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Swaffle88

Novation Bass station 2 question

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Hey all, can anyone help answer this question for me.. 

I’m thinking about buying the novation bass station and was wondering if I could play chords on it? I’m new to the keyboard/synth thing so I was wondering if I could lay down a few chords in a piano/keyboard tone and then switch and do a bass line or lead part over it? Cheers in advance 🤠

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and it doesn't do a piano.

 

Probably better with something like a roland JD Xi for that

Edited by Woodinblack
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As the others have indicated, a synth is NOT an instrument that can emulate all other instruments. The Bass Station is a simple synth, and it can do the typical bass synth sounds we know from pop hits, and it can do some more.

For chords and piano/organ/keyboard, my guess is that if you want hardware, your best bet is the instrument called keyboard (which is NOT the same as a MIDI keyboard) like for example the Yamaha PSR series, or a sound module like for example a second hand Yamaha MU128. In case of the latter, in order to play it you'll need a sequencer in your computer or phone, or a MIDI keyboard to play it yourself.

Me, I'd avoid anything that is an analogue synth to get piano sounds - not even a 15,000 quid Moog modular synth - for many many reasons.
A relatively cheap Korg keyboard I once played had fairly good piano samples, and that to me seems like a way better approach.

Just ask if you wanna know more.

 

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5 minutes ago, BassTractor said:

Me, I'd avoid anything that is an analogue synth to get piano sounds - not even a 15,000 quid Moog modular synth - for many many reasons.

Thats why I suggested the Xi, it has an analogue synth, a midi module (x2) and a drum machine, as well as a sequencer and other facilities. THe only think I didn't like about it was the black and red finish, hard to see on stage lights!

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First off cheers for the replies!

bit more info..

I use a Jm4 loop station to mess about with in the house with my guitar and bass and I’m wanting to put down some chords on a keyboard to jam over.

I’m also wanting to get into key bass because I like the sound and it’s just something else to play about with..preferably a small keyboard because I don’t have a lot of space.

I’ve already got an old Casio keyboard I got as a kid but it feels more like a toy (light up keys to learn the preset songs n stuff like that 😂

so maybe I should just keep that for pianoy/keyboardy chords Because it is just house use.. and get the bass station for bass only.
Or would it be better just to get a decent keyboard that I can play chords in lots of different preset tones and will produce a nice stand alone bass sound?

Does any of you guys play bass on keys/synth?

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Does the Keyboard have midi? You could just use your computer / ipad for running one of the many great synths from (or maybe a £30 midi keyboard), some of those are excellent. 

The casio keyboard, even if it is a toy can produce a decent sound when in a mix so I wouldn't just dismiss it due to familiarity if it is just chords you want.

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8 minutes ago, Swaffle88 said:

I don’t think it does have a midi input because it’s about 10+ yrs old now.. 

MIDI is 37 years old now!

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@Swaffle88, I don't understand everything (my English is limited), but it sounds like a plan to keep the Casio, and add the Bass Station 2.
Also, the Bass Station can do more than just bass, so you might end up using it for solos and weird sounds too.

A keyboard with lots of presets and stand-out bass sound must be available somewhere, but my feeling says it might cost more. Friend of mine just yesterday bought a Casio CTK-1550. I can check its presets for you if you like, to see what it has in store. 
That said, like @Woodinblack says, a MIDI keyboard (maybe your Casio?) and an iPhone or iPad is ace. Dozens of great pianos, synths and organs for Apple gear to be had for a few tenners - and many of those synths are way more powerful than the Bass Station, though they do lack its hands-on directness.


When you ask if anyone plays bass on keys, do you mean bass parts? If so: yes, many here do, and an in-depth look at this very section (Other Instruments) will reveal that.
If you're thinking of playing keys and generating bass guitar-like sounds with synths, samplers and romplers, then I haven't heard about others doing it, but I did in the past.
 

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@BassTractor Thanks for your input pal! 
I am still unsure what to do.. 

1.Decent keyboard

2.Midi keyboard use  with iPad

3.Keep the Casio I have and get the bassstation.

I was meaning doing the bass on keys only.. like a band that would have a drummer, guitarist, singer and the keys/synth doing the bass lines.

(but I can still play chords when messing about with my loop station by switching tones from say.. synth bass to organ or something)

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@Swaffle88, only you can narrow it down, as none of your alternatives seem bad.
But how about trying first to see if the iPad route is viable, if you do own one already? All you need to know is whether your Casio does have the MIDI OUT at the back (I doubt it does though, since you talk about kids' stuff and light-up keys).
In case it does spawn that output, then, if I remember correctly, you'll need a MIDI-to-USB interface as well as the USB-to-Apple connector. I have not heard about straight MIDI-to-Apple interfaces, but they might exist. Alternatively, a dedicated MIDI keyboard to govern the iPad isn't that expensive, and they're everywhere. @Woodinblack already mentioned one costing 30 quid. Me, I bought a nice M-Audio Keystation 49 at half price once. Can't fault it for even the full price. Relatively good keybed too (which for me personally is of the essence, but I appreciate that I'm weird).

