MATRIXSYNTH: Monday, September 5, 2016

Monday, September 05, 2016

September Part 4

Published on Sep 5, 2016 Ritchie DeCarlo

"still experimenting with this one.
getting used to the 2 Mother 32 units
with Animoog on the iPad...
The Journey continues......"

MATRIXSYNTH Review and Overview of the Novation UltraNova

Hi everyone, you might remember, back in July I posted some pics of my newly acquired UltraNova, and mentioned that review posts would eventually follow. Well, I’m happy to tell you the first post is here. The UltraNova is one powerful synth, so to make the overall review a bit more consumable, it will be broken up over time. This first section includes an Overview, the Oscillators, and the Mixer sections. When new sections go up, I will be sure to let you know via a new post.

As with most of my reviews, I will say this one goes pretty deep into the synth engine and all editable parameters. If you are the type of person that likes to dissect and explore all of the available parameters on a synth, then this post is for you. I will touch on what each parameter does and will call out any interesting features and limitations as I do so. There are some pretty special parameters on the UltraNova that give you control beyond most other synths. Hopefully this review will give you some insight into what makes the UltraNova special.

Overview & Quick Comparison to Previous Nova Synths

The Novation UltraNova, released back in 2010, is a 20 voice virtual analog & wavetable synth with three oscillators, two ring modulators and one noise source per voice. The UltraNova also features two audio ins that can be assigned to the oscillator section and/or a 12-band vocoder. It’s worth noting that the Novation Nova from 1999 featured a 40-band vocoder, while the Supernova II from 2000 featured a 42-band vocoder. The UltraNova is a monotimbral synth while the 12 voice Nova was six part multitimbral and the Supernova II (24, 36, or 48 voice) was eight part multitimbral. The UltraNova supports up to 5 simultaneous effects per patch. The Nova supported 42 simultaneous effects, while the Supernova II supported up to 56. The Supernova II also supported FM synthesis while the Nova and UltraNova omit it.

The UltraNova, however, is the first Nova synth to feature wavetable synthesis. An interesting side note is that all of the oscillators on the UltraNova are actually stored as wavetables, including the standard waveforms. According to Novation, “The wavetables in the Supernova series are all calculated. The wavetables in the UltraNova, even the standard analogue waves are wavetable oscillators. This change in oscillator generation was first used on the A-Station and K-Station and subsequently in the KS series, X-Station and Xio.” This allows the UltraNova to have some advanced tricks when it comes to the oscillator section, which will be covered in detail below.

I asked Novation about the lack of FM synthesis and they told me, “FM would have been a lovely addition to the UltraNova, but it would have been asking too much of the DSP to be able to run everything the UltraNova can do and also add in FM. The wavetables were a really good way to introduce a new (to Novation) type of synthesis that is able to cater for some of the synth sounds that FM is known for and also to be able to create lush evolving pads.”

The UltraNova features two routable filters per voice with a total of 14 filter types to chose from including 6dB (no resonance), 12dB, 18dB, and 24dB with Lowpass, Bandpass and Hi-pass modes. The Nova and Supernova II lacked a 6dB mode.

As for hardware, although the UltraNova may have fewer knobs per function than its predecessors, it is extremely well laid out and super intuitive to use. Along with both keyboard velocity and aftertouch, the UltraNova has touch sensitive knobs. They literally respond to touch and can be assigned to various parameters. Worth noting, velocity is configurable, however, aftertouch is not. I found the aftertouch to be good, but it does require a little extra force than I prefer; it’s good for not accidentally triggering it, but not so good for subtle, natural performance.

Please note the above comparisons with the Nova and Supernova II were only for quick reference. The UltraNova of course is its own synth with a few tricks up its sleeves that are lacking in the original Nova line, including a level of control over the synth engine often only found in the modular realm. It sounds incredible, and for the price, currently only $599 new, it is an extremely flexible and powerful synth. You get the current top-of-the-line Novation Nova synth engine with new wavetables and more. The UltraNova is both a performance oriented synth as well as a synth programmers dream. It can be configured for easy access to specific parameters for a live situation, or you can dig as deep as you want with a clearly well thought out interface.

