Roland SP-404 Owner's Manual

Roland owner's manual sampler sp-404.
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Owner's Manual
Thank you, and congratulations on your choice of the Roland Sampler SP-404.
Before using this unit, carefully read the sections entitled: "USING THE UNIT SAFELY" and "IMPORTANT
NOTES" (pp. 3–4; pp. 5–6). These sections provide important information concerning the proper operation
of the unit. Additionally, in order to feel assured that you have gained a good grasp of every feature
provided by your new unit, Owner's manual should be read in its entirety. The manual should be saved
and kept on hand as a convenient reference.
Quick and Easy Sampling!
Sample via Line/Mic input or use the onboard mic. Also operates on batteries.
Pro Quality Effects Onboard!
29 DSP effects including Filter, Lo-Fi, Isolator and unique effects such as Subsonic and new looper FX.
Realtime Performance!
3 rubber control knobs, 12 trigger pads, and an extra Sub Pad for realtime action.
Create Your Own Tracks!
Record patterns in real time with the Pattern Sequencer, complete with quantize. Perform with smooth triggering
from pattern to pattern.
More Samples on Memory Card!
Store up to 1 GB of samples on optional CompactFlash cards. Also reads WAV/AIFF files from CF cards.
Operating buttons are enclosed by square brackets [ ]; e.g., [REC].
Reference pages are indicated by (p. **).
The following symbols are used.
This indicates an important note; be sure to read it.
This indicates a memo regarding the setting or function; read it as desired.
This indicates a useful hint for operation; read it as necessary.
This indicates information for your reference; read it as necessary.
This indicates an explanation of a term; read it as necessary.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the written


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   Summary of Contents for Roland SP-404

  • Page 1: Main Features, Conventions Used In This Manual

    Owner’s Manual Thank you, and congratulations on your choice of the Roland Sampler SP-404. Before using this unit, carefully read the sections entitled: “USING THE UNIT SAFELY” and “IMPORTANT NOTES” (pp. 3–4; pp. 5–6). These sections provide important information concerning the proper operation of the unit.

  • Page 2: Using The Unit Safely

    Do not attempt to repair the unit, or replace parts within it (except when this manual provides specific instruc- tions directing you to do so). Refer all servicing to your retailer, the nearest Roland Service Center, or an autho- rized Roland distributor, as listed on the “Information” page.

  • Page 3

    • Before using the unit in a foreign country, consult with your retailer, the nearest Roland Service Center, or an authorized Roland distributor, as listed on the “Infor- mation” page. •...

  • Page 4: Important Notes

    However, in certain cases (such as when circuitry related to memory itself is out of order), we regret that it may not be possible to restore the data, and Roland assumes no liability concerning such loss of data. Additional Precautions •...

  • Page 5: Using Memory Cards

    (including padding) that it came in, if possible. Otherwise, you will need to use equivalent packaging materials. • Use a cable from Roland to make the connection. If using some other make of connection cable, please note the following precautions.

  • Page 6: Table Of Contents

    Using the Protect Setting...43 Initializing the SP-404’s Internal Memory ...43 Checking the Version Number...43 Setting the Internal Processing Level of the SP-404 ...43 Chapter 8. Examples of Using the SP-404 ... 44 Using the Pattern Sequencer to Create a Rhythm Pattern ...44 Using the SP-404 with a Turntable ...45...

  • Page 7: Before You Start, Names Of Things And What They Do

    Before You Start Names of Things and What They Do Top Panel VOLUME Knob This knob adjusts the volume of the line output and the headphones. CTRL 1–3 Knobs These knobs control the parameters that are assigned to each knob according to the effect you’ve selected. The knobs are also used in the following ways: CTRL 1 Knob You can use this knob to adjust the sample start location or the...

  • Page 8

    When [PATTERN SELECT] is lit, these buttons switch pattern banks. If you press BANK [A] or [B] so it’s lit, the SP-404’s internal bank A or B will be selected. If you press BANK [C/G]–[F/J] to light a button, banks C–F on the memory card can be selected.

