Novation MiniNova 37-Key Synthesizer with Vocoder

37-mini-key Synthesizer/Vocoder and USB Controller with Realtime Performance Controls, 14 Filter Types, 6 Envelope Generators, 3 LFOs, and Gooseneck Mic
Novation MiniNova 37-Key Synthesizer with Vocoder image 1
Novation MiniNova 37-Key Synthesizer with Vocoder image 1
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Novation MiniNova 37-Key Synthesizer with Vocoder
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It's MiniNova!

Small yet beastly, Novation's MiniNova 37-mini-key synthesizer/vocoder gives you robust performance controls that let you tweak and warp 256 great-sounding onboard presets - and your voice - in real-time. Under the bonnet, MiniNova sports the same potent synth engine as its big brother UltraNova. String synth engine modules together in the 20-slot modulation matrix to create monster patches. Jam to patterns you create with the onboard arpeggiator. Connect MiniNova to your computer via USB and use it as a MIDI controller. Want boatloads of synth in a pint-sized package? You want Novation's MiniNova.

Novation MiniNova 37-mini-key Synthesizer/vocoder at a Glance:
  • Gets its attitude from its big brother
  • A beefy synth engine juiced with great-sounding effects
  • Knobs and buttons (oh, goody!)
Gets its attitude from its big brother

The Novation MiniNova is endowed with the same sound engine as its big brother, the UltraNova. It ships with 256 dynamite patches that you can tweak using five knobs - or completely warp with MiniNova's eight Animate buttons. MiniNova also sports an onboard voice-tune effect as well as a classic vocoder. The net result is a powerhouse of a synth in a tidy, trim package.

A beefy synth engine juiced with great-sounding effects

Novation's MiniNova has the beefiest synth engine ever put into such a compact synth. You get 14 waveforms (square, sine, sawtooth, pulse, and triangle, plus variations), 36 wavetables, plus 20 digital waveforms. Each of the three oscillators (per voice) sports Density/detune for fattening up sounds, Virtual Sync, and Hardness - which functions as an additional lowpass filter. Speaking of filters, MiniNova is fitted with 14 different types (you can run two simultaneously), six envelope generators, three LFOs, and a modulation matrix with 20 slots in which you can string synth engine modules together to create a sonic beast. Effects? Definitely. With MiniNova, you can add up to five effects to each voice - that includes distortion, reverb, compression, EQ, chorus/phase, delay, and Novation's proprietary Gator effect. Wow!

Knobs and buttons (oh, goody!)

Novation's MiniNova has unique and powerful sound-shaping capabilities for such a bantamweight. You get knobs, naturally, that let you tweak your sounds, but you can also "animate" sound using eight back-lit buttons that trigger mods in the synth engine that warp your patches in real-time as you play. There's a large knob for filter cutoff so no matter what else you are doing, you always have instant control over the filter. MiniNova also sports a 33-pattern arpeggiator, and you can use the eight buttons to jam with these patterns, creating completely new sequences (in real-time) in the process.

Novation MiniNova 37-mini-key Synthesizer/vocoder Features:
  • Massively powerful mini-synth with UltraNovasound engine
  • Voice-tune and classic vocoder effects
  • Tweak and warp your sounds in real-time
  • 256 amazing sounds onboard, instantly searchable
  • Layer up to five effects per voice
  • Comes with editing software and a software patch librarian
  • Run guitars andother instruments though the vocoder and effects
  • Also functions as a 37-key controller keyboard with MIDI I/O
The Novation MiniNova is a beastly little synth!

Additional Media

Novation 1992-Today for UltraNova and MiniNova
Novation Goes '90s-retro
The SuperNova Lives On!
Novation Announces Free Supernova Soundpack for MiniNova and UltraNova
Hands On Review: Novation MiniNova
Novation Mini

Tech Specs

Sound Engine Type(s) Modeling
Number of Keys 37
Type of Keys Mini
Other Controllers Pitchbend, Mod Wheel
Polyphony 18 Notes
Number of Presets 256
Number of Effects 7
Effects Types Distortion, Reverb, Compression, EQ, Chorus/Phase, Delay, Gate
Arpeggiator Yes
Audio Inputs 1 x XLR, 1 x TRS
Audio Outputs 2 x TS, 1 x Headphones
USB 1 x Type B
Pedal Inputs 1 x Sustain
Height 2.95"
Width 23.2"
Depth 9.06"
Weight 6 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number MININOVA

Customer Reviews

Based on 24 reviews
Write your review

Modulation Monster

I've owned this synth for a few years now and it never seizes to amaze me with what it's capable of. With so many filter types, envelopes, lfos, effects, and modulation slots, you can honestly make pretty much any sound you can think of. And at times, you can really get wild with sound creation. Even now, with so many affordable synths being released in this price range, the MiniNova remains completely relevant. While it may not be the warmest sounding synth, its massive synth engine more than makes up for anywhere it may fall short to other synths. That's not to say that it doesn't sound incredible, because with the power and flexibility this thing has, it's hard not to make great sounding patches. This synth's true capacity will reveal itself once you start programming your own sounds. P.S. Sound editing onboard is not as bad as some people make it out to be. You can always assign the parameters you're tweaking the most to the performance matrix (if it isn't already on it). Even though the matrix says there's 4 assignable "tweak" slots, plus 4 assignable fx parameter slots, you can assign any 8 parameters to the top two rows as long as the parameter can be assigned to a tweak knob (the second row does not have to be fx parameters). Need more incentive to purchase it? Novation's customer service is unparalleled, in my experience. No other manufacturer has responded anywhere close to the number of inquiries, nor in the time that Novation has. Plus, if this is your first synth, it comes with a very comprehensive owner's manual, along with a few software applications to get your music production rolling. Build quality is also extremely good; there's almost zero wobble in the knobs, the body is sturdy, and the keyboard is comfortable to play. If you purchase the MiniNova, I assure you that you're in for a treat. I can confidently say that the MiniNova will always remain a part of my synth collection.

