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quinta-feira, 29 de junho de 2017

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN - Novation Supernova II

This was a hard one to let go...

I have had (and still have) several VAs in my studio setup and this one is definitely a top unit, with an insane amount of possibilities available!

This was one of the first VAs available, at a time most units still featured 2 oscillators rather than 3 per voice and when polyphony and timbral parts available were still quite limited...

Back then, it was one of the top models, together with the Access Virus and Waldorf Q, thanks to the interface full of knobs, plus a nice amount of polyphony and parts available!

In fact, it was even more powerful than some ROMpler workstations when it came to the amount of effects available!
Each part has 5 independent effects so that when you use multitimbral mode all your patches sound exactly the same as when you use only single mode!
My old Korg Triton Pro cannot do this, for instance...

But going back to VAs...

From the ones mentioned, I have never owned an Access Virus so far, but I have had both the Waldorf Q and Novation Supernova II in my studio.

Personally, I don't think the Novation is a worse machine than the Waldorf, I think they are both in the same league when it comes to sound quality and possibilities for sound design.

They are different machines, with different sonic possibilities, but each of them has some advantages over the other.

Personally, I think it is one of the best VAs I ever used, with a really nice set of features and a pretty good interface full of knobs (there are some functions you can only edit after some menu diving, but that's to be expected when you take into account how versatile it is...).

It is also very easy to configure a nice multitimbral setup on it, that actually matched my Sequentix P3 perfectly (8 tracks for 8 multitimbral parts).

And the sound was just great, as you can hear in the two demos I made available when I was selling it:

Playing with the Novation Supernova II

Sequencing the Novation Supernova II

So, how could I end up selling it?

Unfortunately, my unit had a very annoying issue that I honestly think is a design flaw...
When twisting the knobs, it was possible to notice some zipper noise, especially when twisting knobs related with volumes and even filter (if you try a bit, you can probably notice that in the demos I presented above).
While this wasn't too bad when working with a complex sound (and even less noticeable after recording), it was really annoying when trying to make a new sound from scratch...

From all I could find out, this is not a flaw with my own unit as many other users experience this problem...
Unfortunately I couldn't get a straight answer from Novation (since they don't seem to have any Supernova II anymore...), but from the possible causes they suggested, I am pretty sure that's the way it is supposed to work, which I feel is a major shame...

When I think about all the other VA synths I have, I just felt it wasn't really worth keeping the Novation as I was most likely going to go for another unit to create my own sounds from scratch (and as you know from my performances, I always prefer to use my own sounds whenever it is possible...).

But I can say it will surely be missed...
And if this zippering is not a serious issue to you (using an external MIDI controller attenuates the problem), go for it, cause it is quite versatile and sounds pretty amazing to me! ;)

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