Boss SP-303 Dr. Sample
Boss SP-303 Dr. Sample

SP-303 Dr. Sample, Sampler from Boss in the SP series.

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All user reviews for the Boss SP-303 Dr. Sample

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vsavagellc's review"Small Boss "

Boss SP-303 Dr. Sample
Sampler frequencies 44.1-22.05-11.025
Max Poly 8 Mono
2 banks up to 8 banks w/card
format wav/aiff
96 PQN resolution
Handles 99 measures
8 pads
26 onboard fx
Headphone ¼ in

I wish there were MAC/PC editing applications but there aren't and I don't feel they are needed


A lot of people use this unit as a looper. I personally use it to grunge up and process my sounds through. I do a lot of sound designing so this has become one of the key tools in my setup, It's small,light weight and easy to use. The manual is very easy to read and understand so any can get this piece up and running in 20 maybe 30 minutes after reading the documentation.

Sound editing is very easy to do on the unit, chopping however is another story it takes a bit a practice and requires you to use your ears but it's worth it.


The affects on the unit are warm and not clean.. that's a good thing, actually it's a great thing especially for those who are looking to create warm thick sound music. This is the same little box Madlib and J Dilla used in their production it's like every producers dirty little secret next to their technique.


You can't find the Sp 303 new anymore you can only get it used and the prices range from 0-300 dollars. I don't think you should spend any more than $200 for this unit (just my opinion).

The quality is on point, what I like most about this unit is it's simplicity.

spiritfingers's review

Boss SP-303 Dr. Sample
The Roland SP-303 is a great sampling machine for beginning or advanced DJ's. There are newer model's from Roland on the market (SP-404, SP-505) but the SP-303 is a simple to use touch and edit sampler. I have used the SP-303 for over two years now and have played and recorded in a studio with the sampler. I like the two banks of onboard memory and the SmartMedia card input with two banks of memory. The memory cards are hard to come by, but can be easily purchase over the internet. Sixteen samples can be set to any memory card. Eight trigger buttons make for easy sample playback. Switching between onboard and memory card banks are easy with simple light up buttons. The SP-303 has over 30 effects to overlay on sample playback or while recording. Effects range from echoes, phaser, eq isolator, pitch shifter, and even vinyl simulator. There is also tempo and beat per minute editing. The SP-303 uses 1/4" inputs on the front of the machine with RCA inputs and outputs on the back. The SP-303 uses a blunky power adapter that can only be attached at the bottom of any surge protecter or electrical outlet. The SP-303 also offers an external source playback. Easy to use recording, playback, and editing makes this a perfect sampling machine for anyone who has not used any type of electronics before. One main volume control, and three effects controls make this a very easy to use sampling machine. The price is very good for this quality of a sampling machine. Other comparable sampling machines will have less onboard memory or not have as many effects. The SP-303 can make a variety of sounds, anything the programmer wishes to produce. They are very good to use in conjunction with each other and I plan on buying multiple of these machines.
FP User10/31/2008

FP User's review

Boss SP-303 Dr. Sample
A lot of people underestimate this little box. It has everything I need. Most people don't like the sequencer but I think its quite fun. I love to sit there and bang everything out myself. It has quantize, but I dont use it. Smartmedia cards are a plus.

$250 USD

Sound quality is awesome. I love the effects. Changing the Time/BPM of a sample makes it sound odd, but thats just the 303 flava, son. sounds RAW.

I figured out how to freak it pretty quick, and been having a blast ever since. If you have patience, and a brain, you should be able to make hot beats on this machine!!!

Seems like its well built. Its plastic with some metal. The pads seem like they can take a beating.

I ABSOLUTELY love this machine. I've been having so much fun with it since I got it and if it ever went missing I'd be horribly depressed to the point of no return. Until I bought another...which I would. the 303 is sort of primitive, but i think that's part of its appeal. Sometimes you'll make a mistake on the 303 and you'll come out with something completely unique that you wouldn't have even thought of if you were using the cut-and-paste blah-ness of software samplers.(IMHO) If you're considering buying one, I say DO IT.

Originally posted on
Posted by: alwaysfresh ( 2-, 2006)
FP User10/31/2008

FP User's review

Boss SP-303 Dr. Sample
The only thing i dont like is its hard to trim a sample with a numeric screen. Im spoiled by having a computer. I still havent figured out how to do it on the 303

Price paid

$375.00 US

Sounds great, the realtime FX are great.

minus the numeric screen, its dope!

built for a traveling DJ. its built like a rock. Even has a place to lock it down with a laptop padlock!

Its great. I use it as a mic pre amp. it wasnt made for that but it works just the same.

Originally posted on
Posted by: Rhyno Beatz (January 0-, 2005)
FP User10/31/2008

FP User's review

Boss SP-303 Dr. Sample
The features are all there, everything you need. The pith adjustment, just dont touch it. sometimes it will sound "Decent" or it will sound like hell. this thing has it all other than that.

