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Has anyone ever seen or heard of the Novation KS series?

Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:17 pm
by stropko
I was on the synth finder (I'm looking to by a synth to reproduce old 70's analog synths, like stuff from Floyd, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer...etc) when I stumbled across that model. It looks pretty cool AND it is damn cheap. Has anyone ever played one? Anyone have a recommendation?

Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:21 pm
by nadafarms
I've actually never heard of it.

what is a synthesizer?

... prob some demos on youtube, try doing a search there.

Posted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 1:06 am
by Yoozer
It's a refinement of the Novation Nova with less polyphony and sampled waveforms (for EP and organ sounds). The K- and A-station are not equal - the KS has multimode filters and 4-part multitimbrality. I recall the keyboard feeling pretty cheap and while the KS-rack was a lot of bang for the buck, I still think the Nova (which I had for half a year or so) is sexier :).

One of the virtual analogs with a more vintage-ey character is the Alesis Ion (which I had for a long time, too). The Novations sound more "refined" and brighter.

Posted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 1:41 am
by stropko
I'll definitely have to check it out...maybe they'll have it at Guitar Center. I'm very new to the whole analog synth world so you'll have to excuse me for my ignorance...thanks for all the tips!

Posted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 1:43 am
by stropko
Oh, also, I was wondering if you were, say, using the Alesis Ion, you are able to just hit a sawtooth lead or a triangle or something and just tweak it, versus using one of their presets?

Posted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:06 am
by Yoozer
stropko wrote:I'll definitely have to check it out...maybe they'll have it at Guitar Center. I'm very new to the whole analog synth world so you'll have to excuse me for my ignorance...thanks for all the tips!
Protip nr 1: Neither the KS or the Ion are analog - they're virtual analogs ;).

The difference is in the fact that the KS and Ion use a DSP that mimics the circuitry in an analog synth.

If you want to play an actual analog at GC, you might want to check out the Prophet '08. It's a tad more expensive, though.

The Ion was discontinued a year or two ago. You might still find the Alesis Micron. Try the Korg R3, too, and if they have it, the Nord Lead 2X. There's also the Roland SH-201.
stropko wrote:Oh, also, I was wondering if you were, say, using the Alesis Ion, you are able to just hit a sawtooth lead or a triangle or something and just tweak it, versus using one of their presets?
Of course, that's what the knobs are for! :D

Here's a few demos: http://theheartcore.com/ion.html

"sinewave to darkwave" is preset tweaking from an initialized patch. Not the result you're looking for though ;).

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:55 am
by crystalmsc
Yoozer wrote:I still think the Nova (which I had for half a year or so) is sexier :)
One of the virtual analogs with a more vintage-ey character is the Alesis Ion (which I had for a long time, too). The Novations sound more "refined" and brighter.
agree, Nova laptop is one of the sexiest looking desktop to me too :wink: as for the sound, the newer novation is a bit on the clean sounding site, while the ION got a reasonably good vintage character that I'd prefer over it.

Re: Has anyone ever seen or heard of the Novation KS series?

Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:20 am
by robbinsffxi
I had the KS-5 a few months ago. I sold it.
It's a well sounding gear. And it's body is very alike the supernova II. knobs are the same and such.
But the KS family does have trouble with clicking. Which isnt good.
Wether you like the nova or the KS is up to you, they sound very differently.
The KS sound more analogue then the nova series. As novation call it; Liquid sound.
Filters can be very juicy.

I think the KS can be a fairly good VA to emulate analogue sounds.

Re: Has anyone ever seen or heard of the Novation KS series?

Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:41 am
by Tyler2000
Novation KS line won't really hadle those types of sounds particularly well. I mean, any synth can do them, but you probably want an analog synth if you are looking to elp, etc. I would consider the Moog Rogue or MG-1, or the yamaha CS line. Or possibly Roland SH-09. All of those should be about the same price or cheaper than a Kstation and cover the sounds better with [slightly] more immediate controls.

edit:
It should also be noted that the the Novation KS line are really fragile and plasticky. The one I had regular contact with had some ghost-edit problems and two of the slider broke off. I think the power jack might have got loose too. It's a fine synth, but you might not want to choose it if your main plan is giging.

Re: Has anyone ever seen or heard of the Novation KS series?

Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 4:38 pm
by Reverend Sunrise
Owned a K-station several years back and after struggling with more complex and knobbier synths, like an Andromeda for instance, I found the K's interface to be almost mindless in its ease of use and really conducive towards stimulating creativity for me at that stage of my game. (Wish I had that damn Andy back now!) On an aesthetic note, I dug the K-station's look as well. Compact size was nice, and the effects were decent. Only really downside was that the presets were listed only as numbers. All this s**t has come up before in the forums, I guess. I did own an Ion as well and preferred the sound character of the K-station, and would maybe consider picking up the latter again at some point. Two pretty different synths, though, just a matter of taste. The Ion, despite its cool array of filter types, etc., never did it for me. No need to deliver on this thread a passionate soliloquy as to why, either! As far as VA's go, the seemingly more aggressive Ms2000 is more my style.

Re: Has anyone ever seen or heard of the Novation KS series?

Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:27 pm
by Jack Spider
I've owned a K-Station and a KS5 and would recommend the KS5 for 70s/80s synth sounds.

A popular belief is that the KS-series are only good for a certain type of music (Trance, I think it was), but it's untrue. The KS is an extremely versatile synth, capable of a broad spectrum of sounds, thanks to its multi-mode filter, generous selection of effects and that sounds can be stacked. It features a polyphonic unison mode, to thicken up the sound plus the onboard EQ can boost the bass output).

The keyboard on the KS-5 has a nice action and it responds nicely to velocity and aftertouch.

Here are a couple of snippets that I have from my KS-owning days. I'd gladly pick up another.

http://media.putfile.com/KS-Sawyer
http://media.putfile.com/Stella-Instrumental (most of this is KS5, except for piano and lead solo)
http://media.putfile.com/JX-KS-Soundtrack (a comparison to the JX-8P, the second half is KS-5)
http://media.putfile.com/Novation-KS5-Demo (a selection of the patches I programmed)

It does a pretty excellent Electric Piano too - Clubbedtodeath programmed a cracking EP into his.

Re: Has anyone ever seen or heard of the Novation KS series?

Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:09 pm
by Synthacon
Nothing wrong with the KS series, a very capable synth indeed.

I must admit I found it had the Novation sound that I don't like, but it can do some nice stuff and is very flexible.

For the price they are certainly worth picking up secondhand, if you don't like it you can always sell it again and get your money back and try something else.

Certainly as Jack says, don't be put off by the Trance/Dance tag that Novation gear has, it is better than that.