"Novation X-Station"


The new X-Station 25 integrates a Novation synthesizer, an audio interface, MIDI controller, MIDI interface and a multi-effects processor, complete with USB or battery power for extended total mobility.

X-Station is designed with live performance in mind, offering semi-weighted keys and aftertouch. What's more, the extensive remote control surface provides a massive 150 virtual controls per template. X-Station offers a total of 55 assignable physical controls, including 3 Encoders, 16 pots, 9 sliders and 22 buttons. A joystick controller and an assignable X/Y touch pad controller complete the picture.

The on-board DSP processor is another feature, delivering 2 multi-effects processors and a hardware synthesizer. The 3-oscillator virtual analog synthesizer model is based on the Novation KS-series and is 8-voice polyphonic. The control interface provides instant access to most parameters, making sound creation fast and intuitive. The synthesizer is totally integrated with computer recording setups: the stereo audio output is sent straight through the USB cable and into any ASIO-compatible application running on Mac OS X or Windows XP.

An audio interface turns X-Station into a recording environment as well: Two phantom-powered preamps, 24-bit converters, two Neutrik combined XLR and jack sockets, digital S/PDIF out, and more. Dedicated headphone and monitoring connections with separate controls even enable the user to work without a mixer.

The onboard DSP effects processor delivers zero-latency multi-effects for monitoring or recording. Each audio or synth channel has its own effects chain with up to six effects simultaneously. The available effects include Chorus, Delay, Reverb Distortion, EQ and a Compressor. Effects can be routed for recording but also for monitoring only (e.g. giving the singer Reverb while recording).

On top of that, X-Station has an on-board MIDI Interface for the integration of external MIDI Gear. X-Station includes a Power Supply, but can be run off batteries or with USB power. Suitable batteries may even be recharged automatically via the USB connection.

The X-Station 25 carries an MSRP of US $ 799 / EURO 749 (inc. VAT) / UK 499 (inc. VAT). Novation will also introduces 49- and 61-key versions later this spring.

The X61 Controller employs a premium-class mechanism with semi-weighted keys and aftertouch. Even novice piano players will instantly feel the difference! Aftertouch, a joystick and the assignable X/Y touch pad controller provide you with extra dimensions of expression for your performances.

Audio And MIDI Interfaces The Novation X-Station includes a fully featured audio interface with 2 phantom-powered, hi-quality converters, 2 Neutrik combined XLR and 1/4" inputs, digital S/PDIF out, and much more. The X-Station's dedicated headphone and monitoring connections with separate controls even allow you to work without a mixer. The onboard DSP effects processor provides instant, zero-latency multi-effects for monitoring or recording applications. Each of the X-Station's audio channels has its own effects chain. You can even record audio with effects on one channel - and use the synthesizer on the second at the same time!

Click Here For Novation X-Station Manual (PDF File



Product: Novation X-Station Price Paid: GBP 400 Submitted 01/21/2009 at 10:09am by Greg

Ease of Use : 9 Novation X-Station 25

200 preinstalled presets + 100 more u can download from Novation WebPage - most do really well. If u play with it u can get really good sounds for yr needs.

Manual might be bit complicated for beginners.

Features : 8 1) Its really flexi device. Wide range of knobs / faders / pressure sens. keys + few Effects and XY Touch Pad with 200 banks gives you really good synth.

Live performance or studio projects might be so much easier with X25. Nothing better 3 in 1 : sound card / midi controller / synth

2) Sound Card : I've heard many opinions about it...

1. If You want to use it in a studio - forget about it and get proper sound card. 2. Using a Windows OS ? - ! THIS IS IMPORTANT ! Get a 2.0 USB Hub before installing whole device. Crashed a lot before . While You playing.. it can crash . Can imagine .. ksssssssszzzzzzzzzzzz in your headset while you playing live ? I got my powered 2,0 Hub [10 euro on Ebay] + good gold ended USB cable. no more issues. ( Recommended by Novation Customer Support ) 3. No option to extend memory

3) MIDI - good - very easy to assign keys + 40 presets for progs like Cubase / Logic / Reason / Albino etc etc

10 / 10 for synth mode 10 / 10 for midi controller mode 4 / 10 for soundcard

Expressiveness/Sounds : 10 Check banks at Novation Page before You buy X25 to see what u can expect. Sounds very well in general

Reliability : 10 Yes, You can depend on it without backup ..just remember to plug hub before.

