Just played with a Novation BS2...

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Jabberwalky
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Re: Just played with a Novation BS2...

Post by Jabberwalky » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:13 am

I really like it! I had been contemplating getting an Sh101 for the transposable sequencer, but this bad boy pretty much ripped the sequencer exactly. It's damn fun. The sound is really hard to describe. It's not like the old monosynths of the 70s at all. It's tame like a vintage Roland. It's got a good bit of low end like the Arps though. The overall character is subby, biting, yet stable. The filter is much better than the MEK I owned years ago.

The 303 filter hasn't blown me away. It might have a sweet spot that I haven't discovered, but they probably could've done without it. The 2 envelopes combined actually works well and isn't as annoying as you'd think. The Amp+Mod switch lets you quickly dial in your overall envelope, then you switch to Mod and adjust to taste.

Ill add more to this once I spend more time with it.

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Jabberwalky
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Re: Just played with a Novation BS2...

Post by Jabberwalky » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:24 pm

Review Part 2:

After another lengthy session last night, I have lots more to say. The Bs2 excels at bass far more than I expected.

Envelopes:
The envelopes are actually quite decent, with (what sounds like) non-linear curves. The sliders throw is also very nice. This was a huge disappointment when I bought the Minibrute. The Minibrute envelope sliders were only functional for about half of the throw. The Bs2 utilizes the entire range, while still giving you a very usable amount of fast/slow speeds.

Oscillators:
The DCO's are precise, and cutting. There's no bonus weirdness or drifting. Some may feel this is a downfall, but if you really think about the fundamentals of bass tones, that s**t needs to be rock solid in tuning. Any wavering in pitch of low freqs tends to drain your basses power. The DCO's have a nice amount of flexibility as well. The pitches aren't locked down to semitones and fine tune. The Course pitch can do intervals between semitones, and the fine pitch can do up to 100cents. This is a very nice touch, and one I haven't seen in many synths. The saw wave has a lot of body to it, and a ton of nice harmonics to work with. The rest of the waves are also nice, but nothing out of the ordinary. One feature which isn't explicitly stated is the PulseWidth modulation. Indeed, there is a 3 position switch for PW, however, each switch position has an independent mod amount. So you could slide your PW really thin, give it some reverse envelope to bring it to a pure square, then have LFO2 bring it back to thin with a delayed retriggering SAW lfo. (you get the picture, the thing is deceivingly complex in some really unique ways.)

Filters:
The Wasp filter is magnificent. It's been finely tuned for decades, and Chris Huggett clearly knows how to make a very useful filter. The addition of LP, BP, and HP bring this synth into realms only Yamaha CS15's could reach + more. The Cutoff knob is massive, with a very grippy outer edge. Just another step in the evolution of synths, and clearly geared towards the live tweaker. I'm still not sold on the 303 filter, and feel it's sort of weak in comparison to the wasp filter.

More to come.

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Re: Just played with a Novation BS2...

Post by Darkseid » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:52 pm

After a few weeks with it and creating a fair few patches on it I've got to say I like it more and more every time I turn it on :)

Like jabberwalky says the bass sounds you can get out of it are insane, also love the osc filter mod.

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Re: Just played with a Novation BS2...

Post by Jabberwalky » Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:01 am

Osc Filter mod is something I fell in love with on my Octave Kitten. A lot more interesting than crosswave modulation IMO. What you do is self oscillate your filter, tune it to your DCO's fundamental pitch, and then find the sweet spot with OSC Fm mod. Bells, metal hits, quasar storms, jet engines, molecular implosion, whatever! Start modulating OSC 2's pitch with fast plucky envelopes or the mod wheel to see how intense it can get.

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