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SP-505 vs. SP-1200
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Hobbs_Won
#1
9th November 2012
Old 9th November 2012
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SP-505 vs. SP-1200

I just got my SP-505 and I must say.....this thing is a magic box.

I'm not using it as a workstation...really for the color and as an FX box and I'm sequencing in FL Studio.

My first sampler was an SP-12 Turbo...and I have been on an Sp-1200 many times.

I gotta say for $150 for an SP-505 vs. $2000+ for an Sp-1200...when all things considered... this unit beats the SP1200's ass upside down.

A little bit of a different beast because the SP-505 is really an FX pedal that woke up one day and decided to be a sampler....but yea...

I'm rockin with the 505...

Kind of an under-appreciated unit.
#2
9th November 2012
Old 9th November 2012
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haha, thats cool, not many people use the 505, i would rather go with the 606 or 404, the 505 just looks so unintuitive to me, but it dope it works for you.
Hobbs_Won
#3
9th November 2012
Old 9th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damien907 View Post
haha, thats cool, not many people use the 505, i would rather go with the 606 or 404, the 505 just looks so unintuitive to me, but it dope it works for you.
Yea, I can see why somebody would get turned off by it. It isn't the most aesthetically pleasing unit. But since I'm not really using it as a workstation, it's trivial.

I picked the 505 because it's basically a 303...but fetches cheaper prices because Madlib didn't use it haha...
#4
9th November 2012
Old 9th November 2012
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yeah haha, dope, i think the 606 and 555 look real cool, i really one of them for awhile, but im gonna wait a bit. have fun with that!
#5
9th November 2012
Old 9th November 2012
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Nice buy!

I have a 303 and use it for everything. Can imagine the 505 being nice with more pads.

Check out sp-forums.com if you haven't already. There's a lot of knowledge on these machines over there.

And btw, you should do an all resample (no sequencer) beat just for the fun of it.
#6
9th November 2012
Old 9th November 2012
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There are lots of samplers out there a 1/10 the price of the SP1200 that are better. It's a classic beat box and nothing sounds quite like it but very poor bang for your buck.
#7
9th November 2012
Old 9th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sampler Man View Post
There are lots of samplers out there a 1/10 the price of the SP1200 that are better. It's a classic beat box and nothing sounds quite like it but very poor bang for your buck.
I agree. This is not a smart conmparison. Almost every modern device / platform offers more bang for the buck. Frooted Loops, an iPhnoe with a beatmaker app I mean almost anything. Every other thing I own, other than the RZ1 I think is has more capabilities than the SP1200.

I have both the roland and the emu. They are different beasts. They aren't even comparable. One has effects LOL. I will say this though... The 505 does not give you the same effect as a SP1200. Side by side.. its quite clear. The closest I have come to nailing that sound is with an EMAX.


The 505 is a nice piece though for lo-fi type stuff though. There is no doubt that you can get some nasty stuff going with that thing. I have not compared it directly to a 303, though I have read on the internetz peoples claims that they are not equal, and am curios to test this for myself. However, I will probably be selling my 505 within the next month or so, and that comparison probably wont happen.
Hobbs_Won
#8
9th November 2012
Old 9th November 2012
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Bang for the buck is subjective, though....

You may think a KORG ES-1 or an Electribe gives you more bang for the buck than any 2000-3000 USD priced sampler on the second hand market (or new)...

But for me, I wouldn't touch those things with a hazmat suit on.

the SP1200 is renowned for it's sweet spots....drums and the aliasing it has on amples when manipulating it's time restraints by pitching up and then back down....

This does have a unique sound unto itself....but comparing what the 505's vinyl sim and long/lo-fi mode does to the drums...it, IMO, makes it a very, very worthy substitute.

