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Blofeld vs Ultranova..
Old 28th March 2012
  #1
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sentokan's Avatar
 

Blofeld vs Ultranova..

Hi guys! I don't care about the editor, soundcard, multi parts and so on... All I care is about the sound and eventually about keyboard keys quality.

So, if we only think about the sound generation, which one is it better, really worth it, more professional?

Thanks a lot!

( I must mention that I own a Virus TI and a Xiosynth that I generally like even though the hardware part is kind of crap.
What I like about the Xio is its immediacy, I mean u can get good sounds with 2,3 tweaks... this can't really be done in the TI )
Old 28th March 2012
  #2
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I can say the blofeld is very good for pads and atmosphere sounds.
Old 28th March 2012
  #3
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They're both based on solid synthesizer engines (Supernova and Q). It's probably quicker and easier to get nice sounds out of the Ultranova. I own a Blofeld and an X-Station and used to own a Novation Nova. The Blofeld requires a bit of work to sound good, but the flexibility is really great once you get your head around it.
Old 28th March 2012
  #4
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Hazmatic's Avatar
I'd go for the Ultranova. It will play nicely with your Virus. It sounds great, has a nice arpeggiator, and has some very good sounding effects. It's like a sonic jack of all trades. The Blofeld sounds good but is riddled with lots of bugs, glitches, etc. Ask any Blofeld owner. And as far as the keyboard quality of the keys on the Ultranova, they are probably one of the best set of keys I've ever played, complete with aftertouch.
Old 28th March 2012
  #5
Registered User
 

I've got both Ultranova and Blofeld Keyboard.

The Blofeld bugs have been fixed with the latest beta OS.. I don't use multi mode though so I can't comment on that.

They both sound great and have similar editing structures in the menu to knobs ratio. I think the Ultranova is a little bit more user friendly though.
The vocoder on the Ultranova sounds great with the latest OS. The Blofeld can do some awesome stuff with wave scanning FM which the Ultranova can't do. The Ultranova can "super saw" ie. clone and detune all of its waveforms without any loss of polyphony which the Blofeld can't do. The Blofeld effects are pretty horrible. The Ultranova effects are pretty good.

Build quality - Ultranova is very plastic but nice plastic. The Blofeld is metal. You'll hear reports of bad encoders on the Blofeld but mine are fine and their sensitivity has been improved in the latest OS.

If I had to choose one over the other I probably couldn't and I'm glad I've got both.
Old 28th March 2012
  #6
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Rompetigo's Avatar
 

I sold my Blofeld for an Ultranova and haven't looked back. If you can get past the lack of multitimbrality the Ultranova is better and more versatile in pretty much every way save for FM, but it does have some sampled FM waveforms which are fairly versatile. The two free Daniel Fisher soundpacks are amazing as well, the first being loaded with lots of great playable keyboard and organ sounds that you'd swear had to be true FM.
Old 28th March 2012
  #7
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Not sure how Rompetigo defines versatility, but I would factor in the user wavetable feature of the Blofeld, as well as the sample player option, as allowing expansion to internal synthesis soundset.
Old 28th March 2012
  #8
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Thanks all of you guys for the opinions. Keep it coming!

Thing is I owned a Supernova and didn't really like. Though, I own a Xiosynth and I kind of like.. despite the really bad build quality.

I thought the Blofeld keys are better and that would be a plus for me, but if the Ultranova keys are good and the sounds are better I would get that instead.

Thing is that from the demos on youtube I really am not impressed by the Ultranova sound....


SO: to summarize:
I had a Blofeld desktop that I sold thinking it overlaps with my Virus. I need more keys and some users swear by the Blofeld keybed. So thinking that it makes a good sound and a great keybed like the Polar, makes me think I want to buy it.

I had a Supernova and I felt it overlaps my Virus and in a weaker way so I sold it , not loving the sound. Though I liked the Xiosynth sound which made me think that an Ultranova would be better for sound. I had a MKll keyboard and I sold because I didn't like the keys, so would the keys on the Ultranova be better? Some users say thet MKll is better. Also the sound demos on youtube didn't impress me.

SO: What sould I get???
Old 28th March 2012 | Show parent
  #9
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Rompetigo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by subhertz View Post
Not sure how Rompetigo defines versatility, but I would factor in the user wavetable feature of the Blofeld, as well as the sample player option, as allowing expansion to internal synthesis soundset.
This is true, I thought about mentioning uploading your own wavetables and the sample player, those are very nice features, but the Ultranova can do wavetables as well, albeit you're limited to the 36 programmed in already. The sample playback in the Blofeld is kind of primitive in my experience and I figured the OP had that area covered already.

