Novation Nova

Novation Nova Image

Novation has basically re-packaged the SuperNova into a desktop performance module and dubbed it the Nova. It uses analog Sound Modeling (ASM) to create stunningly clean but analog-like sounds. "3 completely independent oscillators, a variable noise source and 2 ring modulators per voice. This combined with the Nova's 12 voice polyphony means that there are 36 Oscillators, 24 Ring Modulators and 12 Noise sources available at once. All these waveforms can be combined in the Mixer section allowing the creation of very fat and complex timbres." There's also over 130 modulation routings. There are two inputs for filtering external sounds, a 40 band vocoder and 42 simultaneous effects including Distortion, Comb Filter, Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Delay, Reverb, Panning, Tremolo and EQ.

As a performance module the Nova could not be anymore hands-on nor rhythmically programmable with 20 knobs and 90 switches! "The Arpeggiator is more like a Real Time Music Processor with 384 monophonic, polyphonic and user patterns available. Sounds can be layered in Performances allowing Arpeggiated and sustained sounds to be played at the same time." There are up to 6 arpeggiators! Of course everything about the Nova is MIDI controllable making the Nova an ideal super polyphonic synthesizer for professional musicians in the studio, on the road or in the bedroom!

Novation Nova Image

Pictured above is the Nova II. It features roughly 21 knobs, 4 sliders, 128 switches and comes in 49 or 61 note keyboards! Of course it features some major improvements including doubled 24 voice polyphony (expandable to 36 and 48) and simply offers you an affordable alternative to the Supernova keyboard without compromising anything in terms of performance controls, features and sounds!

Update: With the release of OS version 4.1, the base polyphony was raised to 16 voices, Novation added the DoubleSaw waveform (with phasing, detuning, and unison), nine new special filter types, adjustable unison, and a knob pass-through option.

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44 Visitor comments
September 26, 2010 @ 7:32 am
Thanks for the info Eraser... very helpful... !
September 10, 2010 @ 8:47 am
I often read that this unit sounds identical to the Novation Supernova, but with less polyhpony, etc. It's not true - I've had them side by side and the Nova sounds duller and the waveforms alias more.

That said, I loved my Nova dearly and the range of sounds which can be made is nothing short of astonishing.

Like the SN2, it suffers slightly with timing issues with a high MIDI load. If you can organize your multi setup in priority of most percussive first (drums = channel 1, bass = channel 2) then it's a lot less noticable.

Sold mine when I got my SN2, then tried to replace it with a KS rack (bad idea). This is a great sounding, cool looking and highly programmable synth.

NOTE TO POTENTIAL BUYERS: Look out for knackered data knobs (the ones next to the display). If you see one on Ebay, ask SPECIFICALLY if they are problematic as they do have a high failure rate. Novation will send new ones for free, but you will need some soldering experience to fit them.
February 14, 2010 @ 1:00 pm
I've only had it for a few days but already I'm already incredibly impressed by the Nova's versatility.
This is a very powerful beast of a synth. The interface has a very light learning curve and the results are amazing.
Highly recommended.
August 5, 2009 @ 4:23 pm
I've used a lot of VAs but the only ones that struck me as worth sticking with are the nord modulars and the little nova; now I use just reaktor for most things and the nova for some hardware fun with those creamy digital filters, pleasing rubbery sound with actually good sounding oscillatiors (unlike IMO nord, virus), comfortable UI and cheap price... I don't really use it for analogue emulation, but for all-round digital sounds, it is excellent.
Blue Dome
July 16, 2009 @ 5:33 am
I recently re-discovered mine after a few years of flirting with soft synths only and it blew me away. The sounds are richer than I've experienced on some soft synths and it has more character too. It can be quite Juno-like. Hours of fun latching up arpeggiators and letting the filters fly. Love it
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 12 voices (expandable to 24, 36 and 48)
  • Oscillators - 3 osc per voice (saw and variable pulse width) plus noise
  • LFO - 2 LFOs: saw, tri square sample/hold
  • Filter - Resonant Low-pass, Hi-pass, band-pass; 12, 18 and 24 dB/Oct slopes and overdrive
  • Envelopes - 1 ADSR for the amp, 2 DADSRs
  • Effects - Distortion, comb filtering, EQ, reverb, chorus, flange, phaser, delay, panning, 40-band vocoder
  • Keyboard - Keyboard model: 49 or 61 notes
  • Memory - 256 programs, 128 performances
  • Control - MIDI (6 parts)
  • Date Produced - 1999

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