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deciding on a sampler (maybe SP series)

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#1 green-T

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 07:50 AM

Alright, first of all hello!
Just created this accound but have been lurking around for a bit. and this seems like a good place to ask THE question.

what sampler would you recommend me?

i have been looking at the 404sx at first but then the sp-555 got my attention. then i hear they made some cuts on the sp-555 that make it lack the warmth of the sp404 on the "main" fx.
price wise the 404sx might be a bit cheaper here in germany (2nd hand) but nothing that would affect my decision.

what i want to do with it:
i want to make warm organic beats leaning towards hiphop
but also going a bit electronic, downbeat (i have ableton with a midi keyboard and a little synth to complement my setup)
i need something that makes it easy to start out with ideas with various samples.

i know there's many discussions on the internet about my question but they are kind of outdated (price drops might change people's minds about stuff) and also i couldnt really make up my mind yet because for everyone who says this and that is good there's someone else saying it's not. (especially on the mpc forums ;-) )

i dont really have an oppurtunity to try both of them out (maybe the 404sx 2morrow). also i am very much open for other suggestions.

thanks a lot in advance!

#2 ODK

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 08:20 AM

Have you checked the SP forums yet. loads of knowledge there.

#3 James Frank.

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 08:26 AM

if you can afford a 555, it's like a supercharged hybrid between the 404sx and the infamous 303...
if you want portability and a sampler than can run on batteries, get the 404sx.

#4 MattCoops

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 09:17 AM

If you want a gritty sound and a cheaper price tag, check out the Zoom Sampletrak ST-224

#5 green-T

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 09:19 AM

yea i checked the sp-forums but i'll do some more research there.

i kind of get the feeling tho that i really have to try it out myself and worst case re-sell. unless some people say they are totally different sound wise.
I'll come back once i got it and say how i feel about my decision - maybe this will help someone like me in the future.
thanks

If you want a gritty sound and a cheaper price tag, check out the Zoom Sampletrak ST-224


i'll check that out. thanks!

#6 mores

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 11:46 AM

I'll come back once i got it and say how i feel about my decision - maybe this will help someone like me in the future.
thanks


Definitely curious to see what you have to say! I'm looking to switch over to the SP-404sx soon, it's a hard decision though coming from Maschine..

#7 verism

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 03:17 PM

Check out the manuals on Roland's website for the SP series and the spforums for a good idea of what each one does. The 404sx is pretty fun to use by itself.

#8 ODK

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 01:37 AM

The Sp 555 is actually smaller than the 404 SX, when you have them next to each other, and it's USB.

#9 green-T

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 01:57 AM

yea the sp-555 can also be used as an audio interface... which would be good until i upgrade that. also it is velocity sensitive on the pads which makes it more useful for that organic electronic sound i guess.
but something about the 404 is still making me hesitate to leave it behind just yet. maybe its all these amazing beats that have been and are still being produced on/with it. you don't hear/know too much from the 555.
nobody here who's turned off by the 555 for whatever reason like people on other forums?

#10 green-T

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 02:01 AM

somebody made these on the sp-555. sounds great https://soundcloud.c...elatedastrodots

#11 Tastik BEATS

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 01:27 PM

If your going to use able ton as we'll there's no point in getting a 555

If you get a 404 combined with abelton you will get the best of both world . Good sequencer, pads, sampler, effects, synths, vst's etc

I got a 404 and it's great. I'm sure you will be hey with it

555 is over priced and the d bea and effects don't do much

It's basically a 404sx with a looper and crap effects

#12 James Frank.

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 06:02 PM

If your going to use able ton as we'll there's no point in getting a 555

If you get a 404 combined with abelton you will get the best of both world . Good sequencer, pads, sampler, effects, synths, vst's etc

I got a 404 and it's great. I'm sure you will be hey with it

555 is over priced and the d bea and effects don't do much

It's basically a 404sx with a looper and crap effects


i thought the 555 had a combo of all the 404 and 303 effects?

#13 Tastik BEATS

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 01:02 AM

i thought the 555 had a combo of all the 404 and 303 effects?


It is but the effects aren't as strong. And you,wont here as much of a difference a after effects are applied

#14 James Frank.

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 08:24 PM

damn...i was getting ready to buy a 555.
but now i'm just gonna go with the 404sx...i want the portability ^_^

#15 Tastik BEATS

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 09:23 PM

thought you had the 303 ? anyways the 303 and 404 are a good combo I hear :)

#16 James Frank.