  • Page 9: Front Panel, Rear Panel

    (p. 11) MIC LEVEL Knob This knob adjusts the volume of the SP-404’s internal mic or a mic connected to the MIC IN jack. MIC IN Jack A separately available mic can be connected here.

  • Page 10: Connecting Other Equipment, Turning The Power On/off

    If you want to record a sample (p. 14, p. 23), connect your CD player or other audio source to the LINE IN jacks, or connect a mic to the MIC IN jack. (If you will be using the SP-404’s internal mic, this is not necessary.)

  • Page 11: Inserting/removing A Memory Card

    Inserting/Removing a Memory Card The power of the SP-404 must be turned off when you insert or remove a memory card. If you insert or remove a memory card while the power is on, you risk damaging the data of the memory card or rendering it unusable.

  • Page 12: Quick Start, Listen To The Samples, Apply Effects To The Samples

    Quick Start Listen to the Samples When the SP-404 is shipped from the factory, pads 1–12 of sample bank A and pads 1 and 2 of sample bank B contain samples. Let’s start by listening to these samples. What’s a sample? A “sample”...

  • Page 13: Play The Patterns

    Play the Patterns What’s a pattern? On the SP-404, you can press the pads to play several samples in the desired order, and record this performance as a song. Such a sequence of samples in a playback order is called a “pattern.”...

  • Page 14: Sample Your Own Sounds

    Sample Your Own Sounds Let’s try sampling into pad 9 of sample bank B, to which no samples were assigned when the SP-404 was shipped from the factory. Recording (sampling) audio material whose copyright is the property of another party without permission from the copyright owner for any purpose other than personal enjoyment is a violation of copyright law.

  • Page 15

    Adjust the volume of your CD player. Turn the CTRL 3 (LEVEL) knob all the way to the right, then adjust the volume of the connected CD player so the PEAK indicator lights occasionally. If the PEAK indicator does not light even when you’ve turned the CTRL 3 (LEVEL) knob all the way toward the right, the volume of your audio input source may be too low.

  • Page 16: Chapter 1. Playing Samples, How Samples Are Organized, Switching Sample Banks

    Chapter 1. Playing Samples On the SP-404, pads 1–12 and the bank buttons are used to play samples. A pad whose sample is playing will light. The pad you pressed most recently to play it is called the current pad. The panel will show the settings for the current pad.

  • Page 17: Playing An External Input Sound (external Source), Playing External Input Sound

    Playing an External Input Sound (External Source) The SP-404 lets you control the playing/muted status of (and apply effects to) an external audio input source such as a CD player connected to the LINE IN jacks, a mic connected to the MIC IN jack, or sound from the SP-404’s internal mic.

  • Page 18: Chapter 2. Using Effects, Applying An Effect To A Sample

    Chapter 2. Using Effects Since the SP-404 provides 29 different effects, you can apply an effect to a sample to modify the sound without needing any other equipment. • Of the 29 effects, five of them—filter + overdrive, pitch shifter, delay, isolator, and vinyl simulator—can be selected directly by...

  • Page 19: Applying An Effect To All Samples, Checking The Previously Used Effect

    CTRL 1 knob adjusting the DEPTH while the CTRL 3 knob adjusts the RESONANCE. This function is convenient when you’ve connected the SP-404 to the SEND/RETURN jacks of a DJ mixer (or other device), and are using the SP-404 as an effects processor.

  • Page 20: Effect List

    Chapter 2. Using Effects Effect List Effects You Can Select by Directly Pressing a Button Type CTRL 1 (display) FILTER+DRIVE ★ CUTOFF (CoF) Low-pass filter with overdrive. Adjusts the frequency at which Cuts the high range and adds dis- the cut occurs. tortion.

