Novation UltraNova Synthesizer

Model #AMS-Novation UltraNova

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ON A BRAND NEW USA VERSION OF Novation AMS-Novation UltraNova

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Expert Reviews
Music tech magazine.32823131
17 February 2011

The UltraNova is a feature-rich, mono-timbral 18-note polyphonic synth that integrates a VST, AU and RTAS plug-in editor with a two-in-four-out USB audio interface and a wealth of modulation options.

Sound on sound.34678444
14 February 2011

A tempting package of portable synth, controller and audio interface that is equally happy played stand‑alone or snugly nestling within your DAW.

  • +

    Novation's deepest synth yet., DAW integration., USB audio interface., Touch Animation., Aftertouch‑enabled keyboard., Can be powered from USB.

  • -

    Not multitimbral., Not very knobby.

User Reviews
B h photo.32817553
13 November 2015
4.0/10

Maybe it's me, but this instrument seems only to be a sound-effects and synth module, not a standard music keyboard? Interesting sounds, but unable to play standard tunes, just synth, perhaps hip-hop. Requires independent drum/rhythm module/drum machine.

  • +

    Portable, Responsive / Good Action, Touch Sensitive Keys

  • -

    Difficult to Use, Limited Sound Selection, Unrealistic sound

Amazon com eansearch kelkoo.33759268
4 December 2011
8.0/10

There is certainly something to be said about this synth, especially if you are into sound design/editing. Very affordable sound design tool with plenty of effects and modulation capabilities. In my opinion, in the right hands, this synth is straight-plague-type material as in SICK!

Product Description
UltraNova is the new generation of Novation's iconic Nova range of synthesizers. It packs the massive Nova sound into a compact body with a built-in vocoder. A new "Touch" performance system places deep control of the synth right at your fingertips - incredible new ways to play, create and perform are just a touch away. UltraNova is a single-part synth with features including wavetable synthesis, even more powerful filters, a software editor, and a revolutionary new touch-sense performance mode.Find your sound-instantlyUltraNova comes with 300 onboard sounds that you can select by type (bass, lead, pad, etc) and musical genre (hip hop, rock, house, etc), so performers and gigging musicians can get started straight away. If you need to find a bass sound for a hip-hop track quickly, select "bass" under "type", and "hip-hop" under "category," and you're ready to go! If you want to tweak the patch you can quickly change the character of the sound with 8 encoders. For more detailed control, there's a large encoder. It also comes with a software patch librarian, which allows you to search for and sort patches by type and genre. Along with the 300 sounds that come with UltraNova, there's space for another 200 of your own patches onboard the hardware. The Software EditorUltraNova has a powerful software editor that enables visual editing of all parameters. It can be used within DAWs as a plug-in editor.The synth engineWith 300 onboard patches you can play and perform with UltraNova right out of the box. But it also has a powerful synth engine derived from a classic big-synth: the Supernova II. UltraNova also has a 12-band vocoder and ships with a dynamic gooseneck microphone. UltraNova is easy to program, since each part of the synth is accessed by a button that brings up all the parameters. Creating huge new sounds is what UltraNova does best: along with 14 conventional waveforms and 36 wavetables, you have a total of 5 effects slots for each sound! UltraNova's density and density-detune function enables you to fatten-up your patches, and the modulation capacity is enormous. The software editor enables detailed visual editing of UltraNova on your Mac or PC.VocoderUltraNova has a 12-band vocoder and ships with a dynamic gooseneck microphone. In addition to putting your voice through the vocoder (via the microphone) you can also process other sounds by putting instruments - or pretty much anything into UltraNova's stereo line inputs on the back panel.Animate - Touch-sense performanceShaping and exploring sounds with encoders and buttons is a massive part of being creative with synths. UltraNova has evolved the idea of hands-on sound shaping, allowing you to get deeper and more creative physical control of the synth engine. By pressing Touch in the Animate section, you engage a mode that triggers envelopes and sound-shaping destinations by simply touching any of the touch-sensitive encoders. These destinations could be oscillator pitch, sync, hardness, filter distortion, cutoff, resonance, effects parameters, send levels - to name but a few. (By pressing Tweak you can switch back to conventional rotary control and assign 8 of your most frequently used parameters to the encoders for instant access).This allows you to access parameters that may otherwise buried deep in the synth's architecture, creating totally new performance options. You can assign these however wish to any of UltraNova's 8 touch sensitive encoders, and you can touch more than one at a time.USB-Audio InterfaceUltraNova has a built in USB-Audio interface which enables you to get sound in and out of your computer in the studio or on the move. There are 2 inputs and 4 separate outputs, which can be routed however you wish. For example you can route audio to an external FX processor, a second pair of monitors or a hard disk recorder. It can also come in useful on stage if for example you need to route backing tracks from your laptop to the main mix separately from the synth, or send a click to the drummer.UltraNova also has a SPDIF output so you can get digital recordings of UltraNova straight into your DAW. The back panel also contains MIDI in/out/thru ports to connect external MIDI equipment.You can get control of your plug-in instruments and effects with Novation's Automap software. This converts UltraNova's 8 rotary encoders into software controllers, a large "Speed Dial' encoder gives you instant control over any software parameter that your mouse/cursor is over.The Patch LibrarianUltraNova also ships with a patch librarian that can be hosted on Mac or PC. This enables the user to save an unlimited number patches to the host computer and organize them into folders. Each of the 300 patches that ship with UltraNova have been tagged to make it easy to search by category and genre from the hardware synth or the software patch librarian.
  • Synth engine:
    Up to 18-note polyphony (dynamic voicing)
    Mono-Timbral

