Roland has announced the 2.0 firmware update for the SP-404 MKII sampler. For the first time, the update brings TR-X0X-style step sequencing to the SP series. Other improvements include new effects, an enhanced VariPhrase algorithm, pattern play in DJ mode, and more.
Roland SP-404 MKII 2.0
Last year, Roland fulfilled the dreams of all fans of the SP-404 sampler with the new and much improved SP-404 MKII. With the major firmware update that Roland has now released, the sampler has just become even more versatile.
Perhaps the most interesting new feature is the new TR-REC recording mode in the pattern sequencer. This means that you can now enter patterns using TR-X0X-style step recording and editing as an alternative to real-time recording. According to Roland, TR-REC supports entering multiple triggers on a single step (Substep), chromatic pitch entry, and velocity, all of which can also be motion-recorded into the sequence. You can use the new TR-REC mode alongside real-time recording, and switch between modes without stopping playback, so you can choose whichever mode is the best fit for any given situation.
However, TR-REC isn’t the only improvement to the pattern sequencer. There are also many workflow enhancements, like an added progress bar, twice the amount of undo steps, the ability to exit recording without stopping playback, and the implementation of MIDI program changes for selecting patterns.
The update also includes several new effect algorithms. The MFX engine has been expanded with new Cloud Delay, SX Delay, SX Reverse, and BackSpin effects. Moreover, there’s a new Harmony effect in the input FX section. Roland also states that you can now control effect parameters using MIDI CC messages, which opens up many creative possibilities with external controllers.
In DJ mode, you’re now able to play internal patterns alongside Channel 1/2. Patterns will sync to whichever channel is set to M. Other improvements to DJ mode include a new Quick Loop/Roll feature and an added crossfader.
Furthermore, Roland has improved the VariPhrase algorithm for pitch and speed changes. The manufacturer says that the new Backing and Ensemble modes minimize the degradation of the sound quality for instruments with a distinct attack, or for sustained instruments, respectively.
To sum up, the 2.0 update brings many new and exciting features and workflow improvements to the Roland SP-404 MKII.
Price and availability
The 2.0 firmware update is available free of charge to all registered owners of the Roland SP-404 MKII sampler.
The SP-404 MKII is available at Thomann*.
More information about the Roland SP-404 MKII
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