Novation Bass Station Rack

Novation Bass Station Rack Image

The Bass Station is an incredible little synth that was an instant success when released. It is a monophonic analog bass synthesizer and was basically one of the first new analog synths to hit the music market since the 1980's. It is great at recreating classic TB-303 lines and fat Moog tones. Every control from typical analog synths can be found on this: ADSR, filter, oscillator sync modes, tuning, and LFO! And most of these can be MIDI controlled.

The Bass Station has dual-DCO's which are true analog oscillators, digitally synchronized, to generate analog but stable sawtooth and pulse waveforms (the same waveforms offered by the TB-303). They can each be tuned, mixed and synced together. The analog filter is a switchable 12 or 24dB/oct with cutoff, resonance, envelope amount, and assignable ADSR. The LFO has variable speed and delay with random, triangle or sawtooth shapes. The LFO can modulate the filter and/or PWM.

Novation Bass Station Rack Image

A very useful feature includes the built in MIDI/CV converter which allows you to control the Bass Station from an older analog synth, or you can control analog synths with MIDI through the Bass Station! All knob settings are MIDI transmit/receivable and there are 60 user patches for program storage. Another important feature is the analog input for filtering external sound sources! The Bass Station Keyboard was the original version but is a bit more limited than this classic. It is used by William Ørbit, Biosphere, Massive Attack, Orbital, Apollo 440, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Jimi Tenor, Laurent Garnier, ATB, Sneaker Pimps, Out of Logic and Underworld.

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34 Visitor comments
September 8, 2011 @ 8:24 am
Lovely sound, and great filters too.

To put this one to bed, it uses DCO's with full analogue filters. It used the filter design found in the EDP Wasp which was just fantastic.. (c:
August 20, 2011 @ 4:14 pm
According to SOS:"On the subject of oscillators, the BassStation's are not true VCOs (Voltage Controlled Oscillators) ..., but are in fact based on digitally-synchronised, analogue ramp generators from which are derived the sawtooth and pulse waves". Sounds like DCO, but wouldn't they write DCO if that was the case? (Maybe not)
July 14, 2011 @ 3:11 am
The oscillators issue with this synth is exhausting. I have gone to numerous sites and read forum after forum with no resolve. IS THIS THING ANALOG OR DIGITAL? I have owned the keyboard version and two racks at this point and I love the sounds. I would just like someone with some technical knowledge to open one up, take some photos and squash this argument. Are they Digitally controlled ANALOG oscillators, or are they DIGITAL oscillators running through analog filters. I can't sleep...
May 13, 2011 @ 11:27 am
For all the confusion about the Bass Station's oscillators, this is from Novation's website:

"Novation launched the original Bass Station in 1993 and it became an instant favourite. Its digital oscillators and analogue filter defined countless dance and electronic hits of the 1990s. "

So digital oscillators, analog filter. Still a great sounding synth though.
March 7, 2011 @ 3:43 am
Uses modelled waveforms (square/sine/sawtooth) with analogue VCF and ADSR. MIDI + CV/Gate in/out. Filter input to run external audio through its killer filter section. Try sending output (via FX send on desk) back to filter to create screaming feedback loops. Ripping leads to extreme earth shuddering low-frequency basses. Early versions prone to 'crashing' when hit with too much MIDI. Filter out data meant for other MIDI channels, or live with weird accidental noises. Note: when it 'crashes' it still runs fine, but patch settings go crazy creating some insanely fun sweeps, blips and glides.
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  • 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
  • YouTube Thumbnail
    Novation Bass Station
    by xigronaus

    Manual - Read or download the complete and original owner's manual for the Bass Station Rack (in PDF format).

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 2 DCO's, each with Pulse and Sawtooth waveforms. Can be modulated by ENV2, LFO. PWM source modulated by ENV2, manually, or by an internal LFO.
  • LFO - LFO with random, triangle, and sawtooth waveforms
  • Filter - 12dB / 24dB switchable resonant low-pass filter can be modulated by ENV2 and LFO (ENV1 is for the VCA, ENV2 is for the filter), cutoff, resonance, env mod.
  • VCA - 2 ADSR envelopes with velocity depth and auto-glide, single- or multi-triggering
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - 40 presets, 60 user program
  • Control - MIDI and CV/GATE in/out
  • Date Produced - 1995

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