I'd say the worst part of the Ultranova is the way it processes external signals. You can't have audio processed through the synth engine without holding a key down, and you can't have effects 100% wet on external sources making it useless as an effects processor. You also can't sum the two inputs to mono and unless you have your signal going in stereo the image is all messed up.
Old 28th March 2012 | Show parent
  #10
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Hazmatic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sentokan View Post
Thing is I owned a Supernova and didn't really like.
Oh no, the Ultranova is a different beast than the Supernova (which I personally liked).

Quote:
Thing is that from the demos on youtube I really am not impressed by the Ultranova sound....
Yeah, the vids don't do it much justice, but it's a very capable synth. It really shines with bass sounds and string/pad sounds IMO, yet can still cover some of that metallic/clanky sonic territory the Blofeld shines at.
Old 28th March 2012 | Show parent
  #11
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sentokan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazmatic View Post
Oh no, the Ultranova is a different beast than the Supernova (which I personally liked).



Yeah, the vids don't do it much justice, but it's a very capable synth. It really shines with bass sounds and string/pad sounds IMO, yet can still cover some of that metallic/clanky sonic territory the Blofeld shines at.
..u have some audio examples of all these?
Old 28th March 2012
  #12
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To the OP, you say you are worried about overlap between a Blofeld and the Virus that you have. I have a Virus TI2 and a Blofeld and I find that at some level they may overlap but the Blofeld really shines at doing pads and I just really like it for that. In my case I think they are complimentary but I cannot compare how well an Ultranova would fit in because I have never played with one.

The Virus has WAY better onboard FX. That is a real shortcoming of the Blofeld for sure. I use the desktop version of the Blofeld but I understand that the keyboard version has a very good keybed. I would recommend getting the keyboard version if possible because the desktop does not, by default, have the sample option and it also only has midi in unless you use USB which sucks to me.
Old 28th March 2012 | Show parent
  #13
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shponglefan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazmatic View Post
The Blofeld sounds good but is riddled with lots of bugs, glitches, etc. Ask any Blofeld owner.
I'm a Blofeld owner and I haven't had that many more glitches with it than with any other h/w synth. I do know the Blofeld has a rep. for being buggy, but that hasn't been my experience.
Old 28th March 2012 | Show parent
  #14
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Hazmatic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sentokan View Post
..u have some audio examples of all these?
So far, I've used the Ultranova on 2 songs, but you're more than welcome to hear it in action at my soundcloud page.

Phil Duran's sounds on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

On The Walking Dead song, the strings are from the Ultranova.

On Zing Zing, the wobble bass sound towards the beginning is the Ultranova.
Old 28th March 2012 | Show parent
  #15
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Hazmatic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by shponglefan View Post
I do know the Blofeld has a rep. for being buggy, but that hasn't been my experience.
Are you sure?

To quote you from another thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by shponglefan View Post
Had a Blo-key for a year now. It does glitch (freeze) on occation, but I haven't had any major issues with it.
Looking at a bunch of other Blofeld related threads, this seems to be a recurring theme with it along with other problems....
Old 28th March 2012 | Show parent
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazmatic View Post
Are you sure?

To quote you from another thread:



Looking at a bunch of other Blofeld related threads, this seems to be a recurring theme with it along with other problems....
I didn't say it was completely 100% glitch-free. Only that it hasn't caused me issues much more than any of my other synths. I've had glitches with almost every synth I've owned.
Old 28th March 2012
  #17
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I rarely encountered Blofeld bugs, and those that I did could be avoided.

When tried the latest beta I was initially disappointed as the encoders seemed a lot less responsive. A squirt of contact cleaner sorted that and it's working smoothly now.
Old 29th March 2012 | Show parent
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrokitten View Post
The vocoder on the Ultranova sounds great with the latest OS.
what OS are you using, and what mic?
does the OS update improve the fidelity and intelligibility of the vocoder, or just add features?

when i first got it i tried the vocoder briefly using the included mic. it was the worst vocoder i ever heard except for the ion/micron debacle. so i put the mic away and haven't bothered since.
Old 29th March 2012
  #19
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I've never tried the Ultranova but I looove my Blofeld!
Old 29th March 2012 | Show parent
  #20
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Rompetigo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaft9000 View Post
what OS are you using, and what mic?
does the OS update improve the fidelity and intelligibility of the vocoder, or just add features?

when i first got it i tried the vocoder briefly using the included mic. it was the worst vocoder i ever heard except for the ion/micron debacle. so i put the mic away and haven't bothered since.
The latest firmware puts a compressor before the microphone that makes it basically perfect.
Old 29th March 2012
  #21
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Cgbravo's Avatar
 

These bugs and glitches have been holding me back from purchasing the Blofeld! though I feel it will get along with me nicely !
Old 29th March 2012
  #22
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sentokan's Avatar
 

Still I cannot hear sounds from the Ultranova to make me say YES, it has great sound capabilities... I don't care of the specs if I cannot hear any sound that I cannot make much better with my TI... I mean I heard great sounds made with the Blofeld...

