Don't let its size fool you. MiniNova is the latest in the 'nova' range of synths dating back to the legendary Supernova series. It has the same incredibly powerful sound engine and synth effects as the Novation UltraNova which means it is capable of creating dirty-fat bass synth sounds, soaring leads, lush pads and vintage synth sounds. All this in a 37 mini-key form with a USB port and MIDI i/o so you can hook it up to your laptop and control your music software or connect it to another keyboard or sound module.
This tutorial gives you an overview of the Mininova's sounds and how to preview, edit and affect them. The Mininova arpeggiator's sequence buttons and powerful filter controls are also demonstrated. There are a number of exiting sounds for you to play with, edit, and save - or you can simply create your own patches and store them in 128 available slots.
Novation mininova synth videoMiniNova takes vocal effects one-step further. As well as a vocoder, it has VocalTune. This means you can talk into the mic and play the tune you want your voice to follow on the keyboard recreating those classic hip hop / urban vocal effects. You can also run your voice through MiniNova's effects engine, adding reverb, distortion, chorus/phase, gator compression or EQ. This doesn't need to be limited to your voice; there is an input into which you can plug a guitar or any other instrument and give it the same treatment; effects or vocoder.
Choose your sound - and get more for free
MiniNova has 256 onboard sounds and space to save another 128 of your own sounds. You can quickly search for sounds by selecting the style of music you're making, or the type of sound you're after whether it's bass synth, lead - hip hop or techno. MiniNova comes with a free software Patch Librarian so you can store as many sounds as you want on your computer. If 256 is not enough, there are numerous soundpacks for MiniNova assembled by renowned artists and sound designers. These include plenty of vintage synth sounds. They can be downloaded free from: novationmusic.com/soundpacks.
The 'Animate' performance mode
Switch to 'Animate' mode and press one of the 8 backlit buttons (whilst playing the keyboard) to trigger awesome performance functionsSwitch to 'Arpeggiator' mode to jam with arpeggiator rhythms in realtime. The 8 buttons act like an arpeggiator step sequencer so you can switch steps in and out!
Editing software included
Editing sounds in such a powerful synth can be overwhelming, so we've created a software application that gives you visual access to the synth engine. The MiniNova Editor works as a plug-in within your DAW or music software. You can fully edit MiniNova using the hardware; the software just makes it easier to see what you are doing.
The Synth Engine and effects
MiniNova has an enormously powerful sound engine and synth effects, unheard of in a micro synth. There are 14 conventional waveforms to choose from (square, sine, sawtooth, pulse, triangle and combinations), 36 wavetables and 20 digital waveforms. Each of the 3 oscillators (per voice) have density/detune for fattening up sounds, virtual sync and 'hardness' - which acts as an additional lowpass filter. There are 14 filter types (and you can run 2 simultaneously), 6 envelope generators, 3 LFOs and 20 modulation slots where you can link modules of the synth engine together to shape sound. MiniNova can add up to 5 effects to each sound including distortion, reverb, chorus/phase, delay, compressor, EQ and Novation's unique gator effect.
Instant editing and performance control
The 'Perform' section enables you to access the synth and effects engines by switching between 6 positions to assign 4 knobs, giving you instant access to 24 sound-bending parameters.
MiniNova Artist first look
Novation Mininova microsynth
We showed MiniNova to a selection of high profile artists and producers on a recent tour of North America. Check out some of their reactions to the in this video.