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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46 Visitor comments
April 10, 2013 @ 12:13 pm
(contd) The Modulation section is brilliant. Look at a pic on google to see how it works: sources on the left, destinations on the right. Two sections, one for osc parametes, one for filter parameters. It's really, really fast. Great distortion fx. The fx knob functions brilliantly for the vocoder. All the way anti-clockwise gives the dry (carrier only sound). Turn up the knob and the vocoded sound (modulator->carrier) fades in. At 12 oclock its just the vocoded sound. Keep turning it up and the vocoded sound fades and the dry modulator sound fades in. The Nova is incredibly usable.
April 10, 2013 @ 12:07 pm
(contd)If your're not using those key parameters, then there is no reason to use the Nova. Anyone complaining about 'weak' or 'thin' sounds from the Nova don't know how to program it. Use a generic box of knobs hooked up via midi to control 'formant width' and 'sync skew' so you don't have to do so through the menu system. Combine these with sync 'amount' settings for each oscillator. I've had the Nova for years as my main synth and I still haven't explored all the possible waveshapes available in the oscillator section. Radically different basic timbres are available just from the osc's.
April 10, 2013 @ 12:01 pm
Here is what you get per Oscillator (there are 3 of them): wave, width (for PWM or phase offset of the dual saw), pitch, level (volume), sync 'level' (tricky to explain), soften (like a lowpass filter for each oscillator), formant width, sync skew, sync key follow. The last three are especially important. Formant width controls intra-sync cycle amplitude modulation, while sync skew does intra-sync cycle frequency frequency modulation. Assuming no sync, for each cycle of the waveform, the amplitude of wave decreases through the cycle or 'speeds up' through the cycle. Totally unique.
March 6, 2013 @ 6:17 pm
Yea im pretty sure that Modular1's Nova is broken or he doesn't understand synthesis very well, as i've owned many analog and digital synths in the past 20 years and the nova stands out as strong as most synths costing hundreds more, And the bass that you get out of this thing is immense not to mention the amount of control you get in real time. From lush evolving pads to Gritty Grimmy leads, broken machine and blips to bass that will wake the dead!A true programmers synth , an excellent learning tool for subtractive synthesis as well! A must own and a never sell! Very deep and Rewarding!!!
September 3, 2012 @ 4:40 pm
Maybe you left it sitting next to an open window and the damp got to it. I've never had any trouble with mine and it sounds as heavy as my Virus C, Micro Q, Microwave XT, and AN1x. It is the same engine as the Supernova, no trimming there, just less control convenience.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.95 (774 Votes)

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  • The link above will take you to an eBay 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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