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Novation UltraNova Synthesizer 

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UltraNova is the new generation of Novation's iconic Nova range of synthesizers. It packs the massive Nova sound into a compact body with a built-in ...Click To Read More About This Product

Available 05-09-2017

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See All Novation Synthesizers

Brand new Nova series synth engine based on the Supernova II.

UltraNova is the new generation of Novation's iconic Nova range of synthesizers. It packs the massive Nova sound into a compact body with a built-in vocoder. A new "Touch" performance system places deep control of the synth right at your fingertips - incredible new ways to play, create and perform are just a touch away. UltraNova is a single-part synth with features including wavetable synthesis, even more powerful filters, a software editor, and a revolutionary new touch-sense performance mode.

Find your sound-instantly
UltraNova comes with 300 onboard sounds that you can select by type (bass, lead, pad, etc) and musical genre (hip hop, rock, house, etc), so performers and gigging musicians can get started straight away. If you need to find a bass sound for a hip-hop track quickly, select "bass" under "type", and "hip-hop" under "category," and you're ready to go! If you want to tweak the patch you can quickly change the character of the sound with 8 encoders. For more detailed control, there's a large encoder. It also comes with a software patch librarian, which allows you to search for and sort patches by type and genre. Along with the 300 sounds that come with UltraNova, there's space for another 200 of your own patches onboard the hardware.

The Software Editor
UltraNova has a powerful software editor that enables visual editing of all parameters. It can be used within DAWs as a plug-in editor.

The synth engine
With 300 onboard patches you can play and perform with UltraNova right out of the box. But it also has a powerful synth engine derived from a classic big-synth: the Supernova II. UltraNova also has a 12-band vocoder and ships with a dynamic gooseneck microphone. UltraNova is easy to program, since each part of the synth is accessed by a button that brings up all the parameters. Creating huge new sounds is what UltraNova does best: along with 14 conventional waveforms and 36 wavetables, you have a total of 5 effects slots for each sound! UltraNova's density and density-detune function enables you to fatten-up your patches, and the modulation capacity is enormous. The software editor enables detailed visual editing of UltraNova on your Mac or PC.

UltraNova has a 12-band vocoder and ships with a dynamic gooseneck microphone. In addition to putting your voice through the vocoder (via the microphone) you can also process other sounds by putting instruments - or pretty much anything into UltraNova's stereo line inputs on the back panel.

Animate - Touch-sense performance

Shaping and exploring sounds with encoders and buttons is a massive part of being creative with synths. UltraNova has evolved the idea of hands-on sound shaping, allowing you to get deeper and more creative physical control of the synth engine. By pressing Touch in the Animate section, you engage a mode that triggers envelopes and sound-shaping destinations by simply touching any of the touch-sensitive encoders. These destinations could be oscillator pitch, sync, hardness, filter distortion, cutoff, resonance, effects parameters, send levels - to name but a few. (By pressing Tweak you can switch back to conventional rotary control and assign 8 of your most frequently used parameters to the encoders for instant access).

This allows you to access parameters that may otherwise buried deep in the synth's architecture, creating totally new performance options. You can assign these however wish to any of UltraNova's 8 touch sensitive encoders, and you can touch more than one at a time.

USB-Audio Interface
UltraNova has a built in USB-Audio interface which enables you to get sound in and out of your computer in the studio or on the move. There are 2 inputs and 4 separate outputs, which can be routed however you wish. For example you can route audio to an external FX processor, a second pair of monitors or a hard disk recorder. It can also come in useful on stage if for example you need to route backing tracks from your laptop to the main mix separately from the synth, or send a click to the drummer.

UltraNova also has a SPDIF output so you can get digital recordings of UltraNova straight into your DAW. The back panel also contains MIDI in/out/thru ports to connect external MIDI equipment.

You can get control of your plug-in instruments and effects with Novation's Automap software. This converts UltraNova's 8 rotary encoders into software controllers, a large "Speed Dial' encoder gives you instant control over any software parameter that your mouse/cursor is over.

The Patch Librarian
UltraNova also ships with a patch librarian that can be hosted on Mac or PC. This enables the user to save an unlimited number patches to the host computer and organize them into folders. Each of the 300 patches that ship with UltraNova have been tagged to make it easy to search by category and genre from the hardware synth or the software patch librarian.

