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JoMox XBase 888 or 999??
Old 17th September 2011
  #1
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mamero's Avatar
JoMox XBase 888 or 999??

Hello Everyone,

I've been itching for a new drum machine for quite a long time (several months) and now that I have funds I'm trying to narrow my options.

Originally I was going to get a TR-909. I bought one off Craigslist list early this year but it turned out to be a scam. I got my money back but it left a bad taste in my mouth. Now that I've had time to ponder I'm wondering if a 909 is really the best choice. Although I love the 909 sound, it is a one trick pony and the sound has been done to death. I have switched gears and am thinking I would like to find a used Jomox XBase 999. I am looking for another go to, “meat and potatoes” drum machine; ideally analog. I was at first thinking the Xbase 999 was the way to go but now I'm not too sure. It has the filter which might be useful and the filter can sequenced. The more research I do the more I get confused between the 888 and 999. The 888 has pitch envelops which also could be useful. From demos the two sound very similar (except for the filter). Which one should I get and why or why not? I'm producing Trance, electro and progressive.

The drum machines/synths I currently have are:
1. MBase 11: This is my main kick module and it gets used ALL THE TIME. I love it.
2. Machinedrum SPS-1UW MKII. My main go to drum machine. It’s very flexible, Inspiring, and easy to work with but not very analog.
3. Spektralis 2. This is what I bought when my TR-909 deal fell through. It’s VERY Deep. I've barley begun to scratch the surface of this beast. The filter bank is cool. I wonder if the filter on the Xbase 999 would be redundant here.
3. Jomox Airbase 99. Not getting much use now. I used it a lot before I got my MBase and Machinedrum. Does it sound the same as the 888, 999 or does it sound different?
4. Korg ER-1: a great drum machine for filling in the blanks. Great squeaks and farts. It will never be a primary drum machine but it's a keeper.
5. TR-707: It's a TR-707. What more can I say?! I thought of selling it but I think I’ll keep it.
6. Novation Drumstation: This will probably end up going if I can replace it with something that sounds fuller. Very versatile as far as 808 and 909 sounds. Very thin sounding though and doesn't pack a lot of punch.
7. Misc romplers with drum patches.

Please help me decide. And if you have one of these let me know too!
Old 17th September 2011
  #2
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shaft9000's Avatar
 

i have a 999, spectralis octatrack and tr-606 along with both 'x' electribes and a yamaha ry-30

the 999 sounds phenomenal in the kicks and toms. the bass is excellent.
the snares and hats I'm not too keen on - they don't vary much. and the crash is ass
but the biggest thing with the 999 is the learning curve.

Performance mode can be very confusing. And don't even try song-mode on the 999 - it's hopeless even Jurgen admits to sort of giving up on it. It is ABSENT from the manual, which leads us to....
the manual: is flat-out terrible; even worse than the spectralis manual. And Flame manuals.

what is it with German super-machines and their crap manuals?
these are some of the most capable electronic instruments in the world but barely anybody knows how to use them!

therefore i say if you want a tr-909 then that is what you should get, and don't let the temptation to 'do more' get you unless you are willing to put up with the long painful period of sussing the manual. the 909 is far more immediate and goof-proof.
or get someone to hold your hand and walk you through the 999 which is what i did.
Old 17th September 2011
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaft9000 View Post
i have a 999, spectralis octatrack and tr-606 along with both 'x' electribes and a yamaha ry-30

the 999 sounds phenomenal in the kicks and toms. the bass is excellent.
the snares and hats I'm not too keen on - they don't vary much. and the crash is ass
but the biggest thing with the 999 is the learning curve.

Performance mode can be very confusing. And don't even try song-mode on the 999 - it's hopeless even Jurgen admits to sort of giving up on it. It is ABSENT from the manual, which leads us to....
the manual: is flat-out terrible; even worse than the spectralis manual. And Flame manuals.

what is it with German super-machines and their crap manuals?
these are some of the most capable electronic instruments in the world but barely anybody knows how to use them!

therefore i say if you want a tr-909 then that is what you should get, and don't let the temptation to 'do more' get you unless you are willing to put up with the long painful period of sussing the manual. the 909 is far more immediate and goof-proof.
or get someone to hold your hand and walk you through the 999 which is what i did.
I can't agree more with what you've said here. The interface and unresolved bugs on the 999 are the reasons I sold mine. When fighting with the machine stops you from being creative it's just not worth it.