  • Page 21

    Type CTRL 1 (display) 5. PHASER ★ DEPTH/RESONANCE (d-r) ★ (S/R = ON) Adds modulation to the sound. Adjusts both DEPTH and RESO- * When Send/Return mode is on: NANCE simultaneously. (S/R = OFF) DEPTH/MANUAL (dPt) * When Send/Return mode is off: Adjusts the depth of modulation.

  • Page 22

    Chapter 2. Using Effects Type CTRL 1 (display) 20. VOICE TRANS. FORMANT (FrM) Transforms a human voice into Adjusts the basic character (for- various other voices. mant) of the voice. 21. C.CANCELER L-R BALANCE (L-r) Cancels the vocal or other sound Find the point at which the un- localized at the center of the wanted sound is cancelled most...

  • Page 23: Chapter 3. Sampling, Before You Sample, Sampling From A Cd

    The times given here are for monaural sampling. For sampling into the SP-404’s internal memory, the time shown is the total time for sample banks A and B. For sampling into a memory card, the time shown is the total time for sample banks C–J.

  • Page 24: Sampling From A Mic

    As an example, here’s how to sample in monaural to pad 11 of bank Connect a mic to the MIC IN jack as described on p. 10. * If you’re using the SP-404’s internal mic, you don’t need to make this connection.

  • Page 25: Sampling To A Memory Card Bank, Sampling At A Specific Tempo

    As an example, here’s how to sample to bank C of a memory card. The power of the SP-404 must be off when you insert or remove a memory card. If you insert or remove a card while the power is on, you risk damaging the data in the memory card or rendering it unusable.

  • Page 26: Using A Count When You Sample, Initiating Sampling Automatically (auto Sampling)

    Chapter 3. Sampling Using a Count When You Sample You can make the SP-404 generate a count (1, 2, 3, 4) when you start sampling. This is convenient when you have a specific tempo or time signature in mind. Make preparations for sampling as described in steps 1–10 of “Sampling from a CD”...

  • Page 27: Deleting A Sample

    Press [FILTER+DRIVE] so it’s lit. The filter + overdrive effect is turned on, and the effect is applied to pad 1 of bank A. As desired, turn the CTRL 1 and CTRL 2 knobs to adjust the effect. If [RESAMPLE] is lit, you can’t use the CTRL 3 knob to adjust the effect.

  • Page 28: Exchanging Sample Pad Assignments, Checking The Remaining Sampling Time

    Chapter 3. Sampling Exchanging Sample Pad Assignments You can change the pad to which a sample is assigned by exchanging samples between two pads. You can also exchange assignments between a pad to which a sample is assigned and a pad to which no sample is assigned. Make sure that [PATTERN SELECT] is not lighted.

  • Page 29: Chapter 4. Changing The Settings Of A Sample, Specifying The Volume Of A Sample

    Chapter 4. Changing the Settings of a Sample Specifying the Volume of a Sample The SP-404 lets you specify the volume with which each sample is to play. This is a convenient way to create a consistent volume balance between the samples of each pad.

  • Page 30: Playing A Sample Backward (reverse Playback)

    Omitting Unwanted Portions of the Sample (Marker/Start Point/End Point) For each sample in the SP-404, you can specify the portion of that sample’s waveform data that will actually play. The point at which the waveform data will start being played is called the Start Point, and the point at which playback will end is called the End Point.

  • Page 31

    Changing Both the Start Point and the End Point Make sure that [PATTERN SELECT] is not lighted. If it’s lit, press [PATTERN SELECT] to switch it off. Press the pad that plays the sample whose setting you want to change. The pad lights and the sample begins playing.

  • Page 32: Deleting An Unwanted Portion (truncate), Adjustments To Start/end Point

    Chapter 4. Changing the Settings of a Sample Making Fine Adjustments to the Start Point or End Point Make sure that [PATTERN SELECT] is not lighted. If it’s lit, press [PATTERN SELECT] to switch it off. Press the pad that plays the sample whose setting you want to change.

