The Novation MiniNova Redefines Portable Synth Power (First Look)

This summer, Novation surprised many by announcing a new mini-synth, the MiniNova. 

The MiniNova packs the power of its big brother, the UltraNova, into a tiny, affordable ($499) package. We’re talking some pretty serious firepower, too: 18 voice polyphony; 3 oscillators/voice; 14 conventional wave shapes; 36 wavetables and 20 digital waveforms; 14 filter types; 6 envelope generators/voice; five effects slots; a flexible arpeggiator; and a vocoder & vocal effects processor.

Key features of the MiniNova include:

  • The sound engine of the full-size UltraNova
  • VocalTune and old-school vocoder effects
  • Extensive options for tweaking and warping sounds in real time
  • 256 presets
  • Up to 5 effects per patch
  • Editing software and a software patch librarian
  • Audio in, so you  can run other instruments through the vocoder, VocalTune and effects
  • 37 key controller keyboard with MIDI I/O

Novation sent us one of the first MiniNova synthesizers out of the factory. And after playing it, patching it and programming it, we’re impressed.

We haven’t been able to test the MiniNova’s Editor or Librarian software, which are still to be released. These should make it easier to create new patches and to load additional patch libraries.

For now, then, here are our initial impressions of the MiniNova. We’ll plan on following up with a more comprehensive review once the MiniNova software is available.


The Novation MiniNova is a mini-synth that seems to take some cues from the Korg microKorg. Like the microKorg, the MiniNova is designed to be enticing to beginners, with a clear layout, a genre patch selector and fun vocoder effects.

While the microKorg is a modern classic, the MiniNova benefits from an additional decade of advances in electronics. This allows Novation to endow the MiniNova with a bigger display, more voices and more power than its mini-synth predecessors.

The MiniNova makes a good first impression. A clean design, cool lighting effects and a clear layout make it a synthesizer that’s easy to get started with.

The first thing that most users will want to do is to explore the MiniNova’s 256 presets. Novation makes it easy to browse patches by including a Type/Genre selector, which filters your patches into categories like Bass, Keyboard/Lead, Dubstep and Classic Synth.

The dubstep option may end up making this synth seem dated in a few years, but the selector itself actually works really well. It lets you filter hundreds of patches down to just the category you’re looking for, making it much easier to quickly jump to the patch you want. You can scroll through patches alphabetically or numerically. In addition, the MiniNova also lets you assign 8 patches to buttons on the front panel for instant access.

Another nice feature of the MiniNova is the display:

You’re obviously not going to confuse it with the giant touchscreen displays on some of the new flagship synthesizer workstations – but the MiniNova’s display is bigger and provides more information than the displays on older mini-synths.

Performance control:

Along the top right, the MiniNova has a performance control section:

Filter cutoff gets a special place of honor. The Filter knob is huge, single-purpose and physically separated from the other knobs. So there’s no chance of confusing it with anything else when you’re playing.

In addition to the Filter knob, there’s a set of knobs that let the user control another four parameters. These are paired with a slider that selects which row the knobs control (see photo, above). The combination of the slider + knobs gives the user quick access to a matrix of 24 parameters within any single synth patch. For example, you move the slider switch to the Amp Env row, and the four knobs control the ADSR envelope for amplitude.

Four of the six rows of this matrix are assigned to controlling Filter, Filter Env, Amp Env and Oscillator settings. There are also two rows of user-assignable ‘Tweak’ options. The ‘Tweak’ options are edit-able, so the user can decide which parameters are available for live performance.

Pad controllers:

Below the Perform section, there are the Pad controllers:

These have three main functions:

  • In Arpeggiator mode, you can use the Pad controllers to enable/disable beats of the arpeggiated sequence;
  • In Animate mode, the Pads can be used to instantly ‘mod’ the patch, with up to 8 variations. When you press a Pad, it completes a patch connection, adding whatever type of modulation you configure.
  • Finally, in combination with the Favorite button, you can use the Pads to jump directly to one of 8 patches of your choice.

