Incoming! – Roland SP-606

I’ve been slowing down my gear purchases considerably lately but I just pulled the trigger on an SP-606 and it will, hopefully, allow to finally retire my big, bulky SP-808.

A few key improvements over the 808 that led me to grab this one:
-smaller than the 808
-8 voices instead of 4
-velocity sensitive pads
-“Roll” function
-2 effects units instead of 1
-larger screen and sample chop with waveform view
-takes compact flash instead of zip disks
-1/4″ ins and outs instead of RCA
-can also double as an audio and midi interface for the computer
-imports and exports WAV files instead of Roland’s proprietary, compressed RDAC format
-the 4 four track sequencer can send midi, while the 808’s could not
-the sequencer should not suffer from “Drive Busy” errors, while the 808 often does even with as few as 2 samples playing

But there are also a few things that have been lost from the 808:
-no four track audio recorder
-it has digital coaxial in/out but not TOS in/out
-I don’t believe it has the step sequencer for automating effect parameters
-only 1 analog input and output (808 had a main in/out and aux in/out)
-only 32 sample banks as opposed to 64 on the 808

So, all in all, I’m thinking this will be a positive move for me and it will do most of the things that the 808 was intended to do and then some.  It will act mainly as a phrase sampler where I will capture sounds from my other machines and process/arrange them.  I had been considering an Octatrack for this duty but this is much cheaper and should still do most of the things that I would have actually used the Octatrack for.  And with the Rytm gone, the Spectralis will take over sequencing drum samples and chromatic sample playback (while still sounding every bit as good as the Rytm).

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