Roland SP-404SX

Portable Power-Sampler w/ FX


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One Small Step For SP-Series Samplers, One Giant Leap For "Samplerkind"

The great features that users loved from the original SP-404 have carried over to the SP-404SX along with vastly improved sound quality, 16-bit linear sampling, enhanced onboard DSP effects, seamless FX switching, a far more versatile pattern sequencer (with a new shuffle feature) and much simpler data management thanks to the SD-card compatibility. The SP-404SX is certainly an inspiring tool for DJs, musicians, producers, and live sound engineers who trigger sound effects.

Instant Sampling
Sample anywhere, anytime using the SP-404SX’s built-in microphone. And since the SP-404SX can run on AC or battery power (six AA batteries), it’s easy to record wherever and whenever inspiration strikes. Just power-up, point, and record. Line and mic inputs are also available for recording direct or with an external microphone. The SP-404SX’s sampling format is uncompressed wave for high-quality audio capture.

Hands-On Performance
The SP-404SX is made to be played — it’s packed with interactive controls for jamming along with loops and patterns. Put your fingers on the three non-slip control knobs, 12 trigger pads, and Sub Pad for rapid repeat triggering in real time. On dark stages or DJ booths, the SP-404SX is a performers dream with its illuminated rubber pads and bright LED screen.

Extreme Effects
Create a signature sound using the SP-404SX’s 29 DSP effects, which switch seamlessly during live performance. Essential onboard effects include spacious reverbs and choruses, plus filters and delays. There are also unique, esoteric effects built in, including a voice transformer and looper. With the DJFX Looper, you can create short loops (such as machine-gun-like “da-da-da-da-da” sounds) and control reverse-playback with the knob. You can also create scratch effects like a turntable. Connect the SP-404SX to a DJ mixer and use it as an effect processor. Seventeen of the effects have a “limiter” mode, which keeps the effects from overloading. This is great for live DJ performance when you don’t want to lose control of the effects in the heat of the moment.

In addition to the endless supply of loops you can pack into the SP-404SX, you can also create your own tracks in real time with the Pattern Sequencer, complete with quantize mode, which includes shuffle feels. Creating patterns is done in real time. You can loop two measures (maximum 99 measures), for example, then play and record only the bass drum and the snare. Next, add the hi-hat over the top, and keep adding more instruments while the SP-404SX loops. You can store 120 patterns (12 patterns x 10 banks). When you play a pattern with the Pattern Sequencer, the LEDs surrounding the display blink according to the tempo, which is handy during live performance.

SD Card Memory
Start sampling right away with the included 1GB SD card. You can easily expand the sampling time using up to 32GB SDHC. Import audio files from your computer using the included software (Mac/PC) and assign them to the SP-404SX’s pads. WAV and AIFF files are accepted. The software is fast and easy to use, as it displays the SP-404SX’s pads onscreen. You can even use it to convert SP-404 format files to the SP-404SX.

Roland Authorized Reseller

Product Features:

  • Sample anytime, anywhere with the built-in mic and battery power
  • 29 DSP effects, including filter, delay, unique voice effects, subsonic, and looper
  • 3 control knobs, 12 trigger pads, and Sub Pad for rapid repeat triggering
  • Seamless effects switching for smooth, perfect performance
  • Pattern sequencer with quantize mode and new shuffle feels
  • 1GB SD card included; expand sample storage up to 32GB with SDHC
  • Import audio files from computer, assign samples to pads with bundled software (Mac/PC)
  • Also found as:
  • Authorized Internet Dealer
  • 1-year Manufacturer's warranty

What's In The Box?

