Monday, August 11, 2008

Roland SP series


I'm surprised that Roland hasn't given endorsement deals out to the higher profile artists utilizing their SP series samplers. In an interview for Pitchfork, Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear) names the Boss SP 303 [Boss is owned by Roland, who have produced the SP series beginning with the 404] as his favorite piece of musical equipment. He also mentions that he wouldn't even be using the devices if he hadn't heard that Madlib used them [Madlib is possibly the most important producer in "indie hip hop" aside from the late J Dilla].

Now all three members of Animal Collective implement the SP series samplers in their writing and performances (though Geologist has actually been using them long before Noah). Odd Nosdam (formerly of cLOUDDEAD) uses an SP 303. Kieran Hebden, aka Four Tet (formerly of Fridge) uses Four SP 303s in his live show, and members of Tortoise have used them live. 
If Roland were to reproduce the SP 303 at a lower price-point, they'd surely make a ton of money, as well as allow access (for a larger audience) to an intuitive music production tool. This is the idealist in me speaking, of course. Used 303s on ebay typically sell for over $250, while the much more advanced SP 404 goes for $400 new. The 303 is more than sufficient for most beat-making/sampling neophytes. 

If Roland were to do some sort of ad campaign featuring any of the above (particularly Madlib and Panda Bear), not only would their sales increase, but mainstream awareness of creative, innovative music would increase. Also, I might be able to afford one that way.

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