Don't Show Again Yes, I would!

Happy 404 Day! A look back at the origins of the Roland SP-404


A brief look back at the origins of the SP-404  · 

Source:
Roland

To celebrate 404 Day, we’re looking back at how the story of the Roland SP-404 began and its evolution over the years. From a somewhat experimental toy, the idea grew into the creative performance-orientated sampler we know and love.

Scarcity can be a catalyst behind many creative endeavours, and in the mid-90s, affordable sample triggering was something of a rarity. At the time, we didn’t have access to tactile DAWs like Ableton Live and a wealth of controllers like we do today.

404 Day: The History of the Roland SP-404

The story begins in 1995 with the release of the Roland MS-1. This limited phrase-sampling beatbox couldn’t pitch samples chromatically, but it provided the basic blueprint with eight pads and a simple sequencer.

404 Origins

Three years later we saw the introduction of the first true SP, the Boss SP-202 Dr. Sample. With the rise of DJing, there wasn’t much need for a sequencer. So instead, the design aimed to provide DJs with a creative sampling and effects unit that you could use while performing.

From here the design expanded even further in 2001 with the SP-303. With additional effects and 3 dedicated effects controls, the SP-303 quickly became a favourite among Hip-Hop DJs and producers.

SP-404

It took a while to get there, but after the workstation-style SP-505 (2002) and SP-606 (2004) samplers came onto the market, the SP-404 was finally introduced in 2005. While it maintained the same design hallmarks as the SP-303, there were several improvements.

See also  A guide to taking out the best life insurance [2023]

There were now 12 trigger pads and 29 effects including the DJ looper which was a major selling point. The removable top casing also meant that users could customize the look of their 404, a practice that still continues today.

You are currently viewing a placeholder content from Youtube. To access the actual content, click the button below. Please note that doing so will share data with third-party providers.

More Information

SP-404SX

In 2008, Roland released the monster SP-555 which was a far more complete music production station. The SP-404 SX followed shortly after this in 2009, with 16-bit linear sampling and an improved DSP effects engine.

SP-404SX
SP-404SX

The outstanding sonic quality attracted an even wider base of users than before and features like SD card storage meant you could easily backup and archive your projects or recall sample layouts for your next gig.

SP-404A

Many years later, we would see yet another iteration in the form of the SP-404A (2017). This brought all the features from the SX and was designed to be integrated into the Roland AIRA series of electronic music instruments.

This addition meant you could sequence the SP-404A from the AIRA TR-8, which added a completely new dimension to the workflow. Although this certainly moved things in a more dance music direction, it widened the appeal of the 404 even further.

You are currently viewing a placeholder content from Youtube. To access the actual content, click the button below. Please note that doing so will share data with third-party providers.

More Information

SP-404 MKII

The SP-404 MKII release in 2021 was highly anticipated by fans and Roland did not disappoint. With 16 pads, 32-voice polyphony, and 16 GB of internal storage it took the original design and put it on steroids.

SP-404 MKII
SP-404 MKII

Features like a pattern sequencer, sample slicing, and 37 effects provided workstation-like control, but they were all implemented in a way that didn’t lose the immediacy and fun factor of the original – a truly iconic design.

The SP-404 MKII 2.0 firmware update is now available for 404 day 2024! With a range of new features, including Koala Sampler integration, this promises to be an exciting update for users.

You are currently viewing a placeholder content from Youtube. To access the actual content, click the button below. Please note that doing so will share data with third-party providers.

More Information

More about the Roland SP-404:

Videos:

You are currently viewing a placeholder content from Youtube. To access the actual content, click the button below. Please note that doing so will share data with third-party providers.

More Information

You are currently viewing a placeholder content from Youtube. To access the actual content, click the button below. Please note that doing so will share data with third-party providers.

More Information

*Note: This article contains promotional links that help us fund our site. Don’t worry: the price for you always stays the same! If you buy something through these links, we will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!

Image Sources:

  • Roland MS-1: Roland
  • Boss SP-202: Boss
  • SP-404SX: Roland
  • SP-404 MKII: Roland
SP-404

How do you like this post?

Rating: Yours: | ø:



Source Link Website

Share:

John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *