Back in July, I posted an image of a prototype Jomox drum machine. There was no information available other than what could be gleaned from the image. The long awaited ALPHA BASE analog drum machine has now appeared on the Jomox website. Here are the details.
Jurgen Michaelis introduces the ALPHA BASE as the new “drum flagship of Jomox”. It’s analogue, with eleven instruments, sampling inputs, individual outputs and support for MIDI, USB, SD card and samples. It may look similar to their other classic drum machines but under the hood it’s an all new design. Apparently it’s the best sounding drum machine he’s ever designed. This should be fun!
The all important kick drum retains all the punchiness and character of previous generations. It’s generated by a completely dedicated analogue synthesizer with LFO, pitch envelope, metallic noise and gate time. The percussion, on the other hand, is taken care of by the MBrane voice that runs their M.Brane11 percussion synthesizer. This includes the snare, cow bells, claves, glass and toms. There are also 2 LFOs, pitch envelope and metallic noise to play with.
There are 6 channels of hybrid sample instruments. These run through analogue filters and VCAs. Each channel has it’s own metallic noise generator that can be mixed with the sample or used as a purely analogue signal source by itself. Two of these channels are reserved for the hi-hats. They make use of the filter from the XBASE 999. The Clap, Rim, Crash and Ride occupy the other four channels. Each with a 2-pole multimode filter, with a cut-off envelope and dedicated LFO.
Onto the digital section. There are two sample instruments that can create a source from an external input up to 4 seconds in length. It can be stored on an SD card and loaded into the flash memory for use. The samples can be pitched and modulated, and start/stop and loops points can be set.
Not enough for you? Well, they’ve also added a digital FM synth. It has 4 operators and 6 voices and can be played from a MIDI keyboard. Not sure exactly how that all fits into the drum machine pattern creating part.
So the eleven instrument channels go as follows: Kick, MBrane, closed Hi-Hat, open Hi-Hat, Clap, Rim shot, Crash, Ride, X Sample 1, X Sample 2 and FM Synth.
We don’t know a great deal about the sequencer, or pattern creation and performance. We know there are 18 knob encoders and 16 step buttons. There are some enlightening sound examples on the website, but no videos yet. The sample side and FM Synth give a very different flavour to other recent drum machine releases.
Jomox say it will be released in May of 2017, which is a little disappointing. And there’s no mention of price. More information on the Jomox website.