Customer Support : 7 Page it self doesn't give you much support and its not clear what to do if you have a problem, however their CS is pretty good ( I had to call just once but they solved my problem v.fast giving advice how to fix ) Can't complain .

Drivers / Updates / any extra features are bit too old - this is big issue.

Overall Rating : 9 Best part ,. I really like that hardware.. :

- positive : 300 banks / 40 presets / good sounds / many knobs / faders / good for studio and Live performance P E R F E C T and .... GREAT price ( compare to different MIDI Controllers / synths and their features )

- negative : soundcard features / need USB Hub /no external memory / sensitive faders ( ITS NOT A MIXER !! - be more delicate with them )


Product: Novation X-Station Price Paid: USD 400.00 Submitted 10/26/2008 at 04:08pm by Marcus

Ease of Use : 10 Totally easy. Lots of physical controls, clearly labeled, sliders as well as knobs, decent manual, etc. An internal power supply would have made it easier, but at this size and price that's probably unrealistic. The option to run on batteries is killer! Very easy to control soft synths, too.

Features : 9 A ton of features in a tiny box. (I have the 25-key version.) Audio interface with phantom power, audio through effects, an excellent hardware synth, MIDI interface, incredibly good keyboard action with pressure sensitivity, X/Y touchpad, pitch/mod lever that can spring back or not as you prefer, charges its batteries over USB, on and on.

The synth engine is not the most comprehensive (it's not a modular or a $2,500 Virus), but it's **** good even at twice the price. 3 oscillators with extra waveforms, 2 LFOs with lots of waveforms and a one-shot mode that lets them act as complex envelopes, dedicated arp buttons, and smoooth smoooth beautiful filters. No zipper noise anywhere, unlike some synths that are much more expensive.

There are some audio/synth routings that it cannot do, but come on...it's dirt cheap and it does a million things. You might as well complain that your Swiss Army Knife can't remotely unlock the doors of your Mercedes. Plus, it's lightweight, solid as a rock, and not much bigger than your laptop. Great instrument!

Expressiveness/Sounds : 10 This little dynamo is incredible. Under the magnifying glass, in isolation, those familiar with real analogs will be able to tell that this is a virtual analog. In a dense recording, on stage, or in a mix with lots of other instruments, even experts could easily be fooled. Warm oscillators, fast envelopes, and a silky wet filter give this synth a fantastic sound. It does great, squelchy TB sounds, and it can be as pretty or nasty as you like. I have a real analog synth, and I still love my X-Station!

Reliability : 10 Seems great. Feels rock-solid.

Customer Support : No Opinion Don't know, never needed them.

Overall Rating : 10 I love this little synth. It's not a Ferrari...more like a Miata that still out-sports everyone else and didn't cost your life savings to buy. It's not quite as fat as a Prophet 08, but it costs 1/4 the price and does A LOT more. It doesn't have all the features of a Virus TI, but it costs 1/5 the price and sounds 90% as good. Buy it, and here's what will happen: you'll lose track of time programming it, you'll fall in love with it and forget that it doesn't have "graintables" (whatever those are), and you'll feel a lot smarter than everyone else who got 5% more synth by spending 500% more money. Enjoy!


Product: Novation X-Station Price Paid: USD 450 USED Submitted 05/08/2008 at 02:38pm by Paul

Ease of Use : 9 Easy to use. Nice presets, same sound engine as in k-station. There are tons of good patches on the web. You can load it with K, KS, V station and XioSynth patches.

Features : 9 Polyphony is 8, good for a VA synth. It is monotimbral. Built-in effects are nice and you can run audio through them. I love keyboard action, it's much better then Nord Lead2 and Korg z1. It is also a good controller, has presets and templates to control a bunch of popular software. Comes with software librarian/template editor that is very handy and easy to use. It also has built-in USB audio interface with phantom power.

