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Novation MiniNova Mini-Keys Synthesizer

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MiniNova is a powerful mini-keys synth with incredible performance controls which enable you to tweak and warp the onboard sounds, and your own voice...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

A powerful performance synth with the same sound engine as the UltraNova.

MiniNova is a powerful mini-keys synth with incredible performance controls which enable you to tweak and warp the onboard sounds, and your own voice. It has the same synth-engine as it's big brother - the UltraNova - and comes with 256 awesome sounds so you can get started straight away. If you want to dig deeper, it's got a fully editable Nova-class synth engine (derived from the legendary Supernova series in the 1990s).

Is MiniNova for you?
MiniNova's compact size, massive sound and performance/editing controls make it perfect for producers, gigging musicians and anyone creating music with computers - it can also be a 37 key controller keyboard with MIDI I/O. The voice-tune and vocoder enable you to recreate classic vocal effects, as well as brand new voice-bending possibilities!

Choose your sound
MiniNova has 256 onboard sounds and space to save another 128 of your own sounds. You can quickly search for sounds by selecting the type of music you're making, or the type of sound you're after whether it's bass, 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 can be downloaded free from: novationmusic.com/soundpacks

Tweak, warp and arpeggiate your sound
MiniNova can do things other synths can't. It has knobs which allow you to tweak and edit the sounds, but it can also 'animate' sound with 8 back-lit buttons. These trigger 'mods' in the synth engine that can warp sound in incredible ways as you play. There is also a large knob for filter cutoff so you can get instant control of the filter whatever else you are doing. MiniNova has an arpeggiator with 33 patterns. You can use the 8 buttons to jam with these patterns, creating totally new sequences in realtime.

Classic & brand-new vocal effects
MiniNova takes vocal effects one step further. As well as a vocoder, it has voice-tune - or the 'Cher' effect. This means you can talk into the mic and play the tune you want your voice to follow on the keyboard. 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 which you can plug a guitar or any other instrument and give it the same treatment; effects or vocoder.

The synth engine & effects
MiniNova has an enormously powerful synth engine, unheard of in such a compact 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 voice including distortion, reverb, chorus/phase, delay, compressor, EQ and Novation's unique gator effect.

Editing software included
Editing sounds in such a powerful synth can be overwhelming, so we've created a software application 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 more simple to see what you are doing.

FEATURES
Hugely powerful mini-synth with UltraNova's sound engine
Brand new voice-tune and classic vocoder effects
Tweak and warp your sounds in realtime
256 awesome onboards sounds - instantly searchable
Layer up to 5 effects per voice
Comes with editing software and a software patch librarian
Run guitars and other instruments though the vocoder and effects
37 key controller keyboard with MIDI I/O

Compact and powerful, the MiniNova will add a new dimension to your live performances. Order now.

SPECIFICATIONS
Sound Engine Type(s): Modeling
Number of Keys: 37
Type of Keys: Mini
Other Controllers: Pitchbend, Mod Wheel
Polyphony: 18 Notes
Number of Presets: 256
Expansion: No Expansion
Number of Effects: 7
Effects Types: Distortion, reverb, compression, EQ, chorus/phase, delay, Gator
Arpeggiator: Yes
Sampling: No
Audio Playback: No Audio Playback
USB: USB
Number of Audio Inputs: 2
Audio Input Types: 1 x XLR, 1 x TRS
Number of Audio Outputs: 3
Audio Output Types: 2 x TS, 1 x Headphone
Number of Digital Inputs: No digital inputs
Digital Input Types: No digital inputs
Number of Digital Outputs: No digital outputs
Digital Output Types: No digital outputs
MIDI I/O: In/Out (Din)
Pedal Inputs: 1 x Sustain
Height: 2.95"
Width: 23.2"
Depth: 9.06"
Weight: 6lb.
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
NovationMiniNova Mini-Keys Synthesizer
 
4.4

(based on 12 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

91%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Portable (11)
  • Easy to use (10)
  • Good audio (6)
  • Responsive / good action (6)
  • Touch sensitive keys (5)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Electronic music (10)
  • Accompaniment (4)
  • Concerts (4)
  • Learning (4)
  • MIDI (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (6), Professional musician (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Just what I wanted!

