Sonic LAB: MBase11 Analog Bass Drum Synthesizer

Can I Kick It? Yes You Can      25/06/09

No flash plug

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6:47 mins
Jurgen Mikaelis started out fixing TR808 and TR909 machines that were getting hammered by artists in the Techno scene in the early 90's. Even back then, those machines were still highly prized and Jurgen really got to know them intimately, which put him in the perfect position to create machines of his own. The first of which was the XBase09 an unashamed TR 909 themed drum machine that is still highly regarded today. Since then, there have been a number of other drum based products from JoMoX including the MBase01 - JoMoX's first dedicated analog bass drum synthesizer. We're looking at the new MBase11 which takes the kick synth concept and runs with it. I Get A Kick Out Of You
You could say that the MBase11 is merely a single voice synth with no filter and a simple decay only envelope generator, but that would be grossly over-simplifying what it can do. The attack portion of the sound gets a lot of care and attention with several noise sources that can be blended for changing the character of the impact portion of the sound, Pulse, Noise and MetNze (Metal Noize) all can be combined to create numerous flavours of whack, the Gate also helps to lengthen or shorten the attack portion. For the meat/pitched part of the sound, there's a single wave - sine as far as I can tell, which can be harmonically enriched with the Harmonics parameter - at extreme settings giving the kick a distorted 909 full-on quality. The Tune and Pitch parameters take care of the amount of pitch envelope [tune] and tuning [pitch] of the kick, with compression and EQ providing an emphasis for the decay portion and a large scoop of mid respectively. Kick Out the Jams
Once you've set the desired MIDI channel, you can choose to set the kick to respond to either note 36 (C1) or play pitched over three octaves with the Split Mode, useful for playing the pitch of the kick to a track, or with long decay sounds, for simple b-line tones. An external X Trig input lets you run this from a live source, such as a drum pad, piezo electric pickup or a suitably peaky mic source. Indeed, this is a cute little trick used by many acoustic drummers who feed in their kick drum or trigger to beef up the sound of their own live kits - this feature was also there in the MBase01. Once you have the sound of your dreams, and there are so many variations, they can be stored in the 110 user memories and recalled via MIDI program changes if you need them. Note - MIDI Ch, Split Mode, Pitch Mode are not stored with a patch unfortunately. This ain't the lowest priced unit in the world when you consider that it only does the Kick drum, but with such a massive emphasis on this sound in most modern music, it would make sense to at least try this out. JoMoX MBase11 $369/€239 Available now.


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5 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Robbie Ryan (I love analogue)    Said...

Having used the Mbase01 for several years, I can attest that having a dedicated analogue kick drum module is an absolute asset to your system. These are handmade units made by Juergen Michaelis and they're 100% wonderful and a great accent to samples, soft synths, or digital drumboxes like that Akais or Machinedrums. If I didn't love my Mbase, I'd pick up the new version in a drumbeat.

25-Jun-09 10:01 AM

Trus1te    Said...

I think it sounds great, but for us lower budget producers and players, $369 is kind of a lot for a kick drum. You can go on Craigslist and buy a whole drumset (a fairly descent one too!!!) for that price.

I love its sonic possibilities, but bang for buck in the electronic drum market MFB is your best choice, from my point of view.

29-Jun-09 09:33 AM

Miagi San    Said...

I am a pro user who has owned the original Mbase01 for some time now and I would have to agree with Robbie.Sure you could by a cheap-o drum set at the pawn shop for similar $,but then youd have to mic and properly record the kit(easier said than done ,believe that!).

30-Jun-09 01:28 AM

Robbie Ryan (I Love Analogue)    Said...

It's really a matter of "You Get What You Pay For." Yes, you can get a drum set for cheap, but this little box, set up dead center with no reverb will add a great presence to your tracks and you can forget about it. With most of your decent dedicated drum machines (Machine Drum, XBase 999, Akai SP) are in the 4 figure range, it's a huge value, and it sits right in the mix with PCM drum samples or modelled sounds. No, it can't replace a properly recorded, perfectly tuned drum set by a great player, in a great room, with a great engineer and $20k worth of great mics and acoustic treatment. But, if you want every imaginable kind of kick drum in your pop, hip hop, or dance track, you are in business. $369 is not a lot to pay for that sort of freedom.

05-Jul-09 12:11 AM

RAMROD    Said...

I still say the Vermona Kick Lancet is a good contender.

23-Oct-13 03:05 AM

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