Microphone, vocoder, vocal effects and mod wheel

Like the microKorg, the MiniNova comes comes with a microphone. This lets you use the MiniNova both as a vocoder and as a vocal effect processor.

In addition to these control options, the MiniNova also includes standard pitch and mod wheels. Even these standard synth features have received a little extra attention, with translucent lighting effects.

This wide assortment of controls add up to a generous set of performance options for a synthesizer of this size.

Here’s one of Novation’s MiniNova intro videos that features Harry Coade demonstrating the MiniNova’s range of performance options, including the vocoder, the Animate buttons and the realtime arpeggiator control:


Around the back, the MiniNova offers good connectivity options, including 1/4″ jack input and L/R outputs, stereo headphone output & sustain pedal input; MIDI In/Out; USB port and power.

One thing you won’t find on the MiniNova, though, is a place to put batteries. Power options are limited to plugging the synth in or powering it via a USB connection.

Using The MiniNova

The Novation MiniNova is extremely easy to get started with. Just plug it in, switch the Type/Genre knob to whichever category you want and then scroll through sounds.

While the MiniNova presets are good, they don’t fully explore the range and capabilities of the synthesizer. The dubstep basses, for example, lack abrasiveness and, on some patches, it’s hard to hear the effects of various Pad ‘Animate’ mods.

After we dug in and created a dozen custom patches of our own, though, we came away with a much deeper respect for the MiniNova’s synth engine. The MiniNova has comprehensive and extremely flexible synthesis options. Mindblowing options.

Here’s a simplified block diagram of the MiniNova synth engine:

6 sound sources (three oscillators, noise and two ring mod options) feed into a mixer, which routes through configurable dual filters, an amp and then through an effects section with five slots.

This is easy to understand, but when you consider the number of options for each stage, the MiniNova’s power becomes apparent. Here are the key features of the synth engine:

Per patch

  • 3x oscillators
  • 1x noise generator
  • 2x ring modulators
  • Waveforms include:
    • Square, sine, tri, sawtooth, pulse, 9x saw:pulse combinations.
    • 20x digital waveforms
    • 36x wavetables

Filter types

  • 2x filters per patch
    • low pass no resonance 6dB per octave
    • low pass 12dB
    • low pass 18dB
    • low pass 24dB
    • band pass 6:6
    • band pass 6:12
    • band pass 12:6
    • band pass 6:18
    • band pass 18:6
    • band pass 12:12
    • high pass no resonance 6dB per octave
    • high pass 12dB
    • high pass 18dB
    • high pass 24dB

Modulation sources:

  • 20 modulation slots per patch
  • 6x envelope generators
  • 3x LFOs
  • Aftertouch
  • Velocity
  • Key scaling/track
  • Mod wheel
  • Expression pedal

66 modulation destinations including:

  • Oscillator pitch, pulse width, wavetable index, level and sync
  • Filter cutoff, resonance, envelope settings
  • Effects parameters and send levels
  • Recursive modulation (modulating modulation sources themselves)

5 effects slots per patch

  • Distortion – up to 2 instances
  • Compressor – up to 2 instances
  • Chorus/Phase – up to 4 instances
  • Delay – up to 2 instances
  • Reverb – up to 2 instances
  • Gator
  • EQ

So, for each of three oscillators, you can choose from dozens of waveforms and then you can customize how the six sound sources mix. In the filter section, you can configure two filters, each with one of 14 filter types, in whatever configuration you like (ie., parallel or sequential).

The routing options are extensive, with 20 modulation slots/patch, routable to 66 destinations. Add 5 effects slots, with 7 effects to choose from, and you’ve got the potential for some rich and expressive sounds.

Additionally, many of these sound “building blocks” offer unusual features that introduce a lot of additional potential.  One example is the Density option for oscillators.The Density parameter lets each oscillator create the sound of up to 8 unison oscillators. You can also control the de-tuning of these ‘virtual oscillators’, which lets you create a rich multi-oscillator sound with just one oscillator.

