The Ultranova is a synth that had always been interesting to me because of the specs. A lot of the demos I had seen focused on certain types of sounds that I wasn’t into so I wanted to see if my results would be any different. After digging into the synth and mod matrix I think that this synth is very underrated. There is so much going on under the hood and so many mod routing options, filter options and effects options that people can sometimes end up trying to show off too many features in one patch and end up smothering the sound, but if you enjoy synth programming and take the time to dig into the synth you’ll realize it is one of the most capable and synths out there. Here is a demo I made from a set of 50 custom patches.
The Ultranova patches used in the demo are can be downloaded here https://sellfy.com/p/u886
In my opinion the Ultranova is one of the best deals out there in the second hand market in 2016 ($300-$350). The build quality is good. The keybed feels great and has aftertouch. The audio interface is surprisingly good for my purposes (recording line level synths). The physical layout of the knobs is really smart and allows for very fast editing. There is a good VST editor for the synth but in this case you can easily edit from the front panel. The knobs are touch sensitive and whatever knob you touch in editing mode becomes the parameter adjusted from the big knob (which is dedicated to the filter cutoff while not in editing mode) so you end up using the big knob to adjust everything while using the smaller indented encoders to select the parameter. The modulation options are very deep, for example you can use a combination of two sources to modify each parameter. There are so many wavetables and digital wave oscillators to choose from and chromatic LFOs that can modify pitch in interesting ways as well as the multitude of arps that when you take it all into account you need to set aside some serious time to get to know this synth. Novation also provides a librarian program which makes transferring presets between your computer and the synth fast and easy.
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