Novation Bass Station II Analog Synthesizer Keyboard
The Bass Station II is a successor to the classic Bass Station launched over 20 years ago.
While still retaining the classic analog tone from the original, it showcases an interface with up-to-date features.
In addition to the classic filter acquired from the original Bass Station, it has an Acid Filter setting with a diode ladder design that produces a darker and smoother sound.
Its built-in arpeggiator lets you select up to 32 different patterns in different directions while its sequencer lets you play and recall up to four of your own patterns.
The two oscillators plus sub-oscillator provide a tighter and punchier bass.
- Keys: 25 note synth-action keyboard
- Polyphony: Monophonic
- Oscillator: 1 x Osc 1, 1 x Osc 2, 3 x Sub Osc, 1 x Noise generator
- Filter: 1 x Acid type (diode ladder filter design), 1 x Classic type (derived from original Bass Station)
- Envelope: 1 x Amp Envelope, 1 x Mod Envelope
- LFO: 2 x LFO
- Presets: 64 factory presets
- Effects: Distortion, Oscillator filter mod amount (FM effect created by Oscillator 2 modulating filter freq)
- Additional Controllers: Pitchbend, Mod Wheel
- Step Sequencer: 4 Sequences
- Arpeggitator: 32 Patterns
- Audio Input: 1 x 1/4" TRS input
- Audio Output :1 x 1/4" TRS output, 1 x 1/4" TRS headphone output
- Other Connectivity :USB MIDI (for connecting & powering Bass Station II via host computer), MIDI IN / MIDI OUT ports on 5 pin din, 1/4" TS Sustain Pedal input
- Power: USB bus powered, 9V DC 300mA
- Dimensions: 18” x 10.75” x 3”
- Weight: 8.5 lbs
For a very small and light-weight unit, the Bass Station II has a large amount of parameters and controls. Reviewers mentioned this synthesizer was able to provide dynamic bass sounds because of its sub-oscillator. The two filters' overdrive and distortion were some of the functions that stood out for reviewers since it gave that aggressive and gritty sound. Even though the build is made out of plastic, the knobs, faders and unit itself feel sturdy while the keys were very responsive. Some users pointed out the lack of CV/gate inputs and outputs, which is a downside for those who want to connect other analog equipment they own.
The keyboard tracking on the filter can't be adjusted, which may be an issue for those who want to filter lower sounds to be warm and dull, but not filter out all the high sounds once played on the keyboard.
For a monophonic analog synthesizer, this is a reasonable choice if you are looking for a unit that has enough features at a low entry price, however there are more highly rated options available which you can see in our guide to The Best Synthesizer Keyboards.