To mark April (AprilOn Nov. 14, Novation released an Aphex Twin Firmware Update for its Bass Station II similar synth. Based on the advice of the British electronic icon, this latest version of the firmware adds something Novation calls "AFX Mode", as well as several other new features for creative sound design applications.
According to Novation: "The legend of electronic music Richard James, aka Aphex Twin, has already played a decisive role in the history of Bass Station II, after providing advice for the implementation of the micro-setting added with Firmware v2 .5. His conceptual contribution to v4.14 is even deeper. "
The centerpiece of this update, the AFX mode, allows you to edit the synthesis engine of the BS II note by note. To do this, use a system of overlays, which can be loaded over the current preset, and can contain independent parameter settings for each note on the Bass Station's 25-note keyboard. In practice, this allows the synth engine to trigger a totally different sound for each triggered note, which can be very useful for creating drum kits or arp with many variations.
This is not the only addition here though. Version 4.14 also adds a fixed-length envelope mode to the synthesizer, which converts BS II standard ADSR envelope generators into ASR envelopes with a fixed duration, regardless of the duration of the note. These types of defined length envelopes are particularly practical for designing short percussion sounds. At the envelope level, the update also adds retrigger counts, allowing users to set a specific number of times that the amp or mod envelope will loop.
Elsewhere, the update also greatly increases the usefulness of the synthesizer sub-oscillator. In the original synth design, this sub-oscillator would constantly follow the tone of oscillator 1. Here it becomes totally tunable via the trajectory control and the precise controls of the oscillator section, transforming it thus in a third full-fledged oscillator.
Finally, v4.14 also introduces an oscillator slip mode. This allows separate glide or portamento settings for Oscillators 1 and 2, and provides incredibly weird results, perfect for adding clash and thickness to sounds.
Bass Station users can now download the update for free via Novation components.