-1200, Maschine and ASR samplers, but what makes the Roland SP series so special?
I dont think they color the sound well but lots of fx and simple to use; the pitch shifting/ 16 levels sounds horrible.
Old 26th June 2016
  #6
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpeg ➑️
I dont think they color the sound well but lots of fx and simple to use; the pitch shifting/ 16 levels sounds horrible.
I can totally understand that you feel they don't color the sound well but for the style of music that people use them for, it really works. I have only messed with a 303 and I personally felt I could make it very useful without going too LOFI myself, but it's a fine line with that machine. I would say that no matter if you like how it sounds when tweaking and using fx, it is a very simple process on the 303. Haven't used anything else.
Old 26th June 2016 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd Degree ➑️
I can totally understand that you feel they don't color the sound well but for the style of music that people use them for, it really works. I have only messed with a 303 and I personally felt I could make it very useful without going too LOFI myself, but it's a fine line with that machine. I would say that no matter if you like how it sounds when tweaking and using fx, it is a very simple process on the 303. Haven't used anything else.
fair enuff madlib makes some lofi stuff on the 303 but i have heard people make no lo fi tracks on with great success also; I think its compact nature long sample time and pretty paced feature-set helped make is a success.

but i dont see it coloring sounds like the mpc60 for example
Old 26th June 2016 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
3rd Degree's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpeg ➑️
fair enuff madlib makes some lofi stuff on the 303 but i have heard people make no lo fi tracks on with great success also; I think its compact nature long sample time and pretty paced feature-set helped make is a success.

but i dont see it coloring sounds like the mpc60 for example
They are two different beats. The MPC 60 is a great sampler and sequencer and I don't even recall if it had effects as I have never cared about fx on any MPC or Akai product I have owned. It is colored by nature, semi lofi by nature, but a full fledged unit that handles a lot of tracks, can sequence other gear well, etc.

The SP 303, IMO, is almost the opposite. It's basically an fx unit with a sampler tacked on to it. It isn't lofi by nature, it's clean, but it has a lofi effect that is tweekable from clean to dirtier than I could ever use. I am just stating a lot of people use it for either the lofi mode or the vinyl simulation mode or both, specifically to make lofi stuff. A lot of people use it for just an fx box. A lot of dj's use it for it's crazy long sample time. I don't think recall if you can dump wav files on a memory card with the 303 but I am almost positive the 404 does, again, that's pretty appealing in a sampler where you can get some character.

Don't get me wrong, this machines are really for me. I have fun playing around with my friend's 303 but it would probably collect dust for me. I use it as a "toy synth" but I do know people who use them in incredibly useful ways for themselves.
Old 27th June 2016
  #9
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
The 303 colors the sound way more than a 60 if you're sampling at 11khz, and yes @ 11khz it's very lofi by nature.
There's a ton of coloring going on.
The color at 11khz, and 22 kHz with vinyl sim is what it's famed for.
I know vinyl sim is an effect, but the coloring at 11khz is overwhelming without effects, and 22 kHz is noticeable.
At 44.1khz I'll agree that it colors little, but who's really buying one to sample at the highest rate?
Old 27th June 2016
  #10
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Because they're lofi beasts, gritty and imprecise, and lean towards a live playing/fx kind of workflow. Love this dude's stuff on youtube:

Old 27th June 2016
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Why would anyone want to use a sampler that is imprecise? Is this why so many of these subpar producers like knxledge use it so they can get that horrible lazy and sloppy soulless feel into their beats? I just thought these guys had a very bad sense of rhythm.
Old 27th June 2016
  #12
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🎧 5 years
Old 27th June 2016 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattmaN ➑️
The 303 colors the sound way more than a 60 if you're sampling at 11khz, and yes @ 11khz it's very lofi by nature.
There's a ton of coloring going on.
The color at 11khz, and 22 kHz with vinyl sim is what it's famed for.
I know vinyl sim is an effect, but the coloring at 11khz is overwhelming without effects, and 22 kHz is noticeable.
At 44.1khz I'll agree that it colors little, but who's really buying one to sample at the highest rate?
nah the 303 does not colour the sound ur confusing ****ing up the sound with colour; the 60 almost seems to add some saturation warm harmonics to the sample, and thickens it up.