I'm not going to say I like the "fairy dust" the 505 puts on the sounds MORE....ah f it.. you know what... I will
#9
10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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I couldnt think of any other investment so i spent my $2000 in one of em fairy dust boxes. haha
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Fat rap beats.
#10
10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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comparing any modern sampler to the SP is a little unfair spec wise, the machine did come out in 1987.. that being said i'll take it over a sp-505 any day. it still has some pretty dope features even for today standards like the slider truncating/mixing/tuning, sustain looping, automated mixdown etc... the SSM filtered 8 outputs, SMPTE/tape/click sync options. the groovy swing quantize.. the insanely quick workflow.. all that plus the crazy dynamics and artifacts of the sound. honestly there is a reason this thing became a legend, hell there's even a 200 page book written about it... i don't see that happening with the 505, even in 30 years
Hobbs_Won
#11
10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax View Post
comparing any modern sampler to the SP is a little unfair spec wise, the machine did come out in 1987.. that being said i'll take it over a sp-505 any day. it still has some pretty dope features even for today standards like the slider truncating/mixing/tuning, sustain looping, automated mixdown etc... the SSM filtered 8 outputs, SMPTE/tape/click sync options. the groovy swing quantize.. the insanely quick workflow.. all that plus the crazy dynamics and artifacts of the sound. honestly there is a reason this thing became a legend, hell there's even a 200 page book written about it... i don't see that happening with the 505, even in 30 years
the 8 filtered outputs is definitely a very unique quirk, in conjunction with the dynamics and artifacts are the magic in the box... everything else, even workflow, the SP-505 probably edges out....they are both quick

The resample method in the SP-505 is as fast as it gets . And while there definitely will not be any legendary books regarding the SP-505...that's because the Sp-1200 laid the foundation for all boxes moving forward.

The reason the thing became a legend was not because of it's sound.....I think that perception kind of grew legs on it's own. I think many stayed true to it because of what they became comfortable on for so many years. Many of the producers from the sp-1200 era did switch over to the MPC... While they still used their SP, they were turning to the MPC.

But as far as really putting a character on a sound....I think the 505 does a much more discerning job of this.

YMMV
#12
10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
  #12
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Idk about all that but yes, the 505 is a GREAT piece. Very much slept on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by damien907 View Post
haha, thats cool, not many people use the 505, i would rather go with the 606 or 404, the 505 just looks so unintuitive to me, but it dope it works for you.
The 505, like all SPs, is extremely intuitive.
A novice could pick up most of it in one full day.
#13
10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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Madlib did alot of his work on the 505 , great box
#14
10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobbs_Won View Post
The reason the thing became a legend was not because of it's sound.....
I disagree with you, everyone knew back in the 90's the SP had that magic sound.. samplers were already in the 16-bit domain and producers who were aiming for a lo-fi grimey aestethic (virtually all of NYC area producers) were on to SP1200, MPC60, S-950, EPS+ for their sound qualities. hell Pete Rock or Easy mo Bee built their whole career off the SP sound.

Today more then ever, the SP is a godsend in terms of sound in the clinical age of pristine DAW & 24-bit converters. btw, I have a 60, 2000xl, s-3000, Octatrack and numerous drum machines (tr-808,909, Tempest..) the SP is the fastest & craziest sounding of them all..

As far as workflow, i've never tried a 505 but i don't see how those 3 knobs can compare to the 8 multi-function sliders of the SP, which are it's biggest workflow enhancement. also the 505's size factor, RCA outputs, 4 tracks, lack of individual outs & sync options yells consumer product. I'm sure for $150 it's a fantastic deal and I have no doubt it sounds lo-fi but comparing it to the 1200 is kinda ridiculous imo..
Hobbs_Won
#15
10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax View Post
I disagree with you, everyone knew back in the 90's the SP had that magic sound.. samplers were already in the 16-bit domain and producers who were aiming for a lo-fi grimey aestethic (virtually all of NYC area producers) were on to SP1200, MPC60, S-950, EPS+ for their sound qualities. hell Pete Rock or Easy mo Bee built their whole career off the SP sound.

Today more then ever, the SP is a godsend in terms of sound in the clinical age of pristine DAW & 24-bit converters. btw, I have a 60, 2000xl, s-3000, Octatrack and numerous drum machines (tr-808,909, Tempest..) the SP is the fastest & craziest sounding of them all..

