Synth Site: Boss Corporation: SP-505: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.1 out of 5
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Giovanni Paolo 2° a part-time user from Italy writes:
I've just bought one,it's simple awesome,it's one of the fastest machines i've ever put my hands on.I use it mainly to process single drum sound a sequence them in harsh noise rhytms,and thi little box makes the work so easy! Effects are really powerful,506 samples on memory and 100 user patterns.It has only 8 mono voices poliphony ,like the electribe,the sp808 and the sampletrak,but remember it's still a budget sampler! I don't give it a 5 because it lacks a xox sequencer,else it would be just perfect!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-06-2003 at 17:14
Joey BoomBats a professional user from S.W. ILL writes:
the machine is what you make of it...so i see it's few shortcomings as a fun challenge. if you're a total BITER and all you want to do is loop matching then get yourself a turntable and a sampling mixer. the sequencer on the 505 gets a bad rap, but if you figure out the shortcuts (like the forward and back buttons in micro edit mode, used with quantization) it's simple and effective. the built in sounds are a mix of old Roland hits (some 909,808,606) so they only suck if YOU can't use the classics...besides, it's a sampler...SAMPLE HITS!!! for the price you can't beat it. the FX are okay if you choose appropriately, but some sounds really don't change with certain FX...that's a matter for the individual user to figure out. i've had this box for about a year now and i've made stacks and stacks of beats. korg's electribe isn't even close to being in the same category as the 505...personally, i think the 505 makes an ASR-X look like an overpriced piece of sh*t. for live performance or for studio use, BOSS has made a serious beast and called it the SP505...the poor man's MPC...of course the logical man's MPC is a computer, seeing as how Akai thinks you should pay $3,000 for something that does less than a $750 computer. anyway, combine this machine with a Casio SK-1 or SK-5, plus a good mic, and you've got enough gear to make an album that sounds professional...unles you're a dumbass or just not creative at all. i've been in jam sessions with double 505's and a mixer and it's a powerful feeling...throwin the boom bap like it ain't no thang. you can sequence beats on one machine, backup the patterns on a smartmedia card, and load them onto any other 505...easy and portable, what else do you really want.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jul-18-2003 at 13:55
Scab Righteous a hobbyist user writes:
I got this unit for live use because I don't want to drag my main sampler out to clubs. For that use it is a nice little unit, it has CD quality stereo sampling and lots of sample time if you add a smartmedia card. For actually making grooves however, I don't think it cuts it as a stand alone unit, it's more of an accessory.

Many reviews here compare it to the Electribe, however that is not a fair comparison, they are very different beasts. The SP505 is based on using loops, where the Electribe is a better drum machine. For instance the SP505 does not have a sample group or such option so that your closed hi-hats can end your open hi-hat sample. The Electribe does have this, because it is a drum machine and this function is important when programming grooves. The Electribe has the old Roland 909/808 style 'lit button' programming. I find this method very easy for making complex rhythms, because you don't have to play them in real time, also it allows you to pick a sample and immediately see where it falls in your groove.. The SP505 has realtime programming, and then a step programming section where you scroll through a list of all the events in your pattern. If you use a lot of samples, you need to write down which is assigned to which pad in order to effectively use this method. It's not the funnest way to program that's for sure, and I think it limits your ability to quickly throw together a groove.

The Electribe does not have a lot of memory for loops. You can add a card to save samples to, but it does not add more sample memory as the card does for the SP505. The Electribe only allows you to have 10 samples in a part, and not all can be stereo. The idea of the Electribe is that you sample drum hits and noizes which only take up a little memory, and then you program gooves instead of sampling them.

The effects in both are crap. The sample chop, pitch play and BPM match functions of the SP505 are crap, simply sound horrible. They should have focussed on something else. But you dont' need this stuff if you do all your sampling on your computer and import them into the unit. Overall the Electribe effects sound a little less digital and can add a little analog(ish) drippiness.

The built in sounds on the SP505 are extra crappy, it's hard to believe they couldn't throw a few good old R8 quality sounds in there, or a dr660 bank. You can sample better sounds than the ones included. They should have ditched the fancy processing functions and dropped a DR660 chip in this thing.

If you listen to the preset patterns in the Electribe and compare them to the SP505, you will easily see that the Electibe is far superior for programming grooves. However if your music is comprised of 4 bar loops, the Electribe is not for you, the SP505 is your beast. You can have hundreds of loops in the SP505 (with memory card), and pick 4 banks of 16 samples to choose from in each pattern. The Electribe is nothing like that.

Stat-wise, they both have low polyphany. The Electribe has 32k sampling, the SP505 has 44.1k.

So why buy the SP505 ? If you have something else to program grooves on, like a computer, then you can sample those grooves and import those loops into the Sp505 to take it out live. That's what I plan to do.... It has a lot of memory for a little price, and you can fill it with stereo 44.1k loops.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jan-26-2003 at 20:55
J a part-time user writes:
hasnt let me down yet . this box more than met my expectations for $500 .

a few complaints : 1)can be very slow at times . 2)when speeding up/slowing down samples some sound deterioration is noticeable . 3)maybe its just me , but i found some of the fx to be kind or weak(ie : distortion , overdrive)

other than these few things an excellent tool . i would have paid more . beats the electribe sampler or any other in its price range hands down .

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jan-10-2003 at 00:08
Big Bee Feeder a part-time user from Canada writes:
A great little box with loads of potential. i rented mine before deciding to buy it, it's a great mid-range sampler for the money you put into it. Compared to let's say the ES-1, it has several features to put it ahead of the pack, the LCD is useful for slicing and dicing and the FX are really quite good.

Sure it's no MPC but i didn't spend a grand on it either, basically as with all electronic gear you get what you paid for, in this case a GrooveBox sampler for under a grand that in a pinch doubles as a digital recorder.

PS:Get a smartmedia card and reader for your PC for editing, makes life a hella lot simpler.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Dec-03-2002 at 20:32
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