IN THE FIRST WEEK EVERY
At the very first moments I felt a real repulsion to the Nova,
because, at first glance, all it could do well were just these
stupidly-reverbed trancey supersaw and
pointless massive pad patches. But it's just the common case of the
factory preset programmers being lazy (or simply catering to the
needs of the public / average customer back in the year 2000).
Nova's architecture turns
out to be deep and it seems to be designed for live action with
multitimbral settings, because using multiple 'parts' is where
the real strength of this synth starts to show off (I have 24 voices
of polyphony). Apart from saying "wow" while listening to individual
sounds (Unison is kind of BIG) I will also utter a big "wow" quite often
when listening to "performances" with 6 sounds split across the
keyboard or mixed within one patch. This is where it gets deep and
where I like it the most - spectacular, multi-layered ambiences &
arrangements and a huge array of raw electronica anger. I never took
interest nor part in the "best dance / club scene synth" debate, but
listening to this kind of patches on this synth imprints a kind of
appreciation on my mind too.
Large polyphony, arpeggiator used as sequencer, independent effects
blocks that need not be shared, and a big sound are the main
characteristics of this synth. Quite obviously a "no compromises"
attitude is at the core of this project. At times the hugeness of the sound is even stunning; I feel
I could literally kill someone with the sound... speaking of which brings us to
the unexpected, paradoxical downside of this synth; Nova sounds so
powerful that it may be perceived as uncontrollable. Its low price on
the market may simply be the result of people getting tired of its
too-large, too-muddy sound. And could it be possible that I find the
A-Station sound more harmonious?...
Editing is a bit awkward in certain places, for example: small mod
matrix control panel with sources and destinations going from right to
left. But once you get into the engine, you can tweak it inside out
and achieve all the weird, synthy and non-synthy stuff. Deep stuff.
Apart from that everything's cool ? No. I hope it's just a matter of
the OS version (I've got 1.5, there's a 2.0 out there), but the engine
slows down when receiving MIDI and twisting some knobs at the same
At the beginning I felt like
I've gotten a tank to drive in a vast landscape, whereas what I needed was
to cruise in a Ferrari in Pacific Heights. I didn't want a synth good for all,
I wanted to meet an individuality. After a short while it turns out that the
(Super)Nova is both!
It's a great piece and I'm sure the vast majority of
users will be blown away and delighted, only if they accept the metallic
quality and monoaural-ness of the general tone. I'm quite blown away at times, and
certain patches sound splendid and fucking impressive. It's one of
the best VA choices out there and certainly underpriced for the features it
offers. 700 bucks out of
your pocket and what you get for that is a huge weapon for electronic music,
a workhorse, even a small stable. Novation Music is deep. It leaves the
competition quite a distance behind. I command thee
to pay serious attention to it or else die !!!!! Even so amen.