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May 21, 2011

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papernoise

I tried it myself not long ago... and found it a synth with good potential, but uninspiring sound, but of course this is all very subjective. The comparison to the blofeld comes quite automatic, how do you think they compare?

Mark Mosher

My first inclination was to compare to Blofeld as well, but Blofeld Keyboard is in a different class both price and feature wise. It has a bigger sonic range with FM, Comb filters, more wavetables with more waves, custom wavetables, and non-volatile sample RAM. That being said, Blofeld is harder to use when it comes to patch management and computer integration as this is implemented though syssex and third party editors. So comparing apples to apples (as in synths with kebyoards in the $699 and under range) I’d say competitors are Venom and Gaia.

I own both Blofeld and UltraNova now and can say that what makes UltraNova unique are the performance features. I’m finding them to be very complimentary really. The tweak/touch encoder system is where it really shines. The 300 or so factory patches (with of course a handful of each patch type) have only scratched the surface. Analog modeling with wavetable with a mod matrix with 66 targets including FX params has a lot to offer for creating new sounds not represented in the factory banks.

They have built some nice elements into the architecture to accommodate the tweak/touch system. For example, since you can modulate delay time, they have a “Delay Slew” parameter which allows you to modulate between harsh and smooth transition for delay times. A few other nice features are oscillator density and detune which allow you to produce thick sounds without eating polyphony.

The VST/AU editor is great. I’m already doing things like Ableton Live dummy clip automation to drive deep params within the UltraNova.

I see it as a great starter synth that’s deep enough for synthesist types with awesome performance capabilities. For me it is also a nice addition to Ableton based controllerism rig.

Mark Mosher

Here is a cool Ultranova feature - using touch encoders to toggle the fucntion of another modulation source. For example, you can program a patch so by default aftertouch does nothing. While touching encoder 1, aftertouch routes to pitch for OSC 1,2,3. While touching encoder 2, aftertouch controls filter cutoff. Awesome!

papernoise

Sounds interesting indeed! You could do this with an additional controller, but I guess having everything in one "box" makes it a lot more convenient for live performances. Thanks for the in depth info!

Robson

could you compare it to akai miniak/micron?
I think sound wise they not far apart.

Adytum Esoterica

I can't touch pricier synths now, but the multiple fx
and basic waves have enabled me to write a few Inspired patches on the UltraNova that I can't get on similarly priced keys. I consider myself very lucky.

Mark Mosher

Yes, it's a super expressive synth for the price.

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