Novation KS4 / KS5 / KS Rack

Novation KS4 Image

Novation KS4

Using an enhanced version of the K-Station sound engine, the KS4 (four octave keyboard) and the KS5 (five octaves) offer many additional features and benefits.

The keyboards have aftertouch, are semi-weighted, and each of the 33 knobs and sliders transmit MIDI. There is four part multi-timbral operation with four individual assignable outputs. A big plus is a separate effects section for each part - a unique Novation feature from the Supernova. Also featured are 4 Arpeggiators and 16 note polyphony with a 16 band Vocoder.

Novation KS5 Image

Novation KS5

The KS-synths have 3 oscillators which provide sawtooth, triangle, sine, pulse width modulation and other waveforms. There's even a simple FM synth engine which can be dialed in for sharpening the sound. Oscillators may be set to Unison or Sync'd operation and a Noise source is also included in the waveform engine. There is a nice low-/band-/high-pass resonant filter with switchable 12 or 24dB/oct slopes and ADSR controls. A second ADSR envelope is available for the amp, as well as two LFOs with sample-and-hold and MIDI sync.

On-board effects include reverb and delay/chorus/flanger. Their send levels can be controlled by the Mod wheel which is a nice effect. A 12-band vocoder is also on-board for processing external mono sounds such as drum loops or vocals. Pads sound great when vocoded with external sounds. External sounds can also be used as an oscillator, run through the filters, envelopes, etc. with much better results than were possible on the original Bass Stations.

Novation KS Rack Image

Novation KS Rack

The K-Station was a great little keyboard, and the new KS4 and KS5 offer a much more professional package to stage and studio musicians! But for those who already have enough keys, a rack module was also released, the KS Rack. It came in a very professional 5-space rack / desktop module with all 33 knobs, sliders and controls as the keyboards. Full of clean analog sounding synth bass, punchy leads, pads, filter sweeps and more, the KS-synths have been used by Infected Mushroom.

Lookup Novation KS4 / KS5 / KS Rack Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a Novation KS4 / KS5 / KS Rack? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

51 Visitor comments
July 25, 2011 @ 1:46 pm
I LOVE The KS Rack..... I picked mine up cheap and it's a total cracker of a VA Synth. Is it as good as something like a Virus C... ABSOLUTELY IT IS... I own both and can say that it's different sounding to the Virus, but better in some respects.

I hope people keep overlooking these on e-bay! I'm out to buy another one... Maybe KS5 with the full length keyboard this time. Can't beat this little bargain. I'll let all the trance snobs keep their Virus and Nord Leads! and I'll do the same stuff with the KS instead, for WAY WAY WAY less money. :-) Bags of great rich, fat sounds!! So Cool!
July 11, 2011 @ 2:23 am
I'd owned an A-Station for a couple of years before I bought my KS4 and the KS4 is definitely one of my favourite synths.

Some people have mentioned the "clicking" issue. I did an O/S upgrade (V2.1) and that's gone away.

@Gridsleep - I also own an X-Station, I use it as my controller keyboard, it integrates so well with my other Novation gear, but you have to bear in mind that the X-Station doesn't sound anywhere near as warm and rich as the KS4, it's quite a digitial sounding synth.
Dark Industry
July 8, 2011 @ 12:05 pm
Is this one of the most underrated VAs around or what?! Nice middle of the road VA sound, more knobs than you can shake a stick at, a very nice filter with overdrive, and multitimbral to boot... And yet they go for peanuts on eBay whilst MS2000's and JP8080s go for hundreds more... Almost as if they were forgotten! I think this was because Novation released this just as they were getting into the audio interface and computer peripheral Market. Capable of old school sequencer bits swell as modern defined saw leads, and there's drum pcms in there as well.
great synth!
Paul M. Lyren
May 23, 2011 @ 11:40 pm
After half a dozen $100 specials on eBay over the last 3 years, I still felt like I didn't have a real "go to" keyboard, and I didn't want a hulking huge Workstation with half a hundred imbedded menus. I am a basement studio hobbyist with limited time to program and learn arcane systems. Then I happened across a KS4 at a Guitar Center for $300. Jumped on it and never looked back. Sturdy machine. Easy and fun to program. Very intuitive with all the knobs an sliders at your disposal. The sounds are great too with an amazing "overdrive" knob and "distortion" effect to make things nice and dirty!
March 25, 2011 @ 7:03 pm
One of the most underrated VA synthesizers. Alot of people completely bypassed this neat synth after bad aliasing issues with the Nova/Supernova. Dont let the specs of the Nova series fool you, this thing doesnt sound as thin or nasally as the Nova.

This synth has a pretty sound to it, and is a much better engine than the K-Station (no system crashing bugs either).

The filters are pretty decent as well, you can get this to sound like a Virus KB with not too much work.

Sold mine to my good friend NormalBoy - but if i had the chance id probably pick up a KS4 rack.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.05 (387 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
  • Audio Clip 1 - Hear the K-Station here. Hear its on-board arpeggiator, followed by an FM ringing bell-type sound, followed by some vocoder examples and some Juno pads.

    Manual - Download the original owner's manual from

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 16 voices, 4-Part multitimbral
  • Oscillators - 3 osc with Square / Saw / Variable Pulse / Tri / Sine / Double Saw / Double Tri / Double Sine waveforms. Osc 1-2 sync, FM, Ring Mod, Noise and external audio in (mono).
  • LFO - 2 LFOs: sine, triangle, saw, square, sample-and-hold, panning, with speed and delay parameters. Cyclic or 1-shot.
  • Filter - low/high/band, 12/24 dB switchable
  • Envelopes - ADSR envelope generators
  • Keyboard - 49-note (KS4) and 61-note (KS5), both with velocity, sensitivity and aftertouch.
  • Effects - 6 simultaneous FX per program: Reverb, Distortion plus tempo-locked Chorus, Phaser, Delay, Panner & Enveloped Filter with EQ, 12-band Vocoder
  • Arpeggiator - 4 independent in multi mode; up, down, random, chord modes; 32 preset patterns; range and latch mode saved per program.
  • Memory - 200 preset programs, 50 preset performances, 100 drum sounds; 200 user programs, 100 user drum programs, 50 user performances.
  • Control - MIDI IN/OUT/THRU
  • Date Produced - 2003
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Novation

    Reviewed December 2007.

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