Novation Bass Station II


#1

Recently the Novation Bass Station II became available in the stores. I think for 469,-€ it is an incredible package with a lot of good features. Unfortunately i wasnt able to test one so far yet. And the sound demos on the internet i found not so inspiring. What is your perception?


Bass Station II - 2.5. update (Paraphony, Filtertracking, Envelope retrigger, microtuning)
Bass station 2 update
#2

The westend dj store in central London has one on demo. I pressed a few keys when I was passing through. Just a saw wave and swept the filter. I liked it a lot more than I thought I was going to.


#3

It sounds great and I would characterise it as a very “immediate” experience in terms of the control surface, arp with built on patterns, SH101 style sequencer. Even the “on-key” parameters are very quick to manipulate, function->press key->change value.

I think novation are doing a great job at these performance oriented machines.

Build quality is very similar to the original Bass station - plasticky and light - but the pots do have a nice solid feel.

Closest competitor is obviously minibrute - I have both - minibrute wins on build quality and cv - if I had to keep one though it would be the BS2 just in terms of fun factor, instant gratification etc. Also minibrute seems to have fallen into a black hole of zero updates and support - check their forum - so they are leaving this market wide open for Novation IMO, who do have a decent track record for support and updates.

In the end it may be more about the “sound” though, very subjective, but I love it and its cheap so hey ho :slight_smile:


#4

It sounds absolutely fantastic. What strikes me about it is its talent at replicating the sounds of synths gone by, whilst also managing to sound very very modern with the tweak of a few knobs. Mine’s currently on the workbench being modular-ised. Plenty of fun to be had there too :joy:


#5

I recently picked one up,too. Love it!

If you didn’t know already, there is a $50 rebate on their site if you buy before October 15.


#6

Explain your curious earth ways, I command it :alien:


#7

Ah, not on the german site. But the german stores sell it for 469 € anyway which is a great price. What you all write makes me want one, though i recently sold a MS20 mini in favour for a Monomachine…and i already own a SubPhatty and A4, which i both love for their sound. Not sure if an additional BS2 wouldnt be too much.

Heres finally a demo i like: http://youtu.be/v37ebcruxs8

Oh and another one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA9TTORAB5E


#8

Here is where to find it. I don’t think it’s restricted to where you bought it… I stand corrected, it’s restricted to the U.S. :thinking:

http://global.novationmusic.com/bassstationii-rebate


#9

It’s US stores only according to that link ^


#10

I really like mine. Very functional and fast. Attempted to use it as a controller for some iPad synth apps. Many things worked very well, the keyboard, mod wheel, etc. When I was mapping knobs on the BSII to some of the functions on the synth, some o the knobs worked really well, others did not function. Must be some short comings with the MIDI output in the firmware yet, but I am happy in general with its functionality as a controller as well as synth.


#11

I’m really liking it too! Really easy to program due to the layout and sounds really good!

Which synth app are you trying to control with the BS2? I’m assuming you mean you are using the apps MIDI learn feature as BS2 has fixed CCs.

It’s fine as a controller keyboard for sending note data to other hardware, but not really useful when using its knobs as hardware units have fixed CCs. So, for example, it’s no good for controlling the Analog 4 or Minitaur, but I tend to use my Octatrack for that (assignable CCs!).


#12

I tried out controlling as few aps. That Moog one (cannot remember the name) Nlog, Sunrizer etc. Yeah, was using the ‘learn’ function on the synth aps.


#13

Sorry, I was in a hurry and didn’t have much time to review the link. Just wanted to get it out there for everyone. Should have read it through better!


#14

I have those apps, I’ll give it a go. I’m planning to use it as a controller for the iPad too (selling my X-Station which I previously used).


#15

Yeah, it works great with the CC mapping function. Let me know if all your knobs work correctly with the apps. About half of my knobs do not work and behave oddly with the apps. For example, the resonance knob works great, the filter knob does not. The sliders seem to work.


#16

I haven’t heard any BS2 demos that impressed me enough to order one.

Could be that the demos just aren’t my cup of tea or that I haven’t found the right demo vids but as far as I can tell at this point you will get a whole lot more synth if you save up a bit more for a Moog Sub Phatty.

