X-Station

I need help with the X-Station. I know some of you here recommend it as a good MIDI controller for IOS apps but I am having trouble getting started with it. I believe the unit is working correctly, but I'm never sure if I have gotten the internal sounds shut off so that I'm just using it as a controller [Local Off]. I actually really do like the internal sounds but I'm strictly just trying to control other apps on my iPad in this case. Any help on connections / usage / workflow or tips would be appreciated. For what its worth, yes, I have and have Read TFM. Still, I would like to know how You use it, what is your use case? How do you set it up for use with your favorite target app? Do you use MIDI mapping to map the app's features to knobs and faders or pads on the X-Station? How are the pads for drums in your use case? Are any of you using and totally satisfied with your X-Station as you main or at least main mobile IOS app controller? I ask the last Q because I also have but don't like the cheapo "clicky" key sounds or Gadget-centric nature of my NanoKey Studio and so I'm considering getting a Novation Impulse or the new Akai LPK25 / LPD8 wireless units as my main controller and ditching the X-Station or just using it as as regular synth since I dig the sounds.

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  • You can’t use it as a midi controller and stand alone synth at the same time if I recall correctly. Hit the PLAY button above the screen to switch modes.

    I have a few fixed templates for some soft synths and hardware synths. Then I have a general “all MIDI ccs” template in preset slot one that I use with soft synths that have MIDI learn.

  • Yeah the Play(synth) button switches it to controller mode where you can use and setup 40 different controller templates.

  • Do you use MIDI mapping to map the app's features to knobs and faders or pads on the X-Station?

    Yes. In most every app I use more often than once in a blue moon. Set the labeled control on the x-station to the software control with the same (or most similar) name and never think about it again.

    How are the pads for drums in your use case?

    There are no pads for drums. I use a Beatstep or the LPD-8 if I really want pads. Keys generally work for me though.

    Are any of you using and totally satisfied with your X-Station as you main or at least main mobile IOS app controller?

    It's not my main "sitting in a coffee shop/bar" mobile MIDI controller because even the 25 key version is a little big for that. I do bring the 25 key version if I'm going to be in a hotel or having a "I'm gonna make a beat by the river" moment.

    That said, I'm very satisfied with it as my main controller. Honestly, I can't even imagine getting rid of it or what could possibly replace it. It does so much and the muscle memory thing for synth programming just can't be replicated by anything else on the market. Indeed, I bought the 49 first and fell in love. Have since bought the 25 and the 61. Aim to sell the 49 but haven't done it yet.

    Would be great if it had polyphonic aftertouch. And touch sensitive knobs. And 8 drum pads. And a better sysex implementation... and... and... but there's really not any competition for it in my mind. It's the ultimate soft synth controller. Plus, it's an audio + MIDI interface. With effects. What's not to like?

  • I can’t remember because I sold mine a couple of years ago but are you guys sure it doesn’t send midi when internal synth is enabled?

    I seem to remember having it hooked up to the iPad and using a monitor knob to cross fade between the internal synth and the Ipad audio.

  • Thanks all for your info and tips! please ignore my question about the drum pads on the X-Station. Of course, it doesn't have any! I was thinking of my 25SL which does have them.

  • @supadom said:
    I can’t remember because I sold mine a couple of years ago but are you guys sure it doesn’t send midi when internal synth is enabled?

    I seem to remember having it hooked up to the iPad and using a monitor knob to cross fade between the internal synth and the Ipad audio.

    Could be right. It might send notes and fixed CCs for the knobs (etc), I don't recall.

  • Totally missed this thread.

    Only found it now while testing the new forum search function that Michale just added for mobile users.

    Anyhoo. I love the X-Station.

    Kinda embarrassed to say it, but I own 6 of them! (25, 49 and 61 key versions).

    As Syrupcore said, I’d not want to get rid of them as I couldn’t imagine anything that could replace them and the functionalities they offer.

    I’ll test the midi CC while in Synth mode a little later. On my way out now.

    How are you getting on with the X-Station?

    Any questions? I’ll be happy to help out!

    Cheers.

  • OK, just did a quick test, and YES, it looks like note and CC midi is output on Channel 16 while in Synth Play mode.

    I’ll check when I’m back if this can be turned on/off in menu settings.

    Cheers.

  • edited January 29

    @supadom said:
    I can’t remember because I sold mine a couple of years ago but are you guys sure it doesn’t send midi when internal synth is enabled?

    I seem to remember having it hooked up to the iPad and using a monitor knob to cross fade between the internal synth and the Ipad audio.