  1. (1) SD card
  2. (1) SP-404SX UTILITY CD-ROM
  3. (1) AC Adapter PSB-1U
  4. (1) Owner’s Manual (see Product Summary below for PDF)


  • Maximum Polyphony: 12 voices
  • Recordable Data:
    • Samples: 120 (12 samples x 10 banks) (stored on SD card)
    • Patterns: 120 (12 patterns x 10 banks)(stored on SD card)
  • Sampling Time:
    • Maximum Sampling Time (size) for a single sample:
      Approximately 180 minutes in stereo (2 GB)
    • Card capacity / Stereo(Mono):
      • 1GB / Approx. 90 min. (180 min.)
      • 2GB / Approx. 180 min. (360 min.)
      • 4GB / Approx. 360 min. (720 min.)
      • 8GB / Approx. 720 min. (24 hours)
      • 16GB / Approx. 24 hours (48 hours)
      • 32GB / Approx. 48 hours (96 hours)
      • The included 1 GB SD card contains preload data,
        so the available sampling time will be less than the time noted above.
  • Data Format: 16-bit linear (.wav/aiff)
  • Sampling Frequency: 44.1 kHz
  • Pattern Sequencer:
    • Maximum Recordable Notes: Approx. 16,000 notes
    • Resolution: 96 ticks per quarter note
    • Pattern Length: 1–99 measures
    • Recording Method: Realtime Loop Recording (with shuffle quantize function)
  • Effects: 29 types
  • Pads: 12 + Sub Pad x 1
  • Controllers: Control Knob x 3
  • Display: 7 segments, 3 characters (LED)
  • Onboard Mic: Mono x 1
  • Connectors:
    • LINE INPUT jacks (L, R)(RCA phono type)
    • LINE OUTPUT jacks (L, R)(RCA phono type)
    • Headphones (PHONES) jack (Stereo 1/4 inch phone type)
    • MIC jack (1/4 inch phone type)
    • MIDI IN connector
    • DC IN jack
    • SD card slot
  • Power Supply:
    • DC 9 V (Ni-MH AA SIZE Rechargeable Battery x 6
    • Alkaline AA SIZE Dry Battery x 6
    • AC Adapter
    • * Batteries sold separately
  • Battery life for continuous use:
    • Ni-MH Rechargeable batteries: approximately 5 hours
    • Alkaline dry batteries: approximately 4 hours
    • * These figures will vary depending on the actual conditions of use.
  • Current Draw: 450 mA
  • Size and Weight:
    • Weight: 2 lbs. 11 oz. (1.2 kg)
    • Width: 7" (178 mm)
    • Depth: 10-1/8" (257 mm)
    • Height: 2-7/8" (72 mm)

Sampler Specifications

Maximum Polyphony
Polyphony is the property of musical instruments that details how many notes can be played simultaneously.
Sampling Frequency
Sampling frequency is a number of miniscule snapshots (samples) taken of a continuous analog signal per second in order to make an accurate representation of the actual signal upon playback.
Power Supply
The power source for the controller.
Data Format
Data format refers to the type of file that the unit saves onto the internal or external memory. In the case of samplers, you're likely to see file formats such as WAV, AIFF, MP3, etc.
Sampling Mode
Sampling mode refers to the method/quality of the actual sampling. More often than not, you'll find this is about quality in exchange for lower data sizes, which can be useful if you have limited data resources.
Memory Card
Memory cards are external data devices that can be installed to expand the data resources of your unit.
Samples refers to the number of samples that can be stored in the unit, internally and/or externally.
Patterns are sequences of samples that can be looped and recorded onto internal or external memory.
Effects are digital algorithms that affect audio in a vast variety of ways. Some very common effects are Equalization, Compression, Filters (High-Pass, Low-Pass, Band-Pass, Notch, etc.), Reverb & Delay. You'll often find the initialism "DSP," in conjunction with the Effects specification. DSP stands for Digital Signal Processing.

There are several different, but similar types of effects such as dynamic, time-based, modulation and filters. Dynamic effects are for altering the amplitude (the volume of the sound) of audio fed through them. Time-based effects are, well, just that. They alter audio in the time domain by splitting and capturing a selected piece of audio in a buffer and then replaying it slightly out of time with the original to create natural reverberation and/or echoing effects.

Modulation effects combine multiple audio signals to create new sounds with sometimes rather unusual tonal properties, as is the case with Flangers, Tremolo and Phasers. Filters alter the frequency content of any audio going through them by boosting or cutting specific frequencies or frequency regions. In the case of equalizers, you may boost or cut anywhere within the audible frequency spectrum of 20Hz to 20kHz and will notice the difference almost immediately.
Max Loop Capture Time
Max Loop Capture Time is pretty self-explanatory. It simply refers to the maximum length your recorded loops can be.
Signal Processing
Signal Processing refers to AD/DA (Analog-to-Digital/Digital-to-Analog) conversion. Basically, this is important because just as "garbage in, garbage out," is true, "high-quality in, high-quality out," is also true, or at least should be.