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 08:58 AM

thought you had the 303 ? anyways the 303 and 404 are a good combo I hear :)


yes sir. my 303's half broken though, i'm amazed i've been able to still use it since such an important knob on it is now all loose and iffy. but yeah, i hear that combo is pretty mean as well haha...so i'm pretty much sold on the 404 at this point. i'm all about those beats on the go!

#17 mores

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 12:18 PM

I'm switching from the Maschine to the 404sx soon, any people with experience? I'm hoping it won't be a very rough transition since I'm looking to start a new project soon.. All feedback appreciated.

#18 Tastik BEATS

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 07:51 PM

I'm switching from the Maschine to the 404sx soon, any people with experience? I'm hoping it won't be a very rough transition since I'm looking to start a new project soon.. All feedback appreciated.


I transititoned from fl to the 404sx. it was hard but well worth it. I find it allot more fun and you can concentrate better. Maschine is good. the only reason you would want to switch from maschine to a sampler would be if you hate using a mouse. hate the cost of a computer, dont like distractions like the internet, want something portable. want to have more fun basically.

I hated it at first because it felt limited. but now I have the hang of it.

Any questions you want me to answer ?

#19 mores

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 11:58 PM

I transititoned from fl to the 404sx. it was hard but well worth it. I find it allot more fun and you can concentrate better. Maschine is good. the only reason you would want to switch from maschine to a sampler would be if you hate using a mouse. hate the cost of a computer, dont like distractions like the internet, want something portable. want to have more fun basically.

I hated it at first because it felt limited. but now I have the hang of it.

Any questions you want me to answer ?


It's funny because these are exactly the reasons why I'm switching. Along with the fact that my Maschine was becoming an oldie (it's the first generation). I got the computer but since I work in graphic design I see enough of the damn thing in a day!

What I'm mostly wondering about is the terms/names of features. I know I can just check an image of the thing, which I did, but still I wonder how much of a difference there is.

Might be interesting to get a thread going for people who get new gear to document their growth. Just a thought..
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#20 green-T

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 06:10 AM

wow a lot has happened here. well, i actually got the 555 now. and i feel like it integrates really well with my setup - at least the hardware part.
i plug the 555 into my computer and use it as an audio interface (didnt have a proper one before), plug my synth into the 555 top mic plug (and maybe switch it with my recorder if i need to take something off there) and plug my turntable in the back of the 555.
that way i can sample anything on the go, put it on pads, apply effects and resample if needed. i dont know how i am going to use ableton with this setup. maybe i'll record stuff onto ableton so that i am able to fine tune. and save patterns i like externally.
i dont think the effects on the 555 are that bad. as far as i tried but i need more time to really get an opinion.
in the end you can make everything work i guess.... and get something good and creative out of it if you put in enough time.
peace and thanks for all the input!

#21 mores

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 03:29 AM

I have to be honest the transition has been pretty rough so far after owning it for about two days. It's nothing like the Maschine (obviously, I know..)
I can't wait to get this thing under control though because it's pretty much my only controller now..

#22 Tastik BEATS

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 03:35 AM

I have to be honest the transition has been pretty rough so far after owning it for about two days. It's nothing like the Maschine (obviously, I know..)
I can't wait to get this thing under control though because it's pretty much my only controller now..


Don't worry same thing I had when I started but you learn quickly.

I sold my computer cause it was a waste of time, facebook, youtube all the distractions when you making music. I Garuntee you that our sp will last heaps longer then your computer and you will be so much more productive. I hate computers lol.

Plus your eyes must get sore from the job

#23 mores

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 08:50 AM

Don't worry same thing I had when I started but you learn quickly.

I sold my computer cause it was a waste of time, facebook, youtube all the distractions when you making music. I Garuntee you that our sp will last heaps longer then your computer and you will be so much more productive. I hate computers lol.

Plus your eyes must get sore from the job

Thing is: the way of programming and sampling doesnt appeal to me whatsoever after using Maschine. It just seems like I would need to make my beats using something else then make all the layers come together in the SP.. I'm actually contemplating sending it back right now.
Everywhere I read that the thing is so accessable and easy to use but I haven't seen it yet. With Maschine I was able to make a full beat on the first day (only 2 layers i'll be honest but still). I haven't been able to make a beat with the SP yet, in fact making a 4 bar loop has been an absolute struggle.
Please tell me I'm overlooking things because I really like the SP series aesthetic and feel but the workflow just doesn't seem to work for me. It'd be a shame to get rid of it so soon but I gotta be able to make a full beat since it's my only piece of hardware.

