Synth Site: Roland: SP-808: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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dpa a part-time user from u.s. writes:
If you are looking for a sampler that does, well, what we all expect samplers to do, look elsewhere. As the previous review said, you cannot change the playback rate (pitch) of samples. This is fine as long as you don't want to sample drum loops from records or generally combine anything that isn't already the same tempo. There is a pitch changing algorithm, but it is completely worthless. Timing is also very very sloppy because there is no RAM and everything is being pulled straight from a ZIP drive. Expect much more latency than any computer audio card on a decent machine. If you want to do tape-splicing sort of recording (think 'I am the walrus') with good audio fidelity and effects, this is great. If you want to do any drum programming, forget it (even though those pads are obviously meant for that type of thing). It is funny that Roland marketed these to the dance crowd because they are better suited for the indi/experimental rocker types more concerned with multitracking than sequencing. Oh, and it has something like 4 voice polyphony (not good), but bouncing is very good and you can almost get unlimited tracks with it (but not at the same time). Plus, your samples will not be compatible with anything else ('prioritary format' or something like that). I could go on and on... Be careful. This machine can slow you down to a halt if you rely on it to act like an mpc.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jul-31-2007 at 19:40
John a hobbyist user from England writes:
Having just got hold of an SP808 I was wondering if it is possible to record acoustic instruments (guitar strums etc) on to the four track section of the machine and then load them into the sampler for looping and sequencing?

I'm waiting for it to be shipped from america so any tips on achieving this would be greatly appreciated and certainly acted upon.


Rating: 0 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jul-25-2007 at 04:03
LAVLAB a hobbyist user from Boston, Massachusetts writes:
A gread little box for the money used. A bit tricky to get the hang of, but can yeild some cool results. Great for sample manipulation and effects, not so great for sequencing.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-May-04-2007 at 10:05
lord vader a part-time user from The BushCo Holdings writes:
The SP-808 is an intriguing and different machine. I have had one for about 10 years. It has one very serious and crippling limitation you should be aware of: NO PITCH TRANSPOSITION. So if you want to get some weird-sounding stuff going on using standard sampler-type pitch transposition, no can do.

The lack of pitch transposition on the SP-808 - and all of the Roland "Groove Samplers" - is a total deal breaker. Unless you want to play some uncooked loops/clips and do nothing else, you should not bother with a Roland "Groove Sampler" because you WILL be disappointed by this crippling limitation.

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Mar-07-2007 at 18:27
tom simpson a professional user from uk writes:
On a whole it's quite good fun, I have 3 (1 sp8082/ sp808|)connected to a mixer and turntables. It's useful as live tool however disks can become currupted and wipe clean, very frustrating. If you have to fly make sure you don't leave the disk in (lost a whole live show). I have more horror stories involving the zip disks but wouldn't want to put anyone off getting one because as a sketch book, remixing tool or a starting point for any beginner they are ideal. Anyone want to buy one ?

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Sep-30-2005 at 13:53
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