Novation – their sounds have graced countless hits in the popular canon since the release of the original Bass Station synth in 1993. Over the next two decades their world beating synthesizer racks and in more recent times their range of plug-ins carefully modelled to faithfully recreate the sounds of a monophonic analogue synthesizer, as well as their industry standard midi controllers and DJ equipment have inspired generations of producers, musicians and performers. It is this heritage of quality, innovative design and affordability that have lead to Novation products possessing a prestige that very few other music technology companies can lay claim to.
The first iteration of the Bass Station arrived at the perfect time for the emergence of a new wave of electronic music in the early 90’s. Its flexible and intuitive controls, coupled with its digitally synchronized analogue oscillators allowed users the freedom to create a range of sounds. For example it excelled at mimicking the timbres of other legendary synths, such as the TB-303, which it was directly inspired by. But more than anything, the Bass Station had its own sound, a truly flexible tone, veering from raw and crunching that could at the tweak of an oscillator could be mellowed out into a pulsing, warm all-enveloping bass tone. It is these revolutionary oscillators, designed by legendary engineer Chris Huggett that have lead to the Bass Station and its big brother, the Bass Station Rack being quite rightly regarded as classics in the synth world. In the words of another Novation legend, Olly Burke: “The amount of deep, satisfying bass and pent-up anger that this little beast can put out keeps surprising me even having it on my desk for quite a time. Get the sequencer running, free up 2 hands to tweak to sound into oblivion, and try and keep a check on the screw face!”
After the success of the original Bass Station it was the turn of the Bass Station Rack, released in 1994 to take up residence in the studios of producers the world over. Notable as being one of the first hardware synths released since the eighties, the BSR included traditional elements of an analogue synth such as syncing oscillators and LFO, but coupled with Novation’s trademark synced DCO’s for the ultimate in sound stability and the ability to store 60 patches, this was an analogue synth with digital sensibilities. The BSR turned out to be a winning combination, quickly becoming a huge hit that went on to shape the sound of the era in which it was first released.
For Darin McFadyen AKA Freq Nasty, who was ensconced in the early 2000’s heyday of Breakbeat, the Bass Station Rack was always his first choice when it came to choosing a synth, “I was looking for a dope analogue sound but at a good price. Something that could do everything from 303 style screams to heavy bass stabs.” It is this endlessly variable sound palette that attracted Darin and other producers such as Leftfield and Massive Attack when the the Bass Station Rack was originally released, “I used the first Bass Station as the main lead line and opening riff on my first single ‘Booming Back ‘Atcha’ on Botchit and Scarper. It perfectly suited the outer space theme of the track and after playing with the legato and the filters I had the perfect Alien spaceship 303 sound I was looking for”.
For the modern studio connoisseur the updated Bass Station, the Bass Station 2 is the latest in the Novation family of products. It possesses two filters, two oscillators plus a third sub-oscillator, patch save and a fully analogue effects section. Improving on the classic design of the original Bass Station, Novation have added a step sequencer, arpeggiator, full sized keys and a powerful modulation section, making this a visceral and invaluable addition to any studio set up.
Here at SUBPAC we are proud to be associated with Novation and their range of products. We really feel that the SUBPAC is a natural accompaniment to their range. So whether you’re using a Launchpad in one of your DJ sets or exploring the outer reaches of sound with a Bass Station 2 you can feel every frequency with the SUBPAC.