Ultranova

Ultranova

Specifications
Polyphony –
20 Voices
Multitimbral –
1 Part
Oscillators –
3 VCOs
Waveforms –
Pink Noise, Pulse Variable, ROM, Saw Down, Saw Up, Sine, Square, Sub Oscillator, Super Saw, Triangle, Wave Table, White Noise
Loops –
3 LFO with Noise, Sample & Hold, Saw Up, Saw Down, Triangle, Square, Sine, Delay, Freerun, Clocked, Key Sync, Phase
Controls –
MIDI In/Out/Thru
Arpeggiator –
33 patterns
Effects –
Distortion, Compressor, Chorus/Phase, Delay, Reverb, Gator, EQ,
Keyboard –
37 keys with velocity and aftertouch
Memory –
256 patches RAM, 128 Patches ROM

Naomi Bolton
Fri, 10/22/2021 – 09:33

Novation had a successful run of MIDI keyboards and controllers, but the Ultranova was a return to their “Nova” range of synthesizers from the nineties. This is also obvious from the design, which features a blue plastic construction and illuminated buttons. The mod wheel and pitch-bender are also blue and glowing, but there is the option to disable this feature. The plastic case is pretty durable and very lightweight.

The Ultranova keyboard is three octaves and features full-sized keys with both velocity and aftertouch. In addition, Novation has included a 12-band vocoder with this synth. Although it ships with a decent gooseneck mic, the inclusion of an XLR port on the back of the synth means you can replace it with another one of your own choosing. The ability to map your voice to any of the presets included with the synth allows for a lot of fun and creativity.

The upper center of the synth is home to a 2×27-character LCD around which the rubber buttons are arranged. Although the text is rather small, the display is sharp and clear, making it easy to see the names and values of parameters. The Ultranova also has rotary encoders, and while there are not that many of them, it is easy enough to tweak everything. Novation clearly attempted to keep everything as simple as possible, which meant fewer buttons and encoders. Nevertheless, the interface is very logical, and it is easy to get to what you need using the selection buttons.

On the rear panel of the Ultranova, you will find two balanced audio inputs next to four unbalanced outputs. It also has the obligatory MIDI In/Out/Thru sockets along with a USB port. Also on the back panel is the auto-sensing sustain input, expression pedal input, S/PDIF output, and headphone socket. The Ultranova can be powered using an adaptor or via USB.

The Ultranova is a monotimbral synth, which takes some getting used to if you are not familiar with them. It features three oscillators, three LFOs, six envelopes, two filters, and a chain of five effects. In addition, it also has a 20-slot modulation matrix and four banks of factory patches that can hold 128 patches each. There are nine different genres to choose from and 14 categories that cover everything from strings and pads to bass and SFX. This synthesizer shipped with the Ultranova Editor and Librarian, with the former requiring a DAW to run and the latter being a manager for patch banks.

At the time of its release, the Ultranova featured one of Novation’s most ambitious synth engines packed in a design that offered portability without sacrificing playability. As a result, it was a great all-round synth for its time, with excellent value for money along with plenty of versatility.

Make

Year
2010

Musical genre

Synth type

Interface features

Format

Sound types

Price range

Image
Novation Ultranova

Files
Type
File

Title
Ultranova Userguide

Description
Ultranova Userguide

YouTube

Novation Ultranova – Keyboard Sounds Demo – EVERY SOUND!

by

DSoundman

Novation // UltraNova Official Promo

by

NovationTV

User Rating
Texture
Polyphonic instruments

Disqus comment

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Nord Stage 2

Nord Stage 2

Specifications
Polyphony –
18 Voices
Multitimbral –
2-part multitimbral
Waveforms –
Wavetable synthesis with 62 waveforms / analog synthesis with multiple waveforms
LFO –
LFO with square, triangle, ramp and sample & hold
Controls –
MIDI In/Out, USB
Arpeggiator –
Up, Down, Up-Down and Random, Range: 1, 2, 3, or 4 octaves
Effects –
Effect 1, Effect 2, Delay, 3 types of speaker simulations, tube amp simulation, rotary speaker, compressor, reverb
Keyboard –
HA88/Ha76-models: Hammer Action Weighted Keyboards | SW73-model: 73-note Semi Weighted Waterfall keyboard
Memory –
500 megabyte memory for piano sounds / 380 megabytes of sample memory / 300 patch memory locations

Naomi Bolton
Fri, 09/10/2021 – 10:41

The Nord Stage 2 was released by Clavia in 2011 as the successor to the Nord Stage from 2005 and Nord Stage Ex from 2008. It improved on previous versions with more piano sample memory as well as synth sample memory and increased synth polyphony. Clavia released three different Nord Stage 2 models, with the differences being the number of keys and compatible accessories. The models are the Nord Stage 2 HA88, Nord Stage 2 HA76, and Nord Stage 2 SW73.

 

The Nord Stage 2 is a serious digital piano, and while it is user-friendly, it is not aimed at beginners. The design of the Stage 2 harkens back to the early synthesizers thanks to its red finish and the multitude of buttons. It features Organ, Synthesizer, and Piano sounds, which can be used simultaneously. Up to two sounds from each section can also be combined in a single program for users who desire even greater sonic flexibility.

 

The piano section features state-of-the-art sample-based acoustic pianos along with advanced vintage electric pianos and is Nord Piano Library compatible. The synth section features powerful classic analog, FM, wavetable synthesis, sample playback, an arpeggiator, and a master clock. In addition, it is compatible with the Nord Sample Library for even more options. Finally, the organ section features B3 tonewheel organ modeling, accurate simulations of the classic Voc and Farfisa organs, and an advanced rotary speaker model. The latter has slow, fast, and stop modes. This section also has draw buttons with LED bar graphs for an easy overview of the active drawbar settings.

 

Other global features of the Nord Stage 2 include a comprehensive effects section, single-function control knobs, and instant visibility of current settings. Each of the three sections has its own dedicated sound generators and controls, so there’s no need for deep menus or complicated screens to navigate. The Extern Section of the Nord Stage 2 was designed solely to control external devices with ease. This is in line with its purpose of being a master keyboard. Both the HA88 and HA76 feature a fully weighted Hammer Action keyboard, while the SW73 has a 73-note Semi-Weighted Waterfall keyboard. In keeping with Nord tradition, the instruments were assembled at their Stockholm factory, where every keybed was individually and specifically tuned. This allowed for consistent response and balance across instruments.

 

The Nord Stage 2 was a flagship instrument when it was first released and still holds up well, although it has been surpassed by the Nord Stage 2 EX and Stage 3. While it doesn’t deviate too much from the design of the original Nord Stage, Clavia addressed all the issues users had and made quite a few improvements in key areas. This used to be the go-to stage piano for anyone searching for a high-performance and quality instrument and remains coveted by many.

Make

Year
2009

Musical genre

Synth type

Interface features

Format

Sound types

Price range

Image
Clavia Nord Stage 2

Files
Nord Stage 2 User ManualUser Manual – Nord Stage 2 HA/SW

YouTube

Nord Stage 2 – Demo (Full version)

by

nordkeyboards

Nord Stage 2 Demo – Call Me Maybe

by

Darren Wetherilt

User Rating
VSE Rating
Texture
Polyphonic instruments

Disqus comment

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