This specification is important because it lets users know that what they record and what they playback is going/coming through at high resolutions.
Pads refers to the number of tangible pads that the unit has on it through which users can play samples and patterns.
Controllers can refer to pre-programmed and/or user-programmable controls on the unit. These controllers usually transmit MIDI data back and forth to a computer or other module to achieve the desired effect.
Display: the screen through which the unit transmits information to you, the user.
Onboard Mic
A microphone that's built-in to the unit that may eliminate the need for an external microphone and/or mic preamp.
Details about the quantity and type of inputs and outputs (I/O) on the unit. With samplers and most pro audio gear, for that matter, you'll find initialisms and measurements like XLR, 1/4", 1/8", 3.5mm, TRS, TS, MIDI, RCA and USB among others. Knowing exactly what each of those are isn't terribly important; at least, not as important as making sure your gear matches up with each other.
Current Draw
Current, which is measured in units called "amps," or "amperes," is the volume of electrons flowing through at the operating voltage. Voltage and current do, in fact, differ in that voltage refers to the pressure at which electrons flow, whereas current is the volume.

Anyone who's taken a physics class at some point can most likely tell you that electrical specifications such as these are inter-related more often than not, and there are formulas one can use to determine the relationships such as P=IE. Power (P) is measured in watts, current (I) is measured in amperes and voltage (E) is measured in volts.

Number of Inputs & Outputs

Composite (RCA) Stereo Outputs
This is the number of composite stereo, also known as RCA, outputs.
Composite (RCA) Stereo Inputs
This is the number of composite (RCA) outputs on the unit.
Number of Mono RCA Inputs
Number of Mono RCA Outputs
Number of USB Connections
This is the number of USB ports that connect the unit to another source.
Number of XLR Inputs
This is the number of XLR inputs that the unit has.
Number of XLR Outputs
This is the number of XLR outputs that the unit has.
Number of Stereo 1/4" Phone Inputs
This is the number of 1/4" Phone inputs that are compatible for stereo playback.
Number of Stereo 1/4" Phone Outputs
This is the number of 1/4" Phone outputs that are compatible for stereo playback.
Number of Mono 1/4" Phone Inputs
Number of Mono 1/4" Phone Outputs
Number of Stereo 1/8" Phone Inputs
Number of Stereo 1/8" Phone Outputs
Number of Mono 1/8" Phone Inputs
Number of Mono 1/8" Phone Outputs
Number of Headphone Jacks

Size & Weight

Weight (Pounds)
This is the weight of the item in pounds (lbs).
The height of the item, measured from top to bottom, in inches.
The front-to-rear depth of the item, in inches. If the item is angled or slanted, this value is the bottom measurement.
The width of the item from left to right (side-to-side) measured in inches.

Warranty and Return Policy

Parts Warranty Duration
1 year
Labor Warranty Duration
90 days
Warranty Provider

Summary of Customer Ratings & Reviews

Rating Distribution

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

Average Attribution Rating


Kahlerah, AL

Beautiful object of great import

October 12, 2012

The Roland SP-404 is a great machine for making music and noise using samples. It also includes a great many effects to twist and crunch and otherwise change the sounds that you record into the pads. The pattern sequencer is awesome. There are a few drawbacks: no legit pitch-change system (the pitch changer makes sounds really dull and wavery-sounding), and you can only play 6 stereo or 12 mono samples at one time or else some of the samples cut out. Otherwise, it's a great entry-level device and a useful tool for the production of audio art.

22 of 26 found this helpful

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Sonic Electronix Wiring Guide

Wiring Diagram Legend

Warning: The image depicted shows the resistance change when wiring multiple subwoofer terminals. Please refer to your subwoofer's owner's manual for the proper wiring of its terminals. Sonic Electronix, Inc. is not responsible for damage caused to your audio system or vehicle due to improper installation. Please call tech support at 1-877-289-7664 if you require additional assistance.

Product Name: Roland SP-404SX

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Roland SP-404SX

Portable Power-Sampler w/ FX


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