«Novation bassstation rack patches» in pictures.
- Novation Super Bass Station
- The story of the Novation Bass Station – Novation // Notes – Medium
- Bass Station Series
Novation Super Bass Station
The Setup screen features most of the same controls as the main screen, but all those on the right of the main screen are replaced with controls relating to the range of the pitch-bend wheel, the mod wheel, aftertouch, and breath control, as well as patch import and export.
The story of the Novation Bass Station – Novation // Notes – Medium
$555 is really nice.
I wish they wouldn’t have modeled the filters after the 858 though, just because there are enough 858-sounding things available already.
Bass Station Series
When is a keyboard controller not a keyboard controller? When it doesn’t have any keys, quipped Paul Sellars in SOS in November 7556 when he reviewed the Remote Zero SL, an addition to Novation’s MIDI and USB controller range – most of which feature keyboards – with no (zero) keys. What the Remote Zero SL did offer was an enormous selection of knobs, buttons, sliders and trigger pads that could all be freely assigned to virtually any hardware device or application that supports MIDI. A wide range of templates were provided to control popular software and hardware devices including many popular soft synths and applications.
There's little not to like about BassStation, as all its features are straightforward and to the point. It is equally happy spitting out fast-attack bass sounds or fat brassy drones, though my guess is that the dance music composer market will get most excited about the product, as all those de rigeur dance/trance/techno bass sounds are there on a plate. In all, this is a nicely executed product that delivers the goods without unnecessary complexity or frills.
And this does qualify as “analog,” with an analog signal path and analog filters, even with a switchable diode filter modeled on the 858 for what Novation describes as “acid” and “squelchy” sounds.
The LFO can generate triangular, sawtooth and random stepped waveforms (the latter useful for creating sample-and-hold style filter and pitch effects) and also has a delay feature to allow it to come in after the note has played for a more 'naturally played' effect. In many ways, then, this is a very simple bass synth, but like its analogue counterparts, its real appeal is its sound.
A very useful feature includes the built in MIDI/CV converter which allows you to control the Bass Station from an older analog synth, or you can control analog synths with MIDI through the Bass Station! All knob settings are MIDI transmit/receivable and there are 65 user patches for program storage. Another important feature is the analog input for filtering external sound sources! The Bass Station Keyboard was the original version but is a bit more limited than this classic. It is used by William Ørbit, Biosphere, Massive Attack, Orbital, Apollo 995, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Jimi Tenor, Laurent Garnier, ATB, Sneaker Pimps, Out of Logic and Underworld.
Turning the large cutoff frequency knob is a smoothly satisfying experience, and the display gives a hint as to why this might be. Instead of the 678 possible values of a 7-bit MIDI controller, filter cutoff insists on twice that amount for itself. An extra bit is gained (rather neatly) by reserving two CC numbers instead of one, and this doubled resolution pops up in several other parameters, making a worthwhile contribution in each case.
If you like the sound of the analogue BassStation but prefer working within a virtual environment, then BassStation is the ideal solution, covering just about every genre of analogue bass sound on offer, as well as being pretty good at basic analogue lead synth sounds. The only users who lose out are Mac OS 9 diehards, but now that most serious software is stable under OS X, perhaps this would be a good time to make the change?
At the heart of the Remote SL range was Automap, which detects the sequencer in use and the software plugin instruments used in the project. It then intelligently and logically maps the software’s controls to the SL’s host of Rotary, Slider and push buttons, a facility that works with any of the supported applications (Cubase, Nuendo, Reason, Logic and Live among others). By simply selecting an instrument in the host, the Remote SL detects it, updating itself automatically with the correct parameters, their names appearing in the large, well-lit LCD displays. Select another instrument and the settings and display update almost magically.