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Video: Automating Novation UltraNova (Mininova) Synthesizer Parameters with Dummy Clips in Ableton Live


Update: These same technique work with the Mininova.

Since May I’ve been working with the Novation UltraNova. The synth engine and touch encoders make this a fantastic performance synth. I especially love the VST/AU Editor which I’ve been using not only to tweak and create patches but also as a controllerism bridge between Ableton Live and the UltraNova hardware.

Checkout this video I just published on YouTube “Automating Novation UltraNovaSynth Parameters with Ableton Live Dummy Clips” (Watch embedded video in HD). Note the techniques shown in this video could be applied to other hardware synthesizers with plugin interfaces.

The video illustrates how you can use Ableton Live automation envelopes to modulate parameters on the Novation UltraNova. In the video I connect the UltraNova via USB and then configure Live's MIDI ports to see it as a controller. I then insert the UltraNova plugin editor (VST in my case as I'm on Windows) into a MIDI track. I press the "Configure" button on the device which allows me to add UltraNova parameters to the device simply by turning a knob in the editor interface.

Once this is completed you can create a dummy MIDI clip in an empty clip slot and draw modulation envelops for the parameters mapped.

The video really shows off how quickly the UltraNova video editor display updates the interface when being modulated. This and other UltraNova tips area available on

If you want a more detailed explanation of configuring the UltraNova for use in Live, checkout this post from May which I just updated with more info on recording and transmitting automation – “How to Configure Ableton Live to Work with Novation UltraNova”.


Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer
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