Synth Site: Novation: Nova: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.7 out of 5
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Thomas Emil Hansen a part-time user from Denmark writes:
I've had this machine for 4 months, and I just love it! It's so utterly well-designed, and the quality of sound, interface, buttons are tremedous! Often I start making music just to squeak those knops and listen to those fantastic filters ... Ok, it's a dream machine, no doubt, but not a stand-alone. The sound is very pure, almost clinical. Even the distortion doesn't make the sound dirty and noisy for real. I also got a Roland Jupiter 4, and when it comes to not-so-well-defined trip-hop dirty analogue retro this one is still the master (compared to the Nova at least).

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Dec-12-1999 at 11:27
J.R. a professional user from USA writes:
Just got my Nova two days ago. I've been buying keyboards and audio/recording equipment for a little over 30 years, and this device easily ranks as the best price/performance. It has the same synth engine as its big brother, the Supernova. Patches from Supernova can be loaded into the Nova and sound indentical. The main difference is polyphony (12) and physical form (table top, although it can be rack mounted... but it's so nifty as it is, and handy, I'd never stick it in a rack) and the fact that it has audio inputs so you can use its effects, including vocoder, on external sounds.

I now have several devices that utilize "modeling" to some degree (also called physical modeling, especially when it models a horn or drum or guitar with certain physical attributes, etc.), and this technology has really opened up new wonders. In the case of the Nova, what is being modeled is analog synthesis. But, whereas an analog synth is going to have either 12 or 24db filters, the Nova has a choice of three types. And while some synths have 1, 2 or three oscillators, the Nova (having three plus noise) can have either 1, 2 or 3, depending on how it's set up. Nova has six outputs and in six part multi-timbral. Each part can use any of the considerable and good quality effects on-board.

Just from going through the presets, I've heard definite Super Jupiters, Oberheims, Arps, Korgs & Moogs. The real fun will be diving in to create sounds. I always loved the Yamaha CS-80 ("Dream Machine"), and I think that if I know the specifications of a CS-80, the Nova will be able to sound like one. Already, from the presets, it's gotten very close to the general neighborhood.

Another thing, there are a few buttons that are waiting for future updates of the operating system. And if you're on the Internet, all you have to do is download the updates when available, and the Nova will have new features and enhancements... FREE. With the Supernova, when it came out, there were two models. One had 16 note polyphony and the other had 32 not polyphony. But when Novation came out with an upgrade, all the sudden, people who had the 16 note version now had 20, and those with the 32 noted version now had 44! So, it seems conceivable to me, that among other things, when the Nova get updated, possibly it will have more polyphony.

About the polyphony: I weighed all three models carefully. If I were using it live, and perhaps with the idea of coming up with dance music on the fly (they definitely make that possible... just using their considerable arpegiators), I might have gone for a 20 or 44 note Supernova. But as I'm in a multi-track studio situation anyway, and used to overdubbing as a music making method, I can have as many Nova sounds at once as I want in the finished product. Therefore, and considering that I greatly improve it's extremely handy table top or keyboard top design, the Nova was the best bet for me. On top of that, I like having the vocoder!

I am super happy with my choice, but I know that this technology exists elsewhere, too. And the Virus, Roland 8000/8080, and more, all bring analog sounds to their outputs. They all share some features and they all have some of their own. I do know that after spending as much time as I could discovering it for the last couple of days, I feel as if I've been to some great garage sale where some millionaire's selling off his kid's closet full of all the great vintage synths of the late 70s/early 80s! The warmth, the grit, the way the sound moves over time... even when on a straight tone... as if you can hear the electricity swirling through analog circuits and heating up the audio outs with that sound that I now know for sure why I've missed it so much.

As long as you know what analog is and what it isn't, I can't imagine the Nova not ringing your bell. One more thing. It may be a nifty little size, but it has a SOLID feel. The buttons and the knobs feel great, and when you twirl or push any of them while recoring to MIDI, they are remembered. Furthermore, adjust frequency and resonance while your note is happening, and you'll get truly smooth analog changes. I've got an old Prophet 600, which was a hybrid of actual analog & digital, with digital control. When you turn some of the Prophet 600's knobs on the fly, you hear that step ladder effect. I've not heard a single digital "artifact" from the Nova.

LOVE IT!! :o)

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Nov-14-1999 at 08:54
TheLord a professional user from USA writes:
Great box. I got Yamaha AN1x too and when u turn unison mode on u have damn huge great sound. Nova costs much much more than AN1x. Anyway virtual analog is always VA and those both machines don't beat my Waldorf Pulse. Nova has great effect section and u can make really insane sounds with it!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Nov-01-1999 at 11:00
a professional user from Norway writes:
Oh yes. it's like having sex, or maybe even better.

BUT, I would never sell my AN1X and definitly not my JX8P. They just work like a perfect relationship together.

What I like most about the Nova is the possibility to emulate lost hereos, like Jupiters and Junos and Oberheims and even the Elka Synthex and it doesn't hang or screw up like they used to do when receiving sys-ex or controllers. The amazing thing is how it blends into the mix, like it's supposed to be there. Aaah, this is a love story, and it ends like an american movie... the hero always wins...

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Nov-01-1999 at 09:03
Zyria a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I have been enlightened.

The first VAnalog synth I played with was a JP8k. And it promptly blew me away. After I figured out what I was doing, and bought an AN1x for myself, I realized that the JP8k actually kinda stank.. Since all I had to compare was my AN1x vs. the JP vs. the Nord Lead 2 they had at the local Sam Ash, I was pretty convinced I had a truly ass-kicking VAnalog machine. After spending a couple hours with the Nova, though, it pains me to listen to my AN1x again.

This thing is simply out of this world. It's gritty, phat, thick, tight, dirty, nasty, grungy, harsh, biting, warm, dark, cold, lush, and whatever adjective you can think of. I can't possibly imagine why *anyone* would opt for a POS JP8080 over this jewel...I can't wait to pick one up.

Too bad the scale only goes to 5.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-11-1999 at 23:34
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