That said, let’s dig in.

The following review and overview will essentially go over the signal flow of the UltraNova followed by performance controls including the arpeggiator and the hardware interface. I’ll go into a little detail on what each feature can and cannot do in an attempt to give you a detailed idea of what the synth is capable of. Because my reviews tend to be a bit on the longer side, I will be posting the sections in chunks over time to make it easier on you to consume and for me to compose.

First we start with…

Ninja Gaiden - Masked Devil (Nintendo Music) - Moog Minimoog Model D

Published on Sep 5, 2016 MrCaliforniaD

Recorded with:
Audio - Moog Minimoog Model D.
Video - Videonics TitleMaker 3000 / Critter & Guitari Video Scope

Euro Minimoog with mostly DIY modules

Published on Sep 5, 2016 Randy Piscione

"This is a quick and not particularly polished video of me trying to emulate the sound of a Minimoog using some Moog-ish modules. Keep in mind I can't duplicate the functionality, the Minimoog was an inspired design for more reasons than just its sound.

I describe the modules and then get into some noodling. If you want to just hear the samples, go to 1:20-ish. There is a bit of glide. Video was shot with a Nikon D7000 at high ISO and not enough light, which is why the modular has the romantic candlelight glow, and audio was recorded using the USB record feature on a Behringer X32 console."

Eric Archer Analog Computer Bouncing Ball 2

Published on Sep 5, 2016 EA78751

"Eric Archer of Rare Waves LLC demonstrates an analog computer model of a particle bouncing on a vibrating table. The collision events and velocity data are used to synthesize audio by triggering a voltage controlled percussion module. The side-scrolling oscilloscope display shows the particle position (top trace) and the table position (bottom trace). Many interesting aspects of chaotic dynamics are observed, and we also learn that it sounds really cool.

Copyright 2016 by Eric Archer. All rights reserved."

Vintage Analog Oberheim Matrix-12 with New Displays

via this auction

"For sale is a great condition Oberheim Matrix-12 Synthesizer. If you are reading his, you probably know what this is! This is the most powerful analog synthesizer in one chassis EVER MADE! This particular unit is listed "AS-IS" because occasionally on startup it will display the 'voice processor 0 malfunction' error message. I believe this could be remedied by a power supply board rebuild. Most of the time the unit starts up fine, functions fine, sounds great, and passes all the calibration tests as pictured. This particular unit has been upgraded with brand new encoders and brand new displays ($500) which replace the old vacuum fluorescent displays which always die. The matrix-12 front panel has also been refinished to have a high gloss finish and has a protective coating over it. The 'matrix-12' logo on the front has some paint missing (pictured), other than that it looks great! This is also a unit which has factory aftertouch. Included is the original manual, power cord, and the synthesizer itself."

ARP Solina String Ensemble SE-IV Keyboard Synthesizer SN 0111540

via this auction

"Up for sale is an Arp Solina String Ensemble SE-IV. The unit functions normally, records exceptionally well, and was used in a well-known artists smoke-free studio.

I think these machines make great additions to any studio and excel at doubling parts or creating thick pads. The voice options create timbral variety and there are multiple outputs for recording on the rear of unit."

Adam Jay - Distant Origin

Published on Sep 5, 2016 Adam Jay

Elektron Analog Four & Machinedrum, Roland TM-2"

Yamaha DX 7 IIFD With Flight Case

via this auction

Roland JD-Xa Synthesizer

via this auction

Like embers.

AKAI AX-60 Vintage Analog Synthesizer

via this auction

Oberheim OB-SX

via this auction

Pic of the inside below.

MoMinstruments presets fluXpad feat. Mr. Maloke (Puppetmastaz)

Published on Sep 5, 2016 mouse on mars youtube official

iTunes: fluXpad - MoMinstruments GbR

"Drawing music app fluXpad is available now at iTunes:

fluXpad is a new app on MoMinstruments. It's developed by Mouse on Mars’ Andi Toma & Jan St. Werner and sqrt-developer Jan T V Falkenstein. fluXpad is the first sample sequencer that fully functions by simply drawing the sounds. In fluXpad it’s super simple to record your own sounds, to create different pattern and to jam with them."

