Synth Site: Boss: SP-303: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.3 out of 5
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Rollo a hobbyist user from Oh10 writes:
This box is dope! I just figured out the sequencer last night, and I made a beat in five minutes. The sound quality of the sampler is darn near stereo. and if you put the effects on the right sounds you get some real different drums, it really is what you put in it. I do wish it was battery powered though and had a midi in and an out, but for the price it is nice. Good for real gritty underground sound. Madlib uses it and so do I but then again, who the heck am I ?

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Mar-01-2005 at 07:19
dave a hobbyist user from usa writes:
This is the first Sampler Ive ever bought and within two days Ive already got the hang of it. The sequencer is awkward but everything else works fine. Ive noticed some reviews that says it cant do this or that (like trim samples) but these things are documented in the manual. I also didnt find setting start/end points all that hard.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Jan-01-2005 at 04:32
victor a professional user from miami writes:
i recently got an sp-303 in a trade off for some beats i produced for a singers demo i liek the over all concept and because i generally like phrase samplers am pretty happy but i got one problem the stupid factory sounds pre-loaded on to the internal memory banks a and b i can NOT delete it no matter what i try the led screen jsut says whats apears to be the letters "PRT" i dont have any trouble recording or deleting on the memory card but the internal banks jsut puzzles me does anybody else have thsi same problem or is it jsut me? if anybody knwos what to do PLEEEASEEE email me thanks! Victor

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Monday-Dec-06-2004 at 21:28
roxstar a professional user from detroit, Rock City writes:
So the battery power, and the internal mic are gone.. yes, these are missed features, but for the added effects and re-sampling.. this is a dream! If you want to bend up some samples, I challenge you to hate the 303. For drumz sounds, the compression is a beast. You can only use 1 effect at a time, but with re-sampling, you can keep adding as much as you like. Editing samples is easier on the 303 than the 202.. well, its the same, but then you re-sample and assign to a new pad.. that's what I do, it's really simple. I made new drum sounds while watching TV.. you CAN take it to work and do the same (gotta plug this one in tho.. not like the battery powered 202). Simply, you can't attain the same sample bending results on the 202. I like my 202, but I like the 303 a lot better. Both are really good machines.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Jun-19-2004 at 06:27
Mike Piazza a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Man, what a hunk of junk. I love how Roland/Boss "upgrades" units and then forgets what the unit is supposed to do.

#1 It has no battery power, just a wall wart. That takes away the BEST thing about the 202/303 series, total portability. The 303 does add some features like expanded memory for storage on smart media, more effects, better use of the banks, more polyphony but it’s a catch 22, expanded memory for storage is good, but you don’t really need all that storage if you are using it as it should be used, as a DJ phrase sampler or totally portable rig for sampling odd sounds and working out drum ideas on the road (IE as a scratch pad).

It seems like the things is trying to be too many things at once! If they just improved on the 202’s features and kept it battery op, then I would say it would be worth the investment.

Here is how I use the 202, I stuff it in my backpack with a portable MD player/recorder (more on why MD not CD later) that I have burned drum samples onto, kicks, snares, hats, synth stabs, etc. right off my PC, so I can load up some drums whenever I get the inclination (boring lecture, train to campus, sitting at lunch in the quad, waiting to meet with a prof., whatever). This is the ultimate tool for instantly getting an idea that pops into your head down, simple and fast.

You can “garbage re-sample� the 202 by recoding two or more sounds going off at the same time onto MD, then re-loading the sample onto one pad, which will include the effects U used too. I don’t think I have run out of room ever doing this (and only really use the smart media to access the banks that you cant without it) and the process is really simple w/ MD, all you do is set the MD to record when it hears a sound (EG no issues with trimming the start time, it records as soon as the sound starts, so the major “sample trimming�/re-sampling issue of the 202 is resolved by using some simple brain work. It still moves pretty fast this way, and I have no complaints. With a 202 I have a built it (albeit garbage) mic, which is solved by carrying a 50 dollar sony MD mic with me. Its tiny, has good sound and allows me to sample ANYTHING. Subway train noise, ambient sounds, people laughing, talking whatever and I have the option of chopping it up right there on the MD (which gives you a graphical and time readout, all you do is add markers to the start and stop points and extract it from there to the sampler, much easier then using the 202 and its garbage display it shares with its big brother the 3030, to do it). So it is a GREAT portie sampler that you can get stuff onto to see how it sounds with the drum pattern you built on your triton, Yamaha etc. And you can instantly know if a sample will fit with a loop you got back at home right then so you can fix the sample at the recording stage right away. Sure, MD can be a hassle as it does chop some of the sound out to compress it onto MD, but an archos jukebox is a way around that and can be used the exact same way as I describe.

All of this is mobile.

Now, look at the 303. the effects are more numerous, but many of them are useless. Anyone who has some decent effects elsewhere will be able to tell the difference. In short the USEABLE range of the new effects is quite smaller then the total number, maybe about 50%. The 303 don’t add a new layout or a non-lcd screen, the added knobs are cool tho and are the one feature I wish the 202 had more of!

The 303 is not mobile which means it can be:

Your main sampler – bad idea, for a little bit more (500 dollars) you can get a MPC 1000 that blows this thing away, or a Yamaha looper (for like 300 dollars more) that also buries this unit or an S20 for less that does away with the lame effects and is a better sampler, with a nicer sound.

DJ phrase sampler- a good use, but there are better effects and better DJ phrase samplers out there for the $$$$, but it does work well next to decks and is easy to trigger, but so is the 202 for 200 bux less. 200 dollars isn’t that big a deal and how many dj’s use this live? Id say more of them have a mpc 1000 that does it better.

In short, there are better units for a little more money that make the sp303 useless, and its little brother has less “glitz and glamour� but is more useful, especially since you can count all the battery op samplers on one hand with a couple fingers left over. Basically the Yamaha compares but has no storage and no efx at all. So the 202 is king of the battery op’s. The 303 seems to want to be a dj phrase sampler, main sampler for the low budget musician, but it’s a pain to use. This is not to say you cant use it to great resuls (madlib uses one for gods sake!) but there really is no reason to subject yourself to the little things.

My review? U want portable, go get a SP202 used for 100 dollars, then get a Jukebox/md player and mic (for 200 dollars) save 100 and you have a nice scratchpad studio you can take anywhere you can take a backpack. U want a dj sampler/home sampler, save 500 dollars and get the MPC 1000.

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Apr-28-2004 at 17:25
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