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Thread: Roland SP 808 - user blog

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    Roland SP 808 - user blog

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    I recently purchased a Roland SP 808 and want to create a user blog for anyone who is interested in this machine.

    My experience with samplers is Ensoniq EPS 16+, Ensoniq ASR-X, Kurzweil K250, MPC 3000 and now the Roland SP 808

    I have had a variety of keyboard synth and drum machines including the Oberheim DX, Korg Super Section, Korg DW 6000

    I started my electronic music in high school 1998-00 using software called Master Tracks and general midi sounds. I learned sampling in 2001 using software called Acid, Sound Forge and Cool Edit Pro. I have also worked with Logic, Digital Performer, Pro Tools, Ableton.

    I also have experience with recording, two years Studio Recording program at Portland Community College, which was really great hands on experience using 1 inch tape machine and mixer console. I have a collection of tape machines and 4-8 track equipment.

    Now my setup is Roland SP-808, Logic, and a Numark PT-01 turntable and a collection of records. I will write about what I learn with the SP 808.
    Last edited by jonjonmackie; 04-16-2018 at 04:14 PM.

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    The SP 808 uses a zip drive and writes all samples and data automatically to it. It seems like the big complaint is that it does not have ram and actively pulls data from the zip disk.

    My first impression of the SP 808 is I like how it automatically saves everything to the zip disk. I can use it as a scratch pad for samples and I don't need to manage any files. It records the template and is there when I turn it back on.

    I also think it has a unique sound due to how it pulls the sample sound directly from the zip disk each time it plays. There is sort of a glitchy delay with some distortion that gives each sample character.

    I think this machine would be ideal for a musician looking for a way to loop musical ideas played live, but it is interesting to work through its capabilities as a sampler.
    -ChrisB.
    myspace.com/spacedoggg

  3. #3
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    I like how with the SP 808 you can transfer sounds very quickly on the sample palette pads.

    The pads have 64 banks, 16 available by pressing "Pad Bank" and then pad #1-16

    Each bank has 16 pads and they light up when there is a sound on the pads.

    Using the Clip Board button you can quickly move a sound from one pad to another or between pad banks. The way this works is if you want to move the sound from pad 1 to pad 9, you press the pad 1 then the clip board button, the clip board button lights up with the sound, then you hold the clip board button and press the destination pad and it lights up. The sound is transferred and is easily tracked with the lighting of the pads.

    If you are moving sounds between the pad banks, you press the pad bank button and select bank # while sound is on the clip board and then assign to 1-16.
    -ChrisB.
    myspace.com/spacedoggg

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    I have experienced a few crashes where the SP 808 freezes and I have to reset or the samples are not loaded on pads exactly as they were. When I reset the samples are loaded correctly. I'm not sure if there is an issue with the zip drive. I recorded a track to A and when I restarted the sampler it is not there. It may be that I needed to save the track but I think its a glitch. The available sample time indicates the track is on the disk.

    I have been using the SP 808 to arrange guitar songs. It works really well for this. I record my guitar or piano into garage band and sample back into the SP 808. Then I record back into garage band using the SP 808 to play the sounds.
    -ChrisB.
    myspace.com/spacedoggg

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    The SP 808 seems to be a hybrid of the VS880 digital recorder and the SP 202 sampler with added effects and functionality.
    -ChrisB.
    myspace.com/spacedoggg

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonjonmackie View Post
    The SP 808 seems to be a hybrid of the VS880 digital recorder and the SP 202 sampler with added effects and functionality.
    Actually the Roland CDX-1 was more of the hybrid of the VS880 and SP-202, it would of been a sweet machine as well if it didn't use a sh*tty medium (CDR's) like the the SP-808.
    If someone would take the time to remove the "check devise I.D." from the SP808 firmware code so that it would use hard drives or compact flash like the Roland A6, the SP-808 would be an awesome machine.

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