Come on guys, give me some light on this issue
Old 29th March 2012 | Show parent
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpsiegel View Post
To the OP, you say you are worried about overlap between a Blofeld and the Virus that you have. I have a Virus TI2 and a Blofeld and I find that at some level they may overlap but the Blofeld really shines at doing pads and I just really like it for that. In my case I think they are complimentary but I cannot compare how well an Ultranova would fit in because I have never played with one.
The OP also has a Xio, which would overlap with the Ultranova since they're based on the same synth engine. Blofeld and Virus overlap slightly as well. I got the Blofeld first and later a Virus. My initial reaction to the Virus sound was "Blofeld with better effects". Of course, as you explore the synths you discover differences, but funadementally, they're quite similar.

Came to think about it, if you already have two DSP-based virtual analogs (Virus+Xio), maybe it's time for an analog synth? Tetra, Slim Phatty, MFB, Minitaur, Minibrute etc.... There would be much less overlap.
Old 29th March 2012
  #24
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Tetra and Blofeld make an awesome combo, so much power in such a small space...
Old 29th March 2012 | Show parent
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaft9000 View Post
what OS are you using, and what mic?
does the OS update improve the fidelity and intelligibility of the vocoder, or just add features?

when i first got it i tried the vocoder briefly using the included mic. it was the worst vocoder i ever heard except for the ion/micron debacle. so i put the mic away and haven't bothered since.
I'm using the latest beta OS 1.1.6 and the included mic with a foam pop shield thingie.

Like you I tried the vocoder when I first got it and thought it was awful, put the mic away and thought I wouldn't use it again until I saw the vocoder had been improved with the OS update. When I tested it again I was really impressed.

As Rompetigo said it now has a compressor before the vocoder and sounds great - it's my favourite vocoder now.
Old 29th March 2012 | Show parent
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmiG View Post
The OP also has a Xio, which would overlap with the Ultranova since they're based on the same synth engine. Blofeld and Virus overlap slightly as well. I got the Blofeld first and later a Virus. My initial reaction to the Virus sound was "Blofeld with better effects". Of course, as you explore the synths you discover differences, but funadementally, they're quite similar.

Came to think about it, if you already have two DSP-based virtual analogs (Virus+Xio), maybe it's time for an analog synth? Tetra, Slim Phatty, MFB, Minitaur, Minibrute etc.... There would be much less overlap.
Actually I got an Evolver and a Tetra

Thing is: I need one more keyboard...so, I hate all the keybeds on the midi controllers I tried, so I thought Ultranova or BLofeld...
I lately like the Xio, so I thought I should upgrade to Ultranova.
Thing is none of the demos convinced me..
Also I heard the Blofeld keyboard has great feel, so I thought I should get the greater keyboard, but because they both aren't too cheap, I should get the better sound engine... so, still don't know..

(I am into great sounding gear, I mean to me the Evolver sounds even a bit better than Tetra, also the Virus, digital as it is...it has a high definition sound. On the other hand Xio it tends not to have that great quality, but it gets good only with a few tweaks and sometimes fits better in the mix than the Virus sound...for some reason...)

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to describe as close as possible the why and what
Old 29th March 2012
  #27
Registered User
 

Tough decision mate, they both have their pros and cons. They both cover a lot of the same ground but can both do things that the other can't.

As you've got a Virus Ti you've got your all round VA covered. So I'd be looking at the areas that the Ultranova / Blofeld excel at and which would add more to your existing setup.

If I could only have one synth and it was a choice between the Ultranova or the Blofeld I'd probably go with the Ultranova as the best all rounder.

However if the keyboard is a high priority then I'd go for the Blofeld as it has more keys.. decisions, decisions ;-)
Old 29th March 2012 | Show parent
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrokitten View Post
Tough decision mate, they both have their pros and cons. They both cover a lot of the same ground but can both do things that the other can't.

As you've got a Virus Ti you've got your all round VA covered. So I'd be looking at the areas that the Ultranova / Blofeld excel at and which would add more to your existing setup.

If I could only have one synth and it was a choice between the Ultranova or the Blofeld I'd probably go with the Ultranova as the best all rounder.

However if the keyboard is a high priority then I'd go for the Blofeld as it has more keys.. decisions, decisions ;-)
Why none of the Ultranova demos convince me?... it sounds somehow cheap/bland/limited... for lack of better words. ....I mean compared to the Blofeld which kind of sounds more defined/higher class/open... again for lack of better words
Old 29th March 2012
  #29
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I don't know, I program all my sounds from scratch and don't use any of the presets.
Old 29th March 2012
  #30
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Must be someone around here owning a Blofeld, Ultranova and TI..
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