Novation Bass Station II Self Oscillating Filter Demo

I have recently been trying out a Novation Bass Station II monophonic analogue synthesizer. I am quite impressed with this big sounding synth in a small package. While digitally controlled, Novation have focused on packing in proper synthesis features rather than trying to gloss over the sound with onboard effects. For example, as I have illustrated in the video, the filter self oscillates nicely with a clean sine wave that can be modulated in unique ways especially with distinct features like oscillator slew.

The video starts with the self oscillating filter getting modulated by LFO 2 using the triangle wave. After that I switch to using the sample and hold setting creating the well-known 60s computer sound of random notes. Here’s where it gets interesting though. Once I switch the LFO to sample and hold I start turning up the oscillator slew I mentioned earlier. What this does is variably smooth the wave shapes created by the LFO. You’ll hear this come in at 0:28. It sounds like portamento. At 0:35 I switch the LFO to the square wave, but with the slew on it sounds more like a sine. As I reduce the amount of slew the square wave regains its recognizable character. Next I switch it to the saw tooth wave. The nice thing here is that the LFO amount can go into negative values allowing the saw to be reversed.

Another distinctive feature is the oscillator filter mod setting. This modulates the filter with oscillator 2. Since the oscillators range from subsonic to almost supersonic this feature offers modulation effects that are not possible with the LFOs. At 1:29 you will start to hear the oscillator filter mod come in using a pulse waveform. What makes this interesting is that while oscillator 2 is modulating the filter it can also have the pulse width modulated by LFO 1. This can cause bit-reduction-like effects that can be heard between 1:49 and 2:19. At 2:20 I start tapping the octave and waveform buttons on oscillator 2 illustrating what happens when the modulation source is instantly shifted an octave at a time. After a bit more messing around I added a final, manual filter sweep at 3:20.

2 thoughts on “Novation Bass Station II Self Oscillating Filter Demo

  1. I recently bought this synthesizer, being my 2nd synth (after the Korg R3) and my first analog synth, it’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever played with. The filters sounds so amazing, only downside (imo) is the lack of a proper delay and being limited to 4 custom arpeggio patterns.

    But I love it soooooo much, even though I’m not using it for basses, more for leads!

    Nice article, I’ll try to replicate your sounds for understanding this synth better.

  2. Congratulations, Koen! I think you found a good one. The lack of a delay doesn’t bother me. I prefer that Novation put the effort into synthesis versus on board processing. Plus I have a Memory Man for performances, and can always use plugins in the studio. I also think the arp is pretty good. Even though there are only four modes there are thirty two rhythmic patterns to choose from, a one through four octave range, plus swing! My Pro-One in comparison has up and up/down period.

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