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

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Give The Drummer Some
The KS adds a smattering of drums sounds into the mix, 64 to be precise, arranged into four drum mappings, two preset and two user, featuring 49 sounds. Drum maps being collections of drum programs, each sound editable when selected – just hit the note and drum edit button to edit. Both drum programs and regular programs can be saved into user drum maps should you wish, although only the drum maps effects will be applied. The drum sounds aren’t bad, I think of them as an added bonus - the strongest sounds being the kicks which are certainly not lacking in bottom end.

The KS does sound good – I always find the true test of any modern synth is to turn off all the effects processing and just listen to the basic sound. The KS has 6 independent effects units which sound pretty good and have many tempo sync functions – delay time, sweep speed, pretty much identical to the K-Station. I would have like to have seen a little more development here - perhaps a tape echo and more distortion types but maybe that will come with future OS updates. I’ve been working on a live show for a band that originally recorded their tunes using a variety of weird and wonderful analog synths, to my surprise I have been able to recreate many of these sounds with the KS meaning they don’t have to take the precious old timers on the road. This is only scratching the surface of what the KC is capable of really - the KS, as with the K-Station proves to be a versatile analog modelling synth with a broad range of sounds from mono to poly and is bags of fun to work with due to it’s great interface.

Happy Ending
I like the KS. With its multitimbrality, extra voices, outputs and enhancements to the synth engine – filter modes, LFO one-shot and more, it’s really made it a clear winner in my eyes. As it was with the K, the time I’ve spent with it has been most enjoyable. During a quiet moment, I still can’t resist turning it on and fiddling about with it. I’m beginning to think of it in the same way that I do my other ‘analog’ synths, though it doesn’t quite match the character of my JP-6, it’s tempo sync, effects and versatile arpegiator make it more versatile in many ways.

For those who need more voices than the original K or want to incorporate K type sounds into a live sequenced set or just want a powerful, fun to use analog modelled synth, this has got to be the way to go.

Novation KS-4 list: $1399.00 / £699.99
KS-5 list: $1499.00 / £749.99

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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