Tuesday, September 10, 2013

First Impressions: Novation Bass Station II

This is not a review, just my two-cents after playing it for a while at the shop.

Novation's follow-up to its successful 1993 Bass Station is (unsuprisingly) an analog monophonic synth.

The sound is warm and round, with a beefy sub osc and some overdrive and distorsion functions to make it growl. There are some stunning formant-like factory patches. Lots of filter choices, and apparently you can process external sound.
The arpeggiator is pretty sophisticated, with a mode that lets you input the notes to be looped.
Sonically, it's a lot more well-behaved than, say, the MS20 (or the Minibrute, for that matter).
It's more akin to the Moog Sub Phatty, I guess, but very cheap (all plastic, but feels sturdy enough and the knobs are excellent). I would dare to say that it somewhat lacks character. It's very well-polished, solid analog synth, but you wouldn't listen to it and go "Oh yeah, that's a Bass Station". That said, lacking character doesn't mean it sounds dull. On the contrary, it is a versatile instrument, with a use for pretty much every genre, whether you're into modern stuff, or dub, or acid or like me, more vintage /old school electronics. 
All in all I was favorably impressed. It's a bargain.

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