Finally, the MiniNova lets the user select from a variety of Polyphony options and Unison performance options. These options let you do things like assign 2-4 synth voices per note, creating richer sounds at the expense of lower polyphony.

The synthesizer is fully programmable, using the MiniNova’s knobs and a menu-driven interface. There are so many patch options, though, that tweaking a complex patch involves a lot of up-down/left-right menu navigation.

In addition to the challenge of navigating through menus, there are a few places where some software tweaks might make the MiniNova software a lot more usable. One example is the effects section.

The MiniNova software allows for 5 effects slots per patch. When you browse them, they are labeled FXSlot1, FXSlot2, etc. To see if there’s a particular effect assigned to that slot, you have to first select the slot and then navigate a level in to check the effect assignment. What this means is that if you want to do something like cut the reverb on a preset, you first have to navigate into each of the FXSlots to see which one the reverb is assigned to.

It would be much faster if you could see and change the effect assignment without having to play ‘find the reverb’. It would be great if Novation could compress these two steps into one – so that instead of seeing FXSLot1, FXSlot2, you’d see at a glance which effects were assigned where — something like FX1-Chorus, FX2-Reverb.

Ultimately, some user interface compromises are required when you put a complex, powerful synthesizer into relatively inexpensive hardware. Without dozens of knobs and switches at your fingertips, some menu-ing is going to be required.

We’re looking forward to testing the MiniNova Patch Editor when it is released, which should streamline patch creation.

Beyond The Synth Engine

In addition to the deep synth engine, the MiniNova offers several other interesting capabilities:

  • In addition to processing your voice with the Vocoder or VocalTune effects, you can process other audio input.
  • The MiniNova has flexible arpeggiator and chord options. These can be combined, if you want to arpeggiate chords.
  • The MiniNova can share patches with the UltraNova, too, so users will be able to use the existing four free UltraNova patch libraries.


Hopefully, this ‘first look’ review has given you a good idea of the Novation MiniNova’s powerful feature set, and also some of the quirks that go along with packing so many features into a mini-synth.

We plan on revisiting the MiniNova in greater depth, once the Patch Editor and Librarian software is available, and will offer our final take on the synthesizer at that time.

Based on what we’ve seen so far, though, the Novation MiniNova redefines portable synth power. It’s easy to learn and easy to use, but it offers a very deep synth engine, with a huge variety of synthesis and performance options to explore.

Novation MiniNova Resources:

65 thoughts on “The Novation MiniNova Redefines Portable Synth Power (First Look)

    1. How do I change the settings on the pitch wheel I don’t want the octave sound I want it to go to a different key when I raise the wheel and also how do I change the mod wheel changed to vibrato on my vocoder to make it sound more real I would like to know how to do it in order to use it on a vocoder on the mini nova

  1. I will definitely be purchasing one of these. Seems like it will be a lot of fun, and all the demos I have heard have some decent sounds in them. I just need to decide which I am buying first, this or a Minibrute.

  2. I like the way it looks and sounds. Seems like a fun synth to play.

    However, it’s missing the simplicity of the Microkorg. With the MK, every single parameter that can be edited is listed on the matrix UI, and is only 1 knob twist away. It’s easily the most user friendly of all the knob-economical synths to use, and thus it is incredibly fun to use as a synthesizer. You never need to think or know what menu hides what parameter; you just look on the list, and dial it in.

    So while the MKXL, and now this MiniNova, are more powerful, by leaps and bounds, they don’t appear to be as fun to use as synthesizers without the need for software.

    Also, the lack of a battery option knocks my anticipation down a few notches.

    I love throwing batteries in my MK and taking it hiking, or to the park, or to wherever.

    1. The need for some menus, though, is unavoidable when you put a monster synth brain in a minisynth body. And that’s what Novation has done with the MiniNova.

