Novation Bass Station II

Impressive mono/paraphonic synth at any price

Everyone should have one of these, even if you have multiple high-end synths. Keep your eyes open and you will notice many a synth pro has one of these sitting in their gear mix.

The Bass Station II also makes a great first hardware synth purchase recommendation. In my mind, it’s an equal toss up between the Bass Station II and the Korg Minilogue. The latter does have 4 note chord polyphony if that is important to you or you don’t know.

With the recent -must have- v2.5 firmware update, the Bass Station II now has paraphonic capabilities, as well as filter tracking, envelope retriggering, adjustable random detune, microtuning and new preset Soundpacks.

There are a lot of things to like about this synth. This is big for me: Full sized keys (with aftertouch), most other keyboard synths near its price range have mini-keys. Pitch and mod wheels, too. Octave up/down buttons, 64 factory and 64 user preset slots.

The BS2 has 2 analog oscillators with sine, triangle, sawtooth, square/variable pulse width waveforms, and a sub-oscillator with sine, square, and narrow pulse waveforms. If you wanted fat sound, you got it. Also has noise, ring mod, paraphonic, arpeggiator, sequencer, portamento, and 2 filters. The first is a classic multi-mode filter with low, band and high pass and 12db/24db slopes. The second one is an ‘acid’ diode ladder filter. There are 2 ADSR envelopes, 2 LFOs, distortion and FM effects. Whew! There is a lot on the BS2, and much of it is knob/slider accessible.

In summation. I put my money where my mouth is, and I would and will do it again.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

Manufacturer’s website
https://novationmusic.com/synths/bass-station-ii

Product support, downloads
https://novationmusic.com/get-started
https://customer.novationmusic.com/support/downloads

Strongly recommended that you download the newest OS, unless you hate bug fixes, stability and new features

Facebook user groups

Bass Station II
https://www.facebook.com/groups/bstation2

Videos

This is a great video demonstrating the v2.5 update paraphonic mode
(Uptown Oscillators) UO Novation Bass Station II YouTube Playlist

Useful Links

Bass Station 2 Web editor
https://sysex.io/bass-station-2-web-editor.html

Be sure to join the Uptown Oscillators Facebook Group!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/UptownOscillators

This page is a living document, subject to update and expansion. Last edited – 1/6/2019
If you have any content you think should be added, or would like to help author gear pages/posts, please leave a comment here or on our Facebook group.

Manufacturer Specifications: click to open/close or jump to comments

Product Hardware Specifications

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 output 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″ TS jack
  • MIDI IN / MIDI OUT ports on 5 pin din
  • DC power input
  • Switch between power off / DC powered / bus powered

Synth Engine

Oscillators

  • Osc 1
  • Osc 2
  • Sub Osc (3)
  • Noise generator
Osc 1 & 2
Select between waveforms:
  • sine
  • triangle
  • sawtooth
  • square/variable pulse width
Features
  • Sync 1 & 2
  • Detune
  • Octave range
  • Pitch bend
  • Pitch modulation from Mod Envelope and/or LFO 1
  • Pulse width modulation from Mod Envelope and/or LFO 2
Sub Osc (3) which is tracked to Osc 1
Select independently between waveforms:
  • Sine
  • Square
  • Narrow pulse
Features
  • All modulation and tuning tracked to Osc 1
  • Independent octave select

Mixer

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

Filter

Two filter types
  • Acid type (diode ladder filter design)
  • Classic type (derived from original Bass Station)
Features
  • Cutoff
  • Resonance
  • Overdrive
  • 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

Envelopes

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

LFO

Two LFOs each selectable between:
  • Triangle
  • Sawtooth
  • Square
  • 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)

Effects

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

Step Sequencer/Arpeggiator

Arpeggiator
  • Up to 32 different patterns
  • Select between 1-4 octave range
  • Swing function
  • Select direction:
    • up
    • down
    • up / down 1
    • up / down 2
    • As played
    • Random
  • 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

Portamento

  • Adjust glide time
  • Single trigger or re-trigger modes
  • Integrate into step sequencer and arpeggiator

Power Requirements

  • USB bus powered
  • 9V DC power supply included
  • Maximum power consumption 9V DC 300mA

Product Dimensions

  • 457mm (18”) width x 273mm (10.75”) depth x 76mm (3”) height

OS Compatibility

  • Mac OSX 10.12 Sierra, 10.11, 10.10, 10.9
  • Windows 10, Windows 8