Novation Bass Station II - Rebirth of An Analogue Monosynth

Post date:

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 17:36


Naomi Bolton

Sponsored Post:  Since its launch in 1993, Bass Station by Novation became an instant hit with creators of dance and electronic music. There was just something about Bass Station that resonated with musicians looking for a warmth and resonance that many modern digital synths were unable to deliver. In fact, Bass Station had such a great sound and design that it took 20 years for Novation to bring out a successor that is worthy of its legacy, the Novation Bass Station II. It is a pure analogue monosynth that will appeal to anyone familiar with the legendary original as well as those who have yet to experience some of the best bass in the business. The best way to describe Bass Station II is bigger and better, which is saying a lot considering the popularity of its predecessor.

What Does It Offer?

Don’t let the name fool you, Bass Station II is able to offer much more than just bass. Thanks to its versatile sound-engine, its leads and arpeggios are equally impressive. The enormous bass that Bass Station II can deliver comes courtesy of a sub-oscillator, but it also has two tuneable oscillators along with both noise and ring modulation. In addition to the classic multi-mode filter, Bass Station II also has another analogue filter, the new acid filter, giving you even more options for your sonic creations. From creating shrieking leads by pushing the resonance to deep growls from cranking the distortion, Bass Station II offers true versatility.

Total Control At Your Fingertips

Bass Station II is capable of a lot of things and to give you total control Novation has crammed it with all the controls you need to get the most out of it. However, thanks to the clear and useful way in which these controls have been laid out, you are not left fumbling in the dark. Instead, everything you need is at your fingertips and can be activated in a straightforward manner. We also love the way how all the envelope faders and knobs have a sturdy, high quality feel to them.


Plenty of Patches

Right out of the box Bass Station II ships with 64 diverse patches that enables you to experience its massive sonic variation for yourself. This is by no means all that it is capable of either as Novation has also left an additional 64 slots free. These slots can be used to save and load your own patches, either on the unit or by making use of the free Librarian Software. Speaking of the Librarian Software, it can be used to store as many patches as you would like on your PC or MAC.

Designed To Inspire

According to Novation, Bass Station II has been designed to make it easier than ever before to find new inspiration. The secret is its pattern-based arpeggiator and step sequencer. Using the sequencer, it is possible to accomplish real time recording of your own notes, ties, rests as well as rhythms. These can then be stored and then be recalled in order to use them with any patch you would like. From here it is easy to automatically sync your recordings to either your hardware setup or music software.

Outstanding Connectivity

When it comes to connectivity you’ve got plenty to choose from with Bass Station II. It is fully class compliant, which means as soon as you connect it with anything using USB you are ready to play. Other MIDI gear is also catered for thanks to its MIDI I/O on 5 pin din ports. Those with external instruments can even connect them to Bass Station II to take advantage of the analogue filter and effects.

A Player’s Keyboard

The keyboard for the Novation Bass Station II isn’t a mere afterthought either. Instead, you get a full sized 25-note keyboard that is velocity sensitive and features fast synth-action as well as aftertouch. The keys are not just very responsive to the synth engine, but also light to the touch, which makes it comfortable to play.

Price and Availability

Bass Station II is available right now in stores and retails for less than US$500, which makes it very affordable for anyone with a tight budget.

Final Thoughts

To say that Bass Station II is an award winning piece of equipment would be an understatement. It has had rave reviews and awards in everything from Music Tech Magazine to Keyboard Mag, Electronic Musician, Audio Fanzine and many others. Back when it first hit the market, Novation claimed that nothing out there is able to sound as warm, fat and dirty, which is a claim that still holds true. It is a feature packed addition to any composer’s arsenal and offers a very large sound palette to experiment with. In addition, all of this is available at a price that won’t leave a dent in your bank balance. Overall, Bass Station II is a very worthy successor to the original and a piece of equipment that any musician will be thrilled to work with.

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