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Ultranova - no love ?
Old 18th September 2020
  #1
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Ksp's Avatar
 

Ultranova - no love ?

The last Novation i used was the Ks rack which i personally liked but it went a while back and i miss some of that novation sound but also the deeper modulation side the ks rack had with off lfos .

I am wondering what the Ultranova is like as the engine looks deep for someone making interesting sounds but sonically is it bland ?

The interface looks like its a step back a bit from the Ks range but sonically it looks like it can probably do some really interesting stuff using those melodic lfo's and the wavestables so i wonder why its not shown much love.

My guess is the interface but how does it sound ?
Old 18th September 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
my problem with the Ultranova is its interface and it isnt multitimbral.

the display is a sod to read and there are no hi vis replacements.
the rubber buttons are awful and would be better with plastic ones.
wall wart power supply - there is room inside for a power supply - see below
the pitchbend and mod wheels are bloody awful, they are lit but that can be turned off, might be able to replace them with mininova wheels.

that said here are its good points.
its a 2 x 72 display with 8 encoders directly above it and they are relative to whats on the screen.

the buttons are well laid out, hit a button to go to the next page, osc 1 2 then 3 but you aint got to remember where they are in a menu unlike the Mininova.

the editor is easy to use.
sounds fine to me.

i like mine and wont be selling it



if you look on the right where the name is, see the border around the main panel? that space where the name is is empty inside, if you can fit a power supply in a wall wart then you can fit a power supply in that space.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Guru
 
EvilDragon's Avatar
Personally I thought it sounded quite nice. Especially some pretty stellar patches coaxed out of it by Dan Fisher...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Addict
 
ralphNYC's Avatar
For the price you can pay today for them I think they offer a huge bargain. Not sure if it was mentioned already, but the keybed is great - nicer than most affordable synths on the market today.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralphNYC View Post
For the price you can pay today for them I think they offer a huge bargain. Not sure if it was mentioned already, but the keybed is great - nicer than most affordable synths on the market today.
I had one specifically to use as a MIDI controller because of the keybed for the price. Too bad the knobs didn't really work well and the automap crap isn't really supported any more and stopped working. Basically, it was a keybed. And a good one at that. I had to sell it to replace it with the Keystep (depth on desk) to make space for an analog desktop module.

I never really got into programing it, but it COULD do some good sounding stuff, even by today's standards. Seemed to take a bit of work.

I think if you can get one for $200 - $250 or so in good shape it makes for an interesting alternative to a Behringer synth, for example.

The digital out was nice, too, to avoid using the usual inputs on the interface. Even the built in audio interface would offer a mobile musician (eg iPad) an interesting option.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Maniac
I like my Ultranova a lot.

I mainly use it as a software controller and I think great for that , its build quality is also excellent for its price range its keybed is even pretty good.

if using it as a synth its perfect if you are after an affordable "V/A" sounding synth. it has a LOT of good factory presets.

Just dont expect it to be an all round synth with extensive programablity cause its not nor can you expect it to be for the price.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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realtrance's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJKrishna View Post
I like my Ultranova a lot.

I mainly use it as a software controller and I think great for that , its build quality is also excellent for its price range its keybed is even pretty good.

if using it as a synth its perfect if you are after an affordable "V/A" sounding synth. it has a LOT of good factory presets.

Just dont expect it to be an all round synth with extensive programablity cause its not nor can you expect it to be for the price.
Actually, I would disagree. The UN was one of the first new synths I bought in many years when it came out. Light, beautifully made, fantastic sound and great integration with software. And it's really almost as deep as the Summit.

The touch controllers are a great idea, the only thing I don't like about them is, you can't lock them (fixed with the two Animate options on the Summit). You can basically design a bunch of sound patches into one patch, and use the touch controllers to instantly switch between them, as long as you're playing lead or bass with one hand.

Despite the small LCD, the access to all the features and the assignation to knobs of all the ones most commonly used real-time while playing is quite simple and intuitive.

And with three LFOs, multiple envelopes, plenty of modulation. Plus wavetables, plus great filters, plus a sophisticated fx routing system with great fx.

It's basically a Supernova II+, and sounds similar, with compatibility with SN patches (banks were made by the OG patch designer for the SN).

Can't say enough good about it. Mine's still going strong, bought it at release.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

My Ultranova was my first synth purchase, back when I thought I'd be doing much more key-work; this was before I learned of sequencers and grove boxes. At the time, all I knew was that I wanted comfortable 'real' keys; this logic swayed me towards the UN over the Roland System-1, which is funny as my next synth/electronic purchases were the Roland TR-8, TB-3, and MX-1 - and an MC-707 later, all of which would have gelled nicely with the System-1.
I don't play it too often, but it's always enjoyable - and comfortable - when I do.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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7Wave's Avatar
I always liked the UltraNova, and still think it's one of the better digital synths available for under $400 used. The fact that it also has a built in USB audio interface is a bonus. As others have pointed out, the display isn't the easiest to read and the rubber buttons and mod/pitch bend wheels get a little tacky after a few years. But it's a fun synth for sound design and live performance, especially with the knobs over the display that are also touch sensitive. You can do some interesting things with it while playing it live or sequencing it. The vocoder is also very good. Compared to other digital synths that sell in this price range (microkorg, etc.) the UltraNova has a much more advanced synth engine than the others in its price range.

I wish Novation had made a mult-timbral synth with more voices and 49 or 61 keys for a couple hundred dollars more. But at the time it came out, none of the companies producing digital synths were making flagship models. Back then it seemed like a race to the bottom, with a sub $600 market flooded with smaller digital synths geared toward the amateur bedroom studio.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by realtrance View Post
Actually, I would disagree. The UN was one of the first new synths I bought in many years when it came out. Light, beautifully made, fantastic sound and great integration with software. And it's really almost as deep as the Summit.

.....
Ok Ill rephrase it...
If you are anything like me, and are not buying it to do any deep programming with it, partially cause you cant be stuffed but mainly because the presets are already excellent , then its a fantastic little synth.....
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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realtrance's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJKrishna View Post
Ok Ill rephrase it...
If you are anything like me, and are not buying it to do any deep programming with it, partially cause you cant be stuffed but mainly because the presets are already excellent , then its a fantastic little synth.....
Yes I only disagree with the suggestion it's not deeply programmable, that's all.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Kamurah's Avatar
My two current hardware synths are an ASM Hydrasynth and a MiniNova (of course same engine as UltraNova).

In no way is the quality of sound coming from the MiniNova inferior to the Hydrasynth...and the integration of the librarian and control plugin within a computer based recording setup is phenomenal.

IMO the Ultra / Mini Novas represent some of the best values in digital synths.
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