Novation MiniNova Best Synthesizer – Review (2023)

On Novation MiniNova review the sound engine and the effects on MiniNova are the best of any small synth. More polyphony, effects, and modulation. You may gradually change or fully distort any sound with the turn of a knob or the push of a button, giving it access to practically unlimited variations. You can create all the dirty-fat bass, soaring leads, beautiful pads, and vintage sounds you could ever desire on a tough and compact 37 mini-key synth. 

The Roland JD-XI or the MiniNova are your two best choices if you’re seeking something more lightweight and portable, in my opinion. The features and the cost are both accurate. The Roland outperforms the MiniNova is a slight financial investment. However, if mobility is not a major concern for you, you might want to think about the UltraNova and the Korg Minilogue.

General Overview about Novation MiniNova

A big sound and a little synth. Be aware of its diminutive size; find your sound right away. A Patch Librarian allows you to install and save as many additional sounds as you’ll ever need on your PC in addition to the 256 fatal sounds that come with MiniNova and the storage space for 128 of your own. Despite the abundance of choices, you may rapidly search for them by selecting your favorite musical genre or tone. 

Lead? Bass? Techno? No matter what music you’re searching for, “Hip Hop” will help you find it swiftly. Don’t worry if you’re having difficulties getting motivated; we frequently release brand-new, free sound packs for MiniNova that we create in association with illustrious artists and sound designers.

Editor Rating: 9.4/10
Performance and sounds9.4
Build Quality9.2
Value for money9.3

Create your own vocals. Vocal Tune is a unique function of the MiniNova Vocoder. When you talk or sing into the microphone, your voice will be automatically tuned to the notes you play on the piano. As an alternative, you may use the effects engine to add fully unique effects to your voice. To create attention-grabbing vocals or recreate vintage vocal riffs, add EQ, chorus/phaser, gator compression, reverb, distortion, or any other effect. 

Don’t limit yourself to only voices though; you can build some extremely intriguing effects using your instrument or any other audio source in conjunction with MiniNova’s Vocal Tune, vocoder, filters, and effects. By selecting the “Animate” mode and pressing one of the eight LED buttons, remarkable performance features can be unlocked.

To play along with the arpeggiator rhythms in real-time, switch to the “Arpeggiator” mode. Using the keys to add and subtract steps, you may change the arpeggiator step sequencer. Discovering your new voice together. Everything about the music-making process is important, and we’re always looking for new ways to inspire you as you go. That’s why we started the Sound Collective. 

novation mininova

To help you get the most out of third-party software, receive free downloads of the most innovative software instruments and creative FX from artists we like, as well as special prices available just to Novation users. Simply register your Novation equipment, and one offer will appear on your Novation account every few months. But was extremely astonished by the things this synth offers for its low price. It has gorgeous blue panels and wood finishes covering its exterior. 

There are red and blue LED lights on it, and the pitch wheels elucidate blue. The knobs also help movement and are a fair size. The MiniNova was designed as a road synth because of its portability and small size. It also only has 37 keys.

The next-generation UltraNova was created to be the younger sister of the MiniNova. It also has a blue finish but isn’t as aesthetically beautiful. In direct contrast, the Korg MicroKorg has a less gorgeous color that is off-green-grey and doesn’t look as enormous. Since we are all visual creatures, esthetics and form are essential even if they aren’t a deal-breaker, especially when you’re paying hundreds of dollars for a musical instrument. 

This synth was deemed to be precise overall at first sight, but it is also believed that it would plausibly shock a lot of people by being a cheap bang for your buck. The new UltraNova uses the same synthesizer engine for the voice tune and other vocoder effects, with a maximum of five voices. This has more presets than the MicroKorg and the Minilogue, while the Minilogue only supports polyphony with up to four voices and allows for 100 user settings. 

Again, the only real