Roland SP-404 mkII Coming In November For $500

Roland has officially introduced the SP-404 MKII, a major update to the SP-404 sampler design with a vivid OLED display, 17 expressive pads, expanded effects, fluid sequencing and sampling, and a massive sample library.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“Lightning-fast boot time, project loading, and sample import will have you knocking out beats in no time. Plus, 16 GB of internal storage give you ample space to store your creations or have your favorite samples at the ready. Whether you’re a beatmaking newbie or an SP pro, you’ll feel right at home with the intuitive layout and classic SP effects, plus a revamped sampling and sequencing workflow, Skip Back Sampling for quick performance capture, DJ mode to mix beats live, and more.

The SP-404MKII makes on the go beatmaking even easier. With its lightweight-yet-rugged design and expanded features, this unit is ideal for making amazing sounding beats on the move. Run it on AA or mobile battery power, capture audio from or stream directly to your mobile device via USB, or collab with a partner using the dual headphones outputs and mic/guitar input.

With the SP-404MKII’s vivid OLED screen and zoomable waveform view, sample editing is smooth?as silk. Chop up samples by tapping out edit points in real time?or?slice samples automatically.?Then finesse them with envelope and pitch shift.?Use the new resampling workflow to re-record patterns and effects layers for detailed sound design. And with?Skip Back Sampling, you can?preserve?those?fire?moments by capturing?up to 25 seconds of audio from your last?jam.?Now, it’s never been easier to?dial in and?cook up?beats?the moment inspiration strikes.”

Features:

  • OLED display for visual waveform editing, full menu access, and more
  • 17 velocity-sensitive, RGB pads with no-click design for smooth playability
  • Faster workflow with quick startup and load times, 16 GB internal storage, low-latency pads, and rapid sample editing
  • Compact, ultra-lightweight design (2.6 lb./1.2 kg) with versatile power options: USB-C, mobile battery (via USB-C port), six AA batteries, or AC adaptor
  • Extensive onboard effects, including SP classics like Vinyl Simulator and DJFX Looper, new Lo-fi, Cassette Simulator, and Resonator effects, and dedicated Vocoder, Auto Pitch, and Guitar Amp Simulator effects for the mic/guitar input
  • 32-voice polyphony, 160 samples per project, and 16 internal projects for expanded programming possibilities
  • Blazing onboard sample editing with real-time or auto-chop mode, auto BPM detect, envelope, pitch shift, and resampling for layering sounds and phrases
  • Pre-loaded sound library with 144 high-quality, professionally recorded samples and patterns
  • Extensive customization options with removable metal faceplate, downloadable outline template, multiple screensavers, and personalized startup logos
  • Upgraded I/O includes 1/4-inch line in/out, 1/4-inch mic/guitar input, 1/4-inch and 1/8-inch headphones outputs, and 1/8-inch TRS MIDI in/out
  • New resampling workflow for re-recording with various effects for detailed sound design
  • Audio capture and streaming supported with mobile devices and computers via USB-C
  • Skip Back Sampling to automatically capture up to 25 seconds of audio from your last performance
  • Bus FX for layering multiple effects, with customizable routing for creating intricate sound textures
  • Adjustable quantization and shuffle percentage across multiple note resolutions to customize swing
  • Pattern sequencer with the ability to create full songs with BPM per bank, ideal for running backing tracks or programming performances
  • Chain patterns for automatic playback and use Pad Link to trigger up to four samples with a single press
  • DJ Mode enables new approaches to live performance by manipulating and mixing two separate audio files
  • SP-404MKII editor software for Mac and Windows provides direct sample access, detailed waveform editing, sample management, pad assignment, and import of MIDI files and legacy SP-404SX and SP-404A projects

Pricing and Availability

The Roland SP-404 mkII is expected to be available in November 2021, with a street price of about $500.

23 thoughts on “Roland SP-404 mkII Coming In November For $500

  1. I don’t know who kicked up the internal storm with the AIRA division, but they’ve really changed the face of Roland and made some really great products over the last few years that show they’re interested in what people want, versus the doldrums of the early 00’s to 2010s.

    1. I feel totally different about that. It’s more like Roland just continued what they’ve always done.
      For me their new stuff is just as cool as the MC series from the a couple decades ago (read: not for me).
      And they keep milking the glorious names of all their amazing synths from the 80’s by presenting just another emulation which clearly nobody thinks are as cool. Sure they sell gear like crazy but that doesn’t say anything about it being great sounding instruments.