    Midi note and CC data can be turned off in the TEMPLATE COOMON menu. Setting = Keyboard MIDI Ports - OFF (common value is U12, ie USB, outs 1 & 2) Just turn the DATA/VALUE knob and you’ll see there are 8 different options. Select OFF.

  • edited January 29

    @scadet said:
    I need help with the X-Station. I know some of you here recommend it as a good MIDI controller for IOS apps but I am having trouble getting started with it. I believe the unit is working correctly, but I'm never sure if I have gotten the internal sounds shut off so that I'm just using it as a controller [Local Off]. I actually really do like the internal sounds but I'm strictly just trying to control other apps on my iPad in this case. Any help on connections / usage / workflow or tips would be appreciated. For what its worth, yes, I have and have Read TFM. Still, I would like to know how You use it, what is your use case? How do you set it up for use with your favorite target app? Do you use MIDI mapping to map the app's features to knobs and faders or pads on the X-Station? How are the pads for drums in your use case? Are any of you using and totally satisfied with your X-Station as you main or at least main mobile IOS app controller? I ask the last Q because I also have but don't like the cheapo "clicky" key sounds or Gadget-centric nature of my NanoKey Studio and so I'm considering getting a Novation Impulse or the new Akai LPK25 / LPD8 wireless units as my main controller and ditching the X-Station or just using it as as regular synth since I dig the sounds.

    Just like Syrupcore, I have created templates for all my favourite apps.

    It’s a killer combo with Gadget, I’ve mapped 31 templates to all Gadgets and can easily switch between them with the different templates.

    With so many controls available on the X-Station, no (available) Gadget parameters are needed to be left out.

    Another bonus with the X-Station is that you can set the controls to use NRPN, (excellent for controlling all Novation Circuit internals).

    Also the X-Station lets you define min, max and step values, so this is awesome to use with something like the Gadget FX drop down menus.

    For example if the FX menu has 17 options, I can set the step value of a button to be 8 (128/16)

    and then...

    Value 0 will be FX option 1,
    Value 8 will be FX option 2,
    Value 16 will be FX option 3,

    Each button press will add a step value of 8, all the way up to 127 etc...

    Feel free to ask any questions about the X-Station, will be happy to help where I can.

  • Because I’m lazy, and because I have an xstation lurking in the attic is there anyway to share these templates?

  • @BiancaNeve said:
    Because I’m lazy, and because I have an xstation lurking in the attic is there anyway to share these templates?

    Sure, however it wouldn’t be such a lazy option as my templates currently use different CCs to the Gadget defaults. Just the way I set them up using my own base blank template.

    This means you’d need to remap all the controls from the X-Station template to the Gadgets in the app with Midi Learn.

    I probably should make a set using the default Gadgets CCs and upload them to Dropbox to share.

    Might take me a while but hopefully get it done within the month. I’ll let you know! :)

  • edited January 29

    @BiancaNeve said:
    ...I have an xstation lurking in the attic

    Sacrilege by the way!! :)

    25 key?

  • @SpookyZoo said:

    @BiancaNeve said:
    ...I have an xstation lurking in the attic

    Sacrilege by the way!! :)

    25 key?

    49 actually, which is part of reason it’s in the attic.

  • I have one sitting on the floor here (25 key). I will definitely give your templates a try, @SpookyZoo. Some great internal sounds, too, plus it's a really nice keyboard to play. I haven't tried audio with it yet, just used it with an irig midi as a controller. How are you getting audio into the ipad? through the CCK?

  • edited January 30

    @iansainsbury said:
    I have one sitting on the floor here (25 key). I will definitely give your templates a try, @SpookyZoo. Some great internal sounds, too, plus it's a really nice keyboard to play. I haven't tried audio with it yet, just used it with an irig midi as a controller. How are you getting audio into the ipad? through the CCK?

    I don’t normally use the audio interface part, usually just as a midi controller.

    However I just did some testing this evening and Yeah, the USB will send out the audio to an app like AUM.

    However, I only seemed to be able to send one input and the X-Station synth audio at a time. It has 2 inputs but couldn’t get both or the stereo option to send.

    Tried this on 2 X-Stations and reread the manual, but still not sure how to get 2 inputs and X-station synth audio together. (3 sources of audio)

    Still, it’s cool that you can get those 2 sources of sound from out of the X-Station into the iPad via USB.

    EDIT Only possible to output the audio of 2 sources at any one time. This means...

    • 2 audio inputs (Gtr/ Vocals for example) with no sound from the internal synth.
    • Stereo output of the internal synth only.
    • Split the stereo panning of 1 input and internal Synth.
  • @iansainsbury said:
    I have one sitting on the floor here (25 key). I will definitely give your templates a try, @SpookyZoo. Some great internal sounds, too, plus it's a really nice keyboard to play. I haven't tried audio with it yet, just used it with an irig midi as a controller. How are you getting audio into the ipad? through the CCK?

