The UltraNova is a ‘Nova’ series analogue-modelling synthesizer with a powerful effects processor. It is a single-part synth, taking the Supernova II synth engine as a starting point and updating it. It now includes wavetable synthesis, more power...
"Trying out my new custom built mixing desk for the first time and finishing up some new tracks to preview exclusively at my upcoming shows for House of Blues & Atlantic City this week ???? MASSIVE S/O to @mir_at_foc_nov + @WeAreNovation fam for hooking me up with their brand new badboy Launchpad Pro which I'll be using exclusively on my upcoming shows + the Impulse61 which now joins my Ultranova!"more
The UltraNova is a ‘Nova’ series analogue-modelling synthesizer with a powerful effects processor. It is a single-part synth, taking the Supernova II synth engine as a starting point and updating it. It now includes wavetable synthesis, more powerful filters, a software editor and a new touch-sense performance mode.
While the specs an features of this synth seem pretty tempting the actual usability is a bit limited. There is a vst-plugin editor which refuses to work every second time I want to use it. It offers an audio interface and routes the synth directly to into that but it has no connection to the vst-plugin editor. So if you have (you probably do) another sound interface than you have to chose which one will you use. I use it as a stand alone synth and not even bother about the sound interface options. It can work as an automap midi controller... I tried it once and never used it again. All these extra features are almost good, but only almost. It could be a fantastic piece of gear but it is more like an average virtual analog synth. But I like it anyway. :)
The sound is great on the UltraNova. Many times when I can't find a plugin sound for the job, the UltraNova manages to fill the space I needed. The main and only problem I have, is getting audio and midi working correctly in Ableton. It does work, but its always a hassle. Something changes and I have to reset it up all again, or it breaks the connection inside the daw for some reason. Right now I'm having USB powering issues, so I have to use an adapter to get the keyboard working. Other then that I like it for its capabilities.
Many people rag on VA synths saying they sound to sterile or digital. This little beauty is far from that. Nice warm sound, tons of modulation capabilities. Great for pads, stabs, hits, and almost any ambient type sound you want to get.
I've been using this since my Bloodline EP and for a lot of live gigs. It's a wonderful synth. If you're wanting to ambient, dubstep, or some jazz. Then the Novation Ultranova can do it. I love it because of how easy it is to use and it's never ending sound bank. I never knew any artist that used this until after I bought it.
This thing sits on my desk as my secondary controller.. i say secondary because i call my Motif my main, but since the motif is under my desk and this one sits on top, this is my go-to controller when browsing sounds from my DAW. I love the internal synth and really dig the fact that it's bus powered. Therefore this is my buddy when i need to make music on the road.
To be honest the only reason this product isn't 5 stars is I've found it incredibly hard to integrate with any DAW I've wanted to use it for. I haven't had much trouble setting it up as a MIDI controller, but in terms of accessing the Ultranova's power and software into a DAW, it's been unattainable for me so far. I know there's a way to do it through an Ultranova Editor VST in your DAW, but the plugin is very hard to get working on it's own, much less with the Ultranova.
Besides all this, working with the standalone Ultranova has been incredible. It simply has everything and sounds great. In fact, every time I look for motivation and inspiration, my steps are to 1) take a break and listen to music, and 2) play around on the Ultraova. Incredible, interesting sounds are very attainable and in my early years I even found intrigue in simply turning parameters mindlessly. Make very powerful leads, pads, and especially basslines in minutes just by toying with it. A great synth.
It doesn't produce very professional-sounding tones. They sound kind of cheap and plasticky like a little kid's toy. I have found a few slightly better patches online. Love the controls but the tones aren't that great.