Meet the sort-of-new member of the Roland Aira family, the SP-404A sampler

Roland has expanded its Aira range with the introduction of the SP-404A. If you think you’ve seen it before then you’re very much not mistaken; the new sampler is a refreshed version of the SP-404SX, with the added bonus of an SD card loaded with Loopmasters samples.

To coincide with the release of the SP-404A, a system update has been made available for the TR-8. System version 1.5 includes MIDI Out support so that, once connected to the SP-404A, the TR-8 will be able to trigger samples on the 404 from its 16-step sequencer.

Integration with the TR-8 is taken further as the SP-404A can also utilise the processing power of the TR-8. A signal taken from the stereo out on the 404 into the external audio-in of the TR-8 can exploit the Scatter feature to reverse, glitch, gate, truncate and stutter your samples.

There is currently no word on price or availability of the SP-404A, but we can assume that it will be around the same price as the, now discontinued, SX edition, which can still be sought for around £379. For more information, check out the Roland website.

SP-404A features

  • Sample anytime, anywhere with the built-in mic and battery power
  • Can be triggered from the 16-step sequencer in the TR-8 Rhythm Performer (TR-8 system version 1.50 or later required)
  • AIRA black-and-green color scheme to match existing AIRA hardware
  • “Sounds by Loopmasters” SD card includes over 100 new stereo samples, effects, and one-shots
  • 29 DSP effects, including filter, delay, unique voice effects, subsonic, looper, and more
  • Three control knobs, 12 trigger pads, and Sub Pad for rapid-repeat triggering
  • Seamless effects switching for smooth, perfect performances
  • Pattern sequencer with quantize mode and shuffle feels
  • Import audio files from a computer and assign samples to pads with free Mac/Windows software
Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.

All-access artist interviews, in-depth gear reviews, essential production tutorials and much more. image
All-access artist interviews, in-depth gear reviews, essential production tutorials and much more.
Get the latest issue now!