Novation Ultranova is surprisingly cool

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Jabberwalky
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Novation Ultranova is surprisingly cool

Post by Jabberwalky » Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:54 pm

I just found one for a steal, and I'm really liking it. I was skeptical at first, but it's growing on my really quickly!

This isn't something I'd pull out for traditional, raw, analog tones, but it excels in pretty much every other area. I would describe it's sound as somewhere in between an Evolver, and Blofeld. It can be very digital and pure sounding, and bring you into realms that don't make much sense in theory, but sound really unique.

Step 1: Clear all the c**p presets
Step 2: Don't bother with almost all the youtube demos
Step 3: Program the s**t out of it!

I know there are some of you here that also really like it, and I wanted to open any discussion about your experiences with it, or any tips or tricks you use with it.

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Re: Novation Ultranova is surprisingly cool

Post by Broadwave » Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:04 pm

I love mine - It's an underrated little beastie and very easy to edit, once you get the hang of it. Amazing for the price, even if new - but a complete bargain if you can get one second hand.

I'm even considering saying goodbye to the V-Synth :shock:

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Re: Novation Ultranova is surprisingly cool

Post by garranimal » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:22 am

The Ultra is a Supernova II stuffed into a more compact case w/ added features like vocoder, rudimentary wavetables. Alas it's only mono-timbral but who cares. In my hands it was very much the trance machine.

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Re: Novation Ultranova is surprisingly cool

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:08 am

Yeah I've been saying it for years, the Ultranova rules! Great keybed, has aftertouch unlike a most synths in that price range, sounds good, lots of modulation options and the effects are quite usable. Only real issue is it's ugly imo.

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Re: Novation Ultranova is surprisingly cool

Post by garranimal » Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:13 am

Oh but those lights, so pretty. My only gripe is it needs another octave of keys.
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Re: Novation Ultranova is surprisingly cool

Post by meatballfulton » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:00 pm

Who's using the audio/MIDI interface feature?

I've got some downsizing on my mind and I've used the "one cable to the computer" thing successfully with other devices in the past.

Is it class compliant or are drivers required?
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Re: Novation Ultranova is surprisingly cool

Post by Jabberwalky » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:52 pm

Curious if anyone has noticed this bug. I'm on the newest OS (2.0)

When using the Env2 to filter, I'm getting odd behaviour.

Say I make a patch, filter closed, but Env2 amt up all the way. Now on the Env2, I make an ADSR with a low sustain but long release. When playing, the release seems to be cutting off prematurely. If you hold the key until the sustain phase, it will ignore your release setting, and sort of choke the sound like it's at 20 or so.

When routing Env3 to filter instead, through the matrix, the envelope behaves like it should, with the patch releasing properly.

I've brought up the issue with Novation, and they told me to contact support. Curious how this hasn't been noticed before!?

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Re: Novation Ultranova is surprisingly cool

Post by clubbedtodeath » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:57 pm

Interesting find! I've often wondered about the UltraNova. I've squeezed out as much as I can out of my Novation KS4 over the years, it'd be nice to try something new. Do you get any grounding issues with the USB?

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Re: Novation Ultranova is surprisingly cool

Post by griffin avid » Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:26 am

Lol. I went to a store with a mini-recorder and recorded a bunch of sounds out of it.
I can agree, it's a nice piece.
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Re: Novation Ultranova is surprisingly cool

Post by Rick N Boogie » Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:26 am

I don't own one, but my buddy has one in his studio. Can't think of a reason not to love it, nothing sounds quite like it, and it'll get as wacky as you can imagine. Very under-rated indeed.
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Re: Novation Ultranova is surprisingly cool

Post by Jabberwalky » Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:01 pm

Clubbed: I have a feeling this synth would be right up your alley. Especially if you like your Ks4. I did notice some hum when using it with USB and the PC. I tend to get hum from everything when using USB. I've mostly just used it to quickly rename patches with the librarian, and to clear out all the slots. Haven't tried the VST editor yet.

I can agree that it's not the most visually appealing synth, but the interface is tactile, and generally pretty solid. Notched encoders at the top (perfectly accelerated as well), responsive buttons, great keybed, and detailed lcd. I'm having no problem editing directly from the panel, and it reminds me of the ESQ1 in some ways.

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Re: Novation Ultranova is surprisingly cool

Post by Silverfish » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:11 am

So the Ultranova has been on my shortlist of synths I'll probably purchase when I come across a good deal. I've also considered replacing my USB MIDI controller with this.

Anyone using their Ultranova as a USB controller? How is it?

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Re: Novation Ultranova is surprisingly cool

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:32 am

Silverfish wrote:So the Ultranova has been on my shortlist of synths I'll probably purchase when I come across a good deal. I've also considered replacing my USB MIDI controller with this.

Anyone using their Ultranova as a USB controller? How is it?
I use mine as a midi controller with Live 9, works great! I don't use the automap stuff much cause I don't use softsynths really, but the keybed is really nice and the usb integration just works without a hitch.

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Re: Novation Ultranova is surprisingly cool

Post by Silverfish » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:37 am

Good to know! I'm not really a fan of the automap stuff, as I find Ableton's remote scripts work fine for my needs. I think I'll wait for the right moment and pick one of these up when the price is right.

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Re: Novation Ultranova is surprisingly cool

Post by AnalogKid » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:42 am

The Novation UltraNova and MiniNova have the same sound engine. Check out these Gary Numan sounds programmed for these synths. This will give you an idea as to how good the UltraNova/MiniNova can sound (good speakers or headphones are a must):


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