Novation Ultranova


The Novation Ultranova is an analog modeling synthesizer released in 2011. It is based on the synth engine from the Supernova II.

The Ultranova has 18 voice polyphony. Three oscillators per voice work to generate all the typical analog-modeled waveforms plus 20 digital waves (there are over 35 waveforms total). These can be arranged into different nine-step wavetables to allow for complex, evolving sounds. There are 36 wavetables available for each oscillator. As if all this oscillator flexibility wasn’t enticing enough, there’s also ‘virtual sync’ mode, detuning, ‘supersaw’ styled layering options (and not just on the sawtooth waveforms!), two ring modulators, noise generators, and even more still.

A pair of multimode filters offer similar flexibility with 14 different modes and lots of routing options. There are four LFOs onboard, but you can only play with three of them - one is reserved for the vibrato effect. Next, come six envelope generators that let you repeat or delay sections of the envelopes or even trigger them with external devices. The mod matrix onboard has 20 slots, making modulation possibilities nearly endless.

All of this comes on a 37-key mini keyboard with an included mic and vocoder, robust effects section, SPDIF output, and USB capabilities. A companion VST/AU software editor makes programming every parameter possible, although the wide rubber buttons, comfy knobs, and generous screen on the Ultranova are satisfying to use alone. One limitation of the Ultranova is that it is monotimbral, but with 18 voices and all of the above options, one Ultranova at a time is probably plenty for anyone.

Technical Specifications

Year of release: 2011 Polyphony: 18
Oscillators: 3 per voice Multitimbral Parts: 1
Patch Memory: 500 Filter: Two
Keys: 37 LFO: 4 (one is vibrato only)
Control: MIDI


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Novation Ultranova