  • Nova-series synth engine based on Supernova II:
  • Single part with up to 18 voices, 14 filter types, 36 wavetables, 5 effect slots
  • Patch Browse enables you to browse 300 sounds by type and genre
  • Touch-sense controls enable totally new sound-shaping and performance:
  • Trigger envelopes/LFOs/filters/FX by just touching the encoders
  • Large rotary control instantly allows you fine control of any parameter
  • Totally gig-able with 37 full sized keys, a vocoder, and loads of controls:
  • Voice-optimized 12-band vocoder with gooseneck mic
  • High-quality key bed with aftertouch for expressive playing styles
  • Software plug-in editor and Patch Librarian for full visual editing:
  • Plug-in editor allows you to view and edit in with software
  • Software Patch Librarian a organize, store and share unlimited patches
  • Built-in 2 in 4 out USB audio interface and it can be bus powered:
  • UltraNova can be used to stream audio to and from a host computer
  • Stereo main (analog and SPDIF) and aux outputs, and MIDI in/out/thru ports

Explore new sonic space and watch your sound go beyond super nova to UltraNova. Order today!


UltraNova Synthesizer

  • Synth engine:
    Up to 18-note polyphony (dynamic voicing)

    Per patch:
    3 oscillators
    Noise generator
    2 ring modulators

    Waveforms include:
    ยข Square, sine, tri, sawtooth, pulse, 9x saw/pulse combinations
    20 digital waveforms
    36 wavetables

    Filter types:
    2 filters per patch
    low-pass no resonance 6dB per octave
    low-pass 12dB
    low-pass 18dB
    low-pass 24dB
    bandpass 6:6
    bandpass 6:12
    bandpass 12:6
    bandpass 6:18
    bandpass 18:6
    bandpass 12:12
    high-pass, no resonance 6dB per octave
    high-pass 12dB
    high-pass 18dB
    high-pass 24dB

    20 modulation slots per patch
    6 envelope generators
    3 LFOs.
    Key scaling/track
    Mod wheel
    Expression pedal

    Total of 66 Destinations including:
    Oscillator pitch, pulse width, wavetable index, level and sync
    Filter cutoff, resonance, envelope settings
    Effects parameters and send levels
    Recursive modulation (modulating modulation sources themselves)

    5 Effects slots per patch
    Distortion - up to 2 instances
    Compressor - up to 2 instances
    Chorus/Phase - up to 4 instances
    Delay - up to 2 instances
    Reverb - up to 2 instances
    12 band vocoder
    Arpeggiator: 33 patterns
    Chord function: lock up to 10 notes
    Patch storage up to 512 on hardware (ships with 300 factory patches)

    44-character LCD
    detented touch sensitive encoders
    1 large, smooth encoder (with back-lit filter lock buttons)
    1 large patch select/speed dial encoder
    2 volume & monitor mix dials
    39 LED lit/indicated buttons
    Pitch wheel (LED lit)
    Modulation wheel (LED lit)
    37-note keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
    XLR dynamic mic input
    2 - 1/4" jack inputs
    2 - 1/4" jack outputs
    2 - 1/4" jack aux outputs
    1 - 1/4" jack headphone output
    SPDIF digital output on RCA connector
    Expression pedal on 1/4"jack input
    Sustain pedal on 1/4" jack input
    MIDI in/out/thru
    12-volt power input
    USB port (UltraNova can be powered via USB)
    Kensington Lock port

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
NovationUltraNova Synthesizer

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars




of respondents would recommend this to a friend.


  • Portable (3)
  • Responsive / good action (3)


No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Professional musician (3)

Reviewed by 8 customers

Displaying reviews 1-8

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(11 of 23 customers found this review helpful)


Great Synth / One Major Flaw

By Sir Winston

from Los Angeles, CA

About Me Professional Musician

Verified Reviewer


  • Incredible Sounds


  • Pitch Wheel Latency

Best Uses

    Comments about Novation UltraNova Synthesizer:

    My UltraNova review would be rated at 5 Stars, if not for my particular application, need, and style of playing. If you have no plans to use the Pitch Wheel for precise, real-time, live performance, pitch-bending leads, or harmonizing (with guitar) leads, you can skip this review, and trust that the dozens of other 4 and 5 Star reviews for the UltraNova (all over the Internet) are quite accurate.

