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Introducing Bass Station II
Bass Station II is an analog mono-synth based on the classic original Bass Station but re-worked for the 21st century. It has two filters, three oscillators, patch save and a fully analog effects section. Add a step sequencer, arpeggiator, full sized keys and a powerful modulation section and you have the makings of a synth that is built for bass, but capable of so much more.
What is it?
Bass Station II is an analog mono-synth with a talent for bass, but a sound-engine that is versatile enough to kick out sharp leads and crisp arpeggios. It brings the best elements of the original Bass Station into a brand new design with re-worked modulation, effects, filters and more; like the Bass Station, but much much bigger.
The signal path is pure analog - including the effects section. The hardware has been laid out in modules with dedicated pots, switches, sliders and buttons for all major parameters. Critically, you can store and recall patches on Bass Station II. It comes with 64 killer factory presets, space for 64 of your own sounds on the hardware, and you can store more on your computer.
The key-mechanism consists of 25 full sized keys that are velocity sensitive with assignable aftertouch. It has been developed as a ‘synth-action’ keyboard, where each key is individually sprung so it is light to the touch and highly responsive to the synth engine. Bass Station II is a fully class compliant MIDI device with MIDI I/O on 5 pin din ports – for connecting to other MIDI outboard – and can interface with your computer over USB.
Analog synth: brand new version of the classic Bass Station
Bass Station II has a pure analog audio signal path, reviving the spirit of the original Bass Station with an all-new design optimised for bass.
Two distinct analog filters
A brand new “Acid” filter joins the “Classic” original Bass Station filter (“Classic” switches between low, hi and band pass with 12 and 24dB slopes).
Load and save patches
Bass Station II ships with 64 factory patches and a further 64 user slots. Patch dump enables you to archive and swap sounds.
Pattern-based Step Sequencer and Arpeggiator
Bass Station II has an arpeggiator with a programmable step sequencer that enables you to store and call up patterns and quickly sketch-out ideas.
Dedicated Tweakable Controls
Analog synth layout includes dedicated controls for all major parameters enabling instant hands-on control of the sound engine.
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.
Analog effects section
Bass Station II includes fully analog distortion and filter-modulation effects and a separate filter overdrive to add an aggressive, crunchy sound-quality.
Flexible modulation featuring 2 Envelopes and 2 LFOs
LFO waveforms include triangle, sawtooth, square and sample & hold. Two ADSR envelopes are available for filter, pitch and pulse width modulation.
MIDI I/O and USB connectivity
Bass Station II can be connected to your music software as well as your MIDI compatible hardware.
Players 'synth-action' keyboard with aftertouch
The keyboard mechanism is a two-octave (25 note) velocity sensitive synth-action keyboard with full-size keys and assignable aftertouch.
The Synth Engine: A Brief Overview
Bass Station II is built on three analog oscillators and a noise generator. There are two fully independent oscillators plus a sub oscillator (which is the critical component in creating rich, analog bass sounds). Oscillators One and Two are switchable between sine, sawtooth, square and variable pulse width, and Oscillator Three - the sub osc - can be set to one or two octaves below Oscillator One. It can be square, sine or narrow pulse width, delivering the characteristically ‘fat’ bass tone.
You can select between two discrete filters - ‘Acid’ or ‘Classic’ - each with a built in overdrive for pushing filter tones from dry, to warm, to nasty! The ‘Classic’ Bass Station filter can be switched between low pass, high pass and band pass at 12 or 24dB slopes. The ‘Acid’ filter is based on a diode ladder filter design that delivers a characteristically 303-esque sound that is designed to squelch!
Bass Station II has two effects (not including the filter overdrive). Analog distortion drives circuit components to add new frequencies to the sound. Bass Station II’s Distortion function can add gentle warmth, filthy granularity and anything in between. The second effect is ‘Osc Filter Mod’ which creates a distinctive FM-type sound by using Oscillator Two to modulate the filter frequency. This is very good at crunchy, sound-mulching effects that substantially fatten up bass and lead patches.
There are two envelope generators and two low frequency oscillators (LFOs). The first envelope is an ADSR amp envelope and the second is a mod envelope that can be used to modulate filter frequency, oscillator pitch and osc pulse width. LFO One is dedicated to pitch modulation whereas LFO Two is used to modulate osc pulse width and filter frequency. Although it looks like there are four LFO waveforms, the ‘LFO Slew’ function can be used freely to sculpt LFOs into smoother wave-shapes.
Arpeggiator and step sequencer
Bass Station II’s Arpeggiator and Step Sequencer are killer performance and production tools. The Arp can be directed to run through 32 different rhythmic patterns in different directions with a switchable octave range. The fun really starts when you engage the Step Sequencer. Up to four sequences can be played in – with legato and rests – and assigned to any one of the 32 rhythmic patterns. As well as getting ideas down quickly and programming performance sequences, this is a brilliant way to preview patches while you are editing them.