      I hate to admit but even the Behringer RD8 sounds better than everything Roland released after the OG. Probably nothing from their new stuff will turn into classics which is just sad from a brand with such a big influence in music.

    2. You’re definitely in a minority of people who might believe that

      A funny way to show they are not interested in the doldrums of 2000’s to 2010’s by remaking a sampler from 2005

    3. Mark Vail’s Vintage Synthesizers interviewed an engineer who said the Japanese could afford to have a few dogs in their design because they had a protected, domestic market. The American firms often had cash flow problems.

    4. You are probably only one of a small minority that actually believe that. Also what a funny way for Roland to show they are not interested in the “doldrums of the early 00’s to 2010’s” by resurrecting a sampler from 2005

  2. Can someone explain the point of a round screen on a device like this?

    I never used the SP-404. How does this compare to other portable samplers like the Blackbox or MPC live?

    1. Hah yes, the round screen is such a pointless / cute design element. I’d be very interested in a comparison to the 1010 Black Box especially now with v2.0 released. Thinking my $$ still will go to 1010.

      1. The original round screen was like a digital clock or the screen on the Deluge. Minimal information needed to accommodate the hands on workflow with immediate buttons for everything. Kind of like a synth with no screen, you make and edit your sounds using your ears without a visual representation of the parameters your changing. The screen does give you a little bit of info but it is pretty unnecessary once you learn the workflow. Its more immediate than programming in an MPC.
        The blackbox has a very similar workflow to MPC’s, sampling, chopping, editing parameters on the parameter window. More control but different workflow. 404 users or like Trump supporters, they support it hard. Black box users I know find a use for the device and it sit in a specific space in their workflow, ie. Granular, auto-sampling only, sequencing loops, etc. I bought it to use it as a complete solution and ended up just not doing that, but the 404 was so quick to learn, it became a couch session jam box.
        You can always compare but what works fo some doesnt work for others but if you ever get a chance to use a 404, you’ll see how quick it is and fun with all those FX. Its fun to use when making music which is pretty important unless you just buy gear for a screen, or to sell it later to buy something else chasing that “can do it all” device.

    2. The screen is rectangular with a black bezel and round plastic surround. It’s a design cue to evoke the look of the original SP404 while at the same time hiding the small size of the OLED (this isn’t a knock against Roland, nearly all of the current batch of affordable OLED modules are weirdly tiny).

  3. I bought an SP-404 during the Pandemic and kept it for less than 2 months. I have never used a more unfriendly piece of gear in my life. For a remix/performance machine.. dope. For creating.. soooo hostile and impossible to do even the simplest things. I’ll stick with my laptop.

    1. ehm some buttons samples library+ knobs ehm tiny oled + 4 knobs some in & out plastic chassis ok
      total is 500 how you desire pay with ?
      ehi you sign the knob 2 time
      oh so sorry :total is 499 $

    2. It reminds me of a supersized vintage HP calculator. That’s a very cool thing. Having watched the loopop walkthrough, I think this would be a great musical scratchpad.

  4. I’ve been tempted by a Roland SP for a while now but never took the plunge, mainly because I got a MPC One and that is awesome.
    I like the portability of the Roland and this new one looks like a beast.
    But, it does seem very expensive. Especially when compared the the MPC One or the Polyened Tracker.
    I know this is slightly different as it can be battery powered and that portability is a big plus for a lot of people, but it seems £100 to expensive.
    Maybe I’ll get one in a couple of years when the price has dropped, or second hand.

  5. Still waiting for the synth manufacturers to realize keyboard players are STILL patiently waiting for a revamp on a hardware sampler. FOR KEYBOARD PLAYERS. Chromatic playing, velocity layering, polyphony, crossfade looping, the whole gamut. Just put an Akai S1000 or a Roland S50 in a smaller box, with SD cards for memory storage. I’m kind of surprised they didn’t stick the S50 or even just the S10 into a Roland Boutique unit already.

    I’ve gotten tired of waiting so I bought a Waldorf Iridium instead; which, believe it or not, can function quite well as a sampler, albeit a really expensive one! Good thing it’s also got a fantastic synth engine, too. And can load DX7 sysex, and iOS NAVE patches, and and and and.

    My point being: YAY! a new SP-404 thing. Now where’s my Emulator or Mirage reboot?

    P.S. The Korg microSampler tried but didn’t make the cut.

    1. what I am surprised about is that there hasn’t been an update on the QY 70, 100 – something similarly pocket sized with usb connectivity, miltiple minijacks for midi in and out, cv sync and give it some sample loading via micro SD and you would have a major winner

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