whereas the 303 just lowers the fidelity, but there are no harmonics added and that is the colour of the sound.
Old 27th June 2016
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
oh god, anyone hating on the sp202/303/404 is out of their mind.
they are easily just as dope as an mpc60 or sp1200. its a way different workflow.
the 303 signal path when you run it through the iso effect colors the sound like nobodys business. it adds tons of harmonics and saturation so poster jpeg is way wrong.
the mpc60 has 0 effects. no delay. no reverb. no variable bit rate. takes 2 mins to copy a sample. no auto looping. no resampling the outputs. no built in bass synth. no glitching effects. no compression. the mpc60 saturation and harmonics are not nearly as noticible or special as what a 303/404s effects can do to a sample.
sure there are ppl doing lame dilla impersonations or making wack madlib loops w them sure, but theres plenty of generic boom bap being made on mpc60/3000s too. theres whole scenes these days (uhh, low end theory/LA) doing amazing beats on these boxes, and they provide a lot more potential for live processing/playing a track than any mpc model.
the resample method of making a beat is way different from using standard sequencing. and you can make very complex dope beats with it.
also, anyone that plays a live instrument is imprecise, and i feel sorry for anyone that thinks locking to quantized sequencer equates to precision (listen to a meters record someday).
Old 27th June 2016 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenmean ➑️
oh god, anyone hating on the sp202/303/404 is out of their mind.
they are easily just as dope as an mpc60 or sp1200. its a way different workflow.
.
I had the sp505 for several years yes it has lots of features and great bang for the buck.

but the sound of the sampler is not on the level of the 60 or the 3k; you know that really, the a/d converters and the circuits add some colour to the sound in a way that the 303/505 does not.

now again the 303/505 are good units with many features but thats a different argument, im not hating on the 505/303 I think they are good but the sound is not on the level of the 60 or the 3k and that is very obvious.

now I dont deny u can get some great sounds from the vinyl sim but again im just speaking on the raw sound.

I took my 505 to a friend house who had the 60; when he sampled a loop out of my 505 it sounded better in 60 so there really is no better proof than that needed in my mind.
Old 28th June 2016
  #16
Deleted 0517344
Guest
most of the guys people think are using these to make beats DONT USE THEM TO MAKE BEATS...

they record whatever machine they actually do make the beat on to a .wav file and put them on the SP303/404 pads and use the fx for live tweaking in a live setting

samiyam and ras g prolly the only ones actually making the beats on those machines lol
Old 28th June 2016 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by old hydro law ➑️
most of the guys people think are using these to make beats DONT USE THEM TO MAKE BEATS...

they record whatever machine they actually do make the beat on to a .wav file and put them on the SP303/404 pads and use the fx for live tweaking in a live setting

samiyam and ras g prolly the only ones actually making the beats on those machines lol
Yes my understanding as well was that these samplers mostly gained popularity as "playback" and "manipulation" devices. Due to the large memory capacity , size and fx was ez to record full tracks into it and manipulate them live. It seems indeed that some cats liked em so much that they started to use them for making whole beats but definitely not everyone. Id guess that the majority of the l.a. beat scene guys are prob using abelton or a mix of it plus some hardware.
Old 28th June 2016 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by old hydro law ➑️
most of the guys people think are using these to make beats DONT USE THEM TO MAKE BEATS...

they record whatever machine they actually do make the beat on to a .wav file and put them on the SP303/404 pads and use the fx for live tweaking in a live setting

samiyam and ras g prolly the only ones actually making the beats on those machines lol
madlib was defo making beats with it but kev brown was using it in the way u describe above as opposed to making the whole beat on it.

also diba$e was making his beats on the 404
Old 28th June 2016
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
while they are indeed powerful for playing back whole tracks with manipulation, you may be kind of out of touch with hardware beatmaking in 2016 if you think more people arent doing entire beats on these machines.


Last edited by goldenmean; 28th June 2016 at 08:51 PM.. Reason: spelling
Old 29th June 2016 | Show parent
  #20
Deleted 0517344
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenmean ➑️
while they are indeed powerful for playing back whole tracks with manipulation, you may be kind of out of touch with hardware beatmaking in 2016 if you think more people arent doing entire beats on these machines.
lol...

1 i said most

2 i listed 2 [beat scene famous] guys who do

3 i own a 404 amongst many other hardware samplers

4 its just a very limited sampler...with a weird saving structure and MOST [beat scene] guys use it as a live manipulation tool... thats just a fact. as someone pointed out cats are using ableton and reason. i use an octatrack and have owned or own nearly every sampling drum machine that has ever come out... so NO i'm not out of touch
Old 30th June 2016 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tha Knoq ➑️
Why would anyone want to use a sampler that is imprecise? Is this why so many of these subpar producers like knxledge use it so they can get that horrible lazy and sloppy soulless feel into their beats? I just thought these guys had a very bad sense of rhythm.
lol you sound bitter. Arent you the guy who Just Blaze fired for running your mouth around here?

Knx uses strictly ableton if im not mistaken
Old 30th June 2016 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tha Knoq ➑️
Why would anyone want to use a sampler that is imprecise? Is this why so many of these subpar producers like knxledge use it so they can get that horrible lazy and sloppy soulless feel into their beats? I just thought these guys had a very bad sense of rhythm.
precision is not a pre-requisite of good soulful music; not everyone using the 303 has poor rhythm
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