Novation K Station

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mis psiquicios y yo
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Novation K Station

Post by mis psiquicios y yo » Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:29 am

Hi all, i just bought from ebay a K Station, i research the net first, there was a lot of info and it convinced me to buy it.

But although it is bought, i'd like to hear what this forum thinks about the KS, in order to get more excited for the arrival :D
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Post by sacredcow » Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:05 am

You might wanna try this thread as they have the same architecture: http://www.vintagesynth.org/phpBB2/view ... hp?t=28070
PowerMac G4 dual, DSI MoPho, E-MU XL-7, Korg ES-1mkii, Korg EA-1, Novation Nova, Kawai K4, Casio vz10m, Casio ht700, Yamaha PSS-480

(5 good trader references and counting)

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Post by crystalmsc » Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:23 am

this web always made me happy while waiting for the synth to arrive :wink:
http://www.synthmania.com/k-station.htm
I own the X-stn and it's a favorite. it can be powerful, warm, thin, cheezy..but pity that it can't process audio through the audio input and have no vocoder. But yours have those, plus another 200 patches location! the K is a great lit'l keyboard that will worth the wait, I always like the look of it..this fruit of my imagination is the proof :lol:

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Re: Novation K Station

Post by clubbedtodeath » Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:37 pm

mis psiquicios y yo wrote:Hi all, i just bought from ebay a K Station, i research the net first, there was a lot of info and it convinced me to buy it.
Good stuff. I did the same with the Novation KS4 -- the K-Station's big brother -- and wasn't disappointed. I also tried out the V-Station (software version of the K-Station), and that was what finally persuaded me to get a KS.

We have lots of users of Novation synths here, so I'm sure if you have any technical questions they'll be able to help.

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Post by tom Cadillac » Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:27 pm

I used to play mine a lot and really loved it. The mod wheel becomes quite important in use. Also the effects are good for thickening out the sound. Its the kind of synth you can play on your lap in front of an open fire and time just drifts away.........I think there's a particular Novation sound that I rather like - 'liquid' seems to be the word people use. I'm thinking of doing some more programming with it as the layout is nice basic analogue and quite inviting.
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Post by mis psiquicios y yo » Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:05 pm

crystalmsc wrote:this web always made me happy while waiting for the synth to arrive :wink:
http://www.synthmania.com/k-station.htm
I own the X-stn and it's a favorite. it can be powerful, warm, thin, cheezy..but pity that it can't process audio through the audio input and have no vocoder. But yours have those, plus another 200 patches location! the K is a great lit'l keyboard that will worth the wait, I always like the look of it..this fruit of my imagination is the proof :lol:

Image
crystalmc: Yeah!! great site, i hope it arrive soon, can't wait for the liquid sound. I really don't use vocoders that much, i like when Kraftwek or Daft Punk use them, but i think it's not my stuff. But the audio processing of other synths or drum machines is great, can you process the audio thru the effects while playing the KS?

clubbedtodeath: Thanks man, the first question is, does th OS matters on this synth?

Tom Cadillac: I know what you mean, when i got my Source i couldn't stop playing it for about two days, hop it arrive soon.
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Post by crystalmsc » Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:17 am

mis psiquicios y yo wrote:But the audio processing of other synths or drum machines is great, can you process the audio thru the effects while playing the KS?
mine is the X-station, and that's the beauty..it can even process input 1 with different fx than the input 2 (I only using it for the synth engine). the fx is nice and I like the distortion, try to put some drum loops and tweak in real time..I also use the compression to add some lo-fi to it.
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Post by 23 » Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:29 am

I had written a fairly in depth comparison between the K Stations and the Supernova II awhile back for here. I couldn't find where it was, but I actually did have a copy of a draft of what I had written. Though it was written as a comparison type deal, and more than the K Station was dealt with, I think some of the details on the K you may find useful.



The KS (K5/K4s) were not enhanced SNIIs. Though they were quite capable synths in their own right. I recently did a rather long write (on this forum I believe) trying to clear up the differences. I'm reposting a copy of that writing below.

Well, subject line is somewhat off, BUT, as the A Station begat the K series, and that we had touched on the SNII in discussion before, figured I'd toss you something I just wrote up for someone in regard to the differences between the K's and the SNII.

The write dealt with the K4/K5 in particular (the upper level of the A/K line), so at times features are mentioned that the A doesn't have, but I'm sure you'll be able to notice these. Outside of that, I think you'd be able to get a general outline on the differences between the two (and why still say dump the A get a Nova series) =).

-Al

There were a couple incorrect statements in this thread, notably in regard to the KS4 being more powerfull than the Supernova II. In the following write I have not gone over EVERY difference between the two, but merely tried to pick out the more noteworthy areas. It's a long write, but hopefully you will find it informative and usefull.

First, the fact of the matter is that the K series was a direct result of creating a more affordable version of the Nova series.

Where the Nova series was concerned you had the Supernova II at the top of the heap, the Supernova below that, and the Novas below that.

