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

Hands On Review: Novation MiniNova

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 21 reviews
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This unit packs everything I need! Great job Novation!

Sure To Give The Competition The Blues!

No full-size keys like the UltraNOVA but it sure makes a great travel synthesizer keyboard! Together with a good tablet or laptop with MIDI interface and audio recording software, a good, portable audio speaker and it makes a good on-the-go "studio." The 18-note polyphony suggests that you can edit a few of the patches to get some piano sounds. Who knows what's in it!?
Music background: I had a collection of Yamaha keyboards, a pair of Magnus electric fan organs; one with 44 notes and one with 37 keys and 12 chords; a Baldwin

Awesome Synth

Combine this with the Eventide H9 Max or Strymon Bigsky...ummm...mix that through the oh my... ummm it's sweet... Nice fat sound through JBL305... Awesome synth for the sound engineer in the studio! Great for sound production. Thank you Sweetwater and especially Marshall for everything you do!

sides are not plastic but not real wood!

took the side ends off with hex key and they look like a pressed wood like on a cheap computer stand. they have a lamenent over them to simulate a wood finish. not sure why they did not use the real thing? looks like more work to make them look but it is not plastic. it's a great synth anyways. I will make real wood sides for it though soon. microkorg wins on that note!
Music background: pro

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

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!).

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!

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 Synths / Modules