JoMoX Alpha Base Analog Drum Synthesizer


#329

I’m draw back to the funky tight sound of this box again and again. How are people finding the sound, reliability, flexibility and user samples.


#330

999 is a great drum machine.
Wish I still had mine


#331

Ok… i sat down and created a little improvised jam on the Alpha Base using its FM little synth… i was going for squelching screaming bangin’ FM and I wanted the instruments to cut through clearly…

This was done just on the Alpha Base using its internal FX on a couple of tracks and wiggling on the FM knobs… No external processing… No midi CC BS from Cikrlon… Straight up JOMOX ALPHA BASE… its a beast:

https://soundcloud.com/nikarga/alpha-base


#332

Thank you for sharing this. It sounds great.


#333

Thanks - one of the things I really enjoy is how much fun it is to tweak on this box. You can go crazy and arrive at crazy accidents. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a complimentary (or alternative) drum machine with the punchiest dynamic range.


#334

Hey guys, sorry for the maybe dumb question, but what exactly is the difference between the 888 and the alpha base? I know it’s got a the M-Brane voice and FM synth, but there are so many cool FM’s round these days… Has the sequencer seen an update? Thx!


#335

After the honeymoon period is this machine still hot in terms of a 909 ish and sample playback machine?


#336

Does anyone know if you can monitor an external signal through the inputs while running the sequencer? Couldn’t find it in the manual.


#337

Did you keep the alpha base or did you sell it? The GAS is strong with that one.


#338

Sold it. I loved the kick, but didn’t think much of the M-Brane. M-Brane definitely needed like an overdrive or something to give it more punch.

The FM synth was terrible imo. Couldn’t get any useful sounds out of it. I ultimately realized the OS just didn’t really jive with me. I’d just way rather have something like a Digitakt paired with an M-Base I think.

I’m also really liking using my Gotharman Anamono X as a drum machine. I have a bunch of classic drum machine samples I bought from Goldbaby loaded up into it. I dedicate a dual analog filter card with distortion on it to the kick, and send all other sample to the triple analog filter card.

The resonances of all the analog filters, and subtly triggering envelope modulations on them for different samples sounds really nice to me. The triple analog filter feels like a luxurious eq. And the sequencer lets me dial in slight randomization of the microtiming of hi hats and snares.


#339

So i got a alpha base and really dig it, but i agree with others the ui isnt the best. However if you used other jomox boxes the ui is miles ahead of the 888 999. The alpha also sounds diffrent then 888/999 not sure yet what it is but i am really liking the sound. I am going to do some live sets with it and mfb tanzmaus for drums and ill write more about the alpha base when i do.


#340

heres a quick test of Alpha Base this it just a loop using

Alpha Base - all drums and samples
P6+ OB6 - synths
H9+ analog heat -fx

https://soundcloud.com/kawa/the-beat-fx-and-synths

https://soundcloud.com/kawa/the-beat-drums-only


#341

Oh that’s nasty. It’s like SP1200 and 909 had a child with that kit.


#342

Does anyone know if you can monitor an external signal through the inputs while running the sequencer? Couldn’t find it in the manual.


#343

new firmware

https://www.jomox.de/news_details.php?lang=2&news_id=53

In case your provided SD card does not work or you have no card at hand:

AB_OSupdating_SysEx.pdf

Midi Settings
-Midi notes receive enable added.
If deactivated, the Alpha Base doesn’t respond to incoming midi notes.
-Midi port from/to USB enable added.
When activated, all incoming events on the physical Midi In port are passed to
USB midi and all incoming USB midi events are passed to the Midi Out port.
-Volume CC 7 changed
All instruments on individual channels receive their volume by CC 7 (replaces
CC117) which is much better if you use a DAW.
-Global Flags store added.
All midi (and other) settings are stored in the global flag area and restored on
the next power cycle. One must only store the actual preset with shift 1 to
transfer the flags to flash memory. Due to the long programming cycle this is
not done automatically.
SD Card port
-New provided SD cards get recognized.
We found out that the newer provided Intenso SD cards (roughly after serial
number 100) were not readable by the Alpha Base. Although we used exactly
the same type and same supplier and it uses Fat32, the cards are different to
the previous bunch. Sorry! The new OS checks the SD card during booting and
provides a better SD card handling. If cards are not readable after inserting,
press again the Disk button. If this doesn’t help, try again by power cycling the
machine with the card inserted.
-OS update file read security improved
If the OS update is made by the file function , the file reading is
double checked and rechecked for card read errors.
Single/Multi Mode
-The switching of Single/Multi Mode has been moved from Encoder click 12 to
Shift 14.
Too often this essential basic operation switching had been done by chance and
then all your editings were gone and even more, the machine has a completely
different behaviour. In multi mode, the FX settings were not stored along with
the current Multi Kit. Also, when stored a multi set in Multi Mode, this affects
Single Kits too as the real data is only stored in the presets (Single Kits). For a
deeper understanding, read the section in the operating manual.
We think some complaints about non-recallable FX settings are related to this
basic functionality. For newbies, we recommend to use the machine in Single
Mode only.
-Multi Mode extended to FX
The Multi Mode has been expanded and implements now Reverb and Delay/Pan
settings. They act as an instrument and can be selected from the existing
presets like the other instruments. For this reason, the Multi screen now looks
like this:
Kit No KD MB CH OH CLP
M u l t i K O O O O 7 O 1 1 4 1 1 O 8
O 7 O 9 O 4 O 6 O 5 2 4 1 1 2 3
RIM CRH RID X1 X2 FM REV DEL/PAN
If you now store a Multi Set, the FX and Pan get reloaded properly. Please note
that Delay and Pan settings cannot be separated as they share the same
memory. Also note that in general every stored parameter change in multi
mode also affects the single kits pointed to. That’s not fixable as multi mode is
just a set of vectors.
Menu Screens and Parameter Knobs drawing issues
-Some menu screens and intermitting knob movings have been blocked. So if
you are in Disk or Midi menu, turning the parameter knobs does not overwrite
the current menu any more.
Same applies for the shift functions that could be overwritten by just turning a
knob.
In order to edit the parameters of an instrument, you have to press KIT/SEQ if
you are in DISK or MIDI Menu.
-Parameter lock edit knob redraw mixing
Encoder 13 click now only works if you are in parameter lock editing (Seq Mode
and cursor right) and sets or clears parameter locks on the selected step.
Turning the knobs only works in Seq Pitch Seq mode on steps set and does not
overwrite steps in parameter lock editing as it did before.
-Pattern store menu improved
If you are in Shift 3 (Store Pattern), the current pattern is displayed as the real
number and bank you can see.
S t o r e P a t t O 1 B a n k 1
And if you press the up/down buttons or turn the data wheel it changes into :
S t o r e t o : O 1 B a n k 1
P a t t 1 2 B a n k 2