#24 MellowYouth

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 06:54 PM

the 404 is a beast once you get used to the sequencer and laying down patterns. i would recommend to head over to the sp-forums and check out the SP battles. http://sp-forums.com...wforum.php?f=15 . tons of cats there use only the SP to create music

i made this on the 404sx with the beverly hills cop theme and a random drum break. whole sample of beverly hills cop transferred to the SP as well as the drums and just started chopping and making loops. its not one of my favorite beats, but being able to say it was made from start to finish only on the SP was satisfying... something to plug a 57 into and record vocals. altho i never got around to do that :(



it took me a minute to get over the limitations of the 404 but really ended up loving the sound quality and use it a lot for drums. the D/A converters are 'crispy' and give a great punch to the drums that cuts thru the mix
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#25 Tastik BEATS

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 07:12 PM

Thing is: the way of programming and sampling doesnt appeal to me whatsoever after using Maschine. It just seems like I would need to make my beats using something else then make all the layers come together in the SP.. I'm actually contemplating sending it back right now.
Everywhere I read that the thing is so accessable and easy to use but I haven't seen it yet. With Maschine I was able to make a full beat on the first day (only 2 layers i'll be honest but still). I haven't been able to make a beat with the SP yet, in fact making a 4 bar loop has been an absolute struggle.
Please tell me I'm overlooking things because I really like the SP series aesthetic and feel but the workflow just doesn't seem to work for me. It'd be a shame to get rid of it so soon but I gotta be able to make a full beat since it's my only piece of hardware.


use the mark button instead of the knobs :)

#26 James Frank.

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 10:27 PM

i don't even use the sequencer anymore on the 303.
the sequencer is not very conducive to human timing, so unless i quantize that very first kick on the pattern it just starts out stuttering.
i don't like quantizing at all though, so now i'll just resample onto a new pad and just play a drum pattern live. then i'll mark off a loop that sounds good, and start slowly adding shit to it using the resample method. then it gets to a point eventually where i have an entire 4-8 bar loop on a single pad and i can put fx on the entire beat, which makes that whole area of production really fun. then i'll mark off a couple variations of it and voila! i got a beat.



so yeah, to each his own i guess...i still use the sequencer from time to time, but some of my favorite beats i've made have been with this method above ^^^ .

#27 Tastik BEATS

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 11:45 PM

i don't even use the sequencer anymore on the 303.
the sequencer is not very conducive to human timing, so unless i quantize that very first kick on the pattern it just starts out stuttering.
i don't like quantizing at all though, so now i'll just resample onto a new pad and just play a drum pattern live. then i'll mark off a loop that sounds good, and start slowly adding shit to it using the resample method. then it gets to a point eventually where i have an entire 4-8 bar loop on a single pad and i can put fx on the entire beat, which makes that whole area of production really fun. then i'll mark off a couple variations of it and voila! i got a beat.



so yeah, to each his own i guess...i still use the sequencer from time to time, but some of my favorite beats i've made have been with this method above ^^^ .


true :)

#28 James Frank.

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 01:02 AM

oh, but i wouldn't recommend the add-on method with anything less than a 16-32mb smartmedia card...i got like 3-4 cards that only hold 8mb, and that shit is BRUTAL trying to make something on there, even in lo-fi mode. i've almost broke down and teared up because my beat i was working on, chopping up and marking off precisely for two straight hours, reached the maximum sampling capacity for the card and caused it to read the "Err" message where you gotta turn it back on again and re-format it all over again. sometimes depending on the card you can still mess around on the pads and even delete shit to free up memory so that doesn't happen...but it's really an iffy thing, it's never consistent one way or the other.

#29 Tastik BEATS

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 03:22 PM

oh, but i wouldn't recommend the add-on method with anything less than a 16-32mb smartmedia card...i got like 3-4 cards that only hold 8mb, and that shit is BRUTAL trying to make something on there, even in lo-fi mode. i've almost broke down and teared up because my beat i was working on, chopping up and marking off precisely for two straight hours, reached the maximum sampling capacity for the card and caused it to read the "Err" message where you gotta turn it back on again and re-format it all over again. sometimes depending on the card you can still mess around on the pads and even delete shit to free up memory so that doesn't happen...but it's really an iffy thing, it's never consistent one way or the other.


they dont make smart cards anymore do they ?

#30 HUNGRYMAN

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 05:33 PM

Yeah, I think they were discontinued in 2004. They were short lived because they topped out at 128MB and all the digital cameras were going to xD cards. When I bought my SP303 new in 2003, the same day I went to 2 or 3 of the big electronics stores and they had already stopped carrying them. I finally found a 32MB at Radio Shack for $40-45 and the 64MB was $5-10 cheaper. :huh: But yeah, people are raping others on ebay for some old used ones.




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