The Novas were dumbed down further which resulted in the A Station (which was a rack unit). In turn, the A Station was made into keyboard form which was the orginal K Station (with the V Station being a virtual version of this, and the X-Station being nothing more than a K with assignable paramaters).

The K4/K5 was an upping of the K Station, though it was still was not moved in the direction of matching the Nova series.

It is true that on the surface, the A/K series offers more waveforms, but that is only on the surface. The K4/K5 (which differed from the A and K) offer up Sine, double Sine, Saw, Dual Saw, Pulse, Triangle, double Triangle, and finally 16 complex cycle waveforms. Additional more complex waveforms could be made through the use of Osc Sync, Ring Modulation, and FM synthesis. In the area of these more complex waveforms:

For Osc sync, Osc 2 (I believe it was) could be made to slave to Osc 1.

Ring Modulation couldl be done and was based off Osc 1 and 2.

In regard to FM synthesis, Osc 2 could be used to modulate Osc 3. Also a dedicated FM envelope was offered.

The Supernova II conversely offered up only Pulse, Saw, and Dual Saw waveforms.....but this was only ON THE SURFACE. The hardness paramater for the oscillators essientially was just a low pass filter that proceeded the standard filtering section and allowed for some nifty tricks to be pulled. For example, applying the "hardness" paramater in full on a square wave would reduce the square to becoming a sine (as stated earlier). Like wise, other odd waveforms could be generated via this manner. In the area of more complex waveforms, the Supernova II really got crazy however:

For Osc sync, each osciallator was both it's own master and it's own slave (crazy). With the sync paramater set to zero, the osciallator would behave as normal, once above zero however, the sync paramater essientially acted as the tuning paramater of a slaved osciallator. Thus, something that would normally require a total of 6 oscillators was possible! Each oscillator could be independently synced! That was just the beginning of the craziness however. The application of the sync could be "Skewed", essientially the "Skew" acted as sort of a lag function, and thus could make for some pretty zany results....results that to this day I've not encountered on any other synth (and had numerous failed attempts of recreating on Reaktor). Along with the skewing, the amount of key tracking maintained between the master and slave Oscs could be varied (I say master and slave simply to try to keep concepts in a traditional sense, as there is no difference between the two in the SNII [as I stated earlier]). Craziness.

In regard to Ring Modulation, Osc 1 could be multiplied with Osc 3, BUT, Osc 2 could also be multiplied with Osc 3.

Concerning FM, Osc 1 could be added to Osc 3 AND Osc 2 could be added to Osc 3.

So, now think about this all this, and I think you'll start to understand how though on the surface the SNII was offering up fewer waveforms than the K series, once "hardness", "sync abilities", "ring modulation" ablities, and "fm abilities" are all factored into play, the SNII doesn't just come to match the K series in waveforms it can generate on just the Osc level, but actually out does it by light years.

You may notice that I didn't bring up a dedicated envelope for FM on the SNII, this is because such does not exist. Instead, one has 2 envelopes which are freely assignable. Thus, though there is no dedicated envelope, one can easily be made. Conversely, on the K series you had one envelope dedicated to the amp (as is the case with the SNII), and then a second envelope which was hard wired to numerous other areas (filter, Pulse Width Modulation, and a couple other things). Another distinction between the two in the area of envelopes was that the envelopes on the SNII could be set to repeat their Attack to Decay stages up to 100+ times OR infinetely before moving on to their Sustain and Release stages. Further, the Sustain had two stages rather than just one. Thus rather than a standard ADSR (which the K series featured), with the SNII you had a ADSSR.

Moving on to filter differences, this is yet another area where the differences get seen in the details. The K4/K5 offered up both multimode 12db/2pole and 24db/4pole filters, however, it was capable of self oscillation only in 24db mode (if I remember correctly the A/K only offered up 12db). The SNII on the other hand offered up 12db/2pole, 18db/3pole, and 24db/4pole multi-mode filters JUST ON THE SURFACE! Below the surface more filters sprang up. Getting below the surface, you had a Resonate LPF, Resonante HPF, and Resonante BPF....I don't know how to describe these other than that they seem to be 12db filters where the resonance amounts they can produce has been seriously jacked up! Along with these three types you then had a variety of dual filter configurations, I can't remember them all off hand, but LPF+BPF, BPF+BPF, HPF+BPF, and LPF+LPF are just a few. The width between these filters could be modulated via a variety of means. Finally, though Novation considered it a part of the effects section, you have a Comb filter which things CAN (but don't have to) then be passed on to. As you can see, what the SNII offered up in this area again went miles beyond that of the K series (again which it was only the K4/K5 that offered up two filter types if I remember correctly).

Where LFOs were concerned, again, on the surface level it would appear that the K4/K5 offered the more waveforms. However, below the surface the SNII featured something called a "Slew" paramater for the LFO waveforms. As with "Skew", "Slew" essientially acted as a lag function of sorts, and thus allowed for further sets of waveforms to be created. I am not certain of this, but I am pretty certain that the capable speeds of the SNII LFOs also was FAR greater than that attainable by the Ks (you might was well say that the SNII had EFHFO capability ["Extremely f**k High Frequency Oscillator"]. Though I will not say that he SNII exceeds the K4/K5 in this area, I would say that I feel they equal each other out in the amount of flexibilty they offer (though what they offer differs).

