Bass Station 2 vs Toraiz AS-1

Hi all, sometimes the AS-1 pops up here and there, but not too often.

The question is simple: I’ve got one analog, mono synth. The BS2. I don’t have room for two, and sticking with the “one in, one out” policy for the moment. Curious to hear, especially from people with experience with the AS-1 (and hopefully also BS2), should I swap the BS2 for the Toraiz?

I’d lose some money, but for +€150/200 I’d be able to change them out.

For my workflow I really like gear with options to store patches/projects. In that regard the BS2 isn’t 100% ideal, as I’ve got all 128 patch slots full at any time.
I don’t hold that much value to knob-per-function, my Elektron gear doesn’t have that either and I really like their workflow. How are your thoughts about the workflow of the AS-1, with the limited knobs?
Soundwise any thoughts? I like the thick BS2 sounds, but sometimes I feel that the envelopes aren’t the fastest, whilst I also like transient sounds, which I sometimes aren’t able to get from from my BS2. Could be my lack of experience though as well.
I’d be either time syncing it from OT/DT, with start/stop (transport?) messages. Or also sequencing it from them. I know about the bug that occurs with changing patches when running, wouldn’t need that.
But, not sure about this specifically: Does it also have that bug when changing patches in a set between tracks when the sequence is not running, but it is “playing” an empty sequence (when you have transport messages on, so it’s playing but without any notes)?

So in essence: how would you compare them in workflow, sound, maybe also broadness of application for different sounds?

Curious, thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts, I know there’s some other threads already, but still on the fence between these two.

Cheers!

Hello, I never own any of them. But I own many VA or analog synth in my life, changed so many time believing one is better than other.
You can try the swap, and see if you like the workflow. But what I learnt is it better to stick with one synth and use it until it broke, mastering it and knowing every tips on it.
I find VA or digital synth in this price range much better sounding than analog marketing. Check the news synth before swap on an old one.
Good luck.

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you have to like the interface of the AS-1. Not much direct control, so quite the opposite to the bass station 2 in that regard.
Its sound is :bomb: !!
Its one voice of the prophet 6 and probably quite comparable to the sequential pro one.
The fx sound nice as well.

I got mine pretty cheap second hand. People seem to sleep on it, but there is no question that it sounds huge.
From what I heard the BS2 is closer to Roland synths soundwise.

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BS II: better interface, proper keys, continual updates adding useful features
AS-1: better sound, built like a tank, great fx

For me the AS-1 is the best mono under $1k.

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I haven’t had the BS2 but agree with everything stated so far.
The AS1 sound is awesome. The interface isn’t bad, once you get in there it’s quite smart. BS2 has kb and more knobby interface but the AS1 appeals to me more. One thing I do not like on it is the sequencer, but those duties are covered with Engine for myself anyways.

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I finally got around to buying the AS-1 controller VST and mapped everything to my midi controller. I feel like the interface is actually well designed and more efficient than it might seem when looking at it. But the VST is pretty rad if you’re into that sort of thing.

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I’ve had both.
AS1 all day every day. You just can’t match the sound you get out of it. It’s just a solid piece of synth. Don’t let the small package and Pioneer stamp fool you, this is a legit, well thought out, Dave Smith release. I love the Prophet sound, and you certainly get that with the AS1. I think of it as a Pro1 with memory storage, and an endless amount more reliability. I’ll never part with mine. You can also throw it in your backpack and jam out anywhere. Great synth.

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It’s a good question. I have both and I’d suggest if you can, keep the BS2 and get the AS1! They both sound great imo, both excel at lead sounds as well as bass and While there is some crossover they both sound different enough to work well when paired. One of my fave bits of the BS is the band pass mode of the filter. It’s just so musical. AS1 has LP/HP but for me it’s not the same.

You’ll lose the Immediacy of the BS with its control per function type layout but you gain some sweet FX in the AS that are a big part of a lot of its sounds. It’s got its niggles; I don’t think it’s had an OS update for a long time, the sequencer isn’t great say for swapping between patterns manually and staying in sync (you’ve got to click the encoder at just the right time) but its fun to use with the touch strips etc and the synth sounds awesome. As I say to my ears so does the BS2… the move to a purely menu based interface would be the clincher. If you can live with it (and not get infuriated at the lack of a dedicated envelope amount knob) do the swap. BS2’s don’t seem to command really high prices so I guess you could always get another if you missed it?

