Novation A-Station

Novation A-Station Image

British synth makers Novation take their now classic Bass Station Rack to the next level. The A-Station is polyphonic, adding 8 voices of polyphony to their 1-unit rack-mount synth. Unlike the original Bass Station and Super Bass Station which were real analog synths, the A-Station gets its voice architecture from the SuperNova synths, which use analog sound modeling. The A-Station has the layout and shape of the famous Bass Stations, but its guts are basically a slimmed down SuperNova.

It has 25 knobs for real-time control, and all knobs transmit MIDI controller messages. The A-Station has three oscillators which provide sawtooth, triangle, sine and pulse width modulation. There's even a simple FM synth engine which can be dialed in for sharpening the sound. Oscillators may be set to Unison or Sync'd operation and a Noise source is also included in the waveform engine. There is a nice lowpass resonant filter with switchable 12 or 24dB/oct slopes and ADSR controls. A second ADSR envelope is available for the oscillators, as well as two LFOs with sample-and-hold and MIDI sync.

Novation A-Station Image

On-board effects include reverb and delay. Their send levels can be controlled by the Mod wheel which is a nice effect. A 12-band vocoder is also on-board for processing external mono sounds such as drum loops or vocals. The A-Station's pads sound great when vocoded with external sounds. External sounds can also be used as an oscillator, run through the filters, envelopes, etc. with much better results than were possible on the original Bass Station. There's even a built-in Arpeggiator whose speed synchronization and sweep range can be stored with the program for instant recall. Unfortunately, some of the older Bass Station's problems still have not been addressed in the A-Station. Namely, the lack of a power switch, a puny 2-digit LCD screen, and it's still not multitimbral. But for clean analog sounding synth bass, punchy leads, pads, filter sweeps and more - the A-Station is certainly a great piece of kit to have around! For a cool compact keyboard version check out the K-Station.

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24 Visitor comments
Chuck Falcon
August 16, 2014 @ 5:54 pm
I got the A Station this week and its pretty great. Great sounds. My only problem is I can't figure out how to get my Mac and my Sysex Librarian to read that its plugged in so I can send a bank of patches over. I am using a USB/Midi in/Midi out cable. Is there anyone out there that could shed some light and end my nights of heart break?
Tangerine Rave
September 4, 2013 @ 7:08 pm
AFAIK the silver edition is the latest version. Technically and soundwise there is no difference.
Urban Artifacts
August 18, 2013 @ 10:05 am
I just got one of these two weeks ago, I think it's great! I like to use arpeggiators to add texture and filler sounds to my beats, or to beef up my bass sounds. I like to use this with the arpeggiator on my Roland JX 305 or for more patterns my Akai ME20A. Not to mention taking the output of my old pre-midi synths and using it as one my 3 oscillators that can be layered together. This is a single rack monster! Run it through good mic pre's and eq's and thin sound is no longer a issue.
March 19, 2013 @ 11:20 am
It was my first VA synth and I'm still using it sometimes. In addition to the usual pads, leads and basses, if you tweak it enough, you can get very strange ever evolving soundscapes and noises out of it. It has notably higher LFO range than most synths, together with its arpeggio, delay and chorus it can produce very alien ring modulation like sounds. It does not sound very analog, but it's a decent synth. Recommended.
rob lee
January 18, 2013 @ 11:27 am
Just noticed a silver version of this on Ebay, what's the difference? Is there a newer version to this or is the Blue one the latest?


VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.02 (366 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Demos & Media
  • Audio Clip 1 - Hear the A-Station here. Hear its on-board arpeggiator, followed by an FM ringing bell-type sound, followed by some vocoder examples and some Juno pads.

    Manual - Download the original owner's manual from

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 voices
  • Oscillators - 3 osc with Square / Saw / Variable Pulse / Tri / Sine / Double Saw / Double Tri / Double Sine waveforms. Osc 1-2 sync, FM, external audio in (mono)
  • LFO - 2 LFOs: triangle, saw, square, sample-and-hold; with panning, speed and delay parameters
  • Filter - 12dB / 24dB switchable resonant low-pass filter with programmable output EQ
  • Envelopes - 2 ADSR envelope generators plus FM attack/decay
  • Keyboard - None
  • Effects - distortion, stereo chorus/flanger/phaser, stereo panning, delay and reverb, 12-band vocoder
  • Arpeggiator - up, down, up/down, up to 4 octaves, latchable
  • Memory - 400 in 4 banks, (200 factory sounds)
  • Control - MIDI IN/OUT/THRU
  • Date Produced - 2001

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