Price paid


perfect sound quality. sounds just like you sampled it. its a great machine and always gets the job done. Sometimes the thing will freeze up, and sometimes it will do that during sampling somethin long..then it's all lost. DO NOT unplug it while sampling or anything like that, i have lost an entire bank before doing that.

this thing is a piece of cake, it was my first ever sampler and after looking through the manual once, i never needed to again.

ive taken this thing everywhere, never had a problem with it, its the size of an oversized gameboy

this thing is my baby, i love it. i could easily sell it for something better but id rather save up for something than get rid of this. I just wish i got program drums on it!

Originally posted on
Posted by: wasteman ( 7-, 2005)
FP User10/31/2008

FP User's review

Boss SP-303 Dr. Sample
The features are really ill. the effects are super dope and theirs so many of them. i think it is missing a stronger sequencer . if it had a stronger sequencer it would be my main choice of equipment. The fact that it is portable, it has a grip of effects, the lo fi , stereo mono option, and that it has a sampler,sequencer,and editing options that it makes it ideal for someone on a minimal budget.

Price paid


Ah the sound quality is excellent! its clean but at the same time you are able to choose lo fi and really lo fi. haha

everything is easy to use. you just have to spend time with the manual. but as far as me learning how to use it. i was making beats the first day i happened to pick it up.

I havent really dropped it or anything. but as far as i can see everything was built well. i bang on the pads really hard and they dont break.

I think the number of features and the portablity is something that will make me never part with it.

Originally posted on
Posted by: djobserv ( 6-, 2005)
FP User10/31/2008

FP User's review

Boss SP-303 Dr. Sample
This is my second sampler, the other was the Yamaha SU200, whick was a disappointment. Im very happy with what this sampler is capable of doing. The sound quality is very good. Even low bass that is sampled shows very little dillusion. Great sound quality. The filters are good, some are really whack and pointless to use. The built in pattern sequencer is total garbage, in other words its pointless to use. The effects can be applied to any line in source even wothout recording so this box kinda doubles up as an effects processor, its fun to watch twisted anime movies with a strange echo effect provided from the 303. I would of liked the "chop" option found on the 505.

Price paid


Sound quality is great, damn near CD quality. However, adjusting the BPM of a sample kills the quality big time. But adding effects to a sample with an altered BPM usually cancels out the decrease in sound quality.

Very useful piece of gear and for the cheap price you cannot go wrong with this one. A must for the low budget hip hop producer that doesnt like to use "fruity loops" software. The manual is very understandable and explains every aspect of the unit.

The unit is plastic and very light, feels like a "toy". The pads are great, I can bang the hell out of them and not worry about shortening the lifespan. The knobs are solid and slide very easily. Only having RCA inputs/outputs is a mjor turnoff to some beat makers and may suggest a lack of quality to some buyers, but im not Dr Dre, I dont care if it doesnt have 1/4" jacks.

I dont love to sample so I dont love this unit. Its all I need in a sampler at a cheap price, but not for everyone, especially Dr Dre and Dre wanna-b's.

Originally posted on
Posted by: Unknown ( 4-, 2002)

songboy's review

Boss SP-303 Dr. Sample
This unit has 8 Polyphony. It has a 20 bit conversion rate for both A/D and D/A. As for effects is has 26 all together (Delay, reverb, vinyl sim, overdrive, isolation, etc...) and has the ability to resample with the effects (pretty sweet). You have three options of sampling, Normal, Long and Lo-Fi. The standard sampling time is as follows: Norman=31 secs, Long=63 secs and Lo-fi=3 mins. 10secs. With a 64 mb smart media card (max) you get: Normal =33 mins., Long=64 mins. and Lo-fi= 202 mins. As for connections it has RCA stereo in/out, 1/4" mic/line input, midi in, 1/4" headphone jack and of course the Smart Media card slot. You cannot edit this with a computer, but really there is no need to, everything you need is right in front of you. I should also mention that it has a step sequencer built in which is great for programing multiple samples to play in specific patterns.


The general setup/config is a little confusing. I definitely needed to read the manual to learn how to do just about everything. They do have little "hints" printed next to some of the labels of the buttons, but they don't always make sense. Again, the editing on this unit is a little tricky, but after reading the manual, you should get the hang of it. Once you get that knowledge, you can pretty much do everything you need to do without having to flip back through the manual. This was one of the best Roland Manuals I have ever used (I have had bad experiences before). I had no trouble figuring out what I needed to know.


The convertors sound fine. The samples retain almost all of there genuine tone when using the normal sampling rate. You obviously lose a lot of quality as you step down the sampling ladder (Long, Lo-Fi). The effects are good as well. I particularly like the isolation and the filters. They are great for electronica type tones. I am not sure what it means when asked if the dynamics are respected, but I think this unit sounds great and I also have seen some of my favorite bands (Benevento Russo Dou uses the sp202 model, and Lymbyc System uses this model) use this unit live.


