Something I've noticed about my SP404

Has anyone every noticed this: Nothing is connect to the line in or mic in. As it stands, heads phones or through a mixer (head phones directly connect to the 404). All the line noise ect is quiet. Again nothing is connect to the line in or mic on the 404. You record a pad, but it doesn’t record silence, it records a really annoying hiss, that worsens is you raise the volume.

Is my 404 defective? Shouldn’t it just record silence? Happens when all 3 three knows are turned down, so no gain, no volume, nothing, but the noise driving me nuts.

Tips, suggestions or if this is just normal, would be great know thanks.

Had the same issue with my 404. Sold it.

you using power supply or batteries?


Totally valid question, I never use my 404 with a power supply. Rechargeable AA’s FTW.


Both did some digging, poor build quality, not proper shielding and even LCD interference.

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that sucks. Which version 404 do you have? I’ve never had a problem with the og or sx personally.

…and you’re not using ANY effects?

This is normal for the sp404. If you sample nothing you end up with a hiss noise on the pad you sampled to. If you sample something that has silent parts, you will hear some hiss in the silent parts.

The 404 is a noisy sampler. A lot of people use it for lofi and drown the noise in record crackling hiss and static noise so they dont mind the noise but this is not for people trying to make clean sounding music.

For people that dont know:
The sp404 is a noisy sampler with a simple patern sequencer that cant do much in regards to sequencing, no screen, effects that can only be used one at a time, pads that are not touch sensitive, limited editing options, no pitch control, no way to pitch the sample of the pad to play melody’s, no slicing, rca ins and outs.

All of this forces you to follow a specific workflow. This is part of its charm but its a required taste.


No effects… or with effects it doesn’t matter.

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I agree it’s an acquired taste, maybe I’ll just finish using for what it’s meant for rather look at like on Octatrack or s5000. But simple is good, it’s so easy to sample in, wish the OCT was a bit little easier, more the 404 when it come to some of the basics… oh well :slight_smile:

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Read a lot about this and it was almost a dealbreaker for me. However, I really wanted this in my setup so I decided to live with this flaw. 2 ways you can resolve the issue:

  1. Have a good signal to noise ratio. If you get your signal level nice and hot when sampling the noise will be very low in comparison.
  2. Use a good noise reduction plugin. I use Waves X-Noise, gets rid of any noise/hum/hiss for me without degrading the sound. Even though my samples sound nice and clean due to 1 above and I won’t worry about it playing live, I might use this when tracking from the sampler into my DAW for finished tracks/albums.

I’m Dawless, but these types are very good, #1 is a very good suggestion :slight_smile: So basically this means the source your sampling from make sure it’s volume is pretty high?

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Yes, but also set the input level/threshold on the SP-404 to be as loud as possible without clipping. It will flash red when it starts to clip, so just bring it below that. When you get that right I don’t think it even needs noise reduction.

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The manual states to adjust the input so the peak LED lights occasionally. So when the light flashes its not necessarily clipping. Its best to do this by listening but the important thing is indeed to record as loud as you can.

You’re right, I’ve just started using mine and forgot about that, thanks for clarifying.

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This is the post I wished I had when I got this lol.

In its favor the effects are good/have a very strong character. Also the 404 really forces you to focus on sample selection, which was kind of an interesting forced choice for me to grapple with, and it forces you to simplify.

With this in mind it pairs up well with the OT in my book.

Can I ask how you pair it with your OT? any new info is always good for me :slight_smile:

I have a few jams up such as this.

Using it for the FX and for more tracks. Probably other ways to use it but that’s what I have so far.

So you have it setup like FX out, then in? on the OT? Not bad I like that little jam.

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…sp404 is a nice toy…found in many lofi setups…some love it’s imperfection…some can’t work with it, since it’s nothing but a nice toy and by no means a serious sampler/musicinstrument…
it’s made for quick and dirty sample catching and fooling around…totally fine for those who don’t care for flaws and dig it’s lofi charme…
and if that is not u, it is not for u…and if so, it’s a clear sign that u grown out of it…
lofi charme can be great…but u can twiddle any sonic source into more lofi imperfection charme if u decide to do so…with the 404 u don’t have a choice…it’s lofi or even more lofi…no chance for any other direction…

if gear has nothing but rca connections to offer, u can be sure u got no serious electronic instrument in front of u…