Synth Site: Roland: S-330 Sampler: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.8 out of 5
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Dan Wilson a part-time user from UK writes:
On paper the S330 should be total junk but in reality it's quite a S/H find. It is a tad weird, takes some getting used to and will never run your whole studio.... BUT... I have built a converter box that enables me to plug a standard PS2 mouse into it and I'm driving a Philips CM8833 monitor. The moused based user iterface is great and what is so surprising is the way it sounds. Yes sure it's got a tiny memory by todays standards but its resonant filters in conjunction with its punchy 12bit accuracy make it sound great. I have disks full of Minimoog sounds and they sound lovely through this thing. If you're a musician who likes to experiment with many characterful classics in the mix rather than someone who just wants the latest gigabyte loaded ultra sampler doing everything with absolutely no character at all this is one for you!! A diamond in the rough....

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jan-03-2008 at 15:29
Funky Catt a professional user from UK writes:
I bought an S330 new in 1989 after my Roland S10 had been nicked. I've found it to be the easiest Sampler I've ever used. Its true that it takes a bit of getting used to but once you've got your head round it its very productive. What you'll have to bear in mind is that this sampler is now more than 15 years old. 14 seconds of sample time is not a lot by todays standards but what I really liked about it was the excellent user interface, using a monitor to edit on put it in a class of its own. Roland were light years ahead of their compettitors, in this respect it was the deal maker in deciding to buy it. Sound wise I just loved that grimy 12 bit sound. Great for HIp Hop Drum an Bass or Grime as it's now called.The facillities as standard were quite generous as it came out of the box with 8 seperate outputs 16 note polyphonic, samples assigned to 16 midi channels multiple split points all easily editable with the mouse and screen. It should be noted that even now the latest hardware samplers only give you video outputs as an expensive add-on.

To conclude, its only being honest in saying that the S330 was never the all singing and dancing sampler but what it did achieve at the time of its release was Maximum bang for buck value.If Roland had been more effective in marketing it I'm sure it would have out sold the comparable Akai samplers of the day.

If your'e in the market for a hardware sampler with sonic character I'd still reccommend an S330,I've seen them on Ebay going for a song. As long as you don't want it to do too much its more than fine I'd say its best application now would be to use it as a source of drum samples. Because of its dimunitive 1U rack size it wont force you to choose between it and another piece of gear you might want to keep.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Nov-21-2006 at 10:18
m71 a hobbyist user from USA writes:
My first MIDI sampler. It took a couple of hours to figure how to work it, but after you learn it it's like riding a bike and you don't have to really think about what you are doing when you go about what you have to do on it.

I love the fact there are eight outputs and that it uses a monitor rather than earing it or using a lcd screen. The editing is awesome: the filters, the copy feature, etc. The sound lacks some of the highs but just turn the lows down a bit or eq it. The 14 second sampling time isn't a hinderance. I just play my 33 1/3 records on 45 and slow it down on the sampler, I think that gives it a unique sound.

My only problem with it is that sometimes when you power it on the display will come on green and there won't be the usual Roland.... 1.01 deal and I can't hear the disc drive. I had it fixed and it worked for a good while but it's getting moody again.

Otherwise an awesome sampler, I'd never get rid of it.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Oct-17-2004 at 15:32
Big Tru a professional user from East Oakland, Ca writes:
I still use my S-330. Even though I got the new pro tools, the new Reason, the new Sonar, the new sound forge 6 and every other New piece of gear that I could get my hands on. I been usin' the S-330 since 1989 and will not give it up for anything. Not only was it the first sampler that I bought but I've used it on platinum songs for 2pac and the sounds I've used back then I still use. Even though I've been transfering my sounds to my PC for a sample CD that I'm putting together, I still love the sound of my S-330 along with the 8 individual outs.The sounds I've compiled over the years in my S-330 I still use in my S-330.My S-330 sits in my main rack right along with my Proteus 2000.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Apr-21-2003 at 11:16
jay a hobbyist user from London, England writes:
Considering it's age, this machine packs a lot of power within it's innards and has a lot to offer musicians, there's a whole wealth of options available that even the 'super samplers' of today don't have (like the abillity to make multiple copies of sampled sounds without using up extra RAM)

With a punchy lo-fi sampling rate of 12 bits at 15khz and 30khz this really is worth checking out for people who are into making hardcore hip-hop and industrial stuff. I bought mine to make old school style hip-hop instrumentals with a gritty sound.

However, be forewarned that you do need a GREAT deal of patience and time to master this machine, the user interface is a nightmare and makes things so so so much more difficult than needs be, there's been many a time I've been put off using my 330 because of this but I'm impatient...

Make sure you get the monitor, mouse, system disk and BOTH manuals (user guide & full manual) when you buy it otherwise you'll be stuck.

It's cheap, powerful - so get it.. just make sure you have a lot time and patience too :-)

Feel free to e-mail me and talk about the 330 or music in general. Peace!!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Dec-09-2002 at 10:16
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