The original Bass Station was a hit for Novation back in the first wave of the analogue revival, which took place in the mid 1990s as producers and musicians realised the limitations of digital synthesis and looked back to the 70s and 80s classics for inspiration once more. At the time, the Bass Station was marketed as something of a Roland TB-303 clone. In practice, it wasn’t that simple. It didn’t quite nail the sound of the 303 and (ironically, given its name) some found its low end lacking. Nevertheless, the Bass Station proved popular for a range of analogue sounds and even spawned a successor, the Super Bass Station rack.
The Bass Station II is a throwback to the original unit, updated for the 21st century. The improvements made by Novation are significant. The synth architecture alone gives clues as to the versatility of the unit: there are two oscillators, a sub-oscillator, sync, ring modulation, a new TB-303-style filter, two envelopes, two LFOs, built-in effects and an on-board step-sequencer/arpeggiator.
The Bass Station II is a relatively straightforward synth, but its choice of filter settings ensures that it’s capable of a surprisingly wide range of sounds. One of the best all-rounders on the market.