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 Post subject: Some questions from a 404 user
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:53 pm
Posts: 13
hey guys, I've had the SP404SX for a few years and I love it. It's one of the most fun electronics I own. I mainly use it for chopping up drum breaks and having complete control over each drum sound (a playable kick, snare, closed hat, open hat on their own pads on the bottom) and the rest of the pads for old samples or cool sounds in order to play them all at once and make lofi old school beats.

I love the flow of working with the 404 and being able to have it on the couch or even on the go with me and plug my phone in and sample and play in seconds. Basically I am a huge fan of the 404. But there are just a few things I would want to upgrade-

1.) wish I could save effects to different samples or pads (without resampling).. or even just allow me to have more than one effect on a pad at a time.

2.) I wish I could resample more than 2 sounds/pads being triggered at once. Makes resampling and looping a drum beat played from 3 pads (kick,snare,hat) very difficult.

And that's about it. I'd want everything else to stay the same on the 404.

So basically wondering if you guys knew of anything that works like that. I'd be willing to pay $1000 for a device that did everything the 404 does + that 2 things I added.

I'm considering the MPC1000, but I'm pretty smooth with the FUNCTION copy/exchange system and resampling and all the basics on the 404 so that's why I am wondering if the 555 would be an easier transition for me? Would the MPC1000 be too foreign/complicated?

Because there is a lot I don't have any clue about on my current 404- like the sequencing and quantizing or what the "sample mode" does.. Does the SP555 just have a lot more of those bells and whistles? Does the 555 have all the same features as the 404? Thanks for any answers!


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 Post subject: Re: Some questions from a 404 user
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:29 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:44 am
Posts: 310
For starters I have never touched the sp555, but my understanding from videos and research is that it is is basically the original 404 with a looper as well as audio interface capabilities.
Whether or not you can play the sample pads while using the looper is beyond me. To me this is a weak point of the SP's, not being able to hear your sample beat while recording your synth or whatever for your next layer seems pretty counter intuitive for a "phrase sampler". On the 303 you can "resample" external sources with your pads playing, but not individually.

The mpc1000 will give you audio tracks so you can play your beat and then record your new synth on top, keeping it separate from the beat, at which point it can be chopped up and replayed with the pads.

As for "printing" effects I think with the mpc you will still have to resample. I can't think of any units that "print" the effects off the top of my head.

The mpc1000 will give you a shitload more than the 404, than being said, yes it will be foreign and complicated compared to the simplicity of the 404. Once you get your head around the standard procedures it will all make sense.
The 404 is direct and easy to use, the 1000 takes some learning but the separation of sounds (tracks) and the sequencer alone will allow for a lot more creativity. I would recommend looking into the mpc500, play with it and see if it floats your boat, you can easily pick one up for $200 and sell it for the same if you don't like it.

As for only being able to resample two sounds. The 404sx defaults to stereo when recording. Start turning it off so your drum hits are in mono, there is no need for stereo here. As very few drums hit on the same timing you will be able to add a lot more improvisation.

To me the 404 is no more than a "tool", when used in conjunction with a real sampler with a proper sequencer it shines. You can always control the 404 with the mpc500 or 1000 as well. This is my personal opinion but the 404's, 303's etc. are fun to play with using resample and seeing what you come up with, besides for that they are just toys for Roland fanboys.

Both Illgreen and Sharris on here use the mpc in conjunction with the sp's so maybe they will chime in with some more insight.


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