I am a profesional bassist who was looking to expand my sound and have a good synth for playing synth bass. I also wanted something to experiment with creating electronic music. This was exactly...Read complete review

I am a profesional bassist who was looking to expand my sound and have a good synth for playing synth bass. I also wanted something to experiment with creating electronic music. This was exactly what I wanted!
In addition to the 256 presets, it has 127 blank initialized slots for you to save your own synth voices, made from scratch or editing the presets. The animate pads are a blast to play with and you can program them yourself. One pad can execute multiple changes to the sound with the push of a button!
The 5 performance knobs are easy to use. The selector switch next to 4 of them selects which parameters they affect. Two rows are customizable (8 parameters total) so that you can decide what they "tweak". Like the microkorg, you can access any charachteristic of the syth. You have to use the LCD screen and menu keys to access certain things, but it really simplifies the performance knob section.
Only downsides I see compared to Microkorg are not being batery opperated (so?), Mininova is monotiberal while Microkorg uses 2 timbers (which seems to more than even out when you consider the polyphony Mininova=18 Microkorg=4). Mininova is strictly Stereo outputs (L&R channels or Stereo Headphone) which screwed me up in my application, but was easily fixed with an adaptor. In every other way, the Mininova seems to blow the Microkorg out of the water. More oscilators, LFOs, filters, etc. Well worth the extra $100, or less if you have a coupon!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Abit difficult to sound design with but sounds good otherwis

The synth sounds good, many of the presents built in sound good and editing live isn't too difficult.
However, the main trouble is building up sounds from scratch, if you don't...Read complete review

The synth sounds good, many of the presents built in sound good and editing live isn't too difficult.
However, the main trouble is building up sounds from scratch, if you don't have a computer or are not using the usb interface, it is extremely difficult to sound design because advanced features such as switching waveforms in oscillators, editing the custom knobs, and effects are all tucked away in multiple menus that are a pain to navigate through, If you run through a computer however, with the Novation editor in a daw, the process is easier and quicker. Other than that, the synth sounds great and is fairly affordable. I love the sequencing pads and easy access to presets / favorites settings, this makes switching between sounds mid-song fairly quick. Not a huge fan of the mini-keys but portability comes at a cost so I am not to complain.
Overall a nice synth to use live or in the studio

Reviewed by 12 customers

Displaying reviews 1-12

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(17 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Just what I wanted!

By MikeBass85

from Chicago

About Me Novice

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Good-looking
  • Portable
  • Realistic Sound
  • Responsive / Good Action
  • Touch Sensitive Keys

Cons

  • No Mono Output

Best Uses

  • Accompaniment
  • Concerts
  • Electronic Music
  • Learning
  • MIDI
  • Synth Bass
  • Travel

Comments about Novation MiniNova Mini-Keys Synthesizer:

I am a profesional bassist who was looking to expand my sound and have a good synth for playing synth bass. I also wanted something to experiment with creating electronic music. This was exactly what I wanted!
In addition to the 256 presets, it has 127 blank initialized slots for you to save your own synth voices, made from scratch or editing the presets. The animate pads are a blast to play with and you can program them yourself. One pad can execute multiple changes to the sound with the push of a button!
The 5 performance knobs are easy to use. The selector switch next to 4 of them selects which parameters they affect. Two rows are customizable (8 parameters total) so that you can decide what they "tweak". Like the microkorg, you can access any charachteristic of the syth. You have to use the LCD screen and menu keys to access certain things, but it really simplifies the performance knob section.
Only downsides I see compared to Microkorg are not being batery opperated (so?), Mininova is monotiberal while Microkorg uses 2 timbers (which seems to more than even out when you consider the polyphony Mininova=18 Microkorg=4). Mininova is strictly Stereo outputs (L&R channels or Stereo Headphone) which screwed me up in my application, but was easily fixed with an adaptor. In every other way, the Mininova seems to blow the Microkorg out of the water. More oscilators, LFOs, filters, etc. Well worth the extra $100, or less if you have a coupon!

