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 le... read more
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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 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.
- Analog synth: brand new version of the classic Bass Station
- Two distinct analog filters: brand new "Acid" filter joins the "Classic" original Bass Station filter
- Bass Station II ships with 64 factory patches and a further 64 user slots
- Patch dump enables you to archive and swap sounds
- Pattern-based Step Sequencer and Arpeggiator
- Analog synth layout includes dedicated controls for all major parameters
- Two Oscillators plus an additional Sub Oscillator
- Analog effects section: Bass Station II includes fully analog distortion and filter-modulation effects and a separate filter overdrive to add an aggressive, crunchy sound-quality
- Flexible modulation featuring 2 Envelopes and 2 LFOs
- MIDI I/O and USB connectivity
- Players 'synth-action' keyboard with aftertouch
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Such a wonderful analog monosynth!
This is not my first synthesizer at all. I've probably had 10 total. This is my first digitally-controlled analog synth though. I wanted a true analog monosynth with patch memory, a small keyboard and a sub oscillator. It was between this, the Korg Monologue and the DSI Mopho. The Korg doesn't have a sub osc and sounds generic and metallic to me and the DSI is hard to program and much more expensive so I went with the Bass Station. The other main selling point was the sound. It does have a very creamy fat analog sound that reminds me of vintage Rolands. The Bass Station name is a throwback to Novation's original Bass Station from the early 90's but this synth is completely different, and while it excels at bass, it also handles leads wonderfully. The built in sequencer and arpeggiator are really nice too. It also sends midi notes from the arpeggiator which is pretty amazing. Pro tip- always add FX to your analog synths. They come out sounding dry otherwise. I typically add some reverb and chorus or delay and this thing will hang with any other synth with those basic FX added.
Future classic and a 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!
While it's a mono-synth, you're given two oscillators and a sub oscillator that you can de-tune against each other and get some fat sounds. I'll typically have the sub an octave below the main oscillator, and the 2nd oscillator a 5th above the first, and it really kicks out some epic lead or bass lines. 32-step sequencer that you can save four of, and a totally usable arpeggiator? Done. Full-size keys and an all analog signal-path for $400? GTFOutta here, this thing slays. Run it through a delay/reverb and you're in business. Oh, and you can shape some wicked kick drums and snares with it.
The Underdog Monosynth
This was the first synth I purchased when I got back into making music this year. It is a solid bread-and-butter monosynth that makes an excellent pairing with any polysynth. It is well worth the price of admission, especially if you don't have any other monosynths.
Loads of fun!
I have used this monosynth a lot lately. I purchased it to replace my SH-101 as a live monosynth but it has ended up being additional! Exciting features have been added by Novation via the firmware updates lately, hopefully they continue this (though it’s already a 5-star beast!)