Expressiveness/Sounds : 8 This is virtual analog, works great for electronic music. Good effects, easily tweaked. Reacts to velocity and aftertouch very well and can be adjusted.

Reliability : No Opinion

Customer Support : No Opinion

Overall Rating : No Opinion I replaced Nord lead2 with x-station, much cheaper, has effects and much better keyboard action, it's excellent way to control softsynths.


Product: Novation X-Station Price Paid: 200 Submitted 09/07/2007 at 10:07pm by André Email: andre5677 at hotmail<dot>com

Ease of Use : 2 Getting something out of it isn't hard, but to take full advantage its not that easy because of the not so smart layout with no direct access to all lfos and other important features as such....

Features : No Opinion the filters suck and sometimes midi doesn't seem to be fast enough...

Expressiveness/Sounds : 1 the sound is terrible. Its either very thin or just plain bad... I have several synths and soft synths and this is the worse by far. If it wasn't for the great deal I got and the good keyboard to work as a controller and I would have asked for my money back...

Reliability : 3 it looks cheap and fragile...

Customer Support : No Opinion dunno

Overall Rating : 1 either than the good keyboard I don't see why someone would spend the money....save your bucks and get a decent synth... a virus...a Nord...


Product: Novation X-Station Price Paid: 480 Submitted 07/20/2007 at 12:18pm by Bar????

Ease of Use : 8 Well. As ease of use X-station is well designed but I have seen better devices. The controller and audio interface controls are quite easy, but the synth controls are not open enough. You can't have total information about the sound you create. For example if I tweak an oscillator and move on to the others, I have to memorize the setting I've made, because there aren't separate controls for each oscillator. The display is small but enough and it looks sexy with that blue backlit too. Some controls cannot be used if you use X-station as a standalone device. You will see transport buttons on the panel, but it may be annoying to discover that you cant record midi tracks (it doesn't have a built in sequencer) and you only have a single filter. In general its an easy to use device.

Features : 10 8 voice is quite enough. It has built in effects and they sound good. The synth can be expanded if you use it with a computer and VST synths. As I said before it hasn't got a sequencer and the arpeggiator is so simple and not flexible. But all these can be remedied if you use it with a computer. Plus you will get a nice audio interface, superb midi controller and decent sounding synth for that price. So my rating is 10 for features.

Expressiveness/Sounds : 9 The synth sounds pretty decent. You can have devastating leads, distorts, basses as well as calming pads and brilliant electric pianos. The engine is not too flexible, it has only one filter and no modulation matrix so you cant create very complex sounds to use in electronic music. Its not a synth to learn synthesis theory, but its quite powerful and well fit for dance, techno, trance etc. The effects are not the best but they are satisfying. As you can imagine reverb is not a pro one. But if you want reverb go buy a T.C. electronics machine.

Reliability : 8 I had no problems so far and it looks reliable. The knobs and buttons are solid, but the sliders don't seem so and keep in mind that pouring some liquid on them would be a bad idea. The keys feel good, solid and reliable, maybe the joystick and x-y pad can make some problems. But I didn't have any and I bought the unit one month ago.

Customer Support : No Opinion I didn't have to deal with them and I bought the unit only one month ago.

Overall Rating : 9 A good one for the beginning arranger and studioguy. It has all the features to make your laptop a compact studio environment. A nice controller - audio interface and decent synth in one place. Go buy it! You wont be sorry for that. Compared to Alesis ion its synthesis engine is not that flexible but don't forget that this is a device in another class. A perfect buy.


Product: Novation X-Station Price Paid: USD 350 USED Submitted 06/23/2007 at 02:31am by ivionday

Ease of Use : 9 Easy. I have it hooked up to Windows XP using Novation USB driver 1.1.0, released in Feb. 2007, I think. But I think everything worked before I even installed the driver. Patch editing is easy with all these knobs and sliders.

