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- Order number: 170203
Punchy rhythms guaranteed! – The Alpha Base is a high-end drum machine featuring eleven instruments, sampling capabilities, effects and a sequencer. In detail, the unit offers analog kick and snare circuits, a total of six hybrid voices, two digital percussion generators and a polyphonic FM synthesizer. All instruments are well-equipped. – It is even possible to record and process samples with the Alpha Base. Delay and reverb effects give sounds the finishing touch. The sequencer allows users to create polyrhythmic beats with up to 64 steps per pattern. Besides notes, it is also possible to record parameter changes and swap presets per step.
In terms of sound, the Alpha Base is one of the most powerful drum machines ever made. Its instruments are remarkably flexible and beefy. – The bass drum alone can tear down buildings. Despite all the synthesis, processing and sequencer functions, handling the Alpha Base isn’t complicated at all. – A great choice for producing music in the studio as well as playing live.
Bass drum and snare circuits of the Alpha Base are fully analog. The latter is a complete MBrane voice, meaning it can also be used to create percussion hits, cow bells, claves, toms and so forth. Six other instrument channels produce sound with the help of sample players plus metallic noise generators. Results are fed into analog filters and VCAs for processing. Two of these drum voices feature VCFs especially designed for sculpting hi hats. They can work as either low or high pass circuits with a slope of -12 dB per octave. The other instances come equipped with multimode filters, which are not only usable as audio processors, but sound sources as well. (Low pass, band pass and high pass modes / -12 dB per octave).
Additionally, there are two completely digital instrument channels. Again, samples are used to generate sound. – It is even possible to record short audio snippets of up to four seconds directly into these channels (WAV / AIFF format, 16 Bit/ 48 kHz). Results can be allocated to other sample based drum voices. For storing data, a SD card slot was implemented. A tuning functions allows users to alter the pitch of audio material. Furthermore, start and end points are adjustable plus there is a loop function.
Last but not least, the Alpha Base features a FM Synth with four operators. Thanks to its six note polyphony, users can not only create wicked percussion sounds, but chords and melodies as well. An external keyboard can be used to play the FM synth directly. All instrument channels possess a comprehensive set of editing functions and modulators. For refining sounds, delay and reverb effects with routing options were implemented.
The Alpha’s sequencer offers eleven tracks. Pattern can have a length of up to 64 steps. Besides notes, it is also possible to record parameter changes. Furthermore, users can swap between presets per step. The last step of a pattern is definable per track. Thanks to this, it is easily possible to create polyrhythmic beats with the Alpha Base. Shuffle and micro step options plus roll and flam functions give beats a nice, groovy touch. A chaining mode allows users to link patterns.
For external control and synchronization, the Alpha Base was equipped with MIDI-DIN and USB connectors. The first mentioned ports can also be used with the DIN-Sync protocol.
Juergen Michalis was doing repairs and modifications of analog gear for Berlin techno acts before he tried to release the final solution for the ultimative bass drum. His answer took shape with the famous X-Base09. A plethora of products followed and his drum machines and modules have found a home in the racks and studios of numerous well-known musicians.