Novation MiniNova Review

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Quick Overview

FEATURES

QUALITY

PRICE

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Comes with tons of onboard sounds
  • Very handy
  • Amazing synth engine

Cons

  • Mono timbral

As new technologies are introduced, musical instruments and the way you produce music also improves.

Although you can produce music using your music software, getting a MIDI controller can open more opportunities for you.

Music Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) controllers have been around for decades.

In the past, it was used to connect external hardware devices like samplers and sequencers.

Today, MIDI controllers can connect directly to your computer.

There are a lot of brands in the market, one of which is Novation.

If you want to start a music career, your Novation MiniNova review will help you determine if this particular controller can help you.

Novation MiniNova Analog Synthesizer

Novation is one of the oldest manufacturers of synthesizers and MIDI controllers.

The company is one of the reasons the sound of electronic music has become popular around the globe.

When it comes to MIDI controllers, Novation is definitely one of the best brands to consider.

The Novation MiniNova is one of its latest offerings, and it is a smaller version of the UltraNova synth.

They are both designed for studio and stage use, but they have a few key differences in performance.

The UltraNova synth and the MiniNova have the same sound engine, with the latter having a smaller form.

Who Is This Product For?

As one of the most advanced MIDI controllers in the market, the Novation MiniNova is made specifically for music producers.

Although compact enough to bring anywhere, this particular MIDI controller shines the best when used on studios for recording and stage performances.

Beginners can use the Novation MiniNova. If you are still learning how to use a MIDI controller, it can be a good starting device for you.

It’s not too complicated to use, and the features are good enough to help you produce amazing sounds.

As a smaller version of the UltraNova synth, professionals can also use it.

Other devices can offer better features, but it is a good alternative if you’re on a tight budget.

The controls are very basic, but the advanced features are almost on par with more advanced MIDI controllers.

What’s Included?

The package includes the Novation MiniNova Analog Synthesizer and a manufacturer warranty of three years.

Novation MiniNova Analog Synthesizer

Novation is one of the oldest manufacturers of synthesizers and MIDI controllers.

The company is one of the reasons the sound of electronic music has become popular around the globe.

When it comes to MIDI controllers, Novation is definitely one of the best brands to consider.

The Novation MiniNova is one of its latest offerings, and it is a smaller version of the UltraNova synth.

They are both designed for studio and stage use, but they have a few key differences in performance.

The UltraNova synth and the MiniNova have the same sound engine, with the latter having a smaller form.

Who Is This Product For?

As one of the most advanced MIDI controllers in the market, the Novation MiniNova is made specifically for music producers.

Although compact enough to bring anywhere, this particular MIDI controller shines the best when used on studios for recording and stage performances.

Beginners can use the Novation MiniNova. If you are still learning how to use a MIDI controller, it can be a good starting device for you.

It’s not too complicated to use, and the features are good enough to help you produce amazing sounds.

As a smaller version of the UltraNova synth, professionals can also use it.

Other devices can offer better features, but it is a good alternative if you’re on a tight budget.

The controls are very basic, but the advanced features are almost on par with more advanced MIDI controllers.

What’s Included?

The package includes the Novation MiniNova Analog Synthesizer and a manufacturer warranty of three years.

Overview of Features

The Novation MiniNova Analog Synthesizer has a smaller size than other synthesizers.

Still, it’s packed with amazing features that would create fantastic sounds and music.

Don’t let its size fool you because it can create and edit bass synth sounds, lush pads, soaring loads as well as vintage synth sounds.

Let’s have a closer look at some of its most notable features:

  • Powerful Synth Engine

With its powerful sound engine and synth effects similar to the UltraNova, it is considered one of the most powerful synthesizers in its range.

It comes with 14 waveforms that you can choose from, 20 digital waveforms, and 36 wavetables.

The three oscillators contain density or detune to fatten the sounds.

It also comes with virtual sync and hardness that would serve as its lowpass filter.

To effectively shape the sound, it comes with 14 filter types, three LFOs, 20 modulation slots, and six envelope generators.

Novation MiniNova's synth engine is so powerful that you can add up to five effects for every sound.

That includes reverb, chorus, compressor, distortion, EQ, reverb, and unique gator effect.

  • 37-Key Controller with MIDI Input/Output Ports

The Novation MiniNova can also be a desktop keyboard if you want to trigger software instruments.

