Roland SP404A

this makes me wish i still had my 202 and 404 :weary:

No joke. I was halfway excited to check out the sounds but when it arrived I was sorely disappointed in the “expensive” Loopmasters sounds…what a joke.

Well, if it’s any consolation, I don’t know why anyone would buy a sampler and want to use the factory sounds—kinda defeats the point really.

But, ya, Roland… Always with their finger on the pulse. :wink:



I get that for sure. But chopping and messing with other’s samples can be fun too. I didn’t buy it for the samples but thought they’d at least have some unique ones. lol.

I’m looking to integrate another sampler/mangler into my setup (which for now is really just a OT and some things that make noise)I’m looking for something different rather than just another Elektron box. I’m curious if anyone has used a Roland SP 404 a/sx? Seems fun to use any pros/cons?

It’s a bit old IMO, both in sound and workflow.

Depending on the price you want to put in, you have different options but check these:


Had an sp404sx back then, sold it (with my DT) to get an OT.

Pro: it’s super hands on. No screen, no advanced function, everything done by ears. Really fun!

Cons: it’s really basic as fuck. No env, no LFO, no pitch, no velocity, barebones sequencer… It really is “Workarounds: the box”.

It can complement the OT nicely. OT is all brainy and stuff, while the sp is really laidback and “let’s sample a burp with the mic and morph it with the fx’s…”.


The effects are great but after that it’s a sampler with an okay sequencer. The 404 does not have a chromatic mode or allow you to monitor audio wile sampling. Not to much mangling with the 404 either imo. I love the PO-33 as mentioned above. Chromatic, pattern chain that saves, and fun sequencer for a fourth of the cost.

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Hmm might have to rethink that then

I use the 404 mainly with our 4 year old, it’s fun with the mic input. A drumpad connected it’s nice too and/or a beatstep pro to play and record sequences changing the sounds on the fly on the 404. A real onboard looper would make it so much better!

When he is 5 I probably sell it though, he has his own project on the OT too.


I used mine all the time with a looper when the DN and 404 were all I had. Did add a bit of mileage out of it and was the way I overdubbed my guitar and/or bounce back and forth.

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You went MPC after that trip :slight_smile:

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Ha, yes, took the scenic route till I finally committed on a destination.

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When he is 6 we’ll get an MPC to share :joy:

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I’ve used one with the OT for a while now, and almost exclusively for its effects. For the most part I’ve found it very useful in that regard.

What I like most about it though, is how quickly you can resample. Trying to make something vaguely techno with the resample method is a fun challenge and a good way to get your brain out of the sequencer mindset.

I’ve since got a multi-FX unit and it’s been shelved though. I may end up selling it, but am keeping it around for now, anticipating the Saturday afternoon when I may want to try making a full track through resampling again.

There’s quite a community around it, but I do wonder if some of these newer units might start pushing it out or decreasing its value.

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I also used it with my OT while I owned one, works well. I wanted to love the 404 and still have a soft spot for it (can’t bring myself to sell). My problem was spending too much time figuring out workarounds to get where I wanted to go. The most fun I had was just zoning out and jamming with effects or trying the SP beat battles over at sp-forums. Some dudes/dudettes can spit fire on them, me not so much.

Every couple of months I get the urge to dust it off, load up the batteries, and finally make something. Usually, twenty minutes later I’m struggling and grab either the DN or MPC to occupy my limited time


The decreasing economic value of an instrument to make honest art is a non-issue since the value changed form/energy.

Of course other things play a role in using or flipping an instrument, all good.

Holistic view, I know but … that’s MHO on the matter.


I just ordered a used SP404A the other day. I like its overall sound, long sample time, small size, fast resampling, and hands-on effects manipulation. I plan on using it for simple sampling/resampling tasks and as an effect send with my interface.

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Good luck with it, from what you described should be perfect for you.

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Good luck with your purchase, Hamuel. I think you’ll find the SP-404A will serve you well for the purpose you have in mind.

I purchased a brand new SP-404A myself recently but sadly have to return it even after going to extreme lengths to try and keep it. I think the 404 in general can be summed-up in two ways. There’s the Hip-Hop producing crowd who I am convinced are attracted to it through the wow and flutter and other Lo-Fi effects. And there are the Utility crowd who see it as a handy sampling device with effects.

I think you might fall under the latter and for that reason will be very pleased with it. Personally though, I am mind-blown at some of the limitations the device has, and to top it all off, I am furious with Roland over the way they marketed this new “A” model.

The only reason I am here right now is because this forum and thread was pointed out to me during a little jousting session I just had on the SP-Forums about the SP-404A’s firmware.

Here’s the thread that linked me here if anyone fancies a read, and if anyone reading this is thinking of getting an SP-404, you probably should, cause I wish I had known they were identical!