Anatomy of a Drum Machine: Roland TR-909 Emulator JOMOX 09
massivebeatzzoffers his take on the Roland TR-909 inspired drum machine, the Jomox XBase 09
Built from 1997-2005 this now legendary drum box was first reviewed in June 1997 by SOS (Sound On Sound Magazine) asking: “So what do you get when you cross ’80s retro with ’90s know-how?”
XBase 09 is serious about emulating the Roland TR-909. Like the 909, it is an analog drum machine, and it sounds just like the 909, and more! It offers the same types of analog controls that the TR-808 and TR-909 did such as tuning, level, decay, snap, etc. However it provides more of these controls for more sounds than the originals ever did and has MIDI implementation and Patch memory making the XBase 09 a much more versatile machine than those originals.
Kick and snare are true analog, not emulation and not sampled. The Hihats, cymbal, ride, rimshot, claps and noise sounds are samples but are still quite tweakable. All your edited sounds can be stored into the 100 patches of memory. Use the built-in LFOs to modulate the Bass drum pitch, Snare Tune, Snare Snap, Snare Noise Tune, HiHat Tune or LFO 2.
The XBase 09′s built-in sequencer is also more advanced yet faithful to the style of its mentors. Step or Real-Time programming just like it’s done on the 909 and 808! However, on the XBase, any edits to the sounds will also be stored with the pattern or song! This really liven’s up your beats and allows you freedom and control to do things not easily possible on the original beat boxes! There’s also an extensive Shuffle mode. Of course the XBase 09 is also happy as a simple drum tone module, with all editable controls accessible using MIDI. The controls also send MIDI data when tweaked so you can record real-time edits into your external sequencer.
The XBase09′s editable controls include…
Bass drum — TUNE (controls the pitch envelope amount), PITCH (VCO tuning parameter), DECAY (controls the decay time), HARMONICS (changes the harmonics of the VCO using a diode limiter), PULSE (square wave impulse), NOISE (clap-like sound), ATTACK (controls how much of the PULSE and NOISE mix is added), EQ (smoothes the sound with a filter).
Snare drum — TUNE (controls the pitch of the two oscillators), NOISE TUNE (tunes the noise filter), XSNAPP (controls the proportion of noise), DECAY (noise decay time), DETUNE (detunes the two oscillators), NOISE TUNE (tunes the noise filter).
Sample section — OH DECAY (controls the decay time of the analog volume envelope for sample assigned to OHH), CH DECAY (same but for CHH), HH BAL (controls the volume balance between the samples assigned to OH and CH), TUNE defines the playback speed (pitch) of the sample.