Minilogue & Bass Station II
On the BeatPPL Podcast Episode 6, we discussed the sub $700 synths. The idea there was to get a sense of which synths were regarded highly enough in less than $700 category. My thought was to target a couple of hardware synths that I could recommend to anyone contemplating their first synth. Interestingly enough, this combo would satisfy the needs of even the most seasoned synth geek. Conversely, I wanted to acknowledge the best combo of small synths that might cover the most ground while remaining within a reasonable price.
What I’ve come up with thus far is a killer combo. The Korg Minilogue & Novation Bass Station II stand out for me. In all of the gear that I’ve reviewed lately, these are two of my favorite synths. Both happen to shatter the sub $700 mark as well. The Korg Minilogue comes in at $499 while the Novation Bass Station II costs $399 thanks to the latest price drop.
So, for just about $900 this killer combo gives you nearly unprecedented value. Not to mention, they are both hardware analog beasts in their own right. Also, both have a rather small foot print which is a huge plus for the space challenged synth geek.
I’ve reviewed both of these synths. The Korg Minilogue is an excellent four voice analog poly synth while the Novation Bass Station II is as ill in terms of mono synths as any. As a matter of fact, if I didn’t have my current set up I’d rock these two and save myself a gang of money while banging out synth bap beats as ill as I do now. I own two rather well-regarded synths that weigh in at 5 to 7 times the cost of either the Korg Minilogue & Novation Bass Station II, still I’d easily recommend these two to anyone in the market for a dope poly analog synth and a dope mono analog synth.
Let’s dig in…
The Korg Minilogue is a four voice analog poly synth. Some say that’s not enough polyphony. Well, if that is the case for you, then yeah… maybe you need to look towards more expensive options. But for the money and the feature set, the Korg Minilogue kills! From a beatmaker’s or hiphop producer’s perspective, four voices would be rather adequate for most tasks. Otherwise, for those great keys players / composers that need more polyphony within smaller budgets, there are really great software / in the box options.
The Korg Minilogue‘s feature set allows for easy arpeggios, voice stacking, detuning, duo, unison, mono modes and more. Special modes include delay mode and side chain / ducking modes which are rather particular to this synth. These are the things that give a synth it’s character, of which the Korg Minilogue has plenty. Incidentally, I haven’t even seen these modes (delay mode and side chain / ducking) even on more expensive and more feature packed synths. It even has a high pass and low pass filter with an “analog like” on-board delay section. Don’t take the digital delay section lightly. It’s anything but digital sounding. It’s got loads of character.
Check the Korg Minilogue review for a more in-depth look
The Novation Bass Station II is a monstrous and very unassuming analog mono synth. It has 2 oscillators, sub, ring, noise and external processing. It has a few cool characteristic tricks up its sleeve like overdrive, distortion and osc filter mod. All of these things make for a mad flexible analog mono synth.
I had a lot of fun rocking the arpeggiator as it’s meant to be used and by just turning it on with or without the latch and playing bass lines and leads. Adjusting the ADSR release a bit with the arp played bass lines allows for some really fun and interesting synth lines.
Check the Novation Bass Station II review for a more in-depth look.
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So, the long and short of it is that the Korg Minilogue & Novation Bass Station II are two of the illest synths in any price range. I don’t care what anyone says. Are they the same as a Minimoog Voyager and Prophet 6? Hells no! I wouldn’t claim such a thing. But, I would certainly recommend this combo. It’s a winning team for anyone wanting the hands on experience of synthesis. This combo has no compromises in terms of big sound and character. Both pack a pretty mean and versatile punch that will definitely transform your productions with a more lush and full-bodied analog sound.