The Boss SP-303 Dr. Sample is a discontinued digital sampler from Boss, based upon the Roland MS-1 Digital Sampler and Boss SP-202 Dr. Sample. The SP-303 was revamped and redesigned in 2005, and released as the SP-404.
While the SP-303 Dr. Sample may lack some of the features seen on other hip hop production samplers such as the Ensoniq ASR-10, the Akai MPC, and later SP installments, it however has many other unique features that make up for that. The sampler provides up to three minutes and twelve seconds of sampling. The sample time can be expanded by the use of SmartMedia cards (8MB-64MB supported). The SP-303 features twenty-six internal effects that can be applied to samples and external sources as well. Another notable feature is the built-in pattern sequencer, where loops and patterns can be programmed.
The SP-303 is often praised by various musicians for its unique sound qualities. Frequent SP-303 user Dibiase said of the sampler, "The difference between the 303 and SP-404 is that the vinyl sound compression sounds way different in the 303. It has a grittier sound." The sampler has often been used live and in the studio by artists such as Animal Collective, Panda Bear, Four Tet, Madlib and J Dilla. Dilla famously used only the SP-303 and a 45 record player to create 29 of the 31 tracks from Donuts while hospitalized.
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