Published on Sep 5, 2016 redskylullaby

MoMinstruments fluXpad: Introduction

fluXpad - MoMinstruments GbR

"fluXpad is the first sample sequencer that fully functions by simply drawing the sounds. In fluXpad it’s super simple to record your own sounds, to create different pattern and to jam with them.

fluXpad is a sample based groovebox/workstation with a highly original sequencer, where you “draw“ your music, which leads to completely different results, when compared to a traditional sequencer. The y-axis of your canvas controls pitch, while the x-axis controls the sustain of your notes. Sounds familiar, but drawing on a canvas without any grid is a totally new experience. Of course it is possible to quantize your notes, or you can limit your note range to major or minor scales.

fluXpad has been developed by Mouse on Mars and Jan Trützschler

– 6 melody sequencers where you paint your melodies based on a sample of your choice
– 1 percussion/drum sequencer where you paint/tap your groove made of 7 samples of your choice
– record mode: either paint your sequence (on the top) or tap your notes (at the bottom)
– each sound has it’s own sampler settings with unique envelope, loop and start settings
– quantize / unquantize functions for each sequencer or the whole pattern
– 7 patterns to jam with, for each preset
– ability to record your own samples with the build in microphone
– import samples via iTunes or AudioShare
– huge sample library with high quality sounds/kits made by Mouse on Mars and others
– lots of demo projects made by Mouse and Mars and others
– ability buy new projects/sounds via In-App-Purchase
– ability to export/backup your projects (including sounds)
– Audiobus supported
– IAA sync supported
– Ableton Link supported
– ability to sync via midi to other apps, hardware"

Adam Jay - Distant Origin

Published on Sep 5, 2016 Adam Jay

Elektron Analog Four & Machinedrum, Roland TM-2"

New Double Knot Patchable Hardware Synthesizer System by Lorre-Mil

double knot teaser Published on Sep 3, 2016 Will Schorre

via Lorre-Mil

"Double Knot is a patchable synthesizer system which is both sequencer and voice. It can be thought of as something of an indeterministic "groovebox". A stereo instrument with two identical voices that can give different rhythms, melodies or cross timbral slaps. The idea of this instrument is to invite reconciliation of linear and nonlinear systems, and to encourage the building of multiple-feedback synthesis architectures. User interface is with rotary potentiometers, switches, and banana cables. Patching puts are banana ports of round brass tube. Clock in and out are 3.5mm jacks bearing 5V square waves. Audio output is 3.5mm line out."

We a new maker in town! This is the first Lorre-Mil post here on MATRIXSYNTH.

AniModule Whole Song Modular Workflow Integration with MPC1000, BassStation and Miniak

Published on Sep 5, 2016 JRock17991

"Check out my Modules at:
Modular as MonoBass and Percussion integrated to Whole (Live) Song workflow with MPC1000, BassStation and Miniak. AniModule MIDI_Gate controls Percussion and BassStation is MIDI-CV converter for MonoBass section"

Oscilloscope & Moog

Published on Sep 3, 2016 Miguel d'Oliveira

"Hooked up an old oscilloscope to my Moog = No work done the whole afternoon.
Some of the wave forms are absolutely hypnotic.
I wish Moog had put an oscilloscope on the Voyager instead of that pad."


Published on Sep 4, 2016 Miles Cosmo

"A recent live set using the Elektron Monomachine, Machinedrum, and the Novation Circuit. A real power trio. Enjoy!

Copyright Miles Cosmo (Miles Philip) 2016"

5 Days of Circuit

Published on Sep 5, 2016 Jeremy Leaird-Koch

"Let's play with the Novation Circuit!

The Circuit is a 2 synth, 4 drum groove box.
The Launch Control XL is a MIDI controller that has templates for working with some of the Circuit's parameters.

I recently got this combo and have been working on various sessions. Here I'll run through some of the stuff I've made, mixing and tweaking on the fly.

The Launch Control is in Mixer mode and gives me access to effect sends and levels. Super useful!

Hope you enjoy."