Features : 10 This is an absurd keyboard. It is too versatile. First of all, you can switch the keyboard between two primary modes: controller and synth mode. However, it still works as a controller in synth mode. In controller mode the program select rotary switches to a software preset selector, meaning you select among Generic, Ableton, Reason (separate presets for Mixer, Redrum, Maelstrom, and Subtractor), Absynth, Cubase, Logic, etc. 40 control presets in total. Now throughout all of this activity, the keyboard will also function as an audio interface. It can perform simultaneously as a synth, controller, and 2 In/2 Out ASIO interface. That means you can hook it up to a computer with one USB cable, then record the digital output of the built in synth with your computer. This is kind of astonishing in how handy it can be. The latency on the audio interface is below perceptible levels (about 5ms output, or 10ms sum of input and output). The coolest knob on this keyboard is the one labeled "MONITOR" that fades between "input" and "output." It lets you fade between your ASIO computer source and the built-in synth. It also has spdif out and can act as an effect processor for mic and line inputs.. I need a rest. For a bedroom musician or hobbyist, this keyboard acts as 5 pieces of gear: midi controller, basic synthesizer, audio interface, XLR mic preamp, basic effects processor.

Expressiveness/Sounds : No Opinion This is the most expressive piece of electronics I have ever laid my hands on. velocity, aftertouch, pitch/mod joystick, plus xy trackpad, plus shove an expression pedal into the back, and you have 7 dimensions of live expression. It makes the instrument fun to play.

Reliability : 9 I will devote this section to a word about the software side of things, because I don't gig with it. the Novation drivers are solid and you can tell they have some talented developers.

Customer Support : No Opinion

Overall Rating : 10 If it were lost or stolen I would buy a new one.


Product: Novation X-Station Price Paid: 400 USED Submitted 03/16/2007 at 02:43am by Pete Email: peter at maxinteractive<dot>com<dot>au

Ease of Use : 8 I'm using the latest OS ( + the 1.0 USB Drivers (no problems on Windows, though OSX users really need to download the 1.3 driver upgrade for their platform).

I upgraded all this as soon as I bought it basically (guy I got it from hadn't bothered upgrading from the 1.0.3 OS he obviously got it with), and have had ZERO driver / software problems since then, contrary to the various issues you see posted around the 'net stemming from older versions of the OS.

It comes with a *decent* (though not the world's greatest) manual, which includes a fairly comprehensive section on subtractive synth basics for newbie's (applicable to any synth, not just the X-Station).

Editing patches is a breeze - either onboard with the various tweakable knobs & sliders, or on the PC using the free 'X-Station Template Editor' app (oddly named, since it's a patch librarian as well), which you can download from the Novation site.

Features : 10 8 Voice polyphony (you can layer as many of these as you want in unison mode as well, for extra phatness) beats my Alpha Juno by two voices, so I'm happy :)

Effects section is great, and can be applied to the audio inputs as well. Full midi capability, and it can act as a controller also, with customization of the latter on par with Novation's Remote range (for those who don't know, the X-Station actually started out as the Remote Audio, before it was re-badged as a separate product).

Basically this means you can use it to control all your DAW software, VST's AND more importantly (since it has a REAL midi out port, not just USB midi, unlike it's smaller sibling the XioSynth) your legacy hardware synths as well. I've set up a template to control my Juno with it - no need to fork out extra cash to track down the increasingly rare PG-300 controller. Setting it up as a controller is also relatively pain-free, with a lot of DAW / softsynth templates included straight out of the box (although of course legacy hardware like my Juno requires programming your own template).

Audio I/O, you can use it as an audio + midi interface with your laptop ... what more could you ask for really ?

Expressiveness/Sounds : 10 Oh mama, does this thing wrrrrawk :) It's got velocity, it's got aftertouch (even in my humble 25-key version), it ships with a decent array of presets, plus the ability to use sounds from pretty much all of Novation's range (with the exception of the Novas).

There are sounds to download on the Novation home page, and lots to be found on various user groups. You can ALSO use patches from Novation's 'newer' offering, the XioSynth. That's right - all those much hyped presets by Ferry Corset, Roots Manuva, Renny Pilgrim etc. will work on the X-Station (I know - I've tried it).