The musical instrument apps you can get for the iPad are of another world. One can purchase synths for pounds or tenners that originally cost tens of thousands (Fairlight CMI for example, but don't go there). Synths like Moog Animoog, Arturia iMini, Sunrizer, ARP Odyssey Korg MS-20 and other Korgs will do what you crave from the Bass Station, and they also come with presets/storage for your patches. I'm very sure many simpler synths exist that would demand less of your time getting to understand them, but off the top of my head I don't know any myself. The Arturia iMini is a Minimoog copy, and the Minimoog was a standard for synth bass in the seventies, as was the Odyssey (which is more demanding as a first synth, but luvverly).
BTW, many synths that are monophonic in hardware, are polyphonic as iPad apps. The Odyssey for example is 8-voice polyphonic in its iPad guise.
 

If it appears your Casio doesn't have the MIDI OUT, and you're satisfied with the sounds from the Casio, then just adding and instrument, like @Woodinblack's Roland JD Xi, a Bass Station 2 or a PSR-type keyboard would be OK. They all would do what you demand from them (caveat for cheaper PSR types), but seeing what you've written up to now, I sense (not know) that you'd be very happy with the Bass Station 2, which is very good as an instrument, and very good in its price bracket. Many people who own hardware synths for tens of thousands, also own a Bass Station 2.
The JD Xi offers a lot more than the Bass Station whilst keeping the real synth sound, whereas cheaper PSR type keyboards often offer the more weedy sounds - it'd be like a more expensive version of what you already have. That might be enough, and it might not.

 

Just now I realise that you were talking about looping, and that was the part I didn't really get. If this - in your use of the gear - means you want instant access to all your sounds without having to handle mixer sliders, then I guess there might be a problem with using your Casio both as a sound source and as a MIDI keyboard for iPad apps. You be the judge.

 

Sorry for the length. In a foreign language it's hard for me to find the effective wording and to keep my thoughts together.

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1 hour ago, Swaffle88 said:

I am still unsure what to do.. 

1.Decent keyboard

2.Midi keyboard use  with iPad

3.Keep the Casio I have and get the bassstation.

I was meaning doing the bass on keys only.. like a band that would have a drummer, guitarist, singer and the keys/synth doing the bass lines.

If all you want to do is play bass and lead lines, the bassstation is good (I have one).  If you want to do chords, then obviously not (I also have a roland DI61 and blofeld). When I play live I use an iPad connected to a mcmillen 12 step, where I play chords (with my feet) for backing stuff), and sometime use my Yamaha Reface DX to play other lines on when we need keys. For bass, I always use a bass though, and if I want a synth bass, I use a bass with a synth pedal.

If you have an iPad already, then what would give you the most flexability at the cheapest cost is a cheap master keyboard (and it can be small, the bassstation doesn't have many keys) and connect that to the iPad (they almost all have USB as well as midi, and they will connect with the apple USB connector).

something like the G4M one: https://www.gear4music.com/Keyboards-and-Pianos/SubZero-CommandKey25-Universal-MIDI-Controller/221X

means you can connect to something like the Moog Model D app (or model 15 if you are feeling brave), which gives you the same sounds you would get from a real model D, but 2.5k cheaper.

That will give the biggest scope of what you can play and maybe that will let you know which way you want to go.

 

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I don't know what kinds of gigs your band plays, but remember that computer plugs and cables are not even remotely as robust as your typical jack or XLR lead.

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2 hours ago, BigRedX said:

I don't know what kinds of gigs your band plays, but remember that computer plugs and cables are not even remotely as robust as your typical jack or XLR lead.

This is true, although it should also not have the same sort of life as either!

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It’d be worth checking out a used Dave Smith Instruments Mopho 4x - it’ll do 4-note chords as well as the typical mono stuff and has a decent 44-key keybed. 

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On 06/12/2019 at 11:21, Woodinblack said:

If all you want to do is play bass and lead lines, the bassstation is good (I have one).  If you want to do chords, then obviously not (I also have a roland DI61 and blofeld). When I play live I use an iPad connected to a mcmillen 12 step, where I play chords (with my feet) for backing stuff), and sometime use my Yamaha Reface DX to play other lines on when we need keys. For bass, I always use a bass though, and if I want a synth bass, I use a bass with a synth pedal.

If you have an iPad already, then what would give you the most flexability at the cheapest cost is a cheap master keyboard (and it can be small, the bassstation doesn't have many keys) and connect that to the iPad (they almost all have USB as well as midi, and they will connect with the apple USB connector).

something like the G4M one: https://www.gear4music.com/Keyboards-and-Pianos/SubZero-CommandKey25-Universal-MIDI-Controller/221X

means you can connect to something like the Moog Model D app (or model 15 if you are feeling brave), which gives you the same sounds you would get from a real model D, but 2.5k cheaper.

That will give the biggest scope of what you can play and maybe that will let you know which way you want to go.

 

Or an Arturia Keystep controller if you don’t mind mini keys. The model D app is brilliant and does 4-note polyphony too!

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