(10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

I Love This Thing

By asd;lfja

from San Francisco, CA

About Me Professional Musician

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Portable
  • Responsive / Good Action

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Accompaniment
    • Concerts
    • Electronic Music
    • Learning

    Comments about Novation MiniNova Mini-Keys Synthesizer:

    I have to say, this synth is really fantastic. The interface takes very little getting used to. I learned to use modeling synthesizers on a MicroKorg, which has an incredibly frustrating interface. This thing allows you to build sounds from the ground up (starting at a single waveform) if you wish. Or you can use the presets (I'm not normally a presets kinda guy, but some of them are actually pretty cool). But for real, the amount of customization this thing allows is almost ridiculous. I've never played such a cost-effective synth that allowed me such control over the sound. I've had sounds for certain parts in my head for months, years in some case. Once I figured out how to use this thing (only took me an afternoon, it's that easy), I was able to get those ideas out and easily stored away for use in the future. I'm amazed. Don't even bother with a MicroKorg. Korg needs to up it's minisynth game if they want to remain even close to relevant in that market in the wake of this thing.

    (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Incredibly Powerful

    By Melvin loves his MiniNova!!

    from usa

    See all my reviews

    Pros

    • Build Quality
    • Easy to Use
    • Massive Sound
    • Portable
    • Responsive / Good Action
    • Touch Sensitive Keys
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Electronic Music

      Comments about Novation MiniNova Mini-Keys Synthesizer:

      I have waited a while to review this synth, because I wanted to get more experience with it first. Let me tell you this right now: I am absolutely in love with this synthesizer, and couldn't be anymore ecstatic to own it. I will try to keep this short, though there is so much to say.

      First of all, it's almost impossible not to bring up the microkorg to compare with the MiniNova. Same price, same basic concept. That's where the similarities end. The MiniNova is so much more powerful than the microkorg, and all it takes is a comparative look at the specs. The MN gives you 256 patches + 128 user, the MK gives you a total of 128. You get 3 oscillators on the MN, 2 on the MK... The list goes on. I will tell you what ultimately made me go with the MiniNova over the microkorg, specs aside -- and by the way, the MN CAN get emulate analog synths as well as the MK.

      The MiniNova looks WAY better; I never get tired of looking at it. I love the big, fat dedicated filter knob as well. The performance possibilities. Sounds are more modern. The onboard effects (which are editable). I could go on naming every reason, but there's more to discuss.

      Along with getting an absolutely amazing synth, you get a very comprehensive, and informative manual. Don't know much about synthesis? There's a tutorial of the basics in the manual. With Novation, you get the absolute best customer service. If you need help with sound designing, understanding the synth better, any question or thought that may arise, all you have to do is send them an email, and they respond within 2-3 business days. Novation is the only synth brand I own (Novation, Arturia, Korg) who has responded to my inquiries.

      If you watch videos of the MiniNova, some people claim that editing it is a pain when doing so directly on the synth (not using the software patch editor). It may be a little time consuming, but in no way is it difficult.

      This is an amazing synth, and I highly doubt you will regret buying it, so do it!

      (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Powerful Synth

      By musicstudent14

      from Wisconsin

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Portable

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Electronic Music
        • Learning

        Comments about Novation MiniNova Mini-Keys Synthesizer:

        I've been playing keyboards for years, but this is the first synth I've owned. I've been doing quite a bit of reading and experimenting to learn how synthesizers work, and this one if fully featured. I haven't run into anything I've wanted to try that this synth can't do.

