Novation MiniNova
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Novation MiniNova

MiniNova, Analog Modeling Synth from Novation in the Nova series.

Lennon Mercury 01/30/2014

Novation MiniNova : Lennon Mercury's user review

«  A (very nice) monster! »
5

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3 octaves, mini keys.
Super lightweight synthetic (less than 3 pounds) but sturdy metal construction with wood sides, I find beautiful https://static.audiofanzine.com/images/audiofanzine/interface/smileys/icon_smile.gif
256 programs in memory + 128 user locations
Few knobs on the front with a big for the filter
An arpeggiator / sequencer friendly, 8 pads
An excellent quality vocoder
A small but adequate screen

UTILIZATION

Programs called four ways: either by class of sound (. Leads, bass, pads, etc.), or in the style of music (rock, dubstep ...), either alphabetically or by order numeral.
It's a real pleasure to use. The mini buttons can put off but you know why it takes (not to make a concerto). Personally I took it for its excellent quality vocoder in the demos seemed the best in its class me (I had the Miniak and actually there is no picture, it is even better than UltraNova).
4 knobs acting on a matrix of 24 controls (for envelopes, oscillators, etc.)..
The big knob for the cutoff filter is a really pleasant to use.
The arpeggiator is very intuitive: one on the program fairly quickly, according to the usual parameters (direction of the arpeggio, number of octaves, beats, etc..), Then when you launch sequences can be variations with pads: can mutate including some not, which is very original sequences. Pads play somehow the role of a step sequencer, but can make the changes live.
The manual is clear and informative.

SOUNDS

Impressive compared with Mininova template. Sounds can sound very fat, and with the sequencer, can be sacred bass lines. I particularly appreciate the "Vintage Synth" bank as its name indicates analos emulates some synths.
The vocoder has numerous programs (forty), whose traditional Robot and Darth Vader, but also full of other really amazing (especially one that share in the treble or bass returns according to the intonation of the voice). One can easily reproduce some sounds of Daft Punk (Around The World, Digital Love), Earth Wind And Fire (Let's Groove Tonight), and for me it emulates quite well the famous Roland VP 330, my reference (used especially by Queen in Radio Ga Ga and Machines).
Note that the Novation website offers downloadable sound banks, including two banks of 64 programs SuperNova, well done!

OVERALL OPINION

In the category synth / vocoder to 3 octaves, I owned the Miniak, big potential but disappointing vocoder. I have long eyed the Korg R3 and UltraNova, I was not attracted by the MicroKorg. When Mininova came out, I did not hesitate for long: all Novation technology for only € 379, with a high quality vocoder, and quality of high-end manufacturing. The wooden sides give it lots of character. And at the sound, it really has nothing to envy to the most expensive synths.
I do not like the mini keys, but as said earlier, I knew what to expect, and we take the final fold. It costs 200 € less than the UltraNova with the same sounds, more knobs, a vocoder better, the wooden sides, and intuitive arpeggiator with 8 pads.
This is an excellent investment and a good extra synth in a set with a large workstation.