Roland’s SP-404 MKII 2.0 update features a TR-REC step sequencing feature

There’s also a new chromatic mode, and four new effects

Roland SP-404 MKII

Image: Roland

Roland has released a 2.0 update for the SP-404 MKII sampler.

The SP-404 MKII, an upgraded version of the original unit that’s now become iconic in hip-hop and house music production, was released in 2021.

Now, however, Roland has listened to the demands of SP-404 MKII users and added a range of new features in its 2.0 update, including a new TR-REC step sequencing mode, an updated chromatic mode allowing for polyphony and legato scales, an updated DJ mode, new effects, new workflow shortcuts and SP-303-style reverse playback.

The 2.0 update’s headline feature is the introduction of TR-REC step sequencing. While before, the SP-404 only let users record in real-time, TR-REC mode turns the sampler’s 16 pads into steps. Users can also record in real-time over a step sequence, making it easier to layer samples. The shuffle option lets users add swing to sequences. There is also a progress bar on the SP-404’S screen so users can see where they are in their sequence.

Chromatic Mode now consists of three chromatic mode options: mono, legato and poly. The new legato mode, instead of cutting off the sound of one pad when another is pressed, will continue to play the same sample but will change in pitch to the pitch of the new pad. Meanwhile, poly mode lets users play multiple pads simultaneously – up to 32 at a time.

There are now three pages of effects on the SP-404 with the addition of 2.0’s newly added SX Reverb, SX Delay, cloud delay, and backspin, which is a fun vinyl record backspin effect.

There are new pitch and speed options, called Ensemble and Backing. Backing is suitable for instruments with a more distinct attack, such as drums. For more sustained samples, Ensemble mode works better, says Roland.

To find out more information, including how to install the update, visit roland.com.