    Per patch:
    3 oscillators
    Noise generator
    2 ring modulators

    Waveforms include:
    ¢ Square, sine, tri, sawtooth, pulse, 9x saw/pulse combinations
    20 digital waveforms
    36 wavetables

    Filter types:
    2 filters per patch
    low-pass no resonance 6dB per octave
    low-pass 12dB
    low-pass 18dB
    low-pass 24dB
    bandpass 6:6
    bandpass 6:12
    bandpass 12:6
    bandpass 6:18
    bandpass 18:6
    bandpass 12:12
    high-pass, no resonance 6dB per octave
    high-pass 12dB
    high-pass 18dB
    high-pass 24dB

    Sources:
    20 modulation slots per patch
    6 envelope generators
    3 LFOs.
    Aftertouch
    Velocity
    Key scaling/track
    Mod wheel
    Expression pedal

    Total of 66 Destinations including:
    Oscillator pitch, pulse width, wavetable index, level and sync
    Filter cutoff, resonance, envelope settings
    Effects parameters and send levels
    Recursive modulation (modulating modulation sources themselves)

    5 Effects slots per patch
    Distortion - up to 2 instances
    Compressor - up to 2 instances
    Chorus/Phase - up to 4 instances
    Delay - up to 2 instances
    Reverb - up to 2 instances
    Gate
    EQ
    12 band vocoder
    Arpeggiator: 33 patterns
    Chord function: lock up to 10 notes
    Patch storage up to 512 on hardware (ships with 300 factory patches)

    Hardware:
    44-character LCD
    detented touch sensitive encoders
    1 large, smooth encoder (with back-lit filter lock buttons)
    1 large patch select/speed dial encoder
    2 volume & monitor mix dials
    39 LED lit/indicated buttons
    Pitch wheel (LED lit)
    Modulation wheel (LED lit)
    37-note keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
    XLR dynamic mic input
    2 - 1/4" jack inputs
    2 - 1/4" jack outputs
    2 - 1/4" jack aux outputs
    1 - 1/4" jack headphone output
    SPDIF digital output on RCA connector
    Expression pedal on 1/4"jack input
    Sustain pedal on 1/4" jack input
    MIDI in/out/thru
    12-volt power input
    USB port (UltraNova can be powered via USB)
    Kensington Lock port
  • Nova-series synth engine based on Supernova II:
  • Single part with up to 18 voices, 14 filter types, 36 wavetables, 5 effect slots
  • Patch Browse enables you to browse 300 sounds by type and genre
  • Touch-sense controls enable totally new sound-shaping and performance:
  • Trigger envelopes/LFOs/filters/FX by just touching the encoders
  • Large rotary control instantly allows you fine control of any parameter
  • Totally gig-able with 37 full sized keys, a vocoder, and loads of controls:
  • Voice-optimized 12-band vocoder with gooseneck mic
  • High-quality key bed with aftertouch for expressive playing styles
  • Software plug-in editor and Patch Librarian for full visual editing:
  • Plug-in editor allows you to view and edit in with software
  • Software Patch Librarian a organize, store and share unlimited patches
  • Built-in 2 in 4 out USB audio interface and it can be bus powered:
  • UltraNova can be used to stream audio to and from a host computer
  • Stereo main (analog and SPDIF) and aux outputs, and MIDI in/out/thru ports
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