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In-depth Feature:  Novation KS-4
Nick B writes: .

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KS oscillators are pretty much identical to that of the K, with the only real difference being the 32 waveforms (as opposed to 16 in the K), these being a collection of keyboard tones – electric pianos and organ plus several drum waves. It is possible that further waves may become available through OS updates but the ones supplied do give a fair choice as is. Waveform selection is simple with the LED indicating the standard SINE,TRIANGLE, SAW and SQUARE,


Unipolar mode for One-shot LFOs
These have had some real TLC from the Novation boffins – there’s a great new feature called one-shot which allows a single cycle of the selected LFO wave to be triggered on key on – to my knowledge this is a unique function and Novation are to be commended for it. LFO speed controls the rate of the single cycle. In practice, it’s like having another two envelopes. Using the LFO menu you can tweak the Initial Phase Offset, Polarity and Unipolar mode – especially useful for One-Shot mode it places the entire waveform above 0 point – so for instance using the LFO in one shot mode to modulate the pitch of Osc 1 will ensure that there is only positive modulation so the end pitch will be the note of the key played – see diagram.

There are also a variety of new waveforms (32 in total), as well as the usual suspects there’s another selection of genuinely weird and wonderful waves – including quantized and stepped (chromatic, maj-modes and major –7) to give you something approaching another arpeggiator and can give you some downright old fashioned Radiophonic Workshop style noises (Hear example)

Mixer Modness
There’s a new button in the mixer section that’s worth a mention too. Modulation, when pressed controls the amplitude modulation amount for each source – LFO 1 to Osc 1, LFO 2 to OSC 2, AD envelope to Osc 3, LFO 1 to noise, ring and ext input – this is only accessible from page 8+9 of the envelopes menu. I’m not sure that this warranted it’s own dedicated button – but maybe I’m just not hip to the joys of VCA modulation. Still, dedicated function controls are rarely a bad thing.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • KS-4 @
  • Download the Brochure (PDF)
  • New Video flyby of front panel with audio (Real)
  • Video flyby of front panel with audio (WMA)
  • KS-4 On-board Demo

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