        You could get a lot of the same sounds out of a software synth, but there's something strangely fulfilling about being able to tweak sounds live using physical knobs and buttons. This also makes it easier and more impressive to play live. There is editing software that saves you from having to go menu diving for your settings. (The menus are designed well, it's just easier to see it all on the computer screen at once.)

        The software is a plugin for a DAW, not a standalone application. I've been using it with Garageband via USB, and setup was easy. Since the Mininova does not have an audio interface, sound is not transferred to my Mac through USB. External speakers are still required.

        I considered buying a MicroKorg or MicroKorg XL instead of this, but I am happy I went with the Mininova. It hasn't disappointed.

        (7 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        be careful of novation's website demo

        By knewandused

        from myrtle beach

        About Me Professional Musician

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Verified Buyer

        Comments about Novation MiniNova Mini-Keys Synthesizer:

        i bought this after seeing a demo on novation's website. it demoed the auto-tune function. after getting it i find out that the sound used for the demo was actually overdubbed: the auto-tune function is monophonic not poly. Other problem was it not being poly-timbral: keyboard can't be split or sounds combined in any way.

        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Killer board!

        By roy_albenson

        from Central PA

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Portable
        • Pre-programmed music
        • Realistic Sound
        • Responsive / Good Action

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Electronic Music

          Comments about Novation MiniNova Mini-Keys Synthesizer:

          Love this thing. I have two Nord E3s. One for piano and one for organ. Neither could cut it for pads, leafs or anything even remotely synth sounding. I've owned the microkirg XL and this board is WAY BETTER. The factory sounds are killer, the workflow is super logical and it's pretty easy to use without being an expert in synthesizers. Very fun to play!

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Everything I needed

          By Donald

          from Cloverdale, VA

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          Ask me a question

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Easy to Use
          • Portable
          • Realistic Sound
          • Spacey
          • Touch Sensitive Keys
          • Vocoder is awesome

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Concerts
            • Electronic Music
            • MIDI

            Comments about Novation MiniNova Mini-Keys Synthesizer:

            I'm in an indie band and we play very simplistic, chill music. I needed a keyboard for instrumental breaks and atmospheric ambiance in a live performance. This thing is killer! It sounds amazing and you can edit everything it seems. It feels like if I dropped it in my garage that it would almost certainly break though, but on a plus it's very light. The vocoder is very responsive although I have found that most of the presets all sound very much the same or too unusual to use.

            Since I play guitar primarily I needed something to sustain notes and what not. I bought a sustain pedal and didn't need it because this thing has a latch button... I did not know this, because I'm not a piano player at all and didn't research it enough but anyhoo.. this thing is easy for me to play guitar and keys at the same time and allows me to create a smoother sound with our songs.

            Definitely get this thing!

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Lotta Bang for Your Buck!

            By Al

            from Albany, NY

            About Me Professional Musician

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Portable
            • Pre-programmed music
            • Realistic Sound
            • Responsive / Good Action
            • Touch Sensitive Keys

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Accompaniment
              • Electronic Music
              • Learning
              • MIDI

              Comments about Novation MiniNova Mini-Keys Synthesizer:

