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Get Your Groove On

Roland unveil their sampling workstation with a few tricks for DJs...

The SP-555 is Roland's new sampler workstation, due to land in September. The versatile machine has trigger pads for tapping in beats, live loop capture and a stack of effects for mashing up the sounds. Looping is made easy with the BPM sync feature, which automatically records loops to precise lengths and keeps them locked to the current tempo.

There are other DJ specific features too, such as the DJFX looper, which is designed for capturing sounds fast, and dropping them back into the mix. The effect suite is pretty comprehensive with 37 of Roland's top algorithms including filters, delay, voice transformer, isolator and many more. Loops can be recorded with effects or they can be added during playback using the three real-time knobs and D-Beam for tweaking. Recordings can be up to 15 seconds long, with two banks of 16 samples, and the machine has plenty of potential for track building using the sound-on-sound layering feature. Internal memory clocks in at 11 minutes standard recording and 22 minutes at lo-fi quality; this can be expanded using Compact Flash cards, with 2Gb the largest supported size.

As a fully featured groove-box, it's got a full on-board sequencer to create tracks in and out of the studio. The 16 pads are velocity sensitive with back lighting, and it connects with other synths and studio equipment through the Midi in/out ports.

Topping off the spec list is the USB port, which allows the SP-555 to connect to computers for drag-and-drop sample dumps and back-ups. But the ace in the pack is that it doubles up as an audio interface for recording and playback, with stereo line inputs and outputs on RCA jacks and a microphone pre-amp that accepts dynamic mics, as well as pro studio condensers.

SPECS

PRICE £317

RELEASED September

CONTACT roland.com 01792 702701