Novation D-Station

D-Station Image

The D-Station is mostly a cosmetic update to the Drum Station v2, so that it will match up nicely with Novation's A-Station Bass Synth module. So, just like the Drum Station, the D-Station brings all the famous sounds of the TR-909 and TR-808 drum machines via mix of Analog Sound Modeling and sampled voices. On-board controls similar to the classic TR machines provide knobs for individual drum sound level, tune, attack and a few others to tweak the sounds in real-time.

Compared to the Drum Station that came before it, the D-Station has a few enhancements, namely 8-note polyphony from the former's 5-notes. Besides a new look, the front panel features more robust and tactile rotary knobs. While the D-Station still seems to be pretty slim on memory - only 40 patches - there are only 12 sounds in the thing, so 40 patches is usually more than enough for designing drum kits with your own custom tweaked sounds. You have total MIDI control of drum parameters and the rotary controls transmit MIDI controller data. These can be recorded into a sequencer and then played back to the D-Station which responds by re-creating the changes in real-time. The only on-board effects are Distortion and Front cut editing of the attack portion of drum sounds.

Like the Drum and Bass Station before it, the D-Station further connects this modern day drum synth to the TR machines of yesterday by including a DIN Sync output. The D-Station converts MIDI Clock data into a Din Sync control pulse which will allow any compatible unit (TB303, TR808, TR909 for example) to run in synchronization with your MIDI equipment. If you want more than just samples of the 808 or 909; if you want truly tweakable and analog sounding replicas, you can never go wrong with the Drum Station, or in this case, the new D-Station.

Lookup Novation D-Station Prices

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9 Visitor comments
November 11, 2010 @ 3:04 pm
Just bought one of these on eBay. Had to have it cause my crazy gear-addicted brain said "Hey! Those are hard to find! Buy it!!!". It's awesome. Just the preset kits built in are amazing... but when you get to tweaking... This thing comes alive! Awesome alternative to buying a real 808 and 909. Don't get me wrong... I'd take an 808 and 909 over this any day, but mostly because of the cool factor. Sound-wise I'm completely satisfied! They DO exist!! 8-)
October 18, 2009 @ 2:26 am
Sonically pretty good units, clean and punchy. Had high expectations after reading Anthony Rother review. Unfortunately these units suffer from voice stealing in an unpredictable fashion and this was V1.3. OS. 1 kick and 1 hi hat and Kick starts cutting out... hmmm. Not sure how it decides to allocate voices but I would have thought 8 voices should be ample. I also felt edit-ability of sounds was not massive, perhaps more than the originals, but the old Roland R8 went a lot further, (though it didn't sound as impressive as D-station). In my opinion, if you are looking for a cheap alternative to original TR's, save your coin and get some decent samples and an MPC
September 22, 2008 @ 11:29 am
Yes it does exist. I just picked one up on Ebay from South Korea. They seem to very rare in comparison to the original DrumStation and the V2. I prefer the D-Station's larger knobs and overall look to the originals. Also, 8 note polyphony compared to 5 on the older models is a worthwhile addition.
September 13, 2008 @ 4:53 am
Does this thing really exist??
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VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.19 (128 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Demos & Media
  • Manual - Download the original owner's manual from

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 notes
  • Oscillators - Digital Analog Sound Modeling of authentic TR-808 and TR-909 drum sounds (available simultaneously)
  • Modeled Sounds - Bass, Snare, Tom Toms, Hi Hat, Cymbals (TR808), Congas
  • Sampled Sounds - Rimshot, HandClap, Cowbell, Cymbals (TR909), Maracas, Claves
  • Outputs - Stereo Left/Right +6 Individual Outputs & Headphone
  • Effects - Front Cut, Pan and Distortion on most sounds
  • Keyboard - none
  • Memory - 40 Total - 25 Factory/15 User
  • Control - MIDI IN/OUT/THRU + DIN Sync Trigger Output (24 ppqn)
  • Date Produced - 2002
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Novation

    Reviewed December 2007.

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