I'll jump back to note on the oscillator section briefly just to note that the K4/K5 offered up more noise waveforms than the SNII, but again I think this is a minor matter when one considers how felexible the SNII oscillators were. All in all, the SNII simply dominated the K series in the area of waveforms that it could generate via the OSC section alone.

Someone had already mentioned that in the area of polyphony and multitimbrality the SNII at it's most base level beat out the A/K series, and that at it's upper level it more than doubled the poly of the K4/K5. I will simply add on to this that when Unison modes were to be applied, there was a deeper amount of control offered with the SNII then the K range (I won't bother with details here however).

If one is to view the SNII on just a mere surface level, I'll agree with the individual that said the K range beats it out. HOWEVER, it's when you jump below the surface that the differences really begin to scream out and one can begin to see just how much more power the SNII actually had. One may note that as I've numerously stated things as being "below surface" on the SNII, that though there is some menu digging involved to hit up on numerous paramaters, for the most part Novation structured things in such a way that the amount of menu digging one may need to go through is exceptionally low; the one exception I would note would be in the area the second sustain stage of envelopes and envelope reapet amounts. In other words, unlike on say the Virus series (C and TI notably), you rarely will end up in a sea of menu digging when conducting numerous facets of more complex sound design.

I will close with this, if you are truly looking to dig into synthesis; truly have a desire to go beyond simply utilizing pre-formed patches and/or simply making slight tweaks to premade patches, the SNII will serve you well. Dealing with things on a mere surface level you'll have an ample amount of things to toy around with in regard to sound design and things arguably would actually be more streamlined than they are on the K series (though this is debatable). More importantly however, as you gain prowess in the area of sound design, you'll find a wealth of more complex and unique tools tucked into the SNII that you'll be able to utilize. If however, it's not so much sheer sound design power that you are after, but more so a synth that is capable, has a good amount of predesigned patches you can grab readily availabe, and never dives into any sort of uncommon synthesis schemes, the K4/K5 will serve you well.

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Post by clubbedtodeath » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:26 am

f**k's sake, give it a rest 23.

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Post by 23 » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:45 am

clubbedtodeath wrote:f**k's sake, give it a rest 23.
?

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Post by Hades » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:52 am

clubbedtodeath wrote:f**k's sake, give it a rest 23.
:lol:

I think he's trying to say that a copy-paste of some indepth comparison you wrote earlier between the K-station/KS4 or 5 and Nova series
is a bit too much here.
even though it was probably meant with the best intentions, the original poster didn't ask about a nova :wink:

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Post by Psy_Free » Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:23 am

I like the K-Station for several reasons :

1. It can produce a very wide range of sounds with a bit of tweaking.
2. It's small enough to sit on your lap so you can create sounds with headphones on, drinking a beer and watching your favourite TV program.
3. The effects section isn't half bad, so you can really liven up your sounds without having to use external effects (I do use external effects as well, but that's cos I'm an effects monkey).

A couple of down sides (well, things that annoy me) :

1. It doesn't send MIDI clock info, so you can't arpeggiate an external sound module from the K-Station's arpeggiator.
2. Sometimes, you get a sound you like, and you get these annoying 'clicks' when you play, I've found this usually on fast attack, short release envelopes with filter cutoff down lowish.
3. The knob which you use to select parameters from the menu is a bit flimsy, contunuous use could lead to some problems I reckon.

Other than that, for the money, it's a very nice little synth.

Hope you enjoy it.
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Post by crow » Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:25 am

Hades wrote:
clubbedtodeath wrote:f**k's sake, give it a rest 23.
:lol:

I think he's trying to say that a copy-paste of some indepth comparison you wrote earlier between the K-station/KS4 or 5 and Nova series
is a bit too much here.
even though it was probably meant with the best intentions, the original poster didn't ask about a nova :wink:
he's concerned about your wrists, RSI and all that palaver. 8)
...and ah just thought, cuntin well hit it!
GOAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL!!!!

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Post by tom Cadillac » Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:33 pm

This K station thread has really stimulated me to get mine out again and work on some new patches - just love the easy interface. :D
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Post by crystalmsc » Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:47 pm

Psy_Free wrote:I like the K-Station for several reasons :

1. It can produce a very wide range of sounds with a bit of tweaking.
2. It's small enough to sit on your lap so you can create sounds with headphones on, drinking a beer and watching your favourite TV program.
3. The effects section isn't half bad, so you can really liven up your sounds without having to use external effects
Exactly what I felt about my X-stn, in fact I consider the distortion as the additional collection that I use with other sources :wink: most of the time that fx is what I reach when tweaking, even just for some volume boost. I did watching TV on the sleeping position and put that smallish on top of my body, it feels relaxing that way. Pity that my X-Y pad is sometime over sensitive that a bit care is needed to play it like that. But other than that, I really like it's mobility.
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