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Jomox Alpha Base MKII, an Analog Drum Synthesizer, Unveiled at Superbooth 24

by Madonna

In the realm of analog drum synthesizers and machines, those boasting a rich feature set beyond the classic 808/909 sounds are a rare breed. Among the most revered in this category is the Jomox Alpha Base, which made waves upon its release in 2017 by offering a blend of deep drum synthesis and sample playback capabilities within a single unit.

After a successful seven-year run, the original Alpha Base (MKI) has been officially discontinued. Jürgen Michaelis, the visionary behind Jomox, provided a sneak peek of the revamped Alpha Base MKII during last year’s Superbooth 23 event. Now, at Superbooth 24, the finalized version of the MKII has been unveiled, slated for release later this year.

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While the Alpha Base MKII maintains the core features of its predecessor, significant enhancements and additions have been made.

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The heart of the MKII lies in its hybrid engine, blending analog and digital technologies. Analog components include the iconic kick drum, an expansive MBrane module, and a versatile Hi-hat capable of producing both closed and open sounds.

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Six additional instruments within the MKII combine samples with analog filtering and Voltage-Controlled Amplifiers (VCAs). Each analog sample channel is complemented by its own metallic noise generator, providing flexibility in sound design. Moreover, two dedicated sample slots offer digital sampling capabilities, alongside an FM synthesis engine.

Improvements extend beyond sound generation to the user interface, boasting a plethora of knobs and buttons for streamlined access to key functions like step sequencing, sample recording, and kit/pattern management. Notably, the MKII debuts an upgraded OLED display, enhancing visibility and usability.

In response to user feedback, the sample memory has been expanded from 300 to 500 slots, with support for custom sample loading via an SD card slot. Beneath the surface, the Alpha Base MKII incorporates new converters necessitated by the unavailability of those used in the MKI, resulting in a redesign of internal components. This upgrade not only ensures continued functionality but also brings improvements to the panning circuitry, now based on true Voltage-Controlled Amplifiers (VCAs).

Despite these advancements, the MKII retains the beloved sequencer features of its predecessor, with the added capability to record a wider array of parameters, offering greater creative control to users.

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