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.

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Comments

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.

50 Visitor comments
guru
January 7, 2012 @ 8:02 am
This is an excellent synth. The negatives I notice are that the LFO for most functions is fixed (e.g. LFO 2 is the only filer modulation source) and there are limited options for the filter too (e.g. only 2 slopes to choose from), that said, I tend not to care when playing with this synth because it is so much fun. Many sounds are very usable. The designers were thinking when they used sliders (not pots) for the envelope controls. For those that like to "jam" with their synth sound in real time, the envelope sliders are a great source of tactile enjoyment. I own many but really like this one.
Giacomo
November 16, 2011 @ 9:20 am
Here is a nice FREE sounbank for the KS serie! :)

http://www.synthdesign.de/novationks4.htm
Sian Howard
November 12, 2011 @ 5:21 am
I've had a KS4 for a few years, second-hand. It has its own sound, I guess you could call it 'liquid' (nice marketing) but it certainly isn't analogue. Aliases rather badly in higher registers, so isn't much use for high string-like sounds. Like most VAs of the period it sounds much better playing pads in the mid-register. But it is quite good at basses too, nice snappy envelopes. A strong point is the very intuitive effects section (six simultaneous effects!). It is very quick to set up new patches on this. I bought mine S/H for £210 in 2007 and I think that is still about the right price.
toddADSR
October 14, 2011 @ 4:51 pm
Does anyone know how to calibrate the knobs on a Novation KS5 keyboard? Does the KS have a knob calibration function like th E-MU Proteus series?
yes man
October 11, 2011 @ 6:08 am
it is an amazing VA but i still think the JP8080 is a better synth (i have both, which i love dearly) JP is just a little more expensive usually.
 
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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 SoundProgramming.net.

  • 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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