Friday, 30 August 2019

Roland SP 808 Groove sampler

The 808 groove sampler came out in 1998 ... it's 21 years old.
There is a whopping 100MB of memory on a zip drive.

The SP 808 shares the same digits are its illustrious  brother the famous TR 808 drum.
This however was marketed as a workstation
You can still pick these up on Ebay quite cheaply.. if you are into vintage gear, this is still a good buy.

I think the machine is very underrated and I really like how it sounds.

It's a phrase sampler, sequencer, synthesizer, hard disk multitrack recorder with lots of studio quality effects. I think the market were DJ remixers ... musicians who wanted to sample.
In 1988, computers were basic and computer based sampling really difficult and expensive.
Plus, there is nothing like a real hardware machine that hardly ever crashes.
Daft Punk and The Prodigy used this on stage back in the 1990s

 The 16 pads reminded everyone of the AKAI MPC
The Sampler is 44.1kHz and 32kHz. It can  hold up to 1,024 samples. 
This is spread over16 pads x 64 banks.
Max sampling time is 25mins (stereo) at 44.1.
32 mins at 32khz

Roland used zip disks to store the samples. ... this is one of its weaknesses .......the zip can break down and be hard to repair. sadly WAV and AIFF formats aren't supported.

 The D-beam controller -- ITS A BIT LIKE A tHERMIN,
Just wave your hands above it.
You can  tweak effects,  pitch and volume

tHIS is the zip drive
Back in the 1990s, 100MB was a big deal.
Only SCSI drives could compete with this.

 The drive is both a blessing and a curse.
Over time , these break down, Its the Achillies heel.


For more info on the history of Roland Drum Machines click here

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