The Novation Bass Station II is a fixture in synth-based music, a power-packed digitally controlled analog mono synth that growls and howls and is eminently tweakable â€” especially given its compact design! When synthesists at Leaseville are searching for subterranean low end, the Novation Bass Station II is a first choice due to its ultra-fat suboscillator and overdrive-equipped filter section. But the Bass Station II has always been more than what its name implies â€” itâ€™s capable of producing scorching lead sounds and mesmerizing sonic textures. And, Novation has taken the Bass Station II even further, collaborating with Aphex Twin to develop the groundbreaking AFX mode, which is available through a free firmware update. By allowing users to assign a unique patch to every key, AFX Mode explodes the Bass Station IIâ€™s sound design capabilities, transforming it into a powerful drum module, chord organ, and much more. Along with its sequencer and arpeggiator, the Bass Station II is a perfect platform for generative music making and endless sonic exploration!
On top of its patch-per-key functionality, the Bass Station II offers a bevy of advanced soundsculpting features. These include microtuning editing for pushing the boundaries of scale-based music, fixed duration envelopes to tighten drum patches, independent sub-oscillator tuning, and oscillator glide diverge for adding distinct portamento characteristics by slowing down the glide time of oscillator two relative to oscillator one, which creates dramatic divergences. Also included in the latest firmware update, filter tracking opens up the filter cutoff as you move higher on the fretboard, adding brightness and bite; an oscillator error effect peppers in a small and random amount of detuning as you strike the next key, mimicking the sound of an unstable vintage analog synth; and the Bass Station II's new envelope retriggering function is its sound-design secret weapon. By retriggering the envelope after the decay stage, you can develop loping or insistent rhythms to manipulate amplitude, pitch, filter cutoff, and PWM. Additionally, the Bass Station IIâ€™s new paraphonic setting allows you to play two notes at a time, with separate pitches for the oscillators â€” an ideal feature for laying a droning pedal tone under a melodic line or ripping a lead over a repeating bass figure!
While the Bass Station II supplies the bread-and-butter synthesis controls to create a wide range of leads, pads, and effects, it's primed for heavy-hitting bass. Two main oscillators can be hard-synced for tighter, punchier tones. And a sub-oscillator is on hand to fill out the bottom end. And because its 25-note keyboard supports aftertouch, you'll find it easy to put some expression in your performances. The Bass Station II packs two discrete filter designs, each with an overdrive circuit for seriously distorted tones. The Classic filter is based on the original Bass Station synth, giving you LPF, HPF, and BPF modes. The Acid filter is a diode ladder design that can get very squelchy â€” think 303 and you've got the idea.
When you switch on the Bass Station's arpeggiator you can choose from 32 different rhythmic patterns in different directions, with control over the octave range. You can also play up to four of your own patterns into the step sequencer and play them back using one of the 32 rhythms. The step sequencer also records legato and rests, so you can create more expressive sequences on the fly compared to simple note on-off sequencers found on some synths.