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.
Vintage gear demo of “70s Stringensemble Trilogy”
0.08 – 1.23 Roland VP-330 Vocoder Plus (1979)
1.24 – 2.32 Crumar Performer (1979)
2.33 – 3.53 Logan String Melody II (1979)
Used the special functions (human voices, brass filter, lfo, tone colour, chorus…) on the stringmachines.
bass: Moog Taurus 1 basspedal (1976)
drums: Keio Minipops Junior (1972)
recording: multitrack without midi
fx: a bit reverb and delay
This video shows a Roland Jupiter 8 with the New England Analog Pyxis aftertouch system.
The purpose of this particular video is to show how you can disable the lower 4 voices on the JP8 so that aftertouch wont affect them. However, using the aftertouch sensor on the lower half of the keyboard can still affect how the aftertouch modulates the upper 4 voices. This creates some interesting effects. Using “whole” mode with the lower 4 voices disabled will produce a sound much like a CS80 or something with polyphonic aftertouch.
On this particular Jupiter, there are two separate disable switches; one for disabling filter and VCA effects from Pyxis on lower 4 voices, and another for disabling Pyxis control of VCOs.
Should Be Higher (Live on Letterman version)
Upper: Roland JP8000
Mid: Emu Emax w/Oberheim and Kurzweil samples
Lower: Kurzweil PC1x
Composed by David Gahan / Kurt Uenala
The JD-800 is Roland’s answer to half a decade of hard-to-program synthesizers. Covered in sliders that act as dedicated editors just like a classic analog synth, the JD-800 is an extremely programmable and hands-on digital synthesizer. It is also an interesting and great sounding digital synth with incredible flexibility and control. Internal ROM based waveforms are combined to build your sounds. The sounds are based on Roland’s D-50, but updated for the nineties with multimode filters – uncommon but welcome at the time.
The JD-800 came in a tough metal case capped off on the sides with large plastic covers. Programming may be a little too flexible for some users, but once you know what you’re doing with it, almost any sound you can dream up can be dialed in and stored.
A quick ‘side by side’ between a Jomox XBase 09 and Roland TR-909… just because this is the one thing everybody always asks about the XBase 09 – “does it sound like a real 909 ?”
Background video description:
Arranged rack improv. MS-20mini for bass (it’s still kicking ass), my new addition a Wavestation A/D for Air V
ox chords. A Roland JD800 and a Dave Smith Prophet ’08
Released in 2003, the V-Synth was a new flagship synthesizer from Roland debuting some of their coolest features of the time, allowing for a new world of sounds full of life and motion. The V-Synth combines multiple oscillator technologies, user sampling and new COSM filtering for incredibly dynamic new sounds. The user has realtime control of a waveform’s pitch, time and formant plus a killer arpeggiator and a host of realtime controllers including the revolutionary TimeTrip Pad and twin D-Beam controllers. All this leads to sounds that can move, morph, evolve and sound totally unique.
The V-Synth has dual oscillators that offer a choice of three different synthesis methods: analog modeling, PCM waveforms with user sampling, and external audio input processing–all with up to 24-voice polyphony. The PCM oscillator is powered by VariPhrase for complete sonic control. Choose from over 300 preset waveforms or sample your own. Then use the “TimeTrip” function to manipulate a waveform’s time aspect in any way you wish. Slow it down to uncover rich moving harmonic content; speed it up to create high-speed tonal motion; freeze it at your favorite spot; or rewind it backward at any speed without changing pitch and formant, which can also be independently controlled. The Analog modeling offers several fat-sounding analog style waveforms. The third oscillator type is External Audio Processing, which lets you process any signal arriving at the V-Synth’s analog inputs. All three oscillator types can be layered and mixed in several ways, or modulated using FM, ring mod and oscillator hard sync.
All programming is achieved via the large LCD Touch Screen plus a bunch of hands-on controls and knobs including the new TimeTrip Pad, twin D Beams and the velocity/aftertouch sensitive 61-note keyboard. While you can independently manipulate the pitch, time and formant of sampled waveforms using VariPhrase technology there is also powerful COSM processing offering analog-style filter modeling, a resonator and Side Band Filter, plus global reverb, chorus and multi-effects. The V-Synth’s programmable arpeggiator can modulate sound parameters to provides additional rhythmic and timbral controls.
