After Two Decades, the Bass Station is Back
The Novation Bass Station II 25-key monophonic analog synthesizer is a powerful reminder of Novation’s legacy of synth prowess. As the name implies, the Bass Station II is primed for gut-grabbing bass sounds, employing two oscillators plus a sub-oscillator for foundation-shaking sonics. You’ll find it’s primed for leads and hypnotic arpeggiations too, and you can seriously mangle your sounds in realtime with distortion and FM effects. With an array of hands-on controls and a huge analog sound, you’ll be inspired as soon as you get your hands on the Novation Bass Station II.
The right ingredients for epic, expressive sounds
While the Bass Station II packs the bread-and-butter synthesis controls to create a wide range of leads, pads, and effects, it’s primed for heavy-hitting bass. Two main oscillators can be hard-sync’d for tighter, more punchy tones. And a sub-oscillator is on hand to fill out the bottom end. And because its 25-note keyboard supports aftertouch, you’ll find it easy to really put some expression in your performances.
Get creative with a built-in arpeggiator and step sequencer
When you switch on the Bass Station II’s arpeggiator you can choose from 32 different rhythmic patterns in different directions, with control over the octave range. You can also play up to four of your own patterns into the step sequencer, and play them back using one of the 32 rhythms. The step sequencer records legato and rests too, so you can create more expressive sequences on the fly than you can with simple note on/off sequencers found on some synths.
Two filter designs for two very distinct sounds
The Bass Station II packs two discrete filter designs, each with an overdrive circuit for seriously distorted tones. The «Classic» filter is based on the original Bass Station synth, giving you LPF, HPF, and BPF modes. The «Acid» filter is a diode ladder design that can get very squelchy – think 303 and you’ve got the idea.
*Monophonic analog synthesizer keyboard primed for huge bass sounds
*Two discrete filter designs give you two distinct flavors to create your sounds with
*Dual oscillators can be hard-synced for tighter, punchier bass
*Sub-oscillator with square, sine, and narrow pulse-width waveforms adds rich, full low end
*Dedicated knobs and faders, and aftertouch, allow for very expressive performances
*64 factory presets, 64 user slots
*Built-in arpeggiator and step sequencer with 32 different rhythmic patterns
*»LFO Slew» feature lets you distort the LFO waveforms for more modulation possibilities
*External input for processing line-level audio signals
*Powered by AC or USB bus power
The Synth Engine: A Brief Overview
Oscillators: Bass Station II is built on three analogue oscillators and a noise generator. There are two fully independent oscillators plus a sub oscillator (which is the critical component in creating rich, analogue 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!
Bass Station II has two effects (not including the filter overdrive). Analogue 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.
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.
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. 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 brilliant way to preview patches while you are editing them.
This just scratches the surface of the synth engine. Bass Station II is a powerful little synth with a lot more than first meets the eye. There are many more oscillator, envelope, LFO and modulation functions that are too numerous to detail here. The best way to experience Bass Station II is to get hands-on!