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Old 30.04.2017, 12:29 PM
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Default New synth - Novation Peak

It's an interesting product. Instead of digital oscillators at 44khz, based on a FPGA rather than a DSP (very cool)! These run at 24Mhz over 500x faster than typical digital oscilators, so no aliasing, pretty much indistinguishable from analog.

Filters are analog, and also the analog signal runs in parallel to the digital FX (speaking of which, the reverb is amazing).

$1300 isn't cheap though, and I wonder how they will make out on sales at that price point. In terms of my own taste, it doesn't sound bad but the softsynth world has spoiled me with regard to my preference of using knobs for ADSR envelopes versus sliders. Sliders are nice in that they give a visual of the envelope, but I still prefer to work with knobs, and with soft synths I get the best of both worlds since the VST display gives me a good visual of what I'm doing in real-time and a snap shot of where the envelope is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7XEdg88bJg
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Old 30.04.2017, 06:36 PM
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I never could get a decent pad or lead out of a Novation synth. Wonder if this will buck the trend?

New Waldorf synth looks much more interesting, but the polyphony is low.
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Old 03.05.2017, 12:10 PM
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Might depend on what types of pads or leads you're after, but I've been happy with the sound capabilities of the Ultranova (not so much the factory patches). It's not going to be able to produce complex, textured pads like the Virus can being a single timbral synth, but then again the Virus can't do what Padshop Pro can do. As a stand-alone, live performance synth the Ultranova doesn't compete with the Virus, but as an addition to a DAW set up it's a lot of bang for the buck, because if you need to add complexity or texture to a sound, you can layer with a softsynth to fill in harmonics, pulsing background texture, or whatever. Not sure about Novation's other synths, but the UN does "cut through the mix" type sounds very well, which I think makes it most at home in a DAW environment.

That said, I think the value of the total package of the UN and the price point, (including the keyboard itself, the plugin, touch modulation, etc) is part of its strength and if we started to take away some of those features and raise the price, it would start to become less attractive fast. So, I wonder if they are entering treacherous waters with a $1300 synth that is only 8 voices, no keyboard or plugin control, etc.

I think the technology behind the Peak is the real news (the FPGA mentioned in my earlier message). While I've yet to hear a sound out of the Peak that made me want to run out and buy one, I think the innovation of using field programmable gate arrays for oscillator generation is noteworthy, and it will be interesting to see if other synths (either from Novation or other vendors) follow suit. It's an indication someone was thinking outside the box and doing something different, which is something I like to see in new instruments.
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Old 06.05.2017, 04:08 PM
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FPGAs up until recently have been cost-prohibitive. While they are still used to design ASICs, the beauty of them is that they can be used to emulate entire SOCs if needed.

This means that the peak should be up-gradable (via software) for quite a long time.
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