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Sonic LAB Review: Novation Mininova
  30-Oct-12
11 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Thomas    Said...

Nice review, thanks! You need to check the last 10 seconds though, the sound is screwed up. I have an Ultranova - can I get the new patches from the Mini?

30-Oct-12 11:35 AM


Derek    Said...

Novation say yes: http://www.novationmusic.com/answerbase/en/article.php?id=749

:-)

30-Oct-12 11:46 AM


Ted    Said...

An accurate review, IMO.

I just picked on up last week. A few quirky crashes will probably be resolved by the in-progress OS update. But the sound of this thing is worth your attention. Very flexible. Filter has a "Q Normalization" parameter that makes the resonance go from juicy (yet polite) to loud, wet Moog-sine self oscillation.

The 8 animate buttons are this synth's secret weapon and if this system clicks for you, you won't want to perform on much else. Think about it: 8 momentary, latchable backlit buttons that connect your choice of the generous modulation sources to various destinations, including recursive modualtions (modulating other modulation sources - very modular!). This is not a toy! Sounds expensive, feels nice, looks handsome, is super affordable, and kills the Microkorg without mercy. Thick, glossy subtractive synthisis and a very nice vocoder for the bandcount. Reverb is pretty much studio quality, rare in microsynths of this class. (Vocaltune effecs are fun as well.) Probably you need one.

30-Oct-12 12:44 PM


selercs    Said...

Just like the AKAI Miniak, this looks like a Korg imitation...but it sounds pretty good and I am digging the blue color.

30-Oct-12 12:49 PM


Stoltz    Said...

I expect to hear that vocoder-pitch effect on every RnB & hiphop club tune for the next 6 months...

30-Oct-12 01:22 PM


selercs    Said...

I agree it has some neat vocoder effects.

However, I don't understand why Novation still insists on Multi-timbrality. What about becoming like the 48-voice 8-multitimbral hardwares of the past (like Supernova II Pro X)??

31-Oct-12 09:25 AM


selercs    Said...

Sorry I meant mono-timbrality.

31-Oct-12 09:26 AM


Ted    Said...

selercs - multitimbres would have been fine with me, and I'm also fine without. It's true the old Novas have the Mini beat on voice count - but the Mini synth engine is a higher-resolution, more processor-intensive system.

Multi would rob from the Mini's available voices, and not everyone requires multitibrality in thier workflow, even for live use. And in a limited control interface that shares knobs and buttons a little too much already for 1 voice, how would multi even work?

A simple bi-timbral option(for a single keyboard bass/lead split)is kind of silly on a tiny 3 octave keyboard. I think not including massive polyphony and the multivoice option was one of the ways to reduce complexity and cost. I'd say MiniNova is all about form factor, sound, and price point - not about beating ROMpler-levels of polyphony. I'd rather see a more knobbed/buttoned, smaller keyless desktop-only module as a way to increase control and to double the power (and as an even less expensive single voice option.)

31-Oct-12 03:47 PM


Oranj    Said...

Hi, thanks, I was waiting for your review. Any chance of a follow-up with a tour through the sounds like you did for the Slim Phatty, Venom etc..?

01-Nov-12 05:45 AM


3000    Said...

One thing I havn't seen mentioned - depsite the big dedicated cutoff knob, sweeps with resonance reveal audible discrete steps. I thought the Alesis Ion solved this back in 2004. It's not the engine since an LFO is smooth. It's the encoder's low bit depth.

01-Nov-12 01:18 PM


TurntTable    Said...

Maybe I need to RTFM but I think the animate buttons need a global envelope control.

08-May-14 11:09 PM


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