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Description

The XBase 888 is a continuation of the analogue drum machine plus samples concept of the popular XBase 09. It offers 9 instruments Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Lo Tom, Hi Tom, Hi Hat, Clap, Rim, Crash and Ride, of which the Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Low and High Tom are generated by an analogue circuit, the rest by 8 bit resolution samples. The voices are polyphonic. There are 31 samples available per instrument with a total of 186 samples (HiHat has 2 seperate samples for Open and Closed). There's a number of noise signals availble with two parameters to create metallic sounding instruments. The HiHat have a bandpass filter with lowpass, highpass and resonance controls. The sound flash memory in the percussion section (HH, Clap, Rim, Crash, Ride), which contains 31 samples per instrument, can be overwritten by the user via midi sample dump in order to create your own samples. Jomox offer a free tool that converts your .wav or .aiff samples into the properly formatted XBASE 888 structure and lets you dump your own short samples into the XBASE 888. The Bass Drum is the one from the XBase 09 but then improved. It has several parameters available on the 16 knobs. There are two LFOs which have various waveforms, parameters and they can be synchronised to the clock. These can be stored with a pattern, and become part of the drum kit settings. All instruments can now be panned to a stereo bus, just like in the XBase 09 an instrument is removed from the main mix when a cable is inserted in an individual output. The step sequencer has the same Song and Pattern mode of the XBase 09, but now it's possible to alternate between two 16 step patterns (A/B selection) or one chained 32 step pattern. The shuffle mode now can be adjusted per instrument, not just per step. 4 banks of each 16 A/B patterns are instantly available, offering a total of 128 16-step patterns. There are 4 tracks available to store sequences to control external machines, and it can send MIDI CC messages through it's MIDI output.

Discussions

Dave Smith Instruments Tempest

I like the feature set but as others noticed Tempest is a little overpriced especially for Europeans. The Jomox Xbase 888 is 1099 EUR directly from Jomox. I know it is not as multifunctional as Tempest but it offers user samples and external MIDI sequencer now. Ok, I say this, because I've just bought one...

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Jomox Alpha Base

I dont think 2nd hand prices are the base for comparison. But even then the Alpha base is a completely different instrument. Airbase lacks sequencer and knobby user interface. 888 and 999 have their focus on 808 and 909 drums, no sampling at all. So even all 3 combined does not give you the same sound versatility and...

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Jomox Alpha Base vs Tanzbar 2

Also, I used to own a XBase 888 several years ago. Totally different beast, handling and sound-wise. They are both German made and they both sound meaty, but have a different soul. I think it just boils down to personal preference. Like a Trident VS a Neve desk, both highly respectable consoles from the...

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