Roland Celebrates 404 Day with a Massive Firmware Update for SP-404 MKII

In an exciting development that marks a significant milestone in the world of digital music production, Roland has unveiled a colossal firmware update for its beloved SP-404 MKII sampler. Released just in time for the annual celebration of 404 Day, this update, version 4.04, is heralded as the most comprehensive enhancement since the device’s launch in 2021.

The SP-404 MKII, which has already established itself as a versatile and user-friendly instrument for musicians and producers alike, receives a plethora of new features designed to amplify its workflow and creative potential. The update introduces the Loop Capture feature, inspired by the SP-555, transforming the SP-404 MKII into a fully-fledged looper capable of overdubbing internal samples, external instruments, and mic inputs in real-time for dynamic looping performances.

Another key addition is the Multipad Export functionality, allowing users to export all or selected pads of a pattern as individual audio files. This feature significantly streamlines the process of integrating SP-404 patterns into digital audio workstations (DAWs) for further production, remixing, or sharing with fellow producers.

Roland has also introduced a Groove function inspired by the VP-9000 VariPhrase, enabling users to alter the groove of sampled drum loops with anything from subtle swing adjustments to full-on glitch effects. Moreover, the firmware update transforms the SP-404 MKII into a synthesizer, complete with a Sound Generator that offers 15 built-in waveforms for crafting bass lines and melodies.

For enthusiasts of the popular Koala Sampler app by Elf Audio, Roland’s new firmware brings exciting Koala integration. Users can now effortlessly send audio between the SP-404 MKII and the app via USB, as well as control many of the app’s features directly from the sampler.

Additional enhancements include Microscope Editing in TR-REC mode, Sample Merge, Preset Measure Sampling, and Bounce Pattern Chains, among others. With such extensive updates, Roland encourages all SP-404 MKII owners to download this firmware to unlock the full potential of their device.

The SP-404 MKII and its limited edition variant, the flashy Stones Throw Limited Edition, are available for purchase, with the update version 4.04 being offered as a free download from Roland’s official website.

This major firmware release not only expands the capabilities of the SP-404 MKII but also reaffirms Roland’s commitment to supporting and enhancing their products post-launch. As the SP-404 MKII continues to evolve, it becomes an even more indispensable tool for musicians seeking versatility and creativity in their music production endeavors.

Essential Steps to Update Your SP-404MKII Firmware

Required Items:

  • Your SP-404MKII unit
  • An SD card
  • A computer equipped with an SD Card Reader/Writer

Note: For the Roland SP-404MKII, it is recommended to use an SD card with a capacity ranging from 2 GB to 32 GB. It’s important to ensure that the SD card is formatted correctly for use with the device. Larger capacity cards (SDHC) up to 32 GB are supported, but SDXC cards, which are typically larger than 32 GB, are not recommended due to compatibility issues. Always refer to the latest user manual or official Roland support resources for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding compatible SD card sizes and specifications.

Important Precautions:

  • Only use this firmware update with the SP-404MKII. Using it on other devices could cause data loss or damage.
  • Do not turn off your SP-404MKII during the update process. A power interruption could render the device inoperable, necessitating professional service from a Roland service center.
  • Questions related to the update process are outside our support scope. Follow these instructions carefully to ensure a successful update.

Downloading the Update File:

  1. Download and unzip the “sp404mk2_sys_v404.zip” file on your computer to access the “sp404mk2_sys_v404” folder.
  2. Ensure the downloaded file is fully extracted before proceeding.

Update Process:

  1. Format your SD card according to the SP-404MKII Quick Start guide’s “Formatting an SD Card” section.
  2. Using your computer, copy the update files (SP404MKII_APP0.bin, SP404MKII_APP1.bin) directly into the SD card’s root directory.
  3. Insert the prepared SD card into your SP-404MKII’s SD card slot.
  4. While holding down the [SHIFT] button, power on the unit.
  5. The display will show [UPDATE SURE?]. Confirm by pressing the [ENTER] knob.
  6. The update will begin. Do not power off your unit during this time.
  7. Once [UPDATE COMPLETE!] is displayed, the update is finished. Turn off your SP-404MKII and remove the SD card.

Verifying the Update:

  1. To confirm the update to version “4.04,” hold [SHIFT] and press pad [13].
  2. Navigate to the SYSTEM MENU by pressing the [ENTER] knob.
  3. Select the “VERSION” tab by rotating the CTRL 3 dial until you reach the VERSION tab.
  4. The firmware version is displayed

By following these detailed steps, you can successfully update your SP-404MKII and ensure it operates with the latest enhancements and features.


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I am Briyan Frederick (aka Bryan Baker), probably best known as the publisher of GAJOOB and a founder of Tapegerm Collective I’m collecting all of that and more on dabodab, where I write about and document my life as a graphic arts professional, songwriter, experimental recording artist, publisher, local and personal historian, grassroots business supporter, silver creative, podcaster, vlogger and zinester. read more.

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