It does, however, have a great tone but I haven't missed it once since moving it on. If you could get a serviced 909 that would probably be a better bet.
Old 17th September 2011
  #4
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Teknobeam's Avatar
 

why a 909 why not an 808? (only asking). And what about the Jomox XBase 09?
Old 17th September 2011
  #5
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mamero's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknobeam View Post
why a 909 why not an 808? (only asking). And what about the Jomox XBase 09?
The 808 is classic and I've owned one in the past. The lack of midi is an issue (I could get a midi kit I guess). I also think they are overpriced now. If I went vintage I think the 909 sound would be more what I'm looking for (unless I get an 808 at a good price). The thing about the 909 is it only does one thing. 909! It will never be anything else. This is good and bad.

I'm not considering an Xbase 09 because of the 3 note limmitation and also I already have an Airbase 99.
Old 17th September 2011
  #6
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duggabax's Avatar
It really sounds like you have the jomox thing covered man. If I were you I'd try to add something new to your percussion mix. No one's said it yet, so what about the Tempest? I mean if drum machines are your thing, you should consider this as it seems like something new and not just another roland clone.

Also you don't seem to have any sample-based boxes. Have you thought about the Linndrum or Obie DMX? Even an ES-1.
Old 17th September 2011
  #7
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pointsource's Avatar
 

+1 for Tempest


Save a bit more and wait a little longer.
Old 17th September 2011
  #8
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Pschelfh's Avatar
Why not a drum module like Vermona DRM1 MkIII, you can easily control it with the Machinedrum, I also plan do it like that.

Too bad there are mostly stange, plinky demos of the Vermona out there, it sure has a lot of punch! This is one of the good ones IMO :



Peter.
Old 18th September 2011
  #9
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mamero's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pschelfh View Post
Why not a drum module like Vermona DRM1 MkIII, you can easily control it with the Machinedrum, I also plan do it like that.

Too bad there are mostly stange, plinky demos of the Vermona out there, it sure has a lot of punch! This is one of the good ones IMO :



Peter.
I prefer something that has the ability to store sounds or at least has preset sounds.

I had also thought about the Tempest when it was first announced but at this point it is beyond my budget. A used XBase 999 can be had for $1000 to $1200. A TR-909 falls in this price territory also. I have never tried a Tempest so I can't judge it any more than an XBASE 888 / 999 which I also have not used. Perhaps in a year or two once the Tempest starts showing up on the used market I will consider it more. Judging by demo's I've seen on Youtube and other sources an Xbase 888/999 is a closer fit to my needs / wants. I’m looking for a more straight ahead drum machine/synth. Then again, I haven't tried either in person so it's hard to say. This is why I appreciate your feedback. There is no where to try an XBase in Vancouver.

If I go with an XBase the question still remains... Xbase 888 or 999. Which is the right one?
Old 21st September 2011
  #10
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mamero's Avatar
Can anyone help here? Who has had the chance to use the Xbase 999 and Xbase 888? How would you compare them? Thanks.
Old 21st September 2011
  #11
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pointsource's Avatar
 

Hey man, i would get a Jomox in a blink of an eye instead a TR909.

It's way better buying a good pack of 909 and 808 samples, already processed or recorded thru high end equipment. The sounds of 909 are really crappy straight out of it's outputs.

You can get a good pack from Tone Builder, the Wave Alchemy drum machines are really good too.
Old 21st September 2011
  #12
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Barfunkel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamero View Post
Can anyone help here? Who has had the chance to use the Xbase 999 and Xbase 888? How would you compare them? Thanks.
They are almost the same. A few different parameters, but nothing major. The filter in the 999 is hard to use, it sounds pretty good actually, but I never used it in tracks because it was so difficult.

You can load the 888 OS to the 999, which makes it identical to the 888. You lose the filter then though.
Old 21st September 2011
  #13
Gear Addict
 

I agree with those here who say that the 888/999 interface is difficult and the manual is worse than the Spectralis manual. That said, if you struggle with the 888 you will find a way to work with the machine AND the sound and tonal variance is fantastic.
I would get an 888 AND a t resonator instead of a 999-those 2 together will give you all you need for variety and more than the fiddly 999 filter. I am as frustrated with the lack of support for clear instructions from Jomox as anyone but I simply cannot get that sound anywhere else. An actual 909 IS easier to use- I have used them- but less rewarding IMO. Also, unless you get the "version 4 " rom on the 909, certain live setups lead to less-than-charming sync problems..However, if your workflow does not welcome a certain amount of mental frustration as you find a way to overcome the manual, I would look elsewhere.
Old 21st September 2011
  #14
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mamero's Avatar
I wish there was somewhere I could try both the 888 and 999 out before I buy. There are no dealers in my area even though I'm in a major city. I'm looking for used anyway. I suppose I could get a 999, try it out, then install the 888 OS and give that a try too. If I don't like the 888 I can reload the 999 OS and continue on. If I prefer the 888 OS I could sell the 999 and buy the 888. I would prefer not to buy and sell though just to try something out. Thoughts? It sounds like the consensus is that both the 888 and 999 would be a better choice than a TR-909.
Old 28th September 2011
  #15
Gear Head
 
