MATRIXSYNTH: Introducing the Novation BassStation 2 All Analog Synth

Monday, April 08, 2013

Introducing the Novation BassStation 2 All Analog Synth

Novation // 21 Years of Innovation

Published on Apr 8, 2013 NovationTV·156 videos

"Bass Station II is an analogue mono-synth based on the classic original Bass Station but re-worked for the 21st century. It has two filters, two oscillators plus a third sub-oscillator, patch save and a fully analogue effects section. Add a step sequencer, arpeggiator, full sized keys and a powerful modulation section and you have the makings of a synth that is built for bass, but capable of so much more.

Bass Station II marks Novation's 21st birthday - find out more about Novation's early synths and how the technology evolved over 20 years"

What is it?

Bass Station II is an analogue mono-synth with a talent for bass, but a sound-engine that is versatile enough to kick out sharp leads and crisp arpeggios. It brings the best elements of the original Bass Station into a brand new design with re-worked modulation, effects, filters and more; like the Bass Station, but a much much bigger sound.
The signal path is pure analogue - including the effects section. The hardware has been laid out in modules with dedicated pots, switches, sliders and buttons for all major parameters. Critically, you can store and recall patches on Bass Station II. It comes with 64 killer factory presets, space for 64 of your own sounds on the hardware, and you can store more on your computer.

The key-mech consists of 25 full sized keys that are velocity sensitive with assignable aftertouch. It has been developed as a ‘synth-action’ keyboard, where each key is individually sprung so it is light to the touch and highly responsive to the synth engine. Bass Station II is a fully class compliant MIDI device with MIDI I/O on 5 pin din ports – for connecting to other MIDI outboard – and with your computer over USB. You can even connect an external instrument and run it through Bass Station II's analogue filter and effects."

"The Synth Engine: A Brief Overview

Oscillators: Bass Station II is built on three analogue oscillators and a noise generator. There are two fully independent oscillators plus a sub oscillator (which is the critical component in creating rich, analogue bass sounds). Oscillators One and Two are switchable between sine, sawtooth, square and variable pulse width, and Oscillator Three - the sub osc - can be set to one or two octaves below Oscillator One. It can be square, sine or narrow pulse width, delivering the characteristically ‘fat’ bass tone.

Filters: You can select between two discrete filters - ‘Acid’ or ‘Classic’ - each with a built in overdrive for pushing filter tones from dry, to warm, to nasty! The ‘Classic’ Bass Station filter can be switched between low pass, high pass and band pass at 12 or 24dB slopes. The ‘Acid’ filter is based on a diode ladder filter design that delivers a characteristically 303-esque sound that is designed to squelch!


Bass Station II has two effects (not including the filter overdrive). Analogue distortion drives circuit components to add new frequencies to the sound. Bass Station II’s Distortion function can add gentle warmth, filthy granularity and anything in between. The second effect is ‘Osc Filter Mod’ which creates a distinctive FM-type sound by using Oscillator Two to modulate the filter frequency. This is very good at crunchy, sound-mulching effects that substantially fatten up bass and lead patches.


There are two envelope generators and two low frequency oscillators (LFOs). The first envelope is an ADSR amp envelope and the second is a mod envelope that can be used to modulate filter frequency, oscillator pitch and osc pulse width. LFO One is dedicated to pitch modulation whereas LFO is used to modulate osc pulse width and filter frequency. Although it looks like there are four LFO waveforms, the ‘LFO Slew’ function can be used freely to sculpt LFOs into smoother wave-shapes creating many more LFO possibilities.

Arpeggiator and step sequencer

Bass Station II’s Arpeggiator and Step Sequencer are killer performance and production tools. The Arp can be directed to run through 32 different rhythmic patterns in different directions with a switchable octave range. You can also engage the Step Sequencer. Up to four sequences can be played in – with legato and rests – and played back using any one of the 32 rhythmic patterns. As well as getting ideas down quickly and programming performance sequences, this is a brilliant way to preview patches while you are editing them.

This just scratches the surface of the synth engine. Bass Station II is a powerful little synth with a lot more than first meets the eye. There are many more oscillator, envelope, LFO and modulation functions that are too numerous to detail here. The best way to experience Bass Station II is to get hands-on!


