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Novation Bass Station II Analog Mono-Synth
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- This analog synth is a brand new version of the classic Novation Bass Station with a brand new "acid" filter joining the "classic" original Bass Station filter
- Ships with 64 factory patches and a further 64 user slots
- Pattern-based step sequencer and arpeggiator and two oscillators plus an additional sub oscillator
- Analog synth layout includes dedicated controls for all major parameters
- Includes fully analog distortion and filter-modulation effects and a separate filter overdrive to add an aggressive, crunchy sound-quality
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Bass Station II Analog Synth: a Brand New Version of the Classic Bass Station
Bass Station II is an analog mono-synth based on the classic original Bass Station, but re-worked for the 21st century. It has two filters, two oscillators, a third sub-oscillator, patch save, and a fully analog effects section. Add a step sequencer, arpeggiator, full-sized keys, and a powerful modulation section and you have the makings of a synth that is built for bass, but capable of so much more.
All New Design, Optimized for Bass
Bass Station II has a talent for bass, with 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. It’s like the Bass Station, but with a much bigger sound. The signal path is pure analog, including the effects section. The hardware is laid out in modules with dedicated pots, switches, sliders, and buttons for all major parameters. Most importantly, you can store and recall patches on Bass Station II. It comes with 64 factory presets, space for 64 of your own sounds on the hardware, plus you can store even more on your computer.
Velocity Sensitive Synth-Action Keyboard
The key-mechanism consists of 25 full-sized keys that are velocity sensitive with assignable aftertouch. The synth-action keyboard has individually sprung keys that are 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 with your computer over USB. You can even connect an external instrument and run it through Bass Station II's analog filter and effects.
Acid Filter plus Original Bass Station Filter
A brand new Acid filter joins the classic original Bass Station filter, each with a built-in overdrive for just-right filter tones. 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.
Analog Distortion and Filter-Modulation Effects
Bass Station II includes fully analog distortion and filter-modulation effects, and a separate filter overdrive to add an aggressive sound-quality. Analog distortion drives circuit components to add new frequencies to the sound. Bass Station II’s Distortion function can add warmth, granularity, and anything in between. The Osc Filter Mod 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.
Pattern-based Step Sequencer and Arpeggiator
Bass Station II has an arpeggiator with a programmable step sequencer that enables you to store and call up patterns and quickly sketch out ideas. Bass Station II’s Arpeggiator and Step Sequencer are outstanding performance and production tools. The Arpeggiator can be directed to run through 32 different rhythmic patterns in different directions, with a switchable octave range. You can also engage the Step Sequencer. Up to four sequences can be played in, with legato and rests, and played back using any one of the 32 rhythmic patterns. As well as getting ideas down quickly and programming performance sequences, this is a perfect way to preview patches while you are editing them.
Two Envelopes Generators and Two LFOs
Bass Station II’s LFO waveforms include triangle, sawtooth, square and sample and hold. 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 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, creating many more LFO possibilities.
Two Oscillators plus an Additional Sub-Oscillator
Bass Station II has two oscillators with syncing and tuning capability, with four selectable waveforms, plus a third sub-oscillator for generating enormous bass sounds. Oscillators One and Two are switchable between sine, sawtooth, square and variable pulse width, and Oscillator Three (the sub-oscillator) can be set to one or two octaves below Oscillator One. It can be square, sine or narrow pulse width, delivering the characteristically rich bass tone.
MIDI I/O and USB Connectivity
Bass Station II can be connected to your music software as well as your MIDI compatible hardware.
Top customer reviews
This is an analog synth, says it right on the front (lol that was a joke) but there's a lot of 'people' who want to say it's not. Just do your own research, you can start by reading about oscillators, then read about NCOs and DCOs (numerically and digitally controlled oscillators), when I did this I thought I'd actually rather have DCOs anyhow.
There were some cool little things I didn't expect too, they took the black and blue theme all the way, the underneath of the BS2 is completely blue and it comes with a blue USB cord, this is actually kinda handy when you have a bazillion cables connected to your computer. It even comes with a full size (8.5x11 inch) manual with a cover printed in color. I felt like I was buying music gear from the 80's.
All the knobs feel great with a nice amount of drag and the switches don't stick when you want to slide them (if you know what I mean). You can see the threaded nuts under the pots. The Pitch and Modulation wheels are rubberized and have good action.
I love this synth so much I'll probably buy the carrying bag that I don't need for it.
Not a total fan, there's some things I wish were different. The keys are pretty cheap, my M-Audio Axiom controllers have much better action (they are also synth weighted). The case of the keyboard is at the same level height as the keys, what makes this bad is that if you have long fingernails, and you play the keys (I use my Push2 to play it) you are bound to break them on the case like I did.
I really (really) wish there were a desktop version of this, I would snap that up in an heartbeat!
This came out a few years ago, I'm late to the game, but I did a lot of reading and shopping, I can tell that a lot of the reviews are from before the firmware update. Novation really provided some awesome support on this update, here's some info:
- Implemented new patch format (version 2) with support for patch name
- Improved output jitter, jittery pots/faders, phantom data
- Improved tempo detection and lock on
- Fixed MIDI DIN SysEx output issue
- Arp Rhythm, Arp Pattern and Arp Octaves/Seq now light "value changed" arrows
- Added text for Arp Pattern modes
- Added new mode for Arp->MIDI ("Out"), MIDI->Arp ("In ") using Function+Arp Latch button
- Added ability to send MIDI CLOCK/START/STOP using Function+Arp On button
One last thing if you have Ableton/Max for Live, be sure to check out the Max for Live Library, there's some good devices there for controlling and automating your BS2.
Construction is light and somewhat cheap feeling in the outer case, and is what you would expect of a sub $1000 synth, but with care it should go the distance as long as its not getting banged around at gigs every week.
The recall ability makes this the real keeper. Full analog control over sounds and the ability to save and recall. When you recall a sound it will play as saved, but as soon as you touch a control it will snap to that control's setting. So you cant look at the controls and know where things are set if using a recalled sound, but it has full sysex library import and export and so you can dig through that info if needed.
Sounds are top notch and way above what you typically get for a synth of this price.