Thumpty Jumpty's Avatar
I bought a used 999 and have not looked back. I went through the same internal debate between the TR-909, the 888 and the 999. In the end I decided to go 999 and I haven't been dissapointed. The sound is awesome. Killer kick, and I actually like the snare sounds myself. It's great because it sounds super-meaty totally dry right out of the outputs. No need for processing to get a chest thumping kick.

That having been said, aside from playing with the sequencer for the pure fun and joy of step sequencing... I really don't use the internal sequencer. Not that it's bad, I just have always sequenced in MOTU's Performer/ Digital Performer. I have a certain comfort there I guess. Anyway, since I do my sequencing externally, I have never noticed a single glitchy thing at all. It's built like a tank, and pounds out "4 on the floor" with a relentless ferocity that can't be beat! () I say get one and you won't regret it. Especially if you get one used, cause they seem to be pretty stable around that $1200.00 mark. You can always re-sell it if you end up having buyers remorse!
Old 30th September 2011
  #16
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mamero's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumpty Jumpty View Post
I bought a used 999 and have not looked back. I went through the same internal debate between the TR-909, the 888 and the 999. In the end I decided to go 999 and I haven't been dissapointed. The sound is awesome. Killer kick, and I actually like the snare sounds myself. It's great because it sounds super-meaty totally dry right out of the outputs. No need for processing to get a chest thumping kick.

That having been said, aside from playing with the sequencer for the pure fun and joy of step sequencing... I really don't use the internal sequencer. Not that it's bad, I just have always sequenced in MOTU's Performer/ Digital Performer. I have a certain comfort there I guess. Anyway, since I do my sequencing externally, I have never noticed a single glitchy thing at all. It's built like a tank, and pounds out "4 on the floor" with a relentless ferocity that can't be beat! () I say get one and you won't regret it. Especially if you get one used, cause they seem to be pretty stable around that $1200.00 mark. You can always re-sell it if you end up having buyers remorse!
Great feedback. Thank you! I am leaning towards a used 999. I've budgeted $1000 - $1200 for a used one. There doesn't seem to be many on the used market at the moment though. Anyone have one they want to sell?
Old 27th December 2011
  #17
Gear Head
 

You end up buying one? Got some spare cash burning a hole in my pocket Seriously considering a 999...
Old 27th December 2011
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaft9000 View Post
the 999 sounds phenomenal in the kicks and toms. the bass is excellent.
the snares and hats I'm not too keen on - they don't vary much. and the crash is ass
I don't get this comment, the hats and crash are samples, and you can load about 30 of your own into the machine.

I love the Jomox, it has this punchy ghetto sound that I can't get enough of. It's one of the few things I can never see myself replacing.

I'm still getting used to the tempest, it's not as immediate as the jomox for me, but it's much deeper and has a wider palette, it's just a different type of drum sound.

My biggest issue with the Jomox are the jump encoders. I also don't use the filter much on the 999 so I should have probably bought an 888.
Old 27th December 2011
  #19
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PeteJames's Avatar
Can you load the 999 OS on the 888 or only the 888 OS on the 999? I thought about buying on because I love the WA samples of it but then I have more than enough of it sampled which makes buying it seem an unnecessary waste of cash
Old 2nd January 2012
  #20
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PeteJames's Avatar
Just noticed Jomox fixed some bugs as recently as december. How's it performing now? Much work to do?
Old 2nd January 2012
  #21
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Rogue Ai's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamero View Post
Korg ER-1: a great drum machine for filling

An Electribe ER-1 ran into a driven channel on an analog mixer sounds amazing. Makes it sound a lot less digital.



ER-1 is them main drum machine on this.
Old 2nd January 2012
  #22
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknobeam View Post
why a 909 why not an 808? (only asking). And what about the Jomox XBase 09?
well, the 808 and 909 are totally different, .. weird question.

oh and the Jomox XBase 09 sucks.. I actually prefer the Quasimidi 309
Old 2nd January 2012
  #23
Gear Guru
If you want a 909, get a 909. It's actually not as limited as you'd think. I find most people tend to use the internal sequencer too much and this severely limits it. Being able to control the velocity of the hi-hats crucial for the 909 sounding like 1995 as opposed to 1985.

