Is Novation’s Bass Station II getting an Aphex Twin makeover?

A cracked code reveals a potential reprise on the beloved monosynth.

Novation Bass Station II

Image: Novation via Instagram

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In a short cryptic video shared to Instagram, Novation teased a collaboration with Aphex Twin – which fans quickly figured out involves the brand’s Bass Station II monosynth.

The visual style of the teaser post matches that of several billboards and posters that have been popping up in cities around the world – such as Los Angeles, Berlin, Bristol and London – suggesting that new music from Aphex Twin could be on the way.

Novation confirmed its involvement in the viral campaign by sharing a post on 10 October – which marked the date 20 October 2020. Likely, we’ll find out what the collaboration actually is then, but it hasn’t stopped music-makers from guessing.

Speculation has pointed largely to a possible reskin of the Bass Station II – perhaps equipped with brand-new patches or presets. If Aphex Twin does announce new music, it’s also possible that the sounds from those tunes would make it onto the would-be synth.

Further supporting the theory, electronic music enthusiasts spotted Aphex Twin x Bass Station packaging at the London Design Museum. Reddit user Londoherty snapped an image of the box and shared it onto the Aphex Twin subreddit.

The Design Museum has been serving the goods to the music tech community with its Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers exhibition, including a Roland collaboration on a browser-based sequencer.

Aphex Twin – Novation Bass Station collaboration packaging (as seen in London Design Museum Electronic Exhibition) from aphextwin

Back in 2019, Novation introduced “AFX Mode” to the Bass Station II, part of its free V4.14 firmware update. It allowed music-makers to modify patches on a “key-by-key basis”.

MusicTech previously reached out to Focusrite Novation for comment but we are yet to receive a response.

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