Patch Programming the Serge Smooth & Stepped Generator - Patch of The Week

Published on Sep 5, 2016 Doug Lynner

"Thirteen patches using the Elby Designs EuroSerge Smooth & Stepped Generator. Learn to Patch Program. These work on any brand's version.

Download the Patch Diagrams for this video:

Doug offers modular synthesizer lessons and consultations. For information write

Doug's website is"

Roland TB-303 Computer Controlled Bass Line

via this auction

Moog Model D Minimoog with mods

via this auction

"You are bidding on a used late Moog Model D Minimoog

cabinet/metalwork restored/polished

operational condition is excellent

one of the last 200 machines produced

circa 1980

modifications include -
Filt env invert toggle switch
dedicated lfo/Triangle/square mod source
Vco sync/hard/sweep toggle switches
Output hard wired to ext input (bypassed when ext in is used by another source)

CV/Gate jacks added on rear but not yet wired up

please note, low G key has been replaced and is slightly brighter than the other keys"

Crumar Orchestrator w/ Pedal

via this auction

"This Crumar Orchestrator is in excellent condition and has been very well taken care of. It is fully functioning, and all keys, sliders, and buttons work. It also comes with the rare and highly coveted filter cutoff pedal, and the cover/lid that protects the top of the instrument. There are some minor knicks and scratches here and there (see pics) but overall it is in great condition for its age."

Xenophone Hypersynth

via this auction

Oberheim OB-8 Synthesizer

Oberheim OB8 Rundown Published on Sep 5, 2016 treplacements90

via this auction

Sequential Circuits Prophet VS Rack SN 0315

Published on Sep 5, 2016 treplacements90

via this auction

- Synth functionality is flawless
- Unit was reportedly owned by a successful 90's industrial rock band

- Joystick does not function
- Broken data entry slider
- Needs new volume cap
- Externally unit is in fair condition

I've owned many synths and can attest the functionality of this unit is flawless. Cutoff, voices, switches all work."

Session on MS-Töpfer in Vangelis-Style (Spirals)

Published on Apr 25, 2016 Wolfgang Schmid

"OK, kein wirklich gutes Video, hatte alle Hände voll zu tun
... der von mir entwickelte MS-Töpfer in Action als Arpeggiator-Setup ... bisschen im Style von Vangelis - Spirals"

Late Night Song

Published on Nov 9, 2014 Wolfgang Schmid

"A Track I've done this evening live again without computers, only synthesizers.

MIDI-Clock as Master Quasimidi Polymorph == Korg MicroKorg == Casio XW-G1
Additional an Korg MS-20 and an Marshall-Amp MG100DFX with an Washburn 93' with FloydRose.
Recording with an Medeli DR3 PCM Linear-Recorder."

Experimente an den Synthesizern (Behind the Scenes)

Published on Apr 26, 2014 Wolfgang Schmid

"Experimente an den Synthesizern Micro-KORG, Nord-Lead1 und Casio XW-G1...
Dieses Video ist natürlich etwas 'unkoordiniert' , aber zeigt wie ich live mit mehreren Synthesizern spiele und wie es so zusammen in einem kleinen Teil funktioniert. So entwickle ich meine Ideen, die ich später Live spiele an den Geräten. Hoffe es gibt einen kleinen Einblick, wie man eine Live-Performance ohne Computer entwirft.
Have fun and make music!"

DL - Techno Live Sets

Published on Aug 30, 2016 DL Live

"Techno Live Set using Elektron Octatrack, Analog Four, Roland TR-8, TB-3 and TM-2."

Station X Bletchley Park Imitation Game Synth Music

Published on Sep 5, 2016 kvfive

"A recent visit to Bletchley Park inspired me to make a live performance track, a great day out was had by all and I highly recommend a visit !

Synths used: Microbrute, Volca Sample, Roland JP08, Waldorf Streichfett, Akai MPX8, Roland System 1 & TB-3.

Bletchley Park Website:

Imitation Game Website:

My Websites: &

Thanks for watching :)"


Published on Sep 4, 2016 Jim Gordon

"Waldorf Q+ Waldorf XTk Novation Supernova Roland JP-8080 Elektron Machine Drum E-mu Procussion Ableton Live"

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