There are physical MIDI ports for the external sound modules.

If you plan to create music without musical instruments, the 37-key controller can help you create the sounds through musical software.

Yes, it is possible to produce your own music without any type of external music instrument.

  • Live Synth

There are eight animated buttons that you can use to twist and warp the sounds in real-time.

This is an amazing feature as it allows you to make the sound or music more alive and add a little flare to it.

Along with the filter knob, oversized pitch, and modulation wheels, as well as four editing knobs, you can act like a professional DJ while twisting and warping the sounds.

  • Performance Control and Instant Editing

By looking at the “Perform” section, you will see around six positions assigned for every knob.

This feature will allow you to access the synth and control the performance of the sound.

It would provide access to 24 parameters, allowing you to bend and control the sound.

  • Classic Vocoder With a New Vocal Tune

The Novation MiniNova Analog Synthesizer features new vocal effects that would bring your voice to the next level.

Along with the Vocoder, it comes with a VocalTune. You can sing into the mic and play the tune that you want your vocals to follow on the keyboard.

This would create classic vocal effects that would give life to your music.

You can even use the synth engine and the vocoder and add more effects like distortion, reverb, and more.

  • Onboard Sounds

It has 256 onboard sounds along with another 128 to save your own sounds.

You can search through the sounds by choosing the type of music you want to make or the type of sound you want to add.

It comes with free software that allows you to store all the sounds you want on your computer.

If the 256 onboard sounds are insufficient, there are other sound packs that you can get.

How To Select Sounds With the Novation MiniNova

Looking at this Novation MiniNova review, one of the best features of the MIDI controller is the 256 onboard sounds and 128 slots for your own sounds.

Here is a short guide on how you can use the 256 onboard sounds in your MiniNova.

Data Knob

The 256 onboard sounds are accessible in the performance controls.

You can see the data knob in the middle. You can use it to browse through all the available sounds.

Edit Knob

If you want a more specific search, you can use the big edit knob beside the data knob.

There are different types and genres of music that you can choose from; it would narrow down your search and help you find the type of music you are looking for at the moment.

Patch Buttons

You can also use the patch buttons to browse through sounds.

If you want to hear every sound, you can use the arrow buttons to check it out.

Just press the arrows, and you can switch to different types and genres of sound.

Numbers

You can see numbers on the keyboard as well. You can assign a specific sound on every number to help you.

Once you’ve selected the sound that you want, hold the favorite button and press the number where you want to save it for three seconds.

Favorite Button

Once you’ve assigned the sound to the numbers, you can switch sounds by pressing the “favorite” button and the number.

It will change the sound while you are pressing on the keyboard.

 Alternative

The Novation MiniNova is definitely a fantastic synthesizer as it provides basic and advanced features that would help you create your music.

However, some people think that there are other products with a shorter learning curve.

Arturia MicroFreak Hybrid Synthesizer

A good alternative to the Novation MiniNova is the Arturia MicroFreak Hybrid Synthesizer.

Their price is almost the same, but the latter is easier to use and has many advanced features.

It can blend digital oscillators with analog filters and comes with a unique poly-aftertouch keyboard.

Compared with the Novation MiniNova, the keyboard is flat, so it may take a while to get used to it.

The digital oscillator is a treat for musicians as it allows you to make rare and interesting sounds without breaking a sweat.

The manufacturer included different modes like the KarplusStrong, Texturer, Harmonic OSC, and Superwave to give more options to musicians and provide them with more unheard possibilities.

The MicroFreak synthesizer features 11 oscillators, 4 bespoke Arturia engines, and seven modes at Mutable instruments.

It is also extremely versatile with its 12-dB Oberheim SEM filter that would enable you to use varying levels of filters.

The Novation MiniNova is definitely a masterpiece, but if you want something easier to use with almost the same features, then the Arturia MicroFreak is your best option.

Novation MiniNova Review: The Verdict

With all the available options in the market, it is easy to get swayed when buying a MIDI controller.

If you don’t know the best brands to consider, you might end up buying the wrong one.

It’s not a bad idea to do your research first before you buy a synthesizer.

The Novation MiniNova is probably the best choice if you consider features and price.

The unit itself is not too expensive, and the features are so amazing that it can rival more expensive synthesizers.

If you need a solid MIDI controller, give the Novation MiniNova a try, and you will never regret it!