Novation Bass Station 2 Synthesizer Review

The Novation Bass Station 2 synthesizer is reviewed in the latest video from the Sonic Lab.

In the Bass Station 2 review, Nick Batt digs deep into the new analog synth and explains why “It’s quite a lot of synth for the money.”

Key Features:

  • Analogue synth: brand new version of the classic Bass Station: Bass Station II has a pure analogue audio signal path, reviving the spirit of the original Bass Station with an all-new design optimized for bass
  • Two distinct analogue filters: In addition to the original Classic Bass Station filter, there’s a brand new Acid diode ladder filter for squelchy 303-esque bass sounds
  • Load and save patches: 64 factory patches on-board with room for 64 more of your own: save more to your computer via USB
  • Pattern-based Step Sequencer and Arpeggiator: Bass Station II has an arpeggiator with a programmable step sequencer
  • Instant hands-on control: Instant hands-on control of the sound engine via a traditional analogue synth control panel
  • Two Oscillators plus an additional Sub Oscillator: Bass Station II has two sync-able, tune-able oscillators with four selectable waveforms, plus a third sub-oscillator for generating enormous bass sounds
  • Analogue effects section: Bass Station II includes fully analogue distortion and filter-modulation effects and a separate filter overdrive to add aggression and crunch
  • Powerful modulation section featuring two Envelopes and two LFOs: Two ADSR envelopes for amp, filter, pitch and pulse width modulation alongside two LFOs with waveforms including triangle, sawtooth, square and sample & hold

The Bass Station 2 has a street price of $500.

Check out the video review and let us know what you think of the Bass Station 2!

via sonicstate

20 thoughts on “Novation Bass Station 2 Synthesizer Review

    1. It’s so cheap though, I picked one up for $380 new and shipped. (15% holiday sale plus Novations $50 rebate). Surely you could tack on a MIDI/CV converter and still be below the other mono synth offerings.

      The minibrute has some basic CV but NO midi controllable parameters. Every parameter on the minibrute is digitally controller so you can automate anything with a DAW or a CV to MIDI converter.

  1. There are so many good analog monosynths available now!

    Just a couple of years ago, there was the Voyager at the high end and not much else. Now there are dirt-cheap analogs that actually sound great, like the Korg Volca synths. There are multiple mid-range monosynths, like the MiniBrute, the MiniTaur, the Dark Star and this. And there are more cool analogs at the high end than ever.

    I’m very tempted by the Bass Station 2. I’d like to compare it head to head against the MiniBrute. Based on what I’ve seen, the Bass Station 2 looks like the better synth.

    Anybody have the chance to compare the Minibrute and the Bass Station 2 yet?

    1. Yes, I had this chance. Frankly I’d prefer bass station II to minibrute any day. It has presets, 2 oscillators and other great things like LFO slew and sync, osc2 filter FM, arp patterns and sequencer. More capable synthesizer engine overall, too – I was able to synthesize a 808-ish clap (!). Other thing that struck me as particularly cool was that, while analog, with audio rate FM/filter FM & sync I could quite easily make various digital noise/lo-fi feeling sounds. I created a hi-hat type of patch, where it sounded like hi-hat, but with added digital grainness – a nice touch. (Imagine processing it through a bitcrusher or e.g. sonic charge permut8.)

      For added perspective I should also mention that I’m a modularhead, and after having our time with the synth both I and my friend (modularhead too) agreed that minibrute doesn’t really allow for much new sounds, that we couldn’t get with a modular. Overall, out of 3 I’m most interested in Pulse 2 – but that because I don’t need another keyboard, in other regards you may believe me: BS2 is very, if not exceptionally, capable for the price!

  2. If it weren’t for the fact I’m pretty set on grabbing myself a Waldorf Pulse 2, I’d probably pick this up in a heartbeat – in fact, this video made me think twice.

  3. No buyers remorse here. I’m really happy with mine. It’s a great sounding monosynth to be sure, but what really sold me was the ability to control/play other gear with it. The midi implementation on these is awesome. I’ve used the very capable arpeggiator & sequencer to breath new life into things like my AN200 and Mopho desktop and the knobs, sliders and wheels can be used to control apps (via midi learn) on my iPad. I can record any of the midi in Beatmaker2 (via the I/O Dock) and then play lead lines on the BS2 all in realtime. Great for improvising on the fly. Awesome synth, great controller at a very affordable price.

  4. Best analog mono I’ve owned and played. Every time I sit down with it, I create something new and exciting – it’s totally inspiring, and does so many things so well. An absolute treasure of a synth.

  5. I recently received a Bass Station 2 for testing and a couple of days ago I bought a Volca Bass.
    First impression on NBS II: it looks gorgeous! It is very aggressive: effectively it BARKS and BITE!
    Is SCREAMING like a monster from hell! But, it does not have the substance texture of the cheap Volca Bass – which for it price is doing a great job. Of course, NBS II have a lot of sound possibilities. But the sub osc is not what you expected (for example, not so deep as on MoPho). I don’t know how the original sound but this one I like it, even it is not on my style – but again: its aggressively is tremendous!
    It is not Moog, Arturia, Korg .. it is Novation with its personal texture

    Next days I will receive a Minibrute and then I will make a comparison. Until then, I’m working on a demo Volca Bass vs NBS II (man, I love Volca Bass!!!)

  6. I recently bought a BS2 and I am absolutely in LOVE w/ it!! It’s an amazing synth. Totally inspiring and intuitive and the sound that come out of it are just insane! Best purchase I’ve made in a long time.

  7. I hate to disagree with folks but I have to say BS2 is not a ‘great’ sounding monosynth. I’ve played one for a full day and compared to the likes of Arturia, Korg and Moog the thing sounds quite trashy. Sound quality is the most important thing to me, and I’m sorry it’s lacking in character. Sure it’s got loads of ‘features’ but ill leave this and stick with the main players. Minibrute/microbrute Korg Volca Bass Korg MS-20 mini Moog Minitaur……..etc ALL sound better, much better in some cases. Why compromise on sound if bothering to buy a hardware synth in the first place. Quality over quantity surely?

  8. I can ensure all of you that NBS II has a good character, loves people, spends money to help others and goes to the Church three times a week. Keep the faith !!!

  9. As a live synth, the nbs2 rocks the shit out of any other synth I’ve owned. Everything is in the right place, it sounds absolutely massive thru a rig and is so pleasurable to mess about with. I sold my little Phatty to by one and I don’t regret it one bit, I’m getting squelches like I haven’t heard before. I love it more each day.

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