It think this is the reason that most people eventually pass on the 909... that and hearing bad records..

If you're really just itching for a new drum machine. I'd suggest.

TEMPEST
SP1200
Oberheim DMX

get away from all this "synthy" stuff.. you got enough of that.
You're missing the meat.
Old 2nd January 2012
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteJames View Post
Can you load the 999 OS on the 888 or only the 888 OS on the 999? I thought about buying on because I love the WA samples of it but then I have more than enough of it sampled which makes buying it seem an unnecessary waste of cash
I believe you can load the 888 OS on the 999 but not the other way around because the 888 does not have a filter. I have not tried this yet.

I also bought it after having the excellent sounding WA samples for awhile. I think the WA samples do a great job of representing the machine but having a sequencer and knobs to tweak on the real unit is very nice as well.

Here's some stuff I've used it on since I picked it up over the summer.
Prowler
Ho's & Bro's - Jesse Merlin & Willyum Ho Beats (sample clip) by worshiprecordings on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
Ho's & Bro's - Jesse Merlin & Willyum BroDown Remix (sample clip) by worshiprecordings on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
Old 2nd January 2012
  #25
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mamero's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAUBERSONIC View Post
You end up buying one? Got some spare cash burning a hole in my pocket Seriously considering a 999...
Yes I did end up getting one. So far it sounds amazing. I haven't gotten too deep into it yet. I bought it used at a good price but it arrived without the power adapter. I think it got lost when it was opened by Canada customs. A lot of time that could have gone in to playing went into solving this. For now I've borrowed the power supply from my Airbase so all is well. But... now my Airbase is missing power. Anyway... It sounds great. One little bug I noticed. When I received it I set everything back to factory to start with a fresh xBase. All the kit names except the first now show "Init Kit" as the name even though when you change the kit you can hear the kits change. Strange.
Old 2nd January 2012
  #26
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JSt0rm's Avatar
Kind of off topic but does anyone know a good jomox tech in Los Angeles?

My xbase09 needs some love.
Old 3rd January 2012
  #27
Gear Head
 

Copping tomorrow! with the cheesy gold knobs I'll flip her here if I'm not happy
Old 3rd January 2012
  #28
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PeteJames's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessem View Post
I believe you can load the 888 OS on the 999 but not the other way around because the 888 does not have a filter. I have not tried this yet.

I also bought it after having the excellent sounding WA samples for awhile. I think the WA samples do a great job of representing the machine but having a sequencer and knobs to tweak on the real unit is very nice as well.

Here's some stuff I've used it on since I picked it up over the summer.
Prowler
Ho's & Bro's - Jesse Merlin & Willyum Ho Beats (sample clip) by worshiprecordings on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
Ho's & Bro's - Jesse Merlin & Willyum BroDown Remix (sample clip) by worshiprecordings on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
Yeah, I'm in a debate with myself about being happy with the WA samples and getting a machindrum or tempest instead or whether to get one instead of the md or tempest. I get the feeling both the MD and Tempest will be far more flexible no? How does it sound dry btw - do WA sound 'better' than the instrument on its own?
Old 3rd January 2012
  #29
how`bout the acidlab miami? Haven tried either the jomoxes or the acidlab, but its an alternative.


Interface is so important to me. I borrowed a Spectralis1 for half a year, but this things interface was so cryptic that I hardly used it. And the manual was crap, as mentioned. I got my machinedrum a week ago, and I feel I allready know it 10x better than the spectralis.

Doesnt matter how advanced something can be, as long as it doesnt actually help you to make cool music!

Old 3rd January 2012
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteJames View Post
Yeah, I'm in a debate with myself about being happy with the WA samples and getting a machindrum or tempest instead or whether to get one instead of the md or tempest. I get the feeling both the MD and Tempest will be far more flexible no? How does it sound dry btw - do WA sound 'better' than the instrument on its own?
I have a tempest, but I like the Jomox sound more for drums. I'm still learning the tempest but I'm hoping to use it as a synth groove box more than a drum machine.

I think the Jomox sounds great dry. The WA sample are pretty close (the kick especially) but some are distorted and more obviously post processed.

The rest of the sounds are sample based, and you can load your own over midi (takes a while but I believe you can load around 25-30 kits). This is an advantage over the Tempest right now.

You can also do cool stuff like load a chord into a rimshot/crash slot and then tune it per step on your pattern.

I've never used an MD so I can't comment on the unit. I hear the interface is great but I chose the Jomox for the sound. I don't think the interface is bad, I read the manual and was able to figure out the different modes. I wish the encoders on mine were less jumpy but they are usable.
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