Novation UltraNova Synthesizer
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Novation has done a lot for the keyboard world. Their Nova and SuperNova synths are cult classics, and the innovative Automap technology made great strides toward simplifying MIDI setups. Now you can have both the power of an analog-modeled synth and Automap in one unit, known simply as UltraNova. Boasting wavetable synthesis, 14 filter types, six envelopes, a trio of LFOs, effects, and a whole lot more, UltraNova is a very powerful sound-creation tool.
Of course, with this level of power and control onboard, you need a clean and clear means of control. Novation answers with dedicated buttons for each part of the synth which are linked to eight encoders. These encoders give the UltraNova a very analog-type vibe. Any synth worth its salt is inspiring to play, and UltraNova takes it to the next level with its "Touch" performance system, which allows you to trigger envelopes, filters, LFOs, and effects by simply touching the encoders. A vocoder and included mic give you even more options. But that's not all! UltraNova is also equipped with a 2-in/4-out USB audio interface (you can also draw bus power through the USB port!) that can stream audio to and from your computer.
Find your sound - instantly
UltraNova comes with 300 onboard sounds that you can select by type (bass, lead, pad, etc) and musical genre (hip hop, rock, house, etc), so performers and gigging musicians can get started straight away. So if you need to find a bass sound for a hip-hop track quickly, select 'bass' under type, and 'hip-hop' under category, and you're ready to go! If you want to tweak the patch you can quickly change the character of the sound with 8 encoders and for more detailed control use the large, smooth encoder. It also comes with a software patch librarian which allows you to search for and sort patches by type and genre. As well as the 300 sounds that come with UltraNova, there is space for another 200 of your own patches onboard the hardware. The software patch librarian extends this to an almost infinite amount of space for your own sounds.
The synth engine
With 300 onboard patches you can play and perform with UltraNova straight away. But it also has a powerful synth engine derived from a classic big-synth: the Supernova II. UltraNova also has a 12 band vocoder and ships with a dynamic gooseneck microphone. UltraNova is easy to program as each part of the synth is accessed by a button which brings up all the parameters. Creating huge new sounds is what UltraNova does best: as well 14 conventional waveforms and 36 wavetables, you have a total of 5 effects slots for each sound! UltraNova's density & density-detune function enables you to fatten-up your patches, and the modulation capacity is enormous. The software editor enables detailed visual editing of UltraNova on your Mac or PC.
Animate – Touch-sense performance
Shaping and exploring sounds with encoders and buttons is a massive part of being creative with synths. UltraNova has evolved the idea of hands-on sound-shaping, allowing you to get deeper and more creative physical control of the synth engine. By pressing ‘Touch’ in the Animate section, you engage a mode that triggers envelopes and sound-shaping destinations by simply touching any of the touch-sensitive encoders. These destinations could be oscillator pitch, sync, hardness, filter distortion, cutoff, resonance, effects parameters, send levels – to name but a few. (By pressing 'Tweak' you can switch back to conventional rotary control and assign 8 of your most frequently used parameters to the encoders for instant access). This allows you to ‘touch’ into parameters that may otherwise buried deep in the synth’s architecture, creating totally new performance options. You can assign these however wish to any of UltraNova’s 8 touch sensitive encoders, and you can touch more than one at a time.
UltraNova has a built in USB-Audio interface which enables you to get sound in and out of your computer in the studio or on the move. There are 2 inputs and 4 separate outputs which can be routed however you wish. For example you can route audio to an external FX processor, a second pair of monitors or a hard disk recorder. It can also come in useful on stage if for example you need to route backing tracks from your laptop to the main mix separately from the synth, or send a click to the drummer. UltraNova also has a SPDIF output so you can get digital recordings of UltraNova straight into your DAW. The back panel also contains MIDI in/out/thru ports to connect external MIDI equipment. You can get control of your plug-in instruments and effects with Novation's Automap software. This converts UltraNova's 8 rotary encoders into software controllers, a large "Speed Dial' encoder gives you instant control over any software parameter that your mouse/cursor is over.
The Patch Librarian
UltraNova also ships with a patch librarian that can be hosted on Mac or PC. This enables the user to save an unlimited number patches to the host computer and organise them into folders. Each of the 300 patches that ship with UltraNova have been tagged to make it easy to search by category and genre from the hardware synth or the software patch librarian.
UltraNova has a 12 band vocoder and ships with a dynamic gooseneck microphone. In addition to putting your voice through the vocoder (via the microphone) you can also process other sounds by putting instruments - or pretty much anything - into UltraNova's stereo line inputs on the back panel.