Also, the single Waldorf Pulse 2 demo that has been on youtube for a short period sound way more impressive to me.

Could be personal taste though. I don’t like the minibrute as well…


#17

save twice as much as this synth…what more do you get with the SF?


#18

The thing the Bass Station 2 has over the the Pulse 2 is usability. Everything is laid out in front of you so you can visualise the patch. It’s really nice to work with. I swore I’d never buy another matrix synth when I sold my DSI Evolver.

Plus the problem with all these new Waldorf synths is, not only do you have a matrix to battle with, they also have a lot of menu diving to get to stuff like modulations etc. often things are buried a few layers down in the menu’s. it sound great (from the one video that I’ve seen) but personally I’d prefer something a bit more knobby and even with no menu to deal with at all!


#19

I thought so too, but most of the demos don’t show the true nature of this little gem and as it may be a matter of taste the BSII sonically shines way above the sub phatty.
I have it here next to my Voyager OS and a vintage Micromoog and the BSII easily can do a lot of what the Voyager and the Micromoog are really good at. The OSC Filter FM sounds very moogish, the OSCs are full, they go very deep and still have enough brightness to them to cut through. IMO the best DCOs in any modern analog synth. It is tight sounding, but always warm without the brassyness of the curtis based DSI. The Acid Filter doesn’t actually sound a lot like the 303, but rather SH101ish but whats great about it is, that it gives the synth a total different charakter and a very useful that is.
The filter overdrive and distortion sound exactly like the should and what you’d expect from it. And the overall UI and features really makes the BSII stand out. There’s a ring mod, OSC sine waves, the filter tracks perfectly and can be played musically over the whole keyboard range. Sweetspots on all ends and edges.
Compared to the Minibrute the similarities end with the size of the keys and being a compact monosynth. The Minibrute can sound a bit more like 70ies vintage, as the BSII got its range covered well into the 80ies. It can do Juno-style basses with its SubOSC etc… etc…
I wished Novation would release a polyphonic (multitimbral) version of it. Would put every contemporary analog polysynth to shame.
You may throw the first stone, but I also wished the voices of the A4 would sound just a bit as good as the BSII. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#20

I thought so too, but most of the demos don’t show the true nature of this little gem and as it may be a matter of taste the BSII sonically shines way above the sub phatty.
I have it here next to my Voyager OS and a vintage Micromoog and the BSII easily can do a lot of what the Voyager and the Micromoog are really good at. The OSC Filter FM sounds very moogish, the OSCs are full, they go very deep and still have enough brightness to them to cut through. IMO the best DCOs in any modern analog synth. It is tight sounding, but always warm without the brassyness of the curtis based DSI. The Acid Filter doesn’t actually sound a lot like the 303, but rather SH101ish but whats great about it is, that it gives the synth a total different charakter and a very useful that is.
The filter overdrive and distortion sound exactly like the should and what you’d expect from it. And the overall UI and features really makes the BSII stand out. There’s a ring mod, OSC sine waves, the filter tracks perfectly and can be played musically over the whole keyboard range. Sweetspots on all ends and edges.
Compared to the Minibrute the similarities end with the size of the keys and being a compact monosynth. The Minibrute can sound a bit more like 70ies vintage, as the BSII got its range covered well into the 80ies. It can do Juno-style basses with its SubOSC etc… etc…
I wished Novation would release a polyphonic (multitimbral) version of it. Would put every contemporary analog polysyh to shame.
You may throw the first stone, but I also wished the voices of the A4 would sound just a bit as good as the BSII. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: [/quote]
Agree, it sounds great!

Your comment about the acid filter. I have an MC-202 and the acid filter is similar but it doesn’t have the same range (and won’t self oscillate), so in that respect, in use, it is more like the filter on the 303. So you can take it to its extremes and it will always sound good. You can get really good 101 sounds will the classic filter at 24dB though, similar range and sweetspots. Infact I’ve created the same sounds on both BS2 and 202 and it’s often difficult.to tell them apart. Of course though the Bass Station 2 is sonically capable of far more than a 101/202 :wink: