X-Station Troubleshooting Guide.

Applies to: X-Station

I am experiencing distortion from the outputs of My X-Station.

Please check your cables and all other connections. Is the distortion apparent in the Headphone output also? If problems persist please contact technical support.

My pitch/mod joystick isn't working properly and is sending strange messages.

To do this you need to select the 'Cal Pitch/Mod:' page in the global menu on your X Station (press the 'Global' button then use the 'BANK/PAGE' buttons to scroll through the options). Once on this page, move the pitch bend joystick from extreme left to extreme right a few times until you see the the numbers on the screen changing from 0 - 255 and resting at 128 with the joystick centred. Then move the joystick from through its full vertical range from the bottom to the top a few times, until you see the numbers on the screen changing from 0-127. Once you have done this, press the 'write' button to save the global settings and this should now be saved.

I want to update the Operating System of my X-Station, where can I download this and how do I do this?

The latest X-Station operating system is available to download from the X-Station downloads page and comes with full instructions on how to update the unit.

I get a "packet error" when updating the X-Station operating system from my PC.

The instructions which come with the latest X-Station operating system (available from the X-Station downloads page) tell you to use MIDI-OX to update the unit. If you experience a packet error when sending the operating system to the X-Station using MIDI-OX, select 'Configure Buffers...' from the 'Options' menu in MIDI-OX and adjust the Low Level Output Buffer Size setting. Try setting it to 124 and then upload the operating system again. If that still produces a packet error, keep on doubling the Low Level Output Buffer Size until the operating system sends successfully.

How do I reset the X-Station to it's Factory Settings?

There is no hardware factory reset function on the unit itself since the factory OS, templates, patches and global settings are not stored on a memory chip inside the unit. There are two stages to resetting the unit; reloading the factory templates and reloading the factory patches. Both of these can be done with the X-Station Template Editor which is free to download from the X-Station downloads page. Follow these steps to reset the X-Station:


1. Download the 'X-Station Templates and Resources' from the X-Station downloads page.

2. Connect the X-Station to your computer and turn it on, then open the Editor. If the welcome dialog appears select 'Send bulk dumps to and from your X-Station'. After this you may be prompted to select a MIDI input and output device. Select 'X-Station' for both and then click 'OK'. If the welcome dialog does not appear then select 'Select MIDI input/output device...' from the 'Device' menu, choose 'X-Station' in both menus and then click 'OK'. Next select 'Bulk Dumps...' from the 'Device' menu.

3. Press the 'global' button on the X-Station to enter the global menu and scroll to the 'Memory Protect' page. Set this to OFF then press 'write' to save the setting and 'play/synth' to return to play mode. Make sure the X-Station is in template mode using the 'play/synth' button.

4. In the Bulk Dumps window click 'Upload factory settings' to send the factory templates to the X-Station. Once the patches have finished uploading click 'OK' to exit the Bulk Dumps window.


5. Download the 'X-Station factory sounds' from the page.

6. Select 'Patch Librarian' from the 'Device' menu in the Editor.

7. In the Patch Librarian Window click 'Open...' and select the 'Bank_100_199_inc.syx' file in the folder downloaded in step 5.

8. Make sure the X-Station is in synth mode using the 'play/synth' button and select a sound in bank 1.

9. Click 'Upload' in the Patch Librarian window to send the patches to the X-Station.

11. Once the patches have uploaded click 'Open...' in the Patch Librarian window and select the 'Bank_200_299_inc.syx' file in the folder downloaded in step 5, then select a sound in bank 2 on the X-Station.

12. Click 'Upload' in the Patch Librarian window to send the second bank of patches to the X-Station, then click 'OK' to exit the Patch Librarian window.

Response to notes slows down after a short period of time when using the synth mode on the X-station and the unit is connected via USB to a Mac.

This only occured in the OS version When a note is pressed on a conventional MIDI keyboard, a MIDI message is immediately transmitted out of the MIDI out port. This is not the case with a USB MIDI interface. Instead of a message being sent as soon as the message is triggered, the message is queued in memory called a MIDI buffer within the X-Station and the computer collects the message when it is ready. This is done by making use of the USB MIDI driver.

A Windows PC loads the USB MIDI driver ready for use as soon as the USB MIDI interface is connected. Mac OSX on the other hand only loads a USB MIDI driver ready for use when an application that could potentially use the driver is opened!

Consequently when the X-Station is powered by USB from an OSX Mac, if a music application is not in use, the MIDI driver will not be loaded. Since the X-Station is connected via USB, generated MIDI data is sent to the MIDI buffer but this is not serviced by the USB MIDI driver. The MIDI buffer is of a large, but finite size and when this is full the X-Station will respond to new MIDI events very slowly.

There are three solutions: 1) update the OS of the X-Station. 2) Open a music application or even Audio MIDI Setup (AMS) that can be found under applications/utilities. This is enough to load the MIDI driver and normal operation will resume. 3) from the template common menu, stop the X-Station from transmitting data to USB when the USB connection is only used as a power supply.

How do I set up and use a sustain pedal or footswitch with the X-Station?

When using any of the factory X-Station templates, or when using the X-Station in synth mode, the sustain pedal input will be assigned to keyboard sustain. If sustain is not working correctly either in controller mode or in synth mode, operate the sustain pedal or footswitch and then press the 'template edit' button to access the sustain pedal input settings. Use the 'bank/page' buttons to scroll through the settings and make sure they are set as follows:

Control Type: CC
Control Nem: 64
Display Type: 0-127
Button Type: Momentary
Low Value: 127
High Value: 0

Note that these settings are for a normally closed pedal. If you have a normally open pedal set the Low Value to 0 and High Value to 127. Once you have set these press 'write' twice (synth mode) or four times (controller mode) to save the settings and then 'play/synth' to return to controller/synth mode.

In controller mode it is possible to assign the sustain pedal input to control functions other than keyboard sustain. A sustain pedal or footswitch can be used to send CC, NRPN, RPN, sysex, MMC, note on/off and program change MIDI messages. The sustain pedal input settings are stored with each template so you can change the function of the sustain pedal input from one template to another. See pages 18-22 of the X-Station user guide (available in pdf format from herefor further information on assigning controls.

In synth mode it is also possible to assign the sustain pedal input to any MIDI message you like. This allows you to control any X-Station synth parameter using a sustain pedal or footswitch by setting it to send the corresponding MIDI message. The MIDI control data for the X-Station can be found in the 'X-Station MIDI Implementation' pdf, available to download from here. As an example, to assign the sustain pedal input to arpeggiator on/off do the following:

1. Look up which MIDI message arpeggiator on/off is mapped to in the 'X-Station MIDI Implementation' pdf - it is NRPN104 values 28 (off) and 29 (on).

2. Put the X-Station into synth mode and press the 'template edit' button to enter edit mode.

3. Operate the expression pedal to bring up its settings and make sure it has the following set:

Control Type: NRPN
NRPN LSBank Num: 104
NRPN MSBank Num: 0
Display Type: 0-127
Button Type: Momentary (if you want arp to turn on only when pedal is depressed) or Toggle (if you want arp to turn on/off on alternate presses)
Low Value: 28
High Value: 29

4. Press 'write' twice whilst still in edit mode to save the settings and then press 'play/synth' to return to synth mode.

The sustain pedal input will now control arpeggiator on/off regardless of what synth patch you select because the sustain pedal input settings are saved with the synth mode template, which is recalled every time you switch into synth mode.

How do I set up software control in Ableton Live 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 with the X Station?

The template that comes with the X Station for Live 2 can be used with all versions of Live.

For controlling Live load up the Live template on the X Station and make sure it is selected as the MIDI input and output device in the Live MIDI preferences menu.

To map a control on the X Station to a parameter in Live click on 'MIDI' in the top right corner of the Live window - all of the controls will turn blue.

Select the parameter in Live that you want to control by clicking on it and then move the control on the X Station that you want to assign to it. Repeat this process for all of the controls in Live that you want to assign and then click the 'MIDI' box again to return Live to normal mode.

Now when you move the controls on the X Station you have assigned the corresponding controls in Live will respond.

To save your mapping click on 'save template' in the Live preferences menu - this way you will not need to do this all again when you next open Live.

MIDI data from the X-Station is getting recorded with latency in Cubase. How can I resolve this?

If MIDI notes are being recorded with latency try checking the 'Use system timestamp' box in the MIDI Port Setup page in Cubase 4 Device Setup (it is on the 'DirectMusic' page in Cubase SX2/3 - this option will not appear if you are not using at least the latest version of Cubase SX2). This switches the timing reference for MIDI. More information on this can be found here, including a link to a program which can determine which is the most stable timing reference on your computer.

If there is still a problem then try comparing the emulated DirectMusic (DM) ports and the standard WDM ports to see if you get correct performance out of one or the other. The emulated DM ports will appear as 'X-Station [emulated]' in the Cubase MIDI input and output lists. If you do not see this as an option then the emulated ports are filtered. You can re-enable the filtered MIDI ports by following these steps:

1. Browse to the Cubase program folder (usually C:Program FilesSteinbergCubase 4) and locate the folder "MIDI Port Enabler"
2. Open this folder
3. Pick the file "ignoreportfilter" and move it into the Cubase progrm folder (one directory up)
4. Start Cubase

Now all available MIDI ports provided by the MIDI interface driver will appear in Cubase.

Be aware that the X-Station will now show up as a MIDI device 2 times in Cubase. Selecting 'All MIDI inputs' will result in double MIDI notes being recorded from both the Windows MIDI driver and the emulated DM driver so only select a single MIDI port as a track MIDI input or configure the 'All MIDI Inputs' in Device Setup first.

More info on emulated DM ports can be found here.

I am struggling to route MIDI data from a sequencer out through the X Station via USB.

The X Station can function as a USB MIDI interface to allow you to trigger external MIDI devices (e.g. hardware synths) from within your sequencer. You will need to connect your external MIDI device(s) to the MIDI ports on the back of the X-Station. Also ensure that the X-Station is selected as the MIDI output in your sequencer. Finally press the 'global' button on the X-Staton to enter the global menu and use the 'bank/page' buttons to scroll to the 'USB To MIDI Out' page. Use the 'data/value' encoder to select whether the MIDI data from your sequencer is routed to MIDI out port 1 (-1-), MIDI out port 2 (--2) or both (-12).

How do I set up the X-Station to work with Reason?

Follow these steps to set the X-Station up to work with Reason (version 3 or later):

1. Connect the X-Station to your computer, turn it on and launch Reason.

2. In Reason go to the 'Control Surfaces & Keyboards' page of Preferences.

3. Click 'Add' to add a controller.

4. In the next window select:

Maufacturer: Novation
Model: X-Station
MIDI Input: X-Station
MIDI Output: X-Station

then click 'OK'.

5. A warning will appear in Reason telling you that a template is about to be uploaded to the X-Station. Before clicking OK, make sure that memory protect is turned off. To do this press the 'global' button to enter the global menu scroll to the 'Memory Protect' page. Use the 'data/value' encoder to set this to 'Off' then press 'write' to save the setting and then use the 'play/synth' to switch the X-Station into controller mode (make sure it is not in synth mode).

6. Click OK in Reason and after a couple of seconds the X-Station will receive the template. To save this template to the X-Station press the 'write' button once, then use the 'data/value' encoder to select the memory location to which you want to save it. Once selected, press 'write' 3 more times to complete the save.

7. After this you can exit preferences and start using Reason. The Reason template MUST be selected to control Reason. The X-Station will then control whichever device has its keyboard (MIDI In) icon selected in the Reason sequencer.

How do I use the X Station as a control surface in ProTools?

Although the X Station itself is not a supported control surface in ProTools, it can control ProTools by emulating one of the supported control surfaces as explained in this article courtesy of Dave Vandewall;

Novation X-Station as a MIDI Control Surface in Pro Tools LE 7.4

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