    This review is going to cover the ONLY thing that NO other reviewers have addressed, or are aware of. Not even Novation was aware of this issue until I addressed it to them. And that issue is, the real-time performance and operation of the Pitch Wheel.

    I purchased the UltraNova specifically for 2 reasons. (1) Because it has full sized Pitch and Mod Wheels, rather than a Joystick controller. And (2) for playing precise 'guitar-type' (multiple pitch-bending) leads on stage and in the studio.

    In my 40 plus years of playing synthesizers, playing leads and covering guitar parts (on keyboards), I would have never imagined that a production synthesizer would be sold with such a major design flaw. A flaw that wouldn't effect the majority of keyboard / synthesizer players, but a flaw that renders the UltraNova useless for my intended purpose.

    Of every synth I've ever owned or played that has a Pitch Wheel or Joystick, they've all had instantaneous reaction to movement of the pitch controller. The UltraNova Pitch Wheel will bend notes up & down, but NOT in real time! Unbelievably, there is a very noticeable latency (delay) between the Pitch Wheel movement and the sound output of the UltraNova, no matter what patch you use.

    When I brought this to the attention of Novation, they told me that was the first they've ever heard of such an issue. The service tech said he'd look into it and call me back. Three hours later, he called me back and said, "You're absolutely right!" Then he went on to say that it was brought to the attention of the design team and would be taken into consideration for future releases of the UltraNova.

    If your style or technique of playing a synthesizer leans towards Jan Hammer or Jordan Rudess, this synth is not for you.

    The UltraNova is a beautiful instrument with a multitude of totally astonishing sounds! Unfortunately, the MAIN reason I purchased it, is the ONLY thing it's incapable of. Real-time performance of the Pitch Wheel.

    (6 of 11 customers found this review helpful)


    Awesome - not perfect

    By Will-full

    from Middle of no where, Canadian mountians

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews


    • Portable
    • Responsive / Good Action
    • Touch Sensitive Keys


      Best Uses

        Comments about Novation UltraNova Synthesizer:

        I should preface this by saying that I've been dealing with synthesizers regularly since the late 70's. I have a real SHIPLOAD of experience.

        I eagerly awaited my UN. I have owned many other pieces of Novation gear.
        This unit sounds very good, full, excellent effects, good on screen programming, etc. The Keybed is unparalleled - really tick keyboard action.
        The build is quite solid overall. The 'TOUCH' parameters are a wonderful idea and very useful both live and for recording, injecting loads of nuance into the sound - I can see other manufactures expanding this - somewhere between a software controller and a piece of dedicated hardware.


        If you use Apples Logic as your DAW - don't expect an easy, solid integration.
        Although AUTOMAP works 'ok' if you have Logic 9, the interface with 8 is pathetic.

        Even in Logic 9, there are many little bugs which are a total pain. The most frustrating is that if you use the U.N. as your soundcard while recording, when you select different tracks in the Arrange window (even if you're just using the mouse), the volume of the whole audio output jumps up and down, depending on the track your on. I've had many totally frustrating experiences with this piece of gear on Logic. I've been posting on the Novation forums, but never got any real answers.

        Lots of problems here, to the point where often you get no sound out of the ultranova (even if NOT using it as a soundcard). The sound will cut out as soon as I plug in the unit with USB. Novation were not able to help. I just had to continually reboot my whole system.

        All in all, a great piece of hardware, esp. if you only use it as that - if you expect to use it as a controller, I'd look at something else.

        NOTE: These problems do NOT seem to be happening a lot with other DAWs, just Logic.

        Kool lights though - I just put mine on Ebay, a bit sad to see it go really.



        (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)


        It just works. And sings!

        By Benjamin Chertoff

        from New York City

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Novation UltraNova Synthesizer:

        Fatar keys, controller, USB powered, audio interface, midi in out n thru PLUS my favorite go-to playable synth? No brainier. Buy.
        Superb feature set in a sub-$1k synth - audio interface, spdif, and buttons and knobs and knobs and encoders - fantastic Fatar keyboard; oozes playability. Half the time I forget to save my patches and... I could care less - half the fun is getting there.