  • Page 33: Changing A Sample's Bpm

    Changing a Sample’s BPM The BPM (tempo) of a sample is determined automatically by the length of the interval between the sample’s Start Point and End Point. However depending on this length, the calculated BPM value may be half or double the correct BPM. If this occurs, proceed as follows to set the BPM correctly.

  • Page 34: Samples (pattern Sequencer), How Patterns Are Organized, Changing The Tempo Of A Pattern

    1–12. A group of twelve patterns assigned to the pads is called a pattern bank. The SP-404 provides ten pattern banks; A–J. Pattern banks A and B are in the SP-404’s internal memory, and pattern banks C–J are on the memory card.

  • Page 35

    Chapter 5. Recording a Performance of Samples (Pattern Sequencer) If no memory card is inserted, you can’t select pattern banks C– Press the pad to which you want to assign the pattern to be recorded. The pad you pressed lights, and the remaining pads go out. [REC] starts blinking, and the metronome begins sounding.

  • Page 36: Deleting A Pattern

    Chapter 5. Recording a Performance of Samples (Pattern Sequencer) Erasing Mistakes from the Recorded Data If you recorded a pad press by mistake, you can erase it as follows. Press [PATTERN SELECT] so it’s lit. “Ptn” appears in the display. Pads to which a pattern is assigned start blinking.

  • Page 37: Changing The Assignments Of Patterns To Pads

    Chapter 5. Recording a Performance of Samples (Pattern Sequencer) Deleting All Patterns Here’s how to delete all patterns from internal memory or the memory card in a single operation. Press [PATTERN SELECT] so it’s lit. “Ptn” appears in the display. Pads that have been recorded start blinking.

  • Page 38: Chapter 6. Using A Memory Card, Formatting (initializing) A Memory Card, Importing Audio Files

    Do not use excessive force. Before using a memory card for the first time, you must format it on the SP-404. The SP-404 will not recognize a memory card that was formatted on another device.

  • Page 39: Exporting Audio Files

    Select the sample bank into which you want to import the file. Press one of the BANK [A]–[F/J] buttons. The button you pressed lights, and that bank (A–F) is selected. If you press a BANK [C/G]–[F/J] button once again, the button starts blinking, and a G–J bank is selected.

  • Page 40: Saving Backup Data (backup Save), Loading Backup Data (backup Load), Deleting Backup Data (backup Delete)

    Chapter 6. Using a Memory Card Saving Backup Data (Backup Save) Here’s how to save backup data (all of the SP-404’s data including sample banks and pattern banks) to a memory card. You can save up to twelve sets of backup data.

  • Page 41: Chapter 7. Other Functions, Using The Sp-404 With Other Midi Equipment

    MIDI device. The “MIDI Implementation Chart” (p. 51) provides an easy way to check which MIDI messages the SP-404 is able to receive. You can compare this chart to the MIDI implementation chart of your other MIDI device to see which messages can actually be sent by your other device and received by the SP-404.

  • Page 42: Adjusting The Blinking Speed Of The Display Illumination, Checking The Remaining Battery Level

    BANK [A] only lit: Replace the batteries. If you continue using the SP-404, “Lo” appears in the display and it will no longer be possible to operate the SP-404. If the AC adaptor is connected and the power is on, the BANK [A]–[F/J] buttons will all be lit.

  • Page 43: Using The Protect Setting, Initializing The Sp-404's Internal Memory, Checking The Version Number

    (one to twelve) being played simultaneously. If you play only a few pads simultaneously, or if you've connected the SP-404 to a DJ mixer or the like and are using it as an effects processor, you can increase this internal processing level to obtain a higher level of output.

  • Page 44: Chapter 8. Examples Of Using The Sp-404

    Chapter 8. Examples of Using the SP-404 Using the Pattern Sequencer to Create a Rhythm Pattern In this example we’ll use the factory-assigned samples to create a two-measure rhythm pattern at 102 BPM. We’ll use the following samples that are assigned to sample bank A:...

