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 Post subject: upgrade to 404?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:16 pm 
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Hi everyone! I've been using the trusty 202 for a loooong time, and think it may be time for an upgrade. My question is: how does the quality of the samples in the more modern samplers compare to the 202? Surprisingly few reviews of the 404 ever seem to address this. Maybe I've just been using the line / mic setting wrong all these years, but I've grown frustrated with the lo-fi (even in hi-fi mode), gritty sound of my samples. I bought this to make hip-hop, and I think it's the next best thing to an MPC for that, but now I'm making music that requires a little more clarity (less Dilla / 36 Chambers) and want a sampler that can replicate exactly (or very close) the source material. Do I need to buy a 404A or 404SX, or have I just been mis-using the 202 all these years and this is just a question of me learning to control the peaks?

FWIW I'm strictly a hardware guy, no computer interface whatsoever, if that matters. Bells and whistles don't impress me, I just want a better-sounding version of what I already have. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: upgrade to 404?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:51 pm 
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I use the 202 and og404 big love fo both. The 202 and the 404 work amazing together. The sample clarity in the 404 is great however the thing i knock the 404 for is the pitch shift, it works very differently to the 202. I chop in the 404 and then use the 202 for both pitch and timestretch and bounce it back to the 404 but your gonna get that 202 sound if you work like that. I deffo recommend a 404 though, Im not sure how the sx and a models handle pitching samples but the og is still alot of fun.

side note, If anyone knows how the 303 handles pitching as well let me know...


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 Post subject: Re: upgrade to 404?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:47 pm 
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Thanks for the info! What specifically don't you like about the pitch feature on the 404? Because I pitch shift a lot on the 202...


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 Post subject: Re: upgrade to 404?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:18 pm 
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LordBizz wrote:

side note, If anyone knows how the 303 handles pitching as well let me know...



It’s awful

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 Post subject: Re: upgrade to 404?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:14 pm 
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SOUL CHOPPA wrote:
LordBizz wrote:

side note, If anyone knows how the 303 handles pitching as well let me know...



It’s awful


Yep, barely useable. I had a 202 for a bit and it’s million times better pitch and time stretch. It was great bouncing back and forth between the two.

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 Post subject: Re: upgrade to 404?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:31 pm 
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Yea rarely do I pitch shift or timestretch but I usually use audacity when I need to and it works perfectly and it’s free

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 Post subject: Re: upgrade to 404?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:41 pm 
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What about the pitch function on the 404?


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 Post subject: Re: upgrade to 404?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:14 pm 
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The pitch shifting & timestretching on the 404sx isn't good at all. It's ok/somewhat useable with very minor changes.....like really minor. Also works better on 1 shots.
But the samples sound exactly the same as the source, so very good sound quality & a ton of memory (depending on the size of the memory card).
I'm pretty sure the 404 og has the same sound quality, I don't have 1, but that's what I've heard, that the sound quality is good / same as the source.
I also hear that the 202 has the best sounding pitch shift out of the sp's.
Might not be what you're looking for, but the MPC 500 is pretty awesome. It's def worth looking into. It does have a few bugs & the way it saves kind of sucks, but I think it's worth it, it has a lot of great features. I paid $400 for mine, but it's mint condition, fat red pads, upgraded memory & came with a memory card. It also had a 30 day return period, which I wanted in case the bugs were bad (I heard horror stories), they ended up not being that bad (at least mine isn't).
Also sp's & MPC's go great together (if you are able to have both).


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 Post subject: Re: upgrade to 404?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:03 pm 
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the only real usable pitch on SPs are on the 202 and the 808...
on the 505 there is a pitch function wich is interesting too (sort of varipitch), but is not a real pitch

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 Post subject: Re: upgrade to 404?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:08 am 
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HIFI on the 202 is 16bit @ 31.25 kHz.
HIFI on the 404 is 16bit @ 44.1 kHz. (CD quality)

So yeah, the 404 is gonna sound closer to your original source material. Of course running sound through anything is gonna color it to some degree.

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 Post subject: Re: upgrade to 404?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:04 pm 
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the 404 will deffo speed your workflow up . keep the 202 though for the extra fx . the eq and filter on the 404 are deecent .

however . you could always improve your clarity with a sonic exciter .

if you own a device for bouncing your tracks to

202 > sonic exciter > recording device

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 Post subject: Re: upgrade to 404?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:37 pm 
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So much great information here - thanks everyone.

I'll have to Google Sonic Exciter.

The difference in kHz between the 202 and the 404 seems negligible, which makes me think, again, that I'm just doing something wrong when I'm sampling from line / mic (usually line) on the 202. Everything has that gritty, lo-fi sound, no matter what I do. I've tried experimenting with the peak volume: I tried recording lower than what seemed correct and the result was hiss, and then louder than what it seemed correct and the sample lost all character and was (predictably) blown out and click-y on the loop.

How do you adjust your volume levels if you're sampling from a laptop? Seems to me there are three different volume levels to consider: iTunes, your laptop, and then the 202. Do you just unity gain the source sounds and adjust from there? Is there an easier way to do this I'm not considering?

Sorry for all the questions, but people on this forum seem to know what they're talking about!


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 Post subject: Re: upgrade to 404?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:05 pm 
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wimmels wrote:
So much great information here - thanks everyone.

I'll have to Google Sonic Exciter.

The difference in kHz between the 202 and the 404 seems negligible, which makes me think, again, that I'm just doing something wrong when I'm sampling from line / mic (usually line) on the 202. Everything has that gritty, lo-fi sound, no matter what I do. I've tried experimenting with the peak volume: I tried recording lower than what seemed correct and the result was hiss, and then louder than what it seemed correct and the sample lost all character and was (predictably) blown out and click-y on the loop.

How do you adjust your volume levels if you're sampling from a laptop? Seems to me there are three different volume levels to consider: iTunes, your laptop, and then the 202. Do you just unity gain the source sounds and adjust from there? Is there an easier way to do this I'm not considering?

Sorry for all the questions, but people on this forum seem to know what they're talking about!


if you're sampling from the line out of a laptop it is inherently going to be shitty unless you have an expensive, aftermarket sound card for your laptop with very good specs.

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 Post subject: Re: upgrade to 404?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:02 pm 
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ive had no issues sampling from a laptop tbh . i often transfer beat recordings back to sampler via laptop. no noticable sound difference.

to me . if you were sampling from a tape deck or maybe bad quality youtube video will cause issues

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 Post subject: Re: upgrade to 404?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:29 pm 
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zendanisdead wrote:
if you're sampling from the line out of a laptop it is inherently going to be shitty unless you have an expensive, aftermarket sound card for your laptop with very good specs.


So should I just sample via a mixer?


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