Sequential Circuits Studio 440

Sequential Studio 440 Image

The Studio 440 is like the Grand-Daddy of Sequencing/Sampling Drum and Music Production Machines. You may have heard of the Akai MPC60, MPC2000, MPC3000 and E-mu SP1200 machines. Although some of these exceed the limits of the Studio 440, it is still very much worth checking out! The major difference between the modern Akai MPCs and the Studio 440 is that its sampler is 12-bit. A little lo-fi in comparison to the 16-bit MPC. The Studio 440 also has a slim 520kb memory so you won't have much time to sample anymore than some short percussion and drums.

Similar to the MPC60, the Studio 440 has an analog lowpass filter which is always fun. Unfortunately it is not resonant. The Sequencer is intuitive and quite functional with a capacity of 50,000 notes, 8 separate tracks and a swing function. But unlike its contemporaries, the 440 has some visionary features for its time. MIDI data from the sequencer can be transmitted out so that it can play external MIDI instruments. There is also built-in SCSI for external drives and storage.

The 440 is pleasant to look at, even today. It's simple to use and sounds pretty darn good despite its lo-fi 12-bit sampler. Though an MPC is likely a better buy than the 440 these days the 440 still commands quite a high asking price. It was, after all, one of Sequential's last products. It was way ahead of its time and was also very hip! They are rare and difficult to have serviced - what else would you expect from a Vintage instrument!

Lookup Sequential Circuits Studio 440 Prices

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26 Visitor comments
bumbaclart
January 2, 2013 @ 6:01 pm
a tip to anyone considering buying a 440: the pads are AWFUL! Double triggering, missed firing etc. What makes it even worse, the 440 used a weird membrane switch system in the pad mechanism which is virtually impossible to replace. If you come across a 440 with dodgy triggering for sale at least try and slash 50% off the current market price as you'll probably have to live with it for good!
bumbaclart
January 2, 2013 @ 5:43 pm
@Geeet it Right
The EMU SP12 series was actually named BECAUSE they were 12-bit. SP"12"00. EMU did have plans for an SP1600 16 bit but they never got off the drawing board :)
Geeet it Right
November 20, 2012 @ 8:50 am
First off. Only the MPC-60 was 12 bit. The rest were 16.
Second, the MPC-60 doesn't have a low pass filer on it. Everything from the MPC-2000 and after did. This review is balls.
4404life
October 24, 2012 @ 12:24 pm
I prefer this to the sp1200.....the alternate parameter key is so dope!
Mista.p
February 25, 2012 @ 8:12 am
Plumber, You got a bite!. The MPC is a great sequencer. So is the 440- as well as all the standard: quantise, auto repeat (that you can leave turned on!) Swing, 8 tracks you can also record in real time pitch, pan and level adjusted by 3 pots, you can play multi-samlped sounds on a keyboard (try that on any other mpc than a 5000).
Curtis low pass, ASR on VCA and VCF, zero crossing point for start/end point/looping, xfade looping, bi-directional looping..
3 sample frequencies- 16, 31 and 42Khz. (max 33.5 sec) -SP1200=10sec
Plenty of time for me - http://soundcloud.com/mista-precise
 
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VSE Rating

Excellent

User Rating

Rated 3.8 (185 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Demos & Media
  • Audio Clip 1 - This is an original demo of the Studio 440 with its typical sounds and a ReBirth 303 acid-line (to spruce it up).

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 voices
  • Sampler - 12-bit 16-32-44KHz
  • Memory - 512kb; SCSI port
  • Filter - Analog Lowpass non-resonant filter with envelope
  • Sequencer - 50,000 notes, 8 tracks, with adjustable swing (50 - 75%) and more
  • Keyboard - 8 pads
  • Effects - None
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1987
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Andre Schaefer.

    Thanks to Johan Sahlberg - F L Y H for providing some information.

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