Novation Bass Station

Novation Bass Station Image

Before the famous Novation Bass Station Rack module came the small and portable Bass Station keyboard! This synthesizer uses digitally synchronized analog oscillators (DCO's) to reproduce the sounds of a monophonic dual-osc analog synthesizer with simple and intuitive controls via 17 knobs, 10 switches and 2 Moog-style pitch/mod wheels. Think EDP Wasp and ARP Odyssey.

The Bass Station can faithfully reproduce analog bass sounds similar to a TB-303, Micromoog or Pro One synthesizer. The small keyboard and monophonic architecture set this keyboard up for strict bassline, lead synth lines, and synth fx. It also transmits MIDI continuous controller data from its pitch/mod wheels, frequency cutoff, resonance, filter modulation depth, env1 attack, decay and env2 attack and decay.

Novation Bass Station Image

Unlike the Rack version, however, the keyboard lacks basic patch storage features. There are only 7 memory patches and 1 manual patch (what the knobs are doing right now). The memory can be stored externally using MIDI SysEx dumps. But for the low price (under $500) this makes a great and compact analog bass synth for any user with simple but tasteful bass needs. It is used by Apollo 440, RZA, and Lo Fidelity AllStars.

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53 Visitor comments
eraser
August 29, 2012 @ 10:03 am
I really, REALLY like this. First off, it's not a bass synth. The (filter) envelopes are not snappy enough, the MIDI timing is not tight enough and it's also not particularly stellar in the low freq dept anyway. *You CAN make the envelopes a little snappier if you invert the filter envelope, BTW.

I like it because the osc and filter sounds *totally* different to any of my other analogs. It has it's OWN sound which is a lovely, raw, crunchy, moist, saturated thing of beauty (uhm, did I just say 'moist')?! :o/

Inspiring sound & instantly tweakable + memories too (though too few).
BLUE DOME
July 13, 2012 @ 6:31 am
The Bass Station is a classic. Those who say it's limited or plasticky or nit-pick about the oscillators being digitally controlled are missing the point. This little synth was £350 new at a time when 303s were £900 used. It was the people's synth. Proper analogue monosynth sounds, instant gratification, highly tweakable. You found them in pro set-ups too, but to those of us making electronic music in our bedrooms in the 90's Novation were gods. I guess analogue synths are like girls... you never forget your first one
lightman
July 13, 2012 @ 5:02 am
The BassStation overhyped? I wouldn't say so, the machine just was one the first of the new breed of affordable bass/lead synths (commonly called "303 clones", even though that doesn't do them justice) that combined classic subtractive synthesis with modern control methods (MIDI, multiple save slots for patches, all knobs and sliders send CCs, etc.), so it's only natural that it gets mentioned a lot. I will never part with mine, it has lots of character and sound awesome if you know what you're doing. The fact that it's somewhat limited compaired to more recent monosynths doesn't change that.
djtricks
June 30, 2012 @ 5:59 pm
@mercu,I've had mine from day 1'1993,no problem with my octave keys,touch wood,please note every one"this is not a sh 101 or tb 303"(stop comparing it)it's a BASSstation, (beepstation)I keep forgetting how good this synth sounds especially via FX processor and you can use it as a master midi keyboard,portable keyboard,just simple to use,tweak and away you go!
mercu
June 28, 2012 @ 10:02 am
Hi anyone! I owned 2 of these.. all my units seem to have troubles in the octave buttons (meaning they rarely work..and you have to push very hard and in the centre..).
Does anyone noticed the same issue?
PS I really like the sound and portability of this machine.
 
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 2 DCO's with pulse and sawtooth. Can be modulated by env2 or the LFO.
  • LFO - 1 LFO (random, triangle, and sawtooth waveforms)
  • Filter - 2-pole or 4-pole switchable; 12dB resonant low-pass. Can be modulated by env2 or the LFO.
  • VCA - 2 ADSR envelopes: Env1 controls VCA, Env2 controls the vcf; envelope modes: auto-glide, single, and multi
  • Keyboard - 25 velocity sensitive keys (octave up/down buttons over 8 octaves)
  • Memory - 7 user patches, 1 manual
  • Control - MIDI In/Out
  • Date Produced - 1993

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