I had this unit for 2 years. The best thing about this unit is the ability to resample as many times as you want with the internal effects. What I didn't like about this unit has to do with the resampling funny enough. You cannot set it up to automatically resample the whole original sample. You have to do it manually which can be difficult if you already set up the tempo just right. I noticed that my resamples would be slightly off sometimes so I would have to delete that resample and try again. Kind of frustrating. Also, smart media cards are hard to find nowadays and can be expensive, so that sucks too. I also have the RC-50 floor pedal sampling unit. They label it a guitar effect but I use this thing for all my instruments. It doesn't have internal effects but it does have way better options in my opinion. You can find these for around $150 on ebay, an overall, thats a great deal for musicians who want sampling capability but can't afford computer based samplers. I would probably buy this unit again if I was on a tight budget, but if I wasn't, a mac laptop will do way more.

Fsuchs's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Boss SP-303 Dr. Sample
See all the way down ..... : D


the SP-303 is truly accessible. This is my first sampler, configuration and access to functions is simple, although requiring a bit of practice and / or a low memory ... But no secret is made on a particular function; for a beginner, the manual is very detailed and very "pedagogik.

All functions are accessible from the front, the fact that each key lights switched on is really handy, whether "on stage" or replay a song. each pad flashes involved in a pattern and allows easy identification.

Editing samples, awesome and very flexible. The automatic assignment of tempo is very well seen, the micro-editing samples is really nice and effective.

Mode pattern: easy as pie, the quanticize *** is able to groovy. the deletion event is well thought out, it really helps to erase the stuff that fair, without need for any step edit ...
MIDI: Sync only a slave, and the possibility of piloting the pads of the machine by an external sequencer. Point bar. And it's really at this point that the machine is disappointing.
Indeed, in pattern mode, no ability to sequence it via an external sequencer (and beatings, as there is no Mode song ...)... Thus, it is impossible to use the SP-303 as an instrument flown, or he must stay in front of his machine and change its patterns live according to the evolution of the song.
So it is more a process than in live production. According to its aspirations, it can be a problem, which remains circumvented (resampling patterns using a large sampler or DAW).

but I think more and more I tell myself it is part of the charms of the machine ...


I am not a specialist sound, my sytstêmes listening are the best amateur stuff candlelit. However, it seems as if the 303 hair colors a sound, fishing is the rendezvous. and time.
I have a MPC 1000 and it seems that although different in reproduction, the SP 303 has a tab PLEASANT

Regarding effects, I must admit that many are very interesting.
The "Filter + drive" is really excellent. The "slicer", very creative, and "vinyl sim offers a miraculous compression on the beats.
In short, use, testing!

However ....

One effect is directly used for more, we must resample the sound.

A big disadvantage, that for once there is a vector of creativity: no "pitch shifter" as function. but it exists as an effect. Rather special, if you want such a note of low pitch for you to create a panel notes that you organize into a pattern, we must resample the note through the pitch shifter. and preferably always starting from the original note, if we obtain the slurry.


All that to say that the stuff is limited, but with a little trick ... it does.



I have a certain amount of accumulated stuff, this little sampler of milk is really the machine that I used most.
Many limitations, but also a lot of tricks to circumvent them. So suddenly, very very creative product, see a musical instrument in itself.

I love his mouth, his sound, his hacks.

And obviously I'm not alone, given the renewed interest that expresses its coast.
Madlib's fault and Panda Bear who claimed their attachment to this machine.

"Madvillainy" was actually carried out entirely on this machine, and a tape recorder. result for a very "SP 303-esque" (you can hear during the transitions of patterns, which are not always in place, but it really has its charm.

Briefly, the ifyou found less than 100 euros, you cast it. More than 100 euros, after all, weigh out the pros and cons (format smartmedia, no song mode, almost indispensable resampling ...)

goemonkun's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Boss SP-303 Dr. Sample
Previously treated so ...


Simple configuration, quick access to various functions rather easy to remember when it is turned frequently.

editing sounds simple: two buttons to turn, data on screen to press the pads where almost everything is written.

Manuel EASY: No mystical technique, as with all pads is marked on it, you can read you know use them as


Already treated before.


I use it for a little less than a year

I love everything in this sampler effect, small size, its not really typed (clear) clear
Its effects are nice (although it is always best but not the point)
Other models, for what? When you love to do loops in the punch clock or to pile on the throne (each with its delusions) is a perfect tool that meets its functions, for those who want more there are other machines more chéres.Le sp 303 is effective and it is a good machine!

Value for money: Beware of the premium, to try absolutely, otherwise the value is sure tough.

With the experience I resign now, beginner or not, after reading the manual and tips taken here and there on the net was fun with ... Personal sampler like that's all!