Just awesome

Does what it's supposed to do and very easy to use. Extremely worth price considering some of the higher priced models are not this easy to use.
Music background: Hobbyist, Semi pro

microkorg has some new competition!

I was using the microkorg for so many years and loved it. Then i saw that the new Mininova had a bit of the same layout / design but had a little extra punch as far as what it can do and the over all look and feel / performance ect. Some knob features are very microkorg-ish but that is a good thing since i am a huge fan of them. Microkorg is still a great synth for sure! Well, you can't blame novation for this move with Mininova. After all, the microkorg still is the most selling synth ever! It seems Korg will have a bit of competition now with the Mininova! I LOVE the MiniNova so far after just playing if for 10 min. I for one am a fan of mini keys so i had to have one. I love the layout and huge sound and smooth controls it has. When I have more time i will be at it for hours I'm sure, tweaking and programming! The only thing that seems cheesy is the fake wood ends. I think thay are plastic? This wont stop people from buying it I hope. If you have loved the microkorg you will really love Mininova. BUY ONE! The lighted wheels are bad-*** too! Very happy i made this move with Mininova. You will too! PS.. you can mess with the dubstep sounds to make them not dubstep! Thank God!
Music background: pro

A Mini Powerhouse

I wasn't expecting this small keyboard to be so incredibly powerful and versatile. I bought it mainly for the vocoder feature and the vocoder is top notch. However, when I started checking out all the sounds and what this device can do with those sounds, I was knocked off my feet. I thought, as the name implies, this would be a mini version of a more expensive keyboard. Yes and no. While it is Mini in the size and number of the keys, this small keyboard will bring the house down. Whether you're using the vocoder or the bass station or the saw tooth synth, etc. it delivers a full punch in the mouth. It may look like a toy but it is anything but. Go ahead and treat yourself to some real fun. Some days, I can't pull myself away from it. No need to worry about programming anything because you can't improve perfection. While there are save slots for your user files, I don't think you'll be needing them. Way to go, Novation!
Music background: Studio owner, musician , etc

Amazing Original Dirty Snyth

I've owned lot's of keyboards over the years, but this one stands out. This is not a mainstream keyboard but more of a professional niche keyboard. What I like most about this keyboard is it's character. It's sounds are easily changeable and the sounds are dark and explosive. I am a video producer who writes music for the commercials I produce. The music I created for my lasted commercials had everyone asking how did I create such awesome sounding music. I proudly pointed at the MiniNova.
Music background: Video Producer, Pro Musician, Photographer, Compositor

Sweetwater Advice

Andrew Teeple

As a professional musician and songwriter, the Novation MiniNova has been invaluable while I'm on the road. It gives me all the massive bass and soaring leads of its big brother UltraNova in a keyboard that will fit in my backpack! Awesome!

Carson McClain

The Novation MiniNova picks up where the MicroKorg left off. Affordable, lightweight, portable, and a completely unique and different soundset when compared to other boards similar to it. The highlights of this board are all easily accessible and not buried in menus. Just 30 minutes with this little beauty and you will fall in love (until you meet her bigger sister, ULTRANOVA!).

Mitch Gallagher

The Novation UltraNova has been hailed as an outstanding modeled analog synthesizer, delivering both authentic vintage sounds and cutting-edge tones. Plus, it has vocoder functions, can serve as a USB controller, and can even work as an audio interface for your system. But this article isn't about the UltraNova's amazing power. It's about the equally powerful MiniNova, which includes the same high-powered synth engine as the UltraNova, as well as the same vocoder capability and USB controller functions. The big difference? (Maybe I should say the small difference.) The MiniNova is designed to be a more compact, lightweight synth, with 37 mini keys and a downsized chassis. But don't let that small size fool you. The mini keys are extremely playable, and you get plenty of hands-on knobs, switches, buttons, and controllers for anything you want to do. A software editor and a patch librarian are also included. Want more features? You get a 33-pattern arpeggiator, 256 classic and modern patches, eight Animate knobs for warping sounds, three oscillators and five effects per voice, and a 20-slot modulation matrix. And best of all, you get big brother UltraNova's engine and features for about 2/3 of the price -- nice! For me, the MiniNova makes a great mobile synth solution, with full-sized sounds coming out of a compact and lightweight unit. In the studio, it connects up and serves as a powerful MIDI sound module with the rest of my keyboards and my computer. From big, fat basses to screaming leads to pads to arpeggiated tones, the MiniNova can cover a wide range of applications -- and sound great doing all of them!
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See also: Novation, Novation Synthesizers