#344

heres a track i did on a trip in japan

used the alphabase for drums and sample, a4 for synth and noisy synth line.


#345

Some shanannigas i exchanged at GS in case anyone finds it useful. Current firmware is at 1.23 released yest:

having owned since release, I have used this machine through every iteration. my thoughts as an early user:

  • every instrument is available on its own midi channel, this is invaluable. For those that sequence using dedicated software or hardware, this is a dream. I personally sequence from my cirklon, allowing me to get clinical with my patterns; far deeper and more capable than the elektron boxes (i have an OT and MD)
  • internal sequencer can get deep but the convoluted UI hinders workflow which can sometimes be a bottleneck for creativity
  • Speaking of UI, it can be buggy at times
  • On the plus side, Jurgen and co are constantly updating firmware and this is very much appreciated. The machine has matured a lot since launch. This is to be expected, it took Elektron 3 years to start get the OT to be bug free
  • the kick is excellent. The classic jomox kick can really cut through the mix but more suited to higher pitches with a fast and punchy attack. Tuning and pitching lower loses the mid and tail of longer decays… its impossible to get that OUMFF as from say an 808 - but lets not forget its not trying to be one
  • mbrane is a beast but very difficult to get ones head around. Personally dont use it for snares but often get happy accidents with awesome basslines going. having a broad albeit still slightly rudimentary understanding of its complicated signal path, jurgen’s wizardry.
  • mixed feelings about samples

This machine really shines thanks to its analog VCAs and VCFs - the most impressive dynamics currently available. I strongly disagree about the Rytm MK1/2 sounding “better”. As an early (and ongoing) Elektron user, I really like their machines for different reasons. The Rytm cant do that earth shattering sound that can blow the socks off your feet… but the AB cant do probabilities, microtiming or compete with the inventors of p-locks.

Couple of shortcomings/bugs in 1.23:

  • if the AB is connected to midi and powered on AFTER the master midi device (in my case the Cirklon), the unit becomes unresponsive and user must power cycle either a) BEFORE the master midi device is switched on or b) disconnect the midi cable before powering
  • my unit reverts to AlphaOne 000 every time i switch it on rather than picking up from where I left off.

Wishlist:

  • XSMPLE instruments 1&2 are too quiet versus the rest of the tracks. I think this is because they dont go through dedicated VCAs but rarher digitally controlled
  • sporadic nuances upon rebooting and reverting to saved kits (i noticed that for example the filter setting had magically changed setting a couple of times)
  • i really wish we could overdrive the VCA into the VCF… an impressive oversight in my opinion

All in all I really like this machine and it is a unique box with pros and cons. It hits hard, and its dynamic range is more impressive than anything else available right now. Note: Erica Synth is about to release its Techno System but thats going to set you back EUR 3800, way outside most peoples reach.

Juergen has learned from the experiences of his previous machines and he and the team are constantly releasing updates (throughout summer; take a hint Elektron). Admittedly, there was a moment I felt like selling it but that was on older firmware. 99% of the time the box is stable and the bugs are constantly getting ironed out (sometimes introducing new ones). However, I realise that away from sound, the amount of times I have smiled from some funky accident occuring from shaping its VCA/VCFs far outweigh its shortcomings.


#346

You have a cirklon and alphabase. I wanna grow up to be like you. I’m still on the wait list for my cirklon


#347

:grin: Cirklon is definitely worth the wait


#348

After spending a few useful mins on the phone to Jurgen I can confirm these are not bugs but rather user error.

The reason for the freezing was because I hadnt stored a Kit post the firmware update.

It is important to note that since v1.15, global Midi settings are only stored to permanent memory after storing a Kit (using Shift 1) to Flash. So, if you are using an external sequencer that is constantly transmitting Clock information, remember to previously change the global Midi settings on the AB to clock sync “on” beforehand otherwise you will run into issues.

Finally, the experience I have had dealing with Jomox (and Jurgen directly) has been a refreshing deviation from recent trends of some of the other larger manufacturers out there. Very reaponsive, constant firmware updates throughout the summer - I think it needs to be praised and mentioned so users can have informed and accurate information rather than rely on speculative experiences from the past.