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
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
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!
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 /
2) Sound Card : I've heard many opinions about
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
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
- 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
(220.127.116.11) + 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
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
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
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
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
If stolen I'd replace it, possibly with a 49
Product: Novation X-Station Price Paid: UNKNOWN
Submitted 01/18/2007 at 12:08am by Bruce Satinover Email: x_bruce<at>yahoo dot
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.