Synth Site: Roland: SP-808: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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JP a part-time user from Canada writes:
This is just to let EVERY SP-808 user know that if you want to upgrade to the new SP-808EX operating system - you can! Just take a formatted zip disk with you to your closest music store with a SP-808EX on display, turn off the machine (making sure there isn't a zip disk in it) and then turn it on Holding down the 1/[5] button and the Clear button under the "Locator" section (far left). Turn the 808 on with these keys depressed and it will ask you for a disk - pop it in and you're smoking.

To install it on your 808 - go home - obviously - and boot your 808 holding down the Effects and Status buttons above track B. The LCD will go funny and ask for the new OS Zip Disk - pop it in, wait for about 30 seconds - it does a HEX countdown...and then you're smoking.

New effects - no zip disk required to run the effects - use the faders to control the volume of PADS (which I haven't figured out just yet) and tons of more cool shiznaut. Check out the 808 Users Network for more info...

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Apr-16-2000 at 10:08
B.O.B. a professional user from NJ, USA writes:
Wow, I've had the Sp-808 for a little over a month and everyday i break open something new on this baby. I don't even know where to start... this machine gives you 110% creative freedom, it's up to you to put it to good use.

First off, i want to say it's an excellent phrase sampler. It can do quick and easy auto trims and looping becomes very easy once you get used to editing the samples. The most impressive part is that everything can be sampled and resampled again with no loss of sound quality. NICE!

Then we'll check out some of the effects. STUNNING! There's analog stuff, there's modern stuff...everything's packed in here. You can basically pump any sound out of this machine. From reverb to choruses, to crazy analog bullhorns and record sounds. Also, you can use the step modulator to change the effects according to the rhythm.

Let's not forget the best effect of them all: the analog synth! This thing is modeled after the JP series (i think?) and some really cool sounds can come out of it. You can play it three way. You can hook it up to an external midi keyboard and play it on that, you can play it by using the D-beam (if you don't know, ya'll betta aks somebody), or by putting it into the step modulator and making awesome techno leads. The synth is pretty phat and i've been able to make some great songs out of it.

Now we get to the 4 stereo tracks you record on. Combined w/ the sampling section of this box, you have infinite sound possibilities.

This is one amazing machines. Although most people on here like to point out it's limits, i don't see why it's necessary. All instruments are different. It's like saying, that a certain guitar sucks because it doesn't have humbucker pickups. If you're looking for the all-in-one studio, this is as close as it gets.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Mar-17-2000 at 00:45
John Westwood a professional user from Canada writes:
I'm with Analog! The 808's got almost to many things happening on it! I thought I could get by with a Tascam 564 for demos. But after (if your lucky) finding a MDD disk, and paying $30 bucks and doing 2 stereo tracks - then I got to bounce and before I know it... Disk Full! Not that the 808's a HD recorder by any means, but for sprucing up stuff and/or tricky edits of a certain track... WOW! I think of it as my 'general purpose mix idea workstation' now! Sure, I can strum a guitar, or play keyboards, or have ideas for that Giorgio Moroder cut I just heard. But the 808 really get's things altogether going! And each user no doubt has different ways of doing essentially the same thing, they just do it because it's 'comfertable' for them that way. That says alot for a piece of gear these days that allows that! Gripes, sure - I have a few... MIDI control for much of it's features is either unassignable and/or unattainable from other gear/controllers. The manual is not the most easy to follow, typical Roland style (some might be hip to it?). And the SCSI (and I guess itself) can only see 100Mb Zip disks at a time. I guess Roland had to be fair to competitors, if I could hook up a couple of Jaz drives inside and out of 808... Holy Shit!!! But for the price of 4 SU10's and cheaper than a SU700 with RAM installed, the 808 WON'T leave you wanting in any (sample wise) way! Kudos to Roland after the miserable DJ70 crap outs. Don't think there'll be a MkII of the 808 anytime soon!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jan-06-2000 at 17:35
Analog a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I have to be honest and say that the sp-808 is the best piece of gear I ever laid my hands on. It took me along time to get into the gear to fully understand its abilities. I think this machine is the best shit ever. Its really hard to discribe what this thing got. Theres some much in this box that it will take a person years to grow out it because of the sounds it has. The sp-808 makes song production easy and clean so it won't take long to lay out a track. The sequencer is very basic but with resampling you make your sequence very unique and quick. You can resample as many times as you like. I'm not gonna lie the sp-808 seem very limited at first. It took me along time to see what it could really do. A person can go as far as they want to go with this bady. Its up to the persons imagination to have the box manifest what you want. This box would replace rack mount equipment and just think how much space you would save. This machine is for anybody or everybody no matter if you are a hobby music maker, pro or a dj that think he can make a better track than what he or she is spinning, this is for you. Don't sleep.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Nov-01-1999 at 12:01
AcdiDJ a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Ditto. This is the best phrase sampler on the market, simple as that. It's not a module like the Akais, A3k or Emu stuff..but it isn;t meant to be. So critisism of polyphony is irrelevant. The effects are just great on the machine, and if you give it enough time you can use this machine to create great things. I firmly believe if Akai made this exact same machine people would beraving about it....but so many folks just love Roland Bashing.

By the way Honest Mike, you were talking about space conservation....I'm sure you're aware that if you buy an internal IDE Zip 250 you can pop it in the 808 with no problems..and hesne get 2.5 times the space off it. And if you didn't, you know now.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Aug-20-1999 at 00:10
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