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The classic Novation Bass Station, reworked for the 21st Century.
Bass Station II is an analog mono-synth with a talent for bass, but a sound-engine that is versatile enough to kick out sharp leads and crisp arpeggios. It brings the best elements...
Orbital's Paul Hartnoll talks about his experience with the Bass Station II synth: "…having spent years using Novation stuff, I know the quality of it. But with all these modular synths that I’ve got, big polysynths and things like that, I tend to think, really what’s another little mono synth gonna do for me? I have to say I was incredibly surprised when I started playing with it, and it has sat here and it’s helped me finish my album. I used it the 1st time and thought ‘Oh, thats good.’ I got a baseline out of it which was just what I needed at the time, instead of turning to the System 100 M (which is what I’ve been going to recently). It really did nail the job. And I’ve been going to it ever since for bass and lead, actually. It’s been pretty amazing! It’s got a really nice *bouncy* sort of sound - rubbery kind of sound. Some synths you find you have to really push them into a mix. But this, just kind of sits in there. The overdrive before the filter is amazing. I’ve been finding that just gives you that extra punch. It’s been really good for basslines, bass sounds. It’s instantly got that bit of velocity to it as well if you want it. For me the first thing I noticed about it - apart from helping me troubleshoot the last few tracks of my album - I found this has been doing nearly all the basslines in that job. Not ALL the baselines in the album, but all the ones that are broken that need fixing. I haven't had to go out to the modulars yet, which is saying a lot!"more
"Our latest synth addition to the studio. The Novation doesn’t look like much and is rather cheap, but after using it for a few months now we’re both really impressed with the versatility of this machine. Especially the arpeggiator is fantastic and gets used a lot – not just for the Bass Station itself, but for all of our synths and samplers." - [Session Victim](http://www.attackmagazine.com/features/my-studio/session-victim-studio/#).more
Through his love for analogue synthesizers and after seeing various reviews, Tom’s attention soon turned to the Novation Bass Station II. The feature that immediately stuck out for him was the power over USB - “there’s something so great about just having one cable. You can plug in, and it works great as a synth and a controller as well, so it’s a great all-in-one controller mono-synth.” “Also I thought the filters sound really great. There are some weird, very musical resonances coming out which I haven’t really heard in other filters before. And also the fact that it felt very flexible, in that it can be quite sweet sounding or very aggressive very quickly. That’s something I haven’t really seen in a lot of synths. I can get really nasty and aggressive if I want to, all within the synth, and not having to drive it through other stuff, so that’s pretty cool."more
Finally home after 2 months of extreme fun playing across Europe. Tons of boxes of various things to open at the studio, but this little monster I'm really excited about playing with, The Novation Bass Station 2. The sequencer looks really cool, SH101style. Maybe we'll throw up a video or 2 once we check it out.more
This image of Sonny Fodera's Novation Bass Station II Analogue Mono-Synth is taken from an article about his studio. He says, "The Novation Basstation 2. It is a great synth! Really cheap too, It also has a great arpeggiator function." (original article [here](http://news.traxsource.com/articles/1352/in-the-studio-with-sonny-fodera))more
The classic Novation Bass Station, reworked for the 21st Century.
Bass Station II is an analog mono-synth with a talent for bass, but a sound-engine that is versatile enough to kick out sharp leads and crisp arpeggios. It brings the best elements of the original Bass Station into a brand new design with re-worked modulation, effects, filters and more; like the Bass Station, but much much bigger.
The signal path is pure analog - including the effects section. The hardware has been laid out in modules with dedicated pots, switches, sliders and buttons for all major parameters. Critically, you can store and recall patches on Bass Station II. It comes with 64 killer factory presets, space for 64 of your own sounds on the hardware, and you can store more on your computer.
The key-mechanism consists of 25 full sized keys that are velocity sensitive with assignable aftertouch. It has been developed as a ˜synth-action' keyboard, where each key is individually sprung so it is light to the touch and highly responsive to the synth engine. Bass Station II is a fully class compliant MIDI device with MIDI I/O on 5 pin din ports - for connecting to other MIDI outboard - and can interface with your computer over USB.
The Synth Engine: A Brief Overview
Oscillators: Bass Station II is built on three analog oscillators and a noise generator. There are two fully independent oscillators plus a sub oscillator (which is the critical component in creating rich, analog bass sounds). Oscillators One and Two are switchable between sine, sawtooth, square and variable pulse width, and Oscillator Three - the sub osc - can be set to one or two octaves below Oscillator One. It can be square, sine or narrow pulse width, delivering the characteristically ˜fat' bass tone.
Filters: You can select between two discrete filters - ˜Acid' or ˜Classic' - each with a built in overdrive for pushing filter tones from dry, to warm, to nasty! The ˜Classic' Bass Station filter can be switched between low pass, high pass and band pass at 12 or 24dB slopes. The ˜Acid' filter is based on a diode ladder filter design that delivers a characteristically 303-esque sound that is designed to squelch!
Effects: Bass Station II has two effects (not including the filter overdrive). Analog distortion drives circuit components to add new frequencies to the sound. Bass Station II's Distortion function can add gentle warmth, filthy granularity and anything in between. The second effect is ˜Osc Filter Mod' which creates a distinctive FM-type sound by using Oscillator Two to modulate the filter frequency. This is very good at crunchy, sound-mulching effects that substantially fatten up bass and lead patches.
Modulation: There are two envelope generators and two low frequency oscillators (LFOs). The first envelope is an ADSR amp envelope and the second is a mod envelope that can be used to modulate filter frequency, oscillator pitch and osc pulse width. LFO One is dedicated to pitch modulation whereas LFO Two is used to modulate osc pulse width and filter frequency. Although it looks like there are four LFO waveforms, the ˜LFO Slew' function can be used freely to sculpt LFOs into smoother wave-shapes.
Arpeggiator and step sequencer: Bass Station II's Arpeggiator and Step Sequencer are killer performance and production tools. The Arp can be directed to run through 32 different rhythmic patterns in different directions with a switchable octave range. The fun really starts when you engage the Step Sequencer. Up to four sequences can be played in - with legato and rests - and assigned to any one of the 32 rhythmic patterns. As well as getting ideas down quickly and programming performance sequences, this is a brilliant way to preview patches while you are editing them.
Excellent sound quality, extremely versatile, and a price that's hard to beat. Love everything about it, except that filters evidently cannot be controlled via MIDI. I might be wrong about that, though.
This is the first analogue synth I bought and it met all my expectations. It's taught me a ton about signal flow, LFO, OSCs, etc. It's a staple in my studio and I couldn't create the way I do without it.
This was my first synthesizer, and I wouldn't easy part with it. Its incredible for the newbie to learn on, as well as a great addition to the collection of a seasoned pro. Must-have!
The best Bass Station so far. Don't get fooled by its size or price or name. This is one of the best analog monosynths for the moment and can do so much more than what it name would suggest.
Obviously some shortcuts were made to meet its price tag (plastic casing, only one set of ADSR sliders and a few other minor shortcomings) but fortunately non are audible ;-)
This is a future classic and a must have for every synthesist!
Analog monosynth. I use this for bass lines, noise, leads, arpeggiated stuff, f/x, etc. Perfect analog solution on a budget. Extremely versatile. Can even use it for amazing pads when fed through reverb/delay.