  • Page 45: Using The Sp-404 With A Turntable, Using With Turntable

    Using the SP-404 with a Turntable Playing Samples along with the Sound from a Turntable Here’s how you can use the SP-404 to play samples along with a turntable performance. Connections Power Amplifier PHONO A LINE B Turntable DJ Mixer Set the crossfader of your DJ mixer to the turntable position.

  • Page 46: Appendices, Quick Reference To Operations

    Appendices Quick Reference to Operations Purpose Play a sample Play an external input sound Mono/stereo setting for external input Sampling Specify auto sampling Defeat auto sampling Resampling Delete individual samples Delete all samples Set the volume of a sample Set start point Set end point Set start/end points Adjust start/end points...

  • Page 47: Troubleshooting

    This section lists the points to check and the steps to take if you experience problems. Refer to the topic that applies to your situation. Problems When Playing Sounds No Sound/Insufficient Volume Are the SP-404 and your connected equipment powered up? Are the SP-404 and your external equipment connected correctly? Check the connections.

  • Page 48: Memory Card

    Since there is a danger that the SP-404 will not operate correctly if you continue using it in this state, please initialize the internal memory. (p. 43) * All data in the SP-404’s internal memory will be lost when you initialize. Data Is Not Correctly Saved in a...

  • Page 49: Message List

    Could the tempo of the external MIDI device be exceeding the range of tempos to which the SP-404 can synchronize? The SP-404 can synchronize to a tempo in the range of 40–200. It may be unable to synchronize correctly if the tempo is outside this range. Appendices...

  • Page 50: Recommended Memory Cards, Midi Implementation

    The operation was cancelled because the WAV or AIFF is in a format not supported by the SP-404. When exporting an audio file, it will be exported in WAV format. Recommended Memory Cards As of the date of writing, Roland has confirmed that the following memory cards work correctly with the SP-404. Manufacturer Model...

  • Page 51: Midi Implementation Chart

    MIDI Implementation Chart Model SP-404 Function... Basic Default Channel Changed Default Mode Messages Altered Note Number : True Voice Note On Velocity Note Off After Key’s Touch Channel’s Pitch Bend Control Change Program : True Number Change System Exclusive : Song Position...

  • Page 52: Specifications

    96 min. 512 MB 193 min. 1 GB 386 min. Sampling Frequency 44.1 kHz Data Format SP-404 original format (WAV/AIFF import/export possible) Sampling Mode STANDARD, LO-FI Pattern Sequencer Maximum recordable notes: Internal Memory: Approx. 8,000 notes * Including Pre-loaded Patterns Memory Card (CompactFlash): Approx.

  • Page 53: Index

    Index A.on ... 43 AC adaptor ... 10 AIFF ... 38–39 Assignment Pattern ... 37 Sample ... 28 Audio File ... 38–39 Aut ... 41–42 Auto Sampling ... 26 Auto Sync ... 41 Backup Data ... 40 Backup Delete ... 40 Backup Load ...

  • Page 54

    Index P.oF ... 43 P.on ... 43 Pad ... 8 Pad Base Ch ... 41 Parameter ... 19 Pattern ... 13–14, 34, 44 Pattern Bank ... 13, 34 PATTERN SELECT ... 8, 13–14, 34, 36–37, 42, 44 Pattern Sequencer ... 34 PATTERN STOP ...

  • Page 55

    This product complies with the requirements of European Directive 89/336/EEC. FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION RADIO FREQUENCY INTERFERENCE STATEMENT This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to Part 15 of the FCC Rules.

  • Page 56

    Information When you need repair service, call your nearest Roland Service Center or authorized Roland distributor in your country as shown below. AFRICA PHILIPPINES G.A. Yupangco & Co. Inc. 339 Gil J. Puyat Avenue EGYPT Makati, Metro Manila 1200, Al Fanny Trading Office...

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