The V-Synth is fully suited to the modern day studio as well, with analog I/O and MIDI ports supplemented by USB and digital S/PDIF I/O ports. Use the analog or digital inputs to sample your own waveforms to be used in the variable oscillator. You can even exchange .WAV and AIFF files via the built-in USB port, which also works for MIDI. Resampling is also possible, allowing users to capture any performance with the TimeTrip Pad, D Beam or arpeggiator – or even effected sounds – as an entirely new waveform. All Preset Patches are fully re-writeable, giving users plenty of space for their own creations, which can also be saved via USB to a computer or to an optional PC card. With PC card adapters, other media such as CompactFlash, SmartMedia and MicroDrives can also be used.
Additionally, with V-LINK Onboard Video Control users are allowed playback and performance of video clips with music created on the V-Synth via the Roland DV-7PR Digital Video Workstation (sold separately). Use V-LINK to trigger different video clips with V-Synth’s keyboard while using the bender to change playback speed. Using the TimeTrip Pad, you can scan a clip forwards or backwards with your finger, or change colors using the Twin D Beams. A totally unique feature perfectly suited for live use.
The V-Synth GT was later released in 2007 which adds Roland’s Vocal Designer technology with revolutionary Articulative Phrase Synthesis technology. Articulative Phrase synthesis recreates the ever-changing behavior, nuance and sound of an instrument as it’s being played. The results are stunningly expressive and realistic, and can be applied to acoustic instrument simulation as well as new, never-before-heard sounds. In a nutshell, it lets acoustic instrument sounds such as a violin sound like it’s being played with a bow rather than keys on a keyboard. New front panel features include a color touch-screen with eight universal control knobs, and the addition of dedicated buttons and sliders to make access faster and easier. The GT could also has a maximum 28 voices of polyphony.
The BX-13-MICRO is a most advanced, yet easiest to use, vintage 24-pin to 13-pin Roland guitar synthesizer bus converter.
The BX-13-MICRO tackles the problem of controlling the level of the normal guitar by including a voltage-controlled amplifier inside the BX-13, doing the same job as the voltage controlled amplifiers found inside a GR-500, GR-300 or GR-700.
And here is an added plus: no loss of tone as you turn the guitar volume down! The advanced VCA design does not roll off tone like a passive volume control. You get the full range of tone at any volume.
With an entirely redesigned circuit, the transparently converts the 24-pin format to the 13-pin format, and there are no levels to adjust, no additional cables, just clean, analog signal processing with no latency.
Released in 1985 the JX-10 (Super JX) combines two individual JX-8P’s for an outstandingly warm, rich and analog sound which is still used in many modern studios all over the world. This synth was the first Roland Synth to be fitted with a quality 76 note keyboard with velocity and aftertouch. Two DCO’s per voice, two ADSR envelope generators per voice, and a resonant lowpass & non-resonant highpass filters are only the beginning. It has a 12 voice polyphony for a total of 24 oscillators and it is by far one of the most programmable synths of its time! However, as on the JX-8P, knobs and sliders have been replaced by low-profile buttons and a nice LCD display. Although this may look sleek and elegant, it makes editing a chore. Assign parameters to the alpha dial for tweaking, one at a time, or get the optional PG-800 Programmer to provide traditional, hands-on, dedicated sliders for editing the JX-10′s parameters.
The JX10 has a Chorus effect and a chase-play Delay function. The chase-play function allows programmable delayed repeats of voices by alternating patches of the upper and lower modules. The simple chorus effect is either off, slow or fast. It has two programmable sliders (if you don’t use the PG-800) for some real-time control which can be recorded along with other effects and keyboard modes into one of the 64 Program Patches. This is in addition to its standard 50 preset and 50 user patch memory. A simple sketch-pad 1-track real-time sequencer is also on-board. It stores sequence data directly to an M16C card, or an M64C card for Patch/Tone OR sequence data. The M16C has a capacity of 400 notes, the M64C 1440, according to the manual.
The JX-10 also comes in a rack-mount version known as the MKS-70. It’s worth noting that the JX-10 can not be edited via SysEx, however the MKS-70 can which is one reason many have chosen the rack version over the keyboard. The JX-10 can make bulk dumps of its sounds over sysex, but only with (discontinued) Roland M64C RAM cartridges.