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Novation MiniNova

Small synthesizer... BIG SOUND....

After their success with the UltraNova, Novation realized that not everyone wanted or needed such a large piece of kit in their studio, where desktop space is constantly fought over, but would like all of the power of the UltraNova in smaller form… So that’s exactly what they did… Welcome to the MiniNova.

Containing the same sound engine as its big brother, the MiniNova is deceiving in its size. Weighing in at just 2.52kg and measuring just 560mm x 250mm it looks like it might not stand up to other synths on the market but scratch a little deeper and we find some specs that are pretty exciting. Up to 18 note polyphony straight away sets this ahead of its nearest priced rival. 3 oscillators, 1 noise generator and 2 ring modulators create a powerful base for sound design producing a selection of waveforms including square, sine, triangle, sawtooth, pulse and 9 combinations of saw/pulse. A further 20 digital waveforms and 36 wavetables make your starting blocks pretty comprehensive.

The MiniNova has a large rugged filter potentiometer situated in the center of the unit, making it great for live performance. You can assign 2 filters to every patch from a choice of 14 styles including high pass, low pass and band bass, all with controllable resonance.

20 modulation slots can be assigned to every patch, including 6 envelope generators, 3 LFOs, aftertouch, velocity and an assignable mod wheel. These can be assigned to a total of 66 destinations including effects parameters and send levels.


On the front panel of the unit we find 8 LED lit pads. Set up to control the incredible arpeggiator and animate functions, these pads can also be assigned to control any mapable parameter, giving fantastic clear control for live performance. With 5 effects assignable to each patch, the ability of the MiniNova to design your own custom sounds seems pretty awesome. The unit comes with 256 onboard sounds and an empty user bank for your own designs that can be easily categorized thanks to the genre switching dial. To make sound design even easier, the unit comes with its own editing software so that when the unit is connected via USB you can create your own sounds within your chosen DAW.

MiniNova also has a vocal tune effect and classic vocoder with its own included gooseneck microphone. By running external instruments into the unit you can use all of these effects on third party instruments. The unit has a 37 key controller keyboard and full midi compatibility.

With a retail price of only £299, the MiniNova seems a serious contender for head honcho of budget synthesis. I know I want one.


Novation, 2012. Mininova synthesizer. Novation. Available from: [Accessed 18 November 2013].

Paul Nagle, 2012. Novation mininova synthesizer. Sound On Sound. Available from: [Accessed 18 November 2013].

Dan Goldman, 2013. Novation mininova synthesizer. Musicradar. Available from: [Accessed 18 November 2013].

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