      Good points about the microKorg, though. It is pretty easy to use, once you get past the tiny type. And I’ve used the battery power when traveling before.

      Some people are going to look at the MiniNova as a microKorg-killer, but they are different enough that i could see wanting to have both.

      1. I agree with them being different enough to warrant both.

        I’m still interested in this, and I want to learn more.

    2. Daniel – I’ve got a lot of respect for the microKorg, too. Despite being a mini-synth, having limited polyphony, being virtual analog, etc., the microKorg still has a pretty flexible synth engine that’s fun to work with.

      From my perspective, though, the MiniNova matches the microKorg in the ‘fun department’. It’s sexier on the hardware side and you don’t run into some of the limitations that you run into with the microKorg (like limited polyphony, two-oscillator architecture, lack of reverb, etc.)

      Your point is valid, though. Add a bazillion options and a synth becomes more capable – but also more complicated.

      1. Glad to hear you are having fun with this.

        I really do love the MK, and it’s knobby older brother the MS2000. Yes, they each have limitations, but I typically work better with some limitations.

        The Micron is infinitely more powerful than either, but it’s also infinitely more complex, and thus not nearly as fun to use as a synth (although I love the sound of it, and used it for years).

        I am definitely keeping my options open with the MN, and a lot of that has to do with the looks and the sounds. But the looks definitely a factor. As synthheads, I think we’re all somewhat attracted to the aesthetics of the instruments we use, and the MN looks damn sexy.

  3. I’m looking forward to checking this out as soon as it’s available in town.

    It looks like they cut costs in the right places, shrinking it down without dumbing it down. Also, it looks supercool.

  4. I was really excited about this, bought it last week & on the first day it started glitching out. If you look at the website they are already on a second os update because of noted bugs. I think this was a rush to get this out for X-mas.
    I really like the Ultranova, & never had any problems with it(It’s much easier to menu dive it’s parameters also). Like I said, I REALLY wanted to like this(It’s much more attractive & filled with better options than the Microkorg XL), but so far they have some issues to fix first.

    1. Inkgnostic – I didn’t run into any show-stopper bugs, but I may be using the synth very differently than you.

      If you can, share the issues that you ran into. This may help other readers make an educated decision about whether the MiniNova will meet their needs now or if they should wait for a round of updates.

      1. I experienced garbled monotonous shrieking feedback(So I assumed that while fine-tuning presets I had accidentally changed a setting to produce this).I immediately jumped to another preset without any success in change of tone: same garbled feedback. After restarting it, the mininova returned to it’s original state, only to have the feedback eventually return. I might’ve received a clunker, or I could’ve waited for an OS update to fix this problem, but there are enough more-than-reliable synths on the market to not worry about such things.

  5. I think both the UltraNova & the new mini Nova could very well be the best hardware synth(s) to get if your workflow is fully aimed around (using) DAWs. I especially enjoy the aspect of the device being fully USB powered as well as providing VST-like support (if I remember the stuff I read about it correctly) thus allowing you to configure it straight from within your DAW. Most likely even automatable too…

    How’s that for versatility ?

    1. aymat – when it comes to push and shove, Synthtopia readers don’t have much dubstep love.

      That said – when scrolling through hundreds of patches, the genre knob filters them into small batches.

    2. I guess I really should not care, but the knob I wish just was not there. So with aymat I would agree, the knob is not so nice to see. Future users will find this knob we hated, has made the synth seem awfully dated. But in the end, I could be all wrong, that’s why the whole world is singing this song! Jam on it!! Jam on it!! I said Jam ja ja ja ja jam on it!! Rhyme 100% intended.

        1. “Funky” isn’t really a genre, is it? People still aim to make funky music in 2012, and probably still will in 10 years. But will they be making dubstep in 2022?

    3. I used to have a microkorg (sold it to buy some genuine analog gear) and the genre knob bugged me so much I put stickers over the words! So I’m both an analog and non-genre knob snob.

