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  • Jomox XBase-09 Drum Machine Arrives in America

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    The XBase-09 analog drum machine from Jomox (Germany) is now available in the United States. The machine made its United States debut (in prototype form) at the Winter Namm show in Anaheim, California in January of 1997.

    This truly analog drum machine features greatly improved sound generation parameters. As with the original Roland 909 and 808 drum machines, the kick and snare sections are true analog sound generators, however the XBase-09 also offers digital saveable and midi-adjustable controls for all parameters. In other words, drum sounds can be stored as "drum kits" (100 memories are available for drum kits), and called up at a later time.

    For enhanced sonic manipulation, the bass drum section features eight parameter controls (yes, actual knobs!):

    • Tune (identical function to the original, however the range has been improved)
    • Pitch (alteration of the bottom tuning. Sub basses down to 25Hz or Piccolo flute tones are possible)
    • Decay (identical function to the original, however the range has been improved)
    • Harmonics (alteration of the upper tones of the VCO's)
    • Pulse (alteration of the pure pulse part of the attack...extreme kicks are available)
    • Noise (alteration of the pure noise part of the attack)
    • Attack (identical to the original)
    • EQ (filters the bass drum output and smoothes the bass...good for soft 808 kicks)

    The snare drum section includes the following controls:

    • Tune (identical function to the original, however the range has been improved)
    • XSnapp (comparable to an extent to the 909 snappy although has more effect on the overall snare volume)
    • Decay (identical function to the original, however the range has been improved)
    • Detune (detunes the two oscillators...capable of producing cowbell sounds)
    • Noise Tune (tunes the noise filter of the snare)

    The HiHat section includes controls for Tune, Decay, Balance (between Open and Closed Hats), and Open Hat Decay. The OpenHat and ClosedHat pads can also be used to control 909 Rim/Clap or 909 Crash/Ride.

    All of the controls transmit midi data in real time for editing in a sequencer or for use within the internal sequencer. Because of this, no other analog drum machine in history has had the midi capabilities offered by the XBase. In their review (7/97) of the XBase-09, Sound on Sound magazine says "The XBase-09...has one of the best implementations of MIDI I've ever seen in a drum machine."

    The unit offers either internal 808/909 style programming abilities, or the ability to be used as a sound module by an external sequencer. There are memory areas of the machine allocated to storing pattern and performance information, in addition to song (chains of patterns) information. A DIN-Sync-Out jack is also included for locking up other old analog devices.

    In addition to the already enhanced sound manipulation controls, the unit includes two assignable LFO's. The LFO section can be used to choose:

    • Waveform (Sawtooth Up, Sawtooth Down, Triangle or Square)
    • Destination (Bass drum pitch, Snare Tune, Snare Snappy, Snare Noise Tune, HiHat Tune or LFO 2)
    • Intensity
    • Speed (The LFO is driven through the internal sequencer, so it varies with the tempo dependent on the speed value. Thus it is always synchronous to the sequences.)
    The LFO's can be run free or can be retriggered on every instrument trigger. Additionally, the LFO's can be sync'ed to midi if desired.

    A host of other features are included with the machine.

    The retail price is $995.00 until 12/31/97, and the product is being distributed in America by the Los Angeles based company, SoundBox.

    You can also learn a lot more about this machine by reading the review recently published in Sound on Sound magazine (England) at these websites:

    http://www.synthzone.com/vendors/jomox.htm (SynthZone)

    http://www.globaldistribution.com/products/jomox/xbase09.html (English distributor)

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