        The animation feature adds a unique layer of expression for live performance - let your fingers do the gating! Very well-thought-out design, great for synth noobs and pros and the sound? FAT, warm, blistering, shimmery, complex, nuanced, explosive and everything in between. Considering a controller from Novation will run you $500 - and this has the same keys and auto map software as the SL Mk II series (have the 25 and 61 key models) this baby pays for itself.

        The only negative: plastic build. That's a positive in a gig bag.
        Doesn't get better.

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


        Love It!

        By dMon

        from Dallas, TX

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Novation UltraNova Synthesizer:

        Just got this baby last night. I love it. I really do. This is the first hardware synth I've purchased in years (last one was the Yamaha SY-85). I've been using soft synths for years, and I didn't really see the point in having hardware. Then, I got tired of running into CPU issues and not having something in my hand to tweak. So I took a shot on the UltraNova. Watched some product reviews on YouTube and she looked perfect. She is! Easy, easy to get around and make sounds. I haven't even hooked up the software editor. Didn't even read the manual yet! I took the Nova out of the box and started turning knobs. The buttons and the selectors make the synth very intuitive. You can easily get to filters, LFOs, and oscillators to make your own sounds. And the sound quality is excellent--very fat and smooth. Great pads. Great leads. I do ambient electronica, so I don't really mess with some of the techno sounds or basses. So I can't say too much about those. The only complain I have is that the power cord is SHORT, really short. Definitely worth the money (I had a coupon and saved $100).

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


        Like two Memorymoogs in one unit

        By Chief

        from Fort Polk, Louisiana

        About Me Professional Musician

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question


        • Easy to Use
        • Fat Sounds
        • Portable
        • Realistic Sound
        • Responsive / Good Action
        • Touch Sensitive Keys


        • Wall Wart Dependent

        Best Uses

        • Live Show Performer

        Comments about Novation UltraNova Synthesizer:

        Back in the 1980's I owned two Memorymoogs and used them Midi'd together. They were fat, to say the least. I can now attest that this UltraNova is the modern version of "fat" sounding keyboards. I have classic sounds at my fingertips, and a reliable keyboard that is easy to program and a joy to carry. The wall wart is the only negative component.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


        Very versatile keyboard for the price

        By Lord Fancy

        from Oakland, CA

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Verified Reviewer


        • Portable
        • Software Editor Is Nice
        • Sounds Great For The Pric
        • Versatile


          Best Uses

          • Electronic Music
          • Live Performance
          • Studio

          Comments about Novation UltraNova Synthesizer:

          This is not gonna blow away a virus or a vintage powerhouse, but is more along the lines of a Korg MS2000. The sound itself actual reminds me of the Roland JP-8000 a bit too. What I really love about this keyboard is integrating it with a live performance setup. It can be used as a sound card AND a synth at the same time by using a balance type knob that chooses how much of the soundcard section is going through the output and how much is the synth section. This is HUGE. I run the Ultranova as a soundcard for ableton and have the outputs plugged into my Traktor hardware. I can use sounds from ableton and maschine and run them into traktor, and I can use the built in synth and run that into traktor, all at the same time on the same laptop. With the built in vocoder, I can run all kinds of sounds into my dj setup for live looping. AND it runs off of USB power, reducing the amount of plugs i need. Versatile, thats why i love this board.

          Also like that it has the digital output, a nice touch for a keyboard in this price range.

          I read some of the other reviews and I can say I have never had a problem with the pitch wheel delaying, i dont know what that's about. And installing the software and running the unit was a breeze on my Mac.


          Good but let down by a couple of issues...

          By Crazy Ivan

          from UK

          About Me Experienced


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


          • Awful Software
          • Mono Timbral

          Best Uses

          • Electronic Music

          Comments about Novation UltraNova Synthesizer:

          It's great and everything you have heard about it is true.... very versatile and sounds amazing.

          Let down by the horribly buggy software..... also, it being mono timbral is a real shame but not the end of the world.

          (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


          better than i expected

          By james

          from australia

          Verified Buyer

          Comments about Novation UltraNova Synthesizer:

          pretty good , thought its gonna be older and more scratched but surprisingly new!

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