Roland have just announced a major update to their popular SP-404 sampler. The new SP-404 MkII sports an enhanced OLED display (now with hi-res waveform view), improved pads (which Roland say allow for greater expression), a beefed-up effects section, and an all-new sound library.
One of the major improvements is that sampling time is effectively now unlimited, subject only to the capacity of SD card you use (the 404 MkII has 16GB of internal storage, though much of that is of course populated with the supplied sound library). Another major boon is the ability to work on AA battery power, for completely untethered mobile music-making.
The SP-404 MkII's internal sequencer is powerful, Roland say, and offers a multitude of creative features such as swing, pad layering, note repeat, and pattern chaining — meaning you can build up complete arrangements using the 404 MkII alone.
The effects section is equally well appointed, boasting as it does a plethora of treatments including a vocoder, guitar amp modelling, pitch correction, cassette and vinyl emulation, a resonator effect, and much more besides.
Another new feature to the MkII is Roland Cloud integration. Using a dedicated Roland Cloud app, you can import and export samples and whole projects, convert legacy SP-404 projects to MkII format, assign samples to pads, and download new sounds from Roland's Beatmaker collection.
The Roland SP-404 MkII is due to go on sale in November, and will carry a tantalising price of $499.99.