RIP Super Bass Station

I think my Novation Super Bass Station, purchased for £499 in 1997, has pretty much bitten the dust.

It has had a minor fault since 1999; when you turn the resonance up you get glitching distortion - which can be useful in certain circumstances, but is certainly not what it should be doing. Fortunately, the glitching only manifested itself when using the resonance control manually - not when switching programs via MIDI or the keypad, or when controlling resonance via MIDI CCs - so it wasn't an insurmountable problem. However, it was a pain in the butt.

Things got considerably worse in January this year when in the session in Derbyshire which yielded the "Buffalo Typewriter Sewing Machine" tracks previously documented on this blog, most of the numeric keypad on the Bass Station simply stopped working, and hasn't returned to life since. This means that it's impossible to change things like the arpeggiator settings, velocity sensitivity, or the distortion and chorus effects; the instrument's simply crippled.

I will check out the cost of repairs at the Synthesiser Service Centre or similar outfit, but it may be cheaper to buy the Dave Smith Instruments Mopho (which does all the same stuff except for MIDI/CV conversion) and sell the Super Bass Station on for spares or repair. Which would be a shame... it's a great synth soundwise, excellent oscillators and filter, the best thing available in terms of analogue 'bang for the buck' until the Mopho came out.

But it was just too damn unreliable - probably manufactured using cheap components. Mind you, it's lasted 12 years. We live and learn.


Listening to every Prom

I got a little project this summer... gonna try to listen to (pretty much) every Prom. (I will probably miss out the last night for obvious reasons).

I'm doing a lot of work at my desk (mainly programming and literature reviews) this summer so why not?

I gave Prom 2 - Haydn's Creation oratorio - a shot today. Now, Haydn is a very long way from being my favourite composer. But if I'm doing this I need to do it properly, so I gave it a shot. And it wasn't that bad. In fact, the first 15 minutes or so - the depiction of the formless void, before anything was created - were great. Almost a 20th century sound. It went a bit downhill after that, but still OK. I think we can safely say that Haydn, whilst not really my cup of tea, wasn't a complete duffer after all.