As far as workflow, i've never tried a 505 but i don't see how those 3 knobs can compare to the 8 multi-function sliders of the SP, which are it's biggest workflow enhancement. also the 505's size factor, RCA outputs, 4 tracks, lack of individual outs & sync options yells consumer product. I'm sure for $150 it's a fantastic deal and I have no doubt it sounds lo-fi but comparing it to the 1200 is kinda ridiculous imo..
I will agree that the 505 is a consumer product...that's what all Boss samplers/drum machines are. But to me, that is where the beauty in it lies. Which is why I would never argue for the 505 or any of it's brothers and sisters over the MPC or SP as a solution for somebody who wants to use it as a all-in-one solution. Even though...many people use it this way with great results! For me, if I was going to use either as a workstation, this is where I may reach for the SP-1200 over the 505.

But as far as a color box...I have no doubt if the 505 didn't slip under the radar (because it definitely did)...this would have been a unit plenty of producers would have reached for. But it didn't drop until 2002, Madlib had just found the 303 at that time....and that sound of hip hop was already on it's way out the door.

The effects on this unit... I mean the vinyl sim alone..... if this was out with the big boys of the respective era...It would have stood blow for blow with them. I have no doubt about it. I mean people use these joints slaved to MPC's for their sound...the MPC sequencer reigns supreme....but the MPC's sound ain't F'n with it...the 60/ii being the sole exception and even that is subjective.
#16
10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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Its not just the 12 bit crunch,, with the SP1200,,

IT's the Swing when double timed, your not getting that swing anywhere else!!

WORD!
#17
11th November 2012
Old 11th November 2012
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The flutter on that era's Roland vinyl sims is beastly. I have yet to find its equal.

Sounds like cheap tape, driven hard, then microwaved for a couple seconds.

Deliciously crappy!
#18
11th November 2012
Old 11th November 2012
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sp505 vs sp1200.

neither, the s900/s950 has more swag than both of those.
#19
13th November 2012
Old 13th November 2012
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The whole swing business is ridiculous. On a DAW you can divide a beat infinitely. Even the MPCs could do do 1/32 triplets, which is plenty high enough resolution to give you any kind of feel.

A thing that always gets left out in this debate is that all of the important records that used SP12s in the 80s and 90s were tracked to multitrack analog tape and mixed down to analog tape (and in many cases through a nice console in a pro studio).
Hobbs_Won
#20
13th November 2012
Old 13th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsowa View Post
The whole swing business is ridiculous. On a DAW you can divide a beat infinitely. Even the MPCs could do do 1/32 triplets, which is plenty high enough resolution to give you any kind of feel.

A thing that always gets left out in this debate is that all of the important records that used SP12s in the 80s and 90s were tracked to multitrack analog tape and mixed down to analog tape (and in many cases through a nice console in a pro studio).
Yea, I agree that the "swing" of a machine is way overblown. The user is the "swing"
#21
13th November 2012
Old 13th November 2012
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the SP definitely has an unmistakable swing. the odd way it swings is very very obvious when you apply it, anyone saying the contrary simply hasn't used it or is deaf. there was a heated debate on what exactly causes the SP swing not along ago and the consensus seemed to point towards the low 24ppq resolution giving it a coarse swing as well as steady midi jitter. i am honest when i'll say the swing is actually my number 1 favorite feature on the SP as the sound can somewhat be emulated.
#22
13th November 2012
Old 13th November 2012
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It is definatley not a substitue for the sp1200 where sound is concerned. It is a good lo-fi emu though akin to decimort and such. You can really understand the differnce with drums.

