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Microphone Month 4

Roland SP-404SX Review

While the SP-404SX is definitely geared for a live environment, it could very well have a place in the recording and songwriting world as well.

I decided to take my first trip into the world of sampling with the Roland SP-404SX Linear Wave Sampler. Though I am sometimes considered as “rhythmically challenged,” I was very excited to try out this new piece of gear.

Upon unpacking the unit and plugging in the included power supply, I was quickly able to dive into the included loops and effects on the pre-loaded SD card. The card is loaded with banks of samples and hits, perfect for any DJ to mix in with their current dance mix at the club.

After some time with the included card, I swapped in my own blank to test out the SP-404SX’s internal sampling capabilities. I was not disappointed in the quality. I first began with the internal microphone and was able to record various sounds around the house with ease. I then was able to quickly edit down my samples to my preferred sound bites to work with. Now for the fun to begin…

I began working my way through the 29 built-in effects to alter my common household sound into club-worthy rhythms and beats. After a few resamples, and layering of effects, I had some pretty impressive hits that could fit with a variety of mixes.

While the Roland SP-404SX is definitely geared for a live environment, it could very well have a place in the recording and songwriting world as well. It’s the perfect tool for someone who wants to experiment with different percussion sounds and effects with their compositions rather than going with standard drums. It’s a powerful piece of equipment at a reasonable price that can truly be used for an immense number of applications and styles of music.

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