    Ok, sussed it.

    You can have 2 Audio inputs Guitar/Vocals etc sent from the X-Stations audio interface, along with FX if wished but only when the X-Station is in ‘PLAY’ mode.

    I.e Not the Synth mode.

    This audio is sent via usb and CCK.

  • @SpookyZoo said:
    I don’t normally use the audio interface part, usually just as a midi controller.

    However I just did some testing this evening and Yeah, the USB will send out the audio to an app like AUM.

    However, I only seemed to be able to send one input and the X-Station synth audio at a time. It has 2 inputs but couldn’t get both or the stereo option to send.

    Tried this on 2 X-Stations and reread the manual, but still not sure how to get 2 inputs and X-station synth audio together. (3 sources of audio)

    Still, it’s cool that you can get those 2 sources of sound from out of the X-Station into the iPad via USB.

    I’ll have to give this a go. Plug a mic in and see what it's like for vocals. Although I fear I’ve been hanging around this forum too long, as I’m keen to try my hand at some Plaid-influenced electronica. Some of the x-station's internal sounds are fantastic, too. Novation should update it for the iOS generation.

  • @BiancaNeve said:

    @SpookyZoo said:

    @BiancaNeve said:
    ...I have an xstation lurking in the attic

    Sacrilege by the way!! :)

    25 key?

    49 actually, which is part of reason it’s in the attic.

    I have the 49 and it's great with an iPad stand gaffer taped to the area which is blank.
    Excellent live rig and very convenient in the studio.

  • @SpookyZoo said:

    @iansainsbury said:
    I have one sitting on the floor here (25 key). I will definitely give your templates a try, @SpookyZoo. Some great internal sounds, too, plus it's a really nice keyboard to play. I haven't tried audio with it yet, just used it with an irig midi as a controller. How are you getting audio into the ipad? through the CCK?

    Ok, sussed it.

    You can have 2 Audio inputs Guitar/Vocals etc sent from the X-Stations audio interface, along with FX if wished but only when the X-Station is in ‘PLAY’ mode.

    I.e Not the Synth mode.

    This audio is sent via usb and CCK.

    Great stuff!

  • @iansainsbury said:

    @SpookyZoo said:
    I don’t normally use the audio interface part, usually just as a midi controller.

    However I just did some testing this evening and Yeah, the USB will send out the audio to an app like AUM.

    However, I only seemed to be able to send one input and the X-Station synth audio at a time. It has 2 inputs but couldn’t get both or the stereo option to send.

    Tried this on 2 X-Stations and reread the manual, but still not sure how to get 2 inputs and X-station synth audio together. (3 sources of audio)

    Still, it’s cool that you can get those 2 sources of sound from out of the X-Station into the iPad via USB.

    I’ll have to give this a go. Plug a mic in and see what it's like for vocals. Although I fear I’ve been hanging around this forum too long, as I’m keen to try my hand at some Plaid-influenced electronica. Some of the x-station's internal sounds are fantastic, too. Novation should update it for the iOS generation.

    @iansainsbury said:

    @SpookyZoo said:
    I don’t normally use the audio interface part, usually just as a midi controller.

    However I just did some testing this evening and Yeah, the USB will send out the audio to an app like AUM.

    However, I only seemed to be able to send one input and the X-Station synth audio at a time. It has 2 inputs but couldn’t get both or the stereo option to send.

    Tried this on 2 X-Stations and reread the manual, but still not sure how to get 2 inputs and X-station synth audio together. (3 sources of audio)

    Still, it’s cool that you can get those 2 sources of sound from out of the X-Station into the iPad via USB.

    I’ll have to give this a go. Plug a mic in and see what it's like for vocals. Although I fear I’ve been hanging around this forum too long, as I’m keen to try my hand at some Plaid-influenced electronica. Some of the x-station's internal sounds are fantastic, too. Novation should update it for the iOS generation.

    Yeah, the Synth is nice. A bit limited in routing but the sounds can be great.

    Syrupcore recommended the X-Station to me and he was absolutely spot on.

    The market is crying out for X-Station 2 but they’ve told me in emails that it’s unlikely.

    Hope they change their mind or another company jumps in to fill the hole.

  • @Jes said:

    @BiancaNeve said:

    @SpookyZoo said:

    @BiancaNeve said:
    ...I have an xstation lurking in the attic

    Sacrilege by the way!! :)

    25 key?

