Novation Bass Station 2

One of my favourite analogue synths – perhaps not least because it’s one of the most affordable – is the Novation Bass Station. The Novation Bass Station 2 is now upon us, and it’s got my tastebuds tingling…

Bass Station II

Novation Bass Station 2

The video above is very much a peacocking gesture by Novation to remind people of their impressive heritage, show off their current stable, and debut the Novation Bass Station 2 (it’s about 2:48 before the juicy Bass Station 2 shots make their appearance).
Considering there’s been a crop of analogue monosynths over the past 18 months or so (Moog Minitaur, Arturia Minibrute, Korg MS-20 Mini), a reworking of a classic seems like it could be a shrewd move.

There’s not a huuuuge amount that can be said about the specs of an analogue monosynth before you’ve played with it, really… is there? The Bass Station 2 is analogue through and through and it has an input that cuts into line after the oscillators and before the filter and effects so you can use its analogue filter for other things in your studio.

Key features over the original:

  • USB MIDI
  • Onboard arpeggiator and step sequencer
  • Two filter modes – classic Bass Station and ‘acid’
  • Dedicated sub oscillator
  • Four waveforms on oscillator 1 and 2 – Sine and triangle waveforms join pulse and saw
  • Overdrive and filter mod effects built in
  • Aftertouch sensitive keys

Patch management was always better on the Bass Station Rack than the original Bass Station Keyboard, but the Novation Bass Station 2 features a 128 patch memory, with 64 of them presets. Being able to send and receive patches over USB – not to mention MIDI – will be a great way to tempt users over to dedicated sound hardware away from their software studios. There’s just one feature, as far as I can see, that the Novation Bass Station 2 lacks from its predecessor: MIDI/CV conversion. No price yet, but my guess is somewhere a little lower than £400 – and hopefully closer to the £290 mark, although I’d be pleasantly surprised. It’s got competition after all, including from its dad (with the help of eBay)!

Here’s a question: would audio over USB take the fun – or an important stage of the signal chain – out of an analogue synth for you, or would it just make it even easier for you to integrate it into your DAW setup? (how many of you can/do run the multiple audio interfaces that would make this a reality?)

More at Novation
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