Very cool little box though... the vinyl sim is fun.
#23
13th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax View Post
the SP definitely has an unmistakable swing. the odd way it swings is very very obvious when you apply it, anyone saying the contrary simply hasn't used it or is deaf. there was a heated debate on what exactly causes the SP swing not along ago and the consensus seemed to point towards the low 24ppq resolution giving it a coarse swing as well as steady midi jitter. i am honest when i'll say the swing is actually my number 1 favorite feature on the SP as the sound can somewhat be emulated.
So the appeal to you is that your swung 1/16th kick drums don't hit at precisely the same point every time the sequenced pattern is played through? Or are you contending that the swing places the kick drum in some magical spot that is unattainable even though DAWs can divide a beat infinitely? Just trying to clarify to see where the magic is.
Hobbs_Won
#24
13th November 2012
Old 13th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax View Post
the SP definitely has an unmistakable swing. the odd way it swings is very very obvious when you apply it, anyone saying the contrary simply hasn't used it or is deaf. there was a heated debate on what exactly causes the SP swing not along ago and the consensus seemed to point towards the low 24ppq resolution giving it a coarse swing as well as steady midi jitter. i am honest when i'll say the swing is actually my number 1 favorite feature on the SP as the sound can somewhat be emulated.

I remember the thread...and that argument became way too convoluted and contrived to really extract anything out of it. It came down, IMO, to something the ears simply cannot discern. I've used the machine plenty times to know.

Really, it's something that needs one of those double blind shootouts....

I bet the results would be more than eye opening.
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13th November 2012
Old 13th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsowa View Post
So the appeal to you is that your swung 1/16th kick drums don't hit at precisely the same point every time the sequenced pattern is played through? Or are you contending that the swing places the kick drum in some magical spot that is unattainable even though DAWs can divide a beat infinitely? Just trying to clarify to see where the magic is.
first of all there is nothing "magical" but reverse engineering what goes on inside the machine to give it such an odd swing is complicated, i've even contacted the original e-mu engineers attempting to get to the bottom of it. what happens though is this: you tap in a beat in 1/16 quantize. set swing to whatever % and boom the SP spits out crazy shuffled beat, very noticeable on hihats & snares but of course it depends on what the pattern is. it is far far from subtle by the way and is extremely funky imo although it can sometime be hit & miss depending on the % and pattern, when it does sound good it's almost like having a drummer grooving in the pocket. something i simply haven't been able to reproduce in any MPC (i've got a 60 mk2 btw) or software.. some of you might think i'm making this up but it's true and other SP owners i'm sure will testify...
#26
13th November 2012
Old 13th November 2012
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there should be a drummer school with the slogan 'learn to play like an sp 1200 processor'

after that they should invent an audio interface with the SSM2044 analog filters on outputs.



<3: sp1200 owner
Hobbs_Won
#27
13th November 2012
Old 13th November 2012
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Originally Posted by lemonsquash View Post
after that they should invent an audio interface with the SSM2044 analog filters on outputs.



<3: sp1200 owner
That's actually a pretty awesome idea....a novel one....but still awesome nonetheless.
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13th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax View Post
first of all there is nothing "magical" but reverse engineering what goes on inside the machine to give it such an odd swing is complicated, i've even contacted the original e-mu engineers attempting to get to the bottom of it. what happens though is this: you tap in a beat in 1/16 quantize. set swing to whatever % and boom the SP spits out crazy shuffled beat, very noticeable on hihats & snares but of course it depends on what the pattern is. it is far far from subtle by the way and is extremely funky imo although it can sometime be hit & miss depending on the % and pattern, when it does sound good it's almost like having a drummer grooving in the pocket. something i simply haven't been able to reproduce in any MPC (i've got a 60 mk2 btw) or software.. some of you might think i'm making this up but it's true and other SP owners i'm sure will testify...
I had an SP12 many years ago but never really sequenced with it. Curious to hear audio examples of what you think is characteristic of SP12 swing (with 'before and after' examples of the swing being turned on).
#29
13th November 2012
Old 13th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsowa View Post
.......Or are you contending that the swing places the kick drum in some magical spot that is unattainable ........ Just trying to clarify to see where the magic is.
Narnia
#30
13th November 2012
Old 13th November 2012
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If 24ppqn swing, and sp like sound is all you want, there is always the sub $100 Zoom Sampletrak.

The aliasing on the Zoom is pretty awesome in it's own right.
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