Novation Bass Station II

Impressive mono/paraphonic synth at any price

$439.99

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 v2.5 firmware update, the Bass Station II added paraphonic capabilities, as well as filter tracking, envelope retriggering, adjustable random detune, microtuning and new preset Soundpacks.

The newest -must have- v4.14 firmware update added AFX Mode, fixed duration envelopes, extended sub-oscillator control, oscillator glide diverge, and envelope retrigger count. In a nutshell AFX mode can put a different patch on each key and was designed by Aphex Twin. Ordinarily the sub oscillator is locked 1 or 2 octaves below oscillator 1, and now with extended sub-oscillator control you can independently tune it allowing 3 notes, which is pretty cool.

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

(Uptown Oscillators) UO Bass Station II Tutorials YouTube Playlist
(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

This page is a living document, subject to update and expansion.
Last edited – 1/12/2020
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