              I originally was attracted to the Korg MicroKorg but with a little research on the web, I ultimately decided to go with the MiniNova.
              Let me preface this by saying that I have respect for Korg and I will not bash them to hype the MiniNova.
              The fact of the matter for me was that when I compared the stats of each, I found myself gravitating toward the MiniNova.
              Maybe for some, the Korg may fill their needs a little better, but for me, I was attracted to the 18 note polyphony of the MiniNova, more vocoder patches, more options with the arpeggiator, the fact that I can use ANY dynamic xlr type microphone for the vocoder, flawless connectivity with my computer and easy software to archive any of the info - including patches and parameters, 256 factory presets and 128 slots for your own creations (Korg has 128 total program slots, including their factory presets), and many other features.
              My ONLY concern before getting the MiniNova were the sounds compared to Korg's legendary synthesizer sounds. Even with those concerns in mind, I decided to get the MiniNova because ultimately, the other differences were VERY important to me. However, when I got the MiniNova, my concerns were quickly put to rest. The factory sounds of the Korg may be a preference to some (and if you are looking for that Korg sound, then maybe you do not want to compromise that), HOWEVER, the MiniNova's sounds are GORGEOUS! Not only are the sounds just wonderful, but there is NO parameter out of your reach if you want to tweek the sound down to your precise liking.
              In conclusion, for the price (same price as the Korg's), it is my opinion that you get more from the MiniNova than the Korg.
              For this type of synthesizer, I would recommend it time and time again!

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              Abit difficult to sound design with but sounds good otherwis

              By Nico

              from Conneticut

              About Me Novice

              Pros

              • Portable
              • Sounds good

              Cons

              • Difficult to design synth sounds

              Best Uses

              • Accompaniment
              • Electronic Music
              • MIDI

              Comments about Novation MiniNova Mini-Keys Synthesizer:

              The synth sounds good, many of the presents built in sound good and editing live isn't too difficult.
              However, the main trouble is building up sounds from scratch, if you don't have a computer or are not using the usb interface, it is extremely difficult to sound design because advanced features such as switching waveforms in oscillators, editing the custom knobs, and effects are all tucked away in multiple menus that are a pain to navigate through, If you run through a computer however, with the Novation editor in a daw, the process is easier and quicker. Other than that, the synth sounds great and is fairly affordable. I love the sequencing pads and easy access to presets / favorites settings, this makes switching between sounds mid-song fairly quick. Not a huge fan of the mini-keys but portability comes at a cost so I am not to complain.
              Overall a nice synth to use live or in the studio

              (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Love at First Sight

              By Dyl

              from Arkansas

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Great Pre-sets
              • Portable
              • Realistic Sound

              Cons

              • No Speakers
              • No Touch Sensitive Keys

              Best Uses

              • Concerts
              • Electronic Music
              • Travel

              Comments about Novation MiniNova Mini-Keys Synthesizer:

              This keyboard is absolutely gorgeous. It sounds and plays amazing. I'm just afraid I'll break it.

              (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              2.0

              Cannot be used as a midi controller :( ugly baby blue color.

              By Gustavo

              from Puerto Rico

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Portable
              • Pre-programmed music

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Novation MiniNova Mini-Keys Synthesizer:

                  I owned a Microkorg by 2007 and it was a good cheap-synthesizer experience. So when I decided to try out the Mininova I though that because is the same concept of the microkorg the Mininova can be used as a midi controller. My other complaint is that in the photos it looks so pretty. But when unboxing first thing I notice was that the blue finish was different. In person is like a baby blue almost. Colors for me are important because they have an effect in my brain.. for example they can relax me or give me migrane... the light of the pitchwheels is too bright you have the option of turning it off.. it would have been better if you can lower the brightness also.. I have noticed that the sounds of the Mininova have a lot of white noise that I think is a technical problem but I'm not sure because I'm not a synth specialist.

                   
                  5.0

                  Amazing value

                  By Chris

                  from Seattle

                  About Me Experienced

                  See all my reviews

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Dynamic sound
                  • Easy to Use
                  • Great variety of sounds
                  • Portable
                  • Pre-programmed music
                  • Realistic Sound
                  • Responsive / Good Action
                  • Touch Sensitive Keys

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Electronic Music

                    Comments about Novation MiniNova Mini-Keys Synthesizer:

                    The MiniNova is an incredible value. High-quality sound, very programmable under the hood, excellent variety - and the animation and arpeggiator are awesome to add a dynamic sound. Highly, highly recommended. Great build for the price point, too.

                    Displaying reviews 1-12

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