Synth engine


Osc 1
Osc 2
Sub Osc (3)
Noise generator
Osc 1 & 2

Select between waveforms:

square/variable pulse width

Sync 1 & 2
Octave range
Pitch bend
Pitch modulation to Mod Envelope and LFO 1
Pulse width modulation to Mod Envelope and LFO 2
Sub Osc (3) which is tracked to Osc 1

Select independently between waveforms:

Narrow pulse

All modulation and tuning tracked to Osc 1
Independent octave select

Osc 1 level
Osc 2 level
Sub Osc level
Noise generator level
Ring modulation depth
External signal level

Two filter types

Acid type (diode ladder filter design)
Classic type (derived from original Bass Station)

Filter frequency to Mod Envelope depth
Filter frequency to LFO 2 depth
Select 'Classic' filter between:

Low pass
Band pass
High pass
12dB slope
24dB slope

Two ADSR Envelopes (Attack/Decay/Sustain/Release)

Amp Envelope
Mod Envelope
Combined control of both Envelopes
Select triggering mode between:

Single trigger (holds envelope state when new note is played)
Multi trigger (re-triggers with every new note played)
Autoglide (engages portamento)
There is also a VCA limiter


Two LFOs each selectable between:

Sample and hold
Both LFOs independently adjustable between rate and delay time
Key sync LFO 1 & 2
LFO slew on LFO 1& 2 (low pass filter on the LFO waveform)

Distortion send
Oscillator filter mod amount (FM effect created by Oscillator 2 modulating filter freq)

Step Sequencer/Arpeggiator


Up to 32 different patterns
Select between 1-4 octave range
Swing function
Select direction:
up / down 1
up / down 2
As played
Latch (hold the arpeggiator)
Step Sequencer

Up to four sequences
Assign one of 32 preset rhythms or create your own
insert rests or legato (slide)
Sequencer re-trigger function

Adjust glide time
Single trigger or re-trigger modes
Integrate into step sequencer and arpeggiator
Hardware & controller assignment

25 note synth-action keyboard
Aftertouch can be assigned to modulate:
Filter frequency
LFO 1to Osc pitch
Osc 2 speed
Pitch wheel
Modulation wheel can be assigned to:
LFO 2 to filter frequency
LFO 1 to Osc pitch
Osc 2 pitch
Octave up/ down buttons
64 factory presets
64 slots for user patches (and patch dump facility for storing more)
Master volume dial
Inputs and Outputs

USB MIDI (for connecting & powering Bass Station II via host computer)
Mono outputs on 1/4" TRS jack
Headphone output on 1/4" TRS jack
External input on 1/4" TRS jack
Sustain pedal input on 1/4" TRS jack
MIDI IN / MIDI OUT ports on 5 pin din
AC power input
Switch between power off / AC powered / bus powered"

MESSE13: Novation Bass Station II Preview

Published on Apr 9, 2013 sonicstate·449 videos

"MESSE13: Novation Bass Station II Preview We get an engineering preview"

Musik Messe 2013 Novation Bass Station II Videos

Published on Apr 10, 2013 sonicstate·462 videos

Musikmesse 2013: Novation BassStation II

Published on Apr 10, 2013 delamartv·345 videos

Full Run through of the new Novation Bass Station II Video & Audio Demo

Published on Apr 10, 2013 Steelberry·33 videos

"Steelberry Clones at MusikMesse 2013

Taking a close look at the Novation Bass Station II

Copyright 2013 Stereoklang Produktion"

Novation Bass Station II Audio demo

Published on Apr 10, 2013 Steelberry·38 videos

"The full sounds of the new analog synth from Novation, live from MusikMesse 2013"

Musikmesse 2013: Novation Bass Station II

Published on Apr 11, 2013 FutureMusicMagazine·271 videos

"Future Music get a demo of the relaunched Bass Station 2 analogue synthesizer from Novation at Musikmesse 2013."


Novation Bass Station 2 Demo @ Musikmesse 2013

Published on Apr 16, 2013Hispasonic·145 videos

"Echamos un buen vistazo a las características y el sonido del nuevo Bass Station II de Novation."


Novation Bass Station II - Gearjunkies MusikMesse demo

Published on Apr 23, 2013 gearjunkies·90 videos

"We met up with Novation and took the opportunity to shoot a short video. Listen to some of the 'analogue' sounds of this updated synth!"

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's pretty impressive. Street price of $499, available in June? Sold!



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