  6. Just like the MINIAK this is clearly a better synth, but it too will fade away in the shadow of the MK’s brand power.

    Screen looks really clear and usable

  7. I see aftertouch listed in the modulation section. Does that mean the keyboard has aftertouch, or just that the synth engine responds to aftertouch?

    1. It responds to aftertouch, but the keyboard doesn’t capture it.

      While patches are interchangeable with the UltraNova, there are a differences in the synths capabilities. I haven’t seen Novation spell out the differences, but the UltraNova captures aftertouch, stores more patches, can be used as an audio interface and has stereo audio inputs.

  8. I still love my Novation X-Station, and would love to have a portable Novation synth with microkeys, but the price and lack of battery power make me less interested in this than I had hoped to be.

  9. First of all I think the MicroKorg is a horrible sounding thing. Johnny’s first synth? Fine. But it sounds terrible.

    Second. I can’t get past mini keys. They just feel wrong. I would have far preferred a two octave, full sized keyboard if they really needed to shrink the UltraNova down. But the Genre knob and vocoder mic tells me where they are rowing the boat. Can’t deny that it looks much nicer than it’s big brother and it’s intended victim.

    I bet it sounds much better than a MicroKorg as well

  10. The genre Dubstep is one thing we will look at and laugh in a couple of years

    This could be the first synth with “Dubstep” written on it.. “does it wobble? – of course it’s written on it! “

  11. “The Micron is infinitely more powerful than either”

    I agree, the micron/miniak packs an insane amount of options including FM, a sequencer, and a drum machine! and the details you can see on that tiny screen are also surprisingly impressive, but I am in the process of trying to sell mine because it is too cumbersome for me to try and create patches.

    I was worried that the “mini synth” interface on the Mininova would get in my way, but I am still eager to try one to experience the workflow. I am happy to see the basic desirable editing is instantly accessed.

    As far as the vocoder goes from the micro korg to the mininova… its only 8 bands to 12 bands, so of course it will sound better… but it is still 12 bands. i one day hope that synth makers but atleast a 32 band vocoder in a synth… not everyone wants to do the robot.

    I look forward to purchasing a Mininova once the price goes near $400, haha i will be waiting a while.

  12. Even if you consider it as a module, that has keys as a bonus to make it self sufficient, its superb value! SuperNova is back, better than ever, and now every one can buy it!

  13. I’ve replied earlier about the lack of batteries option, but there’s another user complaining about that so I’ll repeat myself by noting that you can use a portable USB battery charger to power anything that is powered by USB.
    I had an Ultranova and I used on my couch, powered by a portable USB charger.
    Chargers with more capacity will give longer autonomy. I have a 11.000mAh that I use to recharge an iPad. 11.000mAh is a lot and should power the mininova for a lot of hours (don’t know how many without knowing the Mininova’s current draw – it should be little).

    Get a charger and take the mininova outside 😉

  14. Attention ,this is a very dangerous synth!
    You have to watch out that you don’t fall into sleep while playing or programming or you will be blind.

  15. I owned a MicroKorg and tried it out next to the MS2000. IMO the MicroKorg sounded audibly thinner. But that is just my opinion and it is at least based on actually using it. I had a Xiosynth 25 that I thought sounded fab until the controls started going wonky and the parameters jumping around like crazy if you barely touched a knob. I was able to sell it on to someone who thought they could fix it.

    I am not putting down mini-synths as a group and I am sure that some people put them to good use.

    The endless pursuit of the latest and greatest has sort of worn me out to be honest. Buy stuff, sell it at a loss to raise money for the next wave of stuff. I am getting very near the end of the the gear chase. The plan is a certain collection of distinctive, flexible equipment that I can learn in depth over the years.

    It does include one mini-synth.

  16. My microkorg, micron, xiosynth, and K-station are buried deep in the closet, unlikely to ever see the light of day again. Should I add a mininova to this collection?