Don't expect 'realistic' instrument sounds (it's a synth), but it does a VERY good job of emulating 'classic' analogue synths like Moog's & Prophets, plus generating lovely 'modern' sounds, almost on par with a Virus.

Reliability : 7 From what I've heard from guys that have one for a few years, it's rugged as all hell. Build quality is great for such a small and lightweight piece of kit. That being said, I don't know if I WOULD gig with it without SOME kind of backup ... but that's probably me playing it altogether 'too safe'.

Customer Support : 5 Never dealt with them directly, but their site offers a good support base, updates etc.

Overall Rating : 10 If some bast* nicked it, I'd definitely buy one again. Oh, and try to track him down to rip off his testicles too ! I compared this versus the XioSynth for months on end, ended up choosing the X-Station because of the extra I/O options, more front panel controls (knobs beat sub-menus any day !), and the presence of REAL midi out.

Now I'm so glad I did, especially since I can use the XioSynth presets on it as well. It doesn't have the X-Gator obviously, but who cares - I can always gate externally. As for the supposed "harder" character of the XioSynth filter - let me tell you, I've rattled windows with the sounds coming out of this baby - you don't NEED 'harder' than the X-Station !


Product: Novation X-Station Price Paid: UNKNOWN Submitted 01/24/2007 at 12:21pm by Bruce Satinover

Ease of Use : 8 The X Station 25 has a good, if sometimes confusing 85 page manual. As a synth, it is close in sound to the K and V Station, with Novation's warm sound. It's not terribly complex, but has everything you need to make professional sounds.

The preset synth configurations are out of date for the most part, but are easy to program using Novation's software editor. Be ready to get your hardware and software synth manuals out. Thankfully, the editor is very good.

Features : 10 Synth voices are 8 notes with monopolyphony, meaning you can't use more than one channel for the X Station's synth. The effects are basic and of good quality, with a very nice chorus, reverb, delay, compressor, EQ and distortion.

These effects are available for the audio outs and sound good in a mix though I'd rather add effects post-recording.

The faders, knobs and buttons are plentiful and of good quality. Most are pots with a few encoders for segments such as Oscillator waveforms, which are plentiful and make the synth section very useful, as do the generous FM settings.

As a controller, the X Station works well, and in the event you use synths by Native Instruments, you'll find the midi learn feature on the N.I. synths to be a godsend - particularly if you work quickly.

While weighing 10 lbs, the 25 key version is stable and comfortable to play. It is especially nice to use the excellent keys, particularly with aftertouch.

Expressiveness/Sounds : 10 The K-Station based engine sounds wonderful. If you like the Novation sound, this is one of the better buys, particularly with all the controllers; especially the Joystick, typically used for modulation and pitch. You can change the controls to other functions such as filter and introduction of FM or reduction of sound within a patch.

Also of great use is the x/y touchpad which can be assigned multiple duties. If you have a Korg Wavestation or plugin, you'll be in vector heaven.

This is really a controller first, in my estimation, then a synth, then two audio inputs with flexible controls and excellent hardware connectors.

Reliability : 9 too early to tell, but this is a well designed, nicely put together master keyboard.

Considering this and a laptop is all you need for a gig and/or studio, it is quite considerably priced. If used as an audio setup, I'd prefer a backup for live situations.

Too many folks I've worked with had technical problems with computers, though I'd feel much more relaxed with the X Station 25's build quality.

Customer Support : No Opinion not needed to date

Overall Rating : 10 This is an excellent solution for DJs, synthesis's and other musicians that need an audio controller and sound card.

The synth portion is wonderful for what it is. It won't replace your Nova II or Supernova, but it has the Novation sound which is somewhat polite (unless you wish to make it grittier) and super-warm with a touch of digital due the FM capabilities when used. Overall, the sound is refreshingly pretty and fits wonderfully with my Korg Radias and Q-Rack.