    49 actually, which is part of reason it’s in the attic.

    I have the 49 and it's great with an iPad stand gaffer taped to the area which is blank.
    Excellent live rig and very convenient in the studio.

    Ha, that’s great!

  • @iansainsbury said:

    @SpookyZoo said:

    @iansainsbury said:
    I have one sitting on the floor here (25 key). I will definitely give your templates a try, @SpookyZoo. Some great internal sounds, too, plus it's a really nice keyboard to play. I haven't tried audio with it yet, just used it with an irig midi as a controller. How are you getting audio into the ipad? through the CCK?

    Ok, sussed it.

    You can have 2 Audio inputs Guitar/Vocals etc sent from the X-Stations audio interface, along with FX if wished but only when the X-Station is in ‘PLAY’ mode.

    I.e Not the Synth mode.

    This audio is sent via USB and CCK.

    Great stuff!

    Only possible to output the audio from 2 sources at any one time. This means...

    • 2 audio inputs (Gtr/ Vocals for example) with no sound from the internal synth.
    • Stereo output of the internal synth only.
    • Split the stereo panning of 1 input and internal Synth.

    Just in case my previous explanation was ambiguous! :)

  • @SpookyZoo said:

    @iansainsbury said:

    @SpookyZoo said:

    @iansainsbury said:
    I have one sitting on the floor here (25 key). I will definitely give your templates a try, @SpookyZoo. Some great internal sounds, too, plus it's a really nice keyboard to play. I haven't tried audio with it yet, just used it with an irig midi as a controller. How are you getting audio into the ipad? through the CCK?

    Ok, sussed it.

    You can have 2 Audio inputs Guitar/Vocals etc sent from the X-Stations audio interface, along with FX if wished but only when the X-Station is in ‘PLAY’ mode.

    I.e Not the Synth mode.

    This audio is sent via USB and CCK.

    Great stuff!

    Only possible to output the audio from 2 sources at any one time. This means...

    • 2 audio inputs (Gtr/ Vocals for example) with no sound from the internal synth.
    • Stereo output of the internal synth only.
    • Split the stereo panning of 1 input and internal Synth.

    Just in case my previous explanation was ambiguous! :)

    it wasn't ambiguous - I'll only use it for one track at a time work, so perfect for me. Although I find myself using the Korg nanokey more for doodles as it's so tiny and works really well (I'm a pianoplayer and I don't hate the keys, in fact I prefer them to the mini keys you find on other controllers.)
    Thanks again for the info.

  • Speaking of xstation 2, there really isn’t any alternative out there with a midi controller/audio interface combo, is there?

    I have a xstation 25 and it works (using the cck), but since it’s showing it’s age, I was searching for a replacememt, basically a xstation minus the synth part.

  • The 61 key version will fit two iPads on the blank area. Thrift store ipad cases with a bit of velcro on the back and done.

    Just to note on the audio output side: it will allow for both a stereo iPad signal and both audio inputs to be mixed together (with the on-board FX). So you can have a hardware drum machine and a mic patched into it and still hear the output of AUM or whatever. I'm not sure you can do that + the internal synth though.

  • @syrupcore said:

    Just to note on the audio output side: it will allow for both a stereo iPad signal and both audio inputs to be mixed together (with the on-board FX). So you can have a hardware drum machine and a mic patched into it and still hear the output of AUM or whatever. I'm not sure you can do that + the internal synth though.

    I only discovered this via the Monitor knob when testing the other night. Cool stuff.

  • Yep. My little jam set up lately has been 3 volcas and a PO-12 mixed with a tiny Boss line mixer and sent to input 1 on the x-station and Monologue sent to input 2 on the x-station. X-station controls iPad synths or, via channel switching, the Volca Keys or Volca FM (notes and CCs).

    At my friend's house I usually just bring the 49, the Volca keys and something else that seems fun that day. No need for a mixer & FX—just use the X-station for both.

  • @syrupcore said:
    Yep. My little jam set up lately has been 3 volcas and a PO-12 mixed with a tiny Boss line mixer and sent to input 1 on the x-station and Monologue sent to input 2 on the x-station. X-station controls iPad synths or, via channel switching, the Volca Keys or Volca FM (notes and CCs).

    Nice! I

    I've been spending some time lately learning the Stream Byter 2 code in Mid Fire, and refamiliarising myself with MidiDesigner too.

    Using those in Combo with the NRPN and step values of the X-Station to work on templates for the Novation Peak and Circuit Mod Matrix. Fun! :)

    Must get back to jamming soon though.

  • Can someone tell me what the purpose of Templates is?

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