JoMoX Alpha Base Analog Drum Synthesizer
JoMoX Alpha Base builds on the legacy of the classic XBASE 09, XBASE 999 and XBASE 888 drum machines with an entirely new design that combines pure analog circuitry with sample-based sounds and a built-in FM synth, all driven by a powerful sequencer, processed by analog filters and VCAs and sweetened by onboard reverb and delay. This is truly the flagship JoMoX drum machine!
At the heart of Alpha Base is the famous JoMoX analog kick drum, which has been further refined here, bringing along not only its legendary punch and assertiveness but also distinctive parameters like LFO, pitch envelope, metallic noise and gate time.
Next up is JoMoX's similarly famous MBrane circuit, which mimics the two vibrating membranes of a physical drum with a pair of two-pole filters that interact with one another through both mixing and frequency modulation. This voice covers a huge spectrum of analog snare drums, cowbells, claves, glasses, tomes, bass drums, etc. The MBrane channel also has two dedicated LFOs, pitch envelopes and a metallic noise source.
Samples + filter
The next six instruments are hybrid voices that run samples through real analog filters and VCAs. Each sample channel has a dedicated analog metallic noise circuit that can be used on its own or blended with the sample.
Two of the six sample-based channels are reserved for hi-hats and use the time-tested hi-hat filter from XBASE 999. This specialized filter can conjure up wonderful and noisy hi-hat sounds by blending samples with the metallic noise source.
Clap, rim, crash, ride
The next four channels each have a dedicated 2-pole resonant multimode filter switchable among lowpass, highpass and bandpass modes; the filter cutoff can be modulated by a dedicated ADSR envelope and LFO per instrument. By pushing the filter into self-oscillation you can create wonderful analog toms, claves, sticks, etc. by means of the VCA envelope or even bend samples to their extremes. Conceptually, each of the four multimode filter channels is a little synth voice; a sampled synth bass run through the analog filter is practically indistinguishable from a real analog synth!
The two X Sample channels are purely digital; Alpha Base has audio inputs to sample your own sounds directly into these channels with about 4 seconds of sample time available, more than enough for drum samples. Samples can be stored on an SD card for playback on the X Sample channels or transferred to internal flash memory for playback on other sample-based channels. All samples can be pitched and modulated across a wide range. Sample start and end points can be adjusted and sample playback can be looped. Each X Sample channel has a dedicated LFO with modulation targets for pitch, volume and loop phase.
Also included is a dedicated channel for a mini FM synth. With four operators and six voices it can create everything from weird and crazy percussion to simple chords. Played with an external MIDI keyboard it can be used as a polyphonic FM synth.
Alpha Base has onboard delay and reverb with send levels per instrument. Delay and reverb can also be inserted into the analog signal path on the hi-hat, clap, rim and ride channels.
For parameter editing, Alpha Base has 16 encoders arranged in a 4×4 matrix. Each instrument only addresses two parameter 'pages' of 16 values each, making editing as easy as possible without extensive menu-diving. The 2×24 display can show four parameters at a glance.
Alpha Base has a 16-step running LED sequencer with 11 tracks of a maximum 64 steps each. Individual track lengths may vary and are controlled by the track-specific 'last step' parameter, enabling complex polymeters and polyrhythms. Alpha Base also allows individual swing settings per track, microtiming for individual steps and per-step roll and flam settings along with two extra per-step parameters for pitch and filter cutoff frequency.
Alpha Base also allows for parameter lock-style per-step automation, with per-step sound locking available via the sound/instrument patch preset list. To program parameter locks, simply hold a step and change the parameter value you wish to automate.
Neighboring patterns can easily be chained together to create simple song structures. To create chains, simply hold two step/pattern buttons to create a pattern that will be stored with the first pattern in the chain.
Alpha Base has MIDI in, out and thru jacks as well as MIDI over USB. Each of its 11 instruments can be addressed on its own MIDI channel and can be played or sequenced externally via pitch and velocity. Every internal parameter is controllable via MIDI CC and all knobs transmit MIDI CCs. The 5-pin MIDI jacks are also compatible with DIN Sync24 for sync with legacy x0x-style machines.
- Storage in internal flash memory for 250 16-bit/48kHz samples
- SD card for sample transfer/loading
- MIDI in, out, thru
- USB port for MIDI over USB
- MIDI out and thru jacks can also send DIN sync out
- Hi-Z stereo inputs for sampling, effects or sidechain, suitable for guitar/bass or line level up to +20dBu
- Balanced stereo outputs for main mix
- 8 individual instrument balanced outputs
- Headphone output
- 18 encoders
- 3 analog potentiometers for input volume, main mix volume and headphone volume
- 2×24 character LCD display
- Sturdy metal case with wood sides
|Included from Manufacturer||Power Supply|
|Number of Keys||None|
|Voices of Polyphony||
|Effects||Reverb and delay|
|Internal Storage Capacity||
|Audio File Playback||No|
|MIDI||In, Out, Thru, USB|
|USB Port (to Host)||MIDI, System Updates|
|USB Flash Drive Port (to Device)||Sample Import|
|Audio Inputs||Dual 1/4" stereo hi-Z inputs for sampling, effects or sidechain|
|Expansion||SD card slot for sample loading, transfer and playback|
|Product Weight||7.26 lbs.|
JoMoX Limited Warranty
JoMoX products are covered under warranty for two (2) years.