As the KS is software driven it’s possible to upgrade the OS via MIDI. Presumably any future OS updates will be downloadable from the Novation website.
I’m not going to go through all the individual fuinctions of the KS here – much of this having already been covered in the K-Station review, but will concentrate on the major differences.
The operation of the KS in multitimbral mode is a doddle, selecting one of the 100 performances brings up the performance screen showing the programs assigned to each of the four parts – like programs, performances now have descriptive names. To change the program assigned to a part, hit select to move the cursor, then use the data knob to change programs – unfortunately it’s not possible to view the program names, only the numbers but there just isn’t enough screen real estate for this.
Each part has assignable MIDI channel, output, volume, coarse (+/- 12 semitones) and fine tuning (+/- 50 cents) parameters. These parameters are accessed through the dedicated performance menu button and paging through the screens. Parts can be split using keyboard zones - perhaps a bass part on the bottom octave and up to three other zones as you wish. For use with a sequencer assign each part to a separate MIDI channel. That’s about all there is to it. Some of you may be a little disappointed that you can’t apply various MIDI filtering – program change, after-touch etc to each part but I didn’t find it too much of a handicap. Any edits you make to a program from within a performance are saved to a separate location within the performance rather than the source program – which is cool and effectively increases the storage capacity significantly.