I use many virtual synths, which the X Station 25 controls well. I like it a great deal because it does what it's supposed to and doesn't get in my way.

There was a learning curve which at times was frustrating. Still, I consider the X Station 25 an essential part of my recording rig and am seriously considering gigging again because of the X Stations capabilities.

If stolen I'd replace it, possibly with a 49 key version.


Product: Novation X-Station Price Paid: UNKNOWN Submitted 01/18/2007 at 12:08am by Bruce Satinover Email: x_bruce<at>yahoo dot com

Ease of Use : 8 There are some complexities as you are using up to three different devices. I'm happy with my current Audio I/O card and break out box, but it doesn't hurt to have an extra Audio interface, especially on in the synth/controller I'm using.

As a synth, it's pretty much a V-Station grafted to a very nice controller - with aftertouch! - and with 19 knobs, 20 some buttons and 8 faders. The (A/K/V) Station is a modest priced synth with decent use. Compared to an Alesis micron, it is underpowered; for that matter, compared to a Nova II it's modest. Still, it is a professional synth that sounds at par to the V-Station on my computer. Unlike the reviewer below, I have not had a noise floor problem and would take serious issue about working around noise. Compressors and gates are in every software sequencer and cost $140 or so for a decent hardware unit.

The audio interface is reasonable but somewhat tricky to use. As I've only had it a short time with an entirely new hardware setup (replacing multiple synths with a Radias, Q-Rack and X25 meant to use as a controller first, then synth and Audio interface.)

The manual is acceptable for those knowledgeable in synthesis and DAWs. If not, it may take a bit of learning. I'll say this: it took less time to fire this up and install drivers than it did to assemble my Korg Radias.


Product: Novation X-Station Price Paid: USD 650 Submitted 10/23/2006 at 02:22pm by Clif

Ease of Use : 7 I'm using OS version 2.3.03 on an X-Station 49. The presets are sweet and powerful, but not as powerful as a real analog synth. Editing is pretty easy because of all of the knobs, but it's not as easy to modify existing sounds because it's hard to tell at a glance how the parameters are set. You have to fiddle with the knob to see what it's set at. The manual is pretty good, but a bit dry.

Features : 10 The keyboard action is excellent. My background is classical piano, but I have found that fully-weighted keys are not appropriate for drum work. The X-Station keyboard is a good compromise. Effects are easy to use and the ability to use all of them at the same time is really nice. They sound great too.

The great thing about the X-Station is that together with a laptop amd a DAW, you have an entire studio with two line or mic ins, two audio outs, mixing, and MIDI control. Or you can use the built-in synth. That's a lot of power in a single device.

Expressiveness/Sounds : 8 I'd say that the sounds and synthesis method are aimed more at Dance/Trance/Electronica than other types of music. So realism is not really a strong suit. However, the sounds are very satisfying, although the X-Station will never be mistaken for a true analog synth. The control is really great -- the touch pad is a powerful modulation source and is usually set up change the filter Q and cutoff for some dramatic modifications to the sound.

Reliability : 10 I have never had a problem with the unit (owned it for 1.5 years). I would definitely trust it in a gig.

Customer Support : No Opinion Never dealt with the company. The forum on yahoo groups seems to be pretty good.

Overall Rating : 9 Yeah, I'd buy another one, but I'd probably get the 25-key version. Oh, maybe I'll buy a 25-key version anyway ... Right now, my studio consists of the X-Station, a PowerBook and Logic Pro. That's a lot of power for not very much money. I wish it had the Romote SL automapping feature. If they come out with an X-Station SL 25, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. I don't think there's anything else that has all of the features this has except the Access Virus Ti. But the Virus was not a realistic option because of its price.

The X-Station itself doesn't get in the way of making music, but I'm not convinced DAWs (or perhaps it's only Logic Pro) are good for creative inspiration compared to dedicated songwriting synth like my old Ensoniq MR-76 or a Kurzweil 2600. So if you're into dance and electronic stuff, I'd say the X-Station with a DAW is awesome. If you're into straight songwriting or orchestration, maybe you might want to look elsewhere.


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