Synth Site: Novation: K-Station: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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Phil a hobbyist user from UK writes:
Been making music on computers for about 8 years and never owned a piece of hardware, always wanted to but was put off by the price. I decided I wanted to get away from the computer (I work all day in an office and making music was a less attractive hobby when I got home!)so I thought I'd start with a synth. I was looking at the 'budget' end of the market and decided between the K-Station or the MicroKorg. What put me off about the Korg was the cheesy 'you can make music too' style marketing and the way they grouped the sounds into 'hiphop' 'drum n bass' 'trance' etc... it all seemed a bit cringable! Looking at the K-Station it didn't have any of this, indeed all it's features are that of a 'serious' synth. After playing around with it I was impressed by the sound quality... the filters and all the buttons/knobs are sturdy and are fun to tinker with whilst playing. My next step is to get a sampler/sequencer, I'm looking at the Korg Electribe ES-1 or the Boss SP-303. Again the Boss machine comes across a little cheesy so maybe Korg will win that one!

Rating: 0 out of 5 posted Monday-Jan-03-2005 at 17:26
eRiC a professional user from UK writes:
Hahah! You gotta laugh...

Firstly, the K-station is NOT an analogue keyboard!!! It emulates analogue subtractive synthesis, but it is NOT analogue and is definitely digital. Stop talking such crap...sheesh! Have we got that now?

Secondly, to check what OS version you have, hold down the '5' key and power on. It should read 'Kstation 1.0.09' which is the most recent OS has ever had v1.0!

Thirdly, the sounds included are marketing tools to sell the unit. If you don't like 'em...erase 'em and create your own. It's a 3 OSC synth with LFOs, effects, FM and vocoder...and that's not enough for you to make some killer sounds? People who are complaining about the sounds, IMHO, don't know what they're doing. Oh, an Ion's better...yeah...that's a 8 Voice Poly, 3 OSC & 2 LFO VA too!

I wish people would read manuals and information on manufacturer's websites before spouting untruths and mis-information...

Killer synth. Very easy to use. Have got the keyboard and rack version...


Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Sep-21-2004 at 07:25
todd a part-time user from USA writes:
Interesting that the last post was the only one to emphasize the startling degree of bizzare effects one can get out of this thing. The K-Station is my first synth, although I got into them through a long-term borrowed Crumar DS-2 (with broken poly and osc2), and it is currently my only one. The next will probably be an Andromeda, especially after the experience detailed in the end of this review. To set a perspective I play in two (sometimes 3) bands (but don't make any money), both quite experimental: one (my primary) kind of a post-space-groove thing, the other a more free improv oriented kind of thing, all with several other improvising musicians using a variety of acoustic and electronic instruments. In these environments I have found the K Station to be the ideal synth, as each of my sounds parameters are set up to be transformed in a number of ways which I memorise in the process of practice and play. I am not trying to imitate old synths (for which I have a fetishistic attachment and would want to do that to them) or make electronic music along with midi acting to propel rhythmic arpeggiators (not really my scene), so many of the the aformentioned problems with this synth are more to my advantage than disadvantage. Example: The clicks. I assume you are talking about that lovely glitchy sound that occurs on the bottom end of the modpitchosc and other places. I have used that sound to imitate creaking doors, create clicking patterns to be sampled by my fellow musician operating a Boomerang into wild post-idm madness, and imitate the distictive intro to Nurse with Wound's "Swamp Rat". If a Novation rep came over to my house and loaded a new sys into my machine that took away that sound, I would slap that man in the face, even if he had fixed the broken left octave's f-sharp which latches approx 1 out of 20 times you hit it with velocity triggered. There are also numerous bugs in the arp, such as when your sequences are created in a high octive and the arp menu is set for a great number of soon as it registers a note out of its range, it will crash. This is the only way I have found it will crash without the MIDI-in operating (which is crash city), but I don't care because if i use the arp in a not-totally-brilliant-and-creative-way-that's-more-an-FX-than-sequence then the aformentioned operator of the Boomerang (and drummer) with throw a drumstick (or dire look or equal heftiness) directly at my head. I use the midi-in sometimes without problems from a Poly-800, playing along with sequences created by my fellow keyboardist, usually on the fly. If the sequence is in 4/4, no problem syncing the arp with it. This is all I have to say about that midi-sequencer shit. Next example: The "weakness of the 8-voice limit" is actually its strength. Due to some genius on the part of Novation's developers they let you hear the sound that happens when you overload the polyphony by giving it too many sounds to make at once. This allows for certain settings to be memorised in which you put your hand on six or seven keys, Sun Ra style, and begin with a huge world-annihilating sound that you slowly strangle into oblivion with finger pressure.. very dramatic on stage when accompanied by appropriate facial contortions... and one of the only synths I can think of that creates near-granulation by accident. I do have to say however, while one can spend a few hours breaking your head open and making some pretty cool bass sounds, they are always going to be what they are: math. Math operating digital signal amplifications, not voltage, next to an analog it sounds a little cold and brittle (nice compression helps this a loT!), but this it not nessessarily a bad thing. Case in Point: New friends of ours from Tokyo brought with them a AKS SynthiA, and we jammed: I using my kstation sitting on top of a transitor radio hooked into into its vocorder imput, Shin on his AKS, and Ryan, my usual colaborator, taking the signal we were putting through the mixing board onto his Boomerang and adding beats with a Roland Handsoniq..(I used a line6delaypro on effects loop2). The sound of the AKS and the Kstation improvising textures together was very intersting, because while the analog signal definately seems more "true", they have a marvelous interplay together, particularly which sampled and co-mingled. There is no way I could make the sounds he was making, nor could he make some of mine (particularly the aformentioned glitch sounds), but the brittle cold textures of the kstation contrasted with the warm analog tone beds very fluidly. I still want that "true" sound.. so since there's is no way an hell I can find an AKS, I'll have to save up for the Andromeda...Until then the Kstation will treat me just fine thanks.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Apr-30-2004 at 10:02
The Sarge! a professional user from Germany writes:
this thing is awesome! I heard it Xmas at MusicStore & started discussing with my wife to buy one, but the reason for visit was buying the VirusC. I didn´t, not the KS not the Virus, but bought yesterday the Novation V-STation, which is the K-Station as VSTi and I just can say: sounds great, CPU-stealing is not worth to talk about (2-5% of 2.4Ghz), fully controllabe, easy to use. get it real or virtual, regards, The Sarge!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Apr-11-2004 at 14:58
yep i agree, this little box is absolutly fantastic. Soon i'm getting a website online with some trance n stuff I made using the k-station alone, the drum beats come from a roland module I have but even so, all of the synth / track work and sounds was done entirely on a k-station, i'll give the web url soon, check it out.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Mar-07-2004 at 04:27
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