  17. I’d love the same synth in a rack version. I’ve been waiting for a microkorg rack too, but I’m afraid isn’t possible; Korg has preferred paint it red and black… hate mini keys he he

      1. An unlocked contract-free 16GB iPhone 5 costs $650 USD, an unlocked contract-free 16GB iPhone 4S costs $550, and an unlocked contract-free 8GB iPhone costs $450. I suppose the first two cost “way more”, depending on one’s financial state. They all provide “masses of synth power” in addition to being capable of a wide range of other tasks.

  18. Tough to compare to the Microkorg when it’s almost 200 bucks more expensive. For the little price difference the Ultranova is a considerably better value.

    1. At least at Amazon, the microKorg is $400, the MiniNova is $500 and the UltraNova is $600.

      It seems like fair pricing – you pretty much get what you pay for. The microKorg is a nice mini-synth. The MiniNova adds a lot of power for $100 more. and the UltraNova adds a lot of power, plus a full-size keyboard, for $200 more.

      I’d bet too that, once these are in production for a while, the MiniNova street price is going to come down to the microKorg’s.

  19. Nice. If the build is even halfway solid, its a stupid-good value. Novation’s claims of a “liquid” sound are accurate and fair, so I’d think woodshedding over the editor would be a great project. OS changes will eventually crater bundled software, but not before you can build a hefty library. With the particular modulations they have offered in the past, this synth will invite such work, even if its streamlined down a bit. I had a KS4 and a friend has a Nova. We agree on how intriguing the company has been, with almost every release feeling musical beyond the usual presets. I’ll read the reviews as they appear, but I’ll bet this can set a new gold standard for non-modular mini-synths.

    1. You can do it all without the editor – the software isn’t even out yet!

      The software should offer better usability. Though.

  20. Question for those who already bought the MiniNova: How is the build quality? Do the knobs wiggle and how is the overall feel of the device? I’m still deciding on what to buy: Roland Gaia, or Novation MiniNova/UltraNova. The interface of the Gaia is very hands on and has a friendly layout, but the sound of the Nova’s is more aggressive and sounds better to my ears. The Nova’s also seem to go deeper regarding the synth possibilities, but of course you need a computer to really dig in, which is not the case with the Gaia.

    MiniNova looks pretty awesome, by the way! This will be serious competition for Korg.

  21. Got my MiniNova today. One thing I ca say is the build quality is better than acceptable but not tank like. The little switch that toggles animate/arpeggio has some loose play. Feels a lot like the decent but plastic Korg Microsampler. The envelopes are very quick and snappy, the sound has an expensive, premium gloss that the radius-derived Microkorg does not have. Covers all the sonic ground I could dream of. Vocal effects track well. If the genre knob is a deal breaker for you, then you are a superficial perfectionist and are missing out on serious fun and a real sound design and performance tool.

  22. After a few more hours with the Mininova I can report that all the knobs, especially the 4 edit knobs, are wiggle with various random degrees of movement. But functionally, perfect. I can also say that the front panel is metal and not plastic like I thought at first.

    Sidepanels: hard to say what the material is. Still: I love this sound engine and the thing is load of fan and looks devilishly handsome. Filters have a generous level of oscillation but do not quite go into the analog behavior of say a Moog ladder (which the Alesis Ion managed to do almost 10 years ago with a much more limited processor.) Which is funny, the manual explains how this can be used as a sine source, but it can’t get into that fully oscillating feedback whistle.

  23. i bought a mininova a few days ago it seemed great at first the screen would occassionaly reset itself,then i attached midi to it and i saw the problems pile up.

    midi seems to receive on ALL channels no matter what you do even using the handshake method you can play the mininova from any midi channel without being on that midi channel EG i was on channel 10 and played the mininova on channel 1-16 no problem
    when i attached the sequencer Roland MC50 it went bananas when i tried to change the patch, like it was feeding back i changed the midi local to off i changed midi channels it made no difference
    i can play it through the controller keyboard but what use is that i cant use the animate buttons then.
    ive mailed novation twice received no reply as yet and the librarian only supports windows 7 and 8
    i have windows xp

    i may have to send this back as the midi is useless

    ill repost if they sort it


  24. ok ive solved this thank god

    the MC50 has two outputs one is set for keyboards without an omni mode (i think) anyways this means i can use output 2 off the sequencer to operate the Mininova only it cant be operated
    by a mother keyboard using this method but so what

    its a mid feedback problem my old cz1 used to have it i was using this as a mother keyboard
    and the notes used to sound twice if i set midi output 2 on the MC50 to thru it works