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Is that for real? How can they not have implemented that right? Would be a show stopper for me.

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Nope, sadly still there. I guess the workaround is PC messages but then you’d need a sequencer etc

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As a previous owner of the AS-1, I didn’t appreciate how much menu-diving there would be. That was years ago when I bought and returned it. Maybe I’d be comfortable with it now. Not sure. But man did I love the sound.

If I had to choose though, I’d take the BS2: mostly knob per function, real keys, fun sequencer with the update, paraphonic, USB-powered. And I like the sound of the BS2 too, though it is different of course. I feel I need something like the Faderfox PC-12 with the AS-1, which then puts me in the $1,000 price category. Plus, Pioneer’s support for it abysmal compared to Novation’s support.

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so youre unhappy with your music and you think the number of 128 slots is limiting you? I think this is a common mistake. also dont understimate the power of One knob per function. In my experience this is the main advantage from hardware over software, because it lets you dial in a sound by hearing and feeling it. orhetwise just go for a software synth, the are much cheaper and have lots more functions than hardware.

switching gear in the same pricerange also seldom leads to an improvement. the bs2 is an absolute powerhorse in its pricerange. youd be surprized hie much better it is than other synths at that pricepoint. its a real keeper.

so if your already working with elektron gear, why not combine the digitakt with a semimodukar synth with no presets at all? you can dial in the sound you like on the semimodukar, save and recall it on the digitakt.

its never the lack of functions that limits your creativity but an overwhelming amount of functions.

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Totally agree with @goatofneptune.
Me too I was long time unhappy with my music and believed I have the wrong synth, so I bought and sold many of them but I just missed work and learning my gears.

I also agree that today, the only advantage of an hardware synth over software is the interface. Don’t be fooled by the sound, in a mix with post treatment everything can sound dope. And I feel lot of software sound better than hardware, so If you really focus on a sound, get a midi controller and choose a good VST for your style of music and you have it.

If you really want this hardware dial, keep the BS, or I see someone on elektronauts selling Vermona PERfourMER MKII in UK/EU. It’s a very good sounding 4 voices analog with 1 knob = 1 function!

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Don’t know, but sounds like something worth testing before buying. As you’re aware, Pioneer will never fix AS-1 bugs.

The main thing you have to be afraid of, is discovering how good the AS-1 sounds for everything you “don’t“ use the BS2 for. Keep it while you trial the AS-1. Also, the AS-1 editor (not the VST) is free.
Re menu diving, no. There’s no sub-menus. One knob scrolling to each parameter and that’s it.

Here’s a thought. Why not get a mk1 A4?

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Haha. So: both:)

I’ve been looking at them, to be found very affordable second hand. But I’ve understood here and there that peoples experiences with its patches/sounds is a bit more difficult to find sweet spots? What’s your experience with that?

personally I LOVE my A4…it’s architecture takes some understanding / getting used to, but once you got it, you can find sweet spots no problem. At least that’s how it went for me.

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Well I never said I was unhappy with my music.

The simple truth is that, even though I respect this thinking, that you should just master all your instruments, and should have the skills to patch everything yourself, that’s just not my reality. I play this music for fun, for my amateur enjoyment. And I just have more enjoyment with the one piece of gear and workflow then with the other. Even though I wish I’d have the skills to patch something with any gear, currently I’m more enjoying equipment that I can sómetimes dive deep into and create patches completely myself, but also often enjoy saving a patch for every track I create and save it to always go back to it without losing that sound. I’ve had multiple tracks with BS2 that I afterwords just wasn’t able to reproduce because I saved another preset over it.

Regarding the “why not just modular”. As stated in my message, I like saving stuff. I bought and resold a DFAM because of this exactly. I thought I should just “learn” to play live without saving/presets. But I didn’t enjoy it as much. Simple as that. Maybe in the future when I’ve got more experience, but now I’m excepting my own level and preferences, and focus on what I enjoy:)

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This does indeed sound like a serious issue, such a shame that they never fixed this seemingly singular bug that everyone knows, for an otherwise very loved and undervalued synth…

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Do you have the mk1? Is the storage structure the same as OT/DT/DN? That would make things easy. I now have projects with sets / multiple tracks saved exactly the same on all three devices, as they have the same project structure. With A4 that would mirror that. (Although I’m also always curious about the Rytm, to synthesize drums instead of the DT with samples. Haha, more and more options always. And then the price points and footprints keep rising)