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This was last summer, when the yen was low and you could get one from
SoundonSound in Japan for $600. I had been looking for something as a
portable sketchpad and quickly developed a crush on the SP-808's specs (20
bit AD/DA, etc.). I tried it in a couple stores and became more excited:
the interface is lots of fun (I was not bothered by the non velocity
sensitive triggers) and the effects are nifty if not luscious.
Then I went in with my trusty pair of nice headphones and was crushed.
While there is "high end," there is also always a certain flatness to the
samples, a kind of dullness. This was before I knew anything about the
sound being compressed.
Add to this the Roland-imposed limitation on track time (46 min TOTAL,
between all tracks) b/c of the Zip dependence--I presume they wouldn't
want it to cut into sales of their hd recorders--and you have an expensive
toy. I called Roland. You cannot swap out the internal Zip drive for an
hd (as you can with their Zip-dependent 840 recorder, wh voids your
warantee), you cannot add an hd with the "pro[P]" SCSI option--it only
accepts Zip drives--and you cannot import sound files, except insofar as
you import them directly via coax/analog. Plus I'd read in some
newsgroup that someone was unhappy w/ its MIDI.
I figured, for my use, it had at least better be super portable. Does it
run off batteries? Nope.
So, since I am not a wedding band DJ nor do I need more expensive toys,
that I would wait until (if ever) Roland came out with a useful variant.
I think it's more likely that, having crippled it, they will drop it when
it doesn't sell as well as it might have.
My advice: buy a 202 or a Furby.
On Sun, 18 Apr 1999, Doug Tapia wrote:
> Could you elaborate. I've used a lot of high end samplers in my time
> I've not been unimpressed with the performance or sound of the SP-808.
> Considering it's market, I'd be hard pressed to fault the 808's sound
> quality. (Most of the Drum & Bass projucts, and the like that I've been
> involved in have relied on decidedly gritty, low-fi sounds.) Perhaps my
> ears have become less selective in regards to this type of production
> over the years.
> You should also be aware that the 808 is available as the 808pro (I've
> used one on a couple of projects. It is available from the factory, or
> as an upgrade and adds SCSI and S/PDIF I/O. . . So, you could use any
> hard disk for off-line sample storage. FWIW.
> >Subject: Re: Loopers-Delight-d Digest V99 #158
> >Sent: 4/14/19 5:03 PM
> >Received: 4/18/99 12:37 PM
> >From: Neal Trembath, firstname.lastname@example.org
> >Reply-To: Loopers-Delight@annihilist.com
> >To: Loopers-Delight@annihilist.com
> >I liked the 808 too, until I heard it. A little compression problem
> >the mini disc). Perhaps also if Roland allowed hd instead of ZIP disk.
- From: Doug Tapia <email@example.com>