  25. Just received my Mininova. First impression: great potential! Factory patches are not all great (are they ever?). Goes from resonant sqeals to thunderous growls and from thick to thin. Performance pads are great and arpeggiator is excellent. Adds yet another set of distinctive sounds and possibilities next to my already excellent Microkorg XL, MS2000 and X-Station – patch editor / librarian will be key. Minibrute arrives next week!

  26. I have bought Mininova couple a weeks ago, and got problem it seems that Mininova sends all midi chanels even if i set it to a channel 12 on my Electribe ESX, it still playing all notes of my parts on ESX.
    I am connecting Mininova with my Electribe ESX via MIDI. the Electribe is a master. As soon as i press play thensound on Mininova gets played on Electribe, but Midi chanels on both machines set to a different value.

    Anyone have any ideas. Is that a fault mininova?


  27. My fiance got his today in Bradford after playing the only one in a shop in Leeds on 14th December, after taking his MicroKorg XL still under warranty for repair (numerous bits were dropping off it without being bashed about) seeing as it will take months to get back and falling for this we got him one today (25/1/13)and he loves it, no problems with the keys at all and so simple to use. He’s picking his voices for a gig he has with his rock band tonight and having loads of fun and can’t wait to use it. Powered it DC and via USS but it won’t download a driver as yet, but that’s only for me to play with it, he’s a keyboard player where as I’m the ‘computer’ person in the house. It has really strong sound and looks beautiful!

  28. the problem with entry level synths is you have opinions being tossed around like theyre facts from people with little to no experience whatsoever. this thing is a good option for someone just starting out that doesnt have any plugins or midicontrollers. i find the design extremely uninspired,they basically completely ripped the look of the microkorg and xl off. the “sound” is subpar to alot of plugin synths,same with its filter. ill stick with my limited polyphony ms2000 that punches/cuts right through a mix,doing modern and vintage with ease.seriously you can coax much better tones out of a micro,but try them out for yourself and remember when you hear mini demos online, those presets are so smothered in effects the sound is deceiving. remember when it comes to specs that there are freeware synths with more features and they sound terrible.put it this way, my slimphatty is a basic monosynth and will shit all over anything you come up with on this turd.

  29. also i have an xl, and use it much like dorian concept uses his mini synths(he is a complete beast with his though) so the person saying it just falls apart is making up stories same when talking about how better the keys are on a mini.just flat out lie.its not even something thats subjective.the keys on the mini are terrible which was surprising since this is a novation product and their midi controllers feel pretty damn good.they already ripped off korg with its layout/looks,they should have gone all the way and ripped off the xls keybed too.both micros are capable of producing way more bottom end aswell.

  30. This is the first synth I ever bought. I may be new to synths, but I have a lot of experience with musical equipment, especially effects pedals, so I am somewhat advised in the matter. Stuff I like: the looks, the live playability, the wide array of sounds. Stuff I don’t like: the plastic enclosure (only the top panel is metallic), the wiggly knobs (though they seem pretty darn OK in terms of durability), the performance matrix slider (imprecise) and especially hate post of the preset patches. The downloadable content is also not that great, except the two packs from Daniel Fisher which are superb and really show off the Mininova potential.

    I bought this synth mostly because I needed a little bit of everything at a “cheap” price and I’m not disappointed. I’m in no way a sound purist or something like that, I like digital clipping and muddying up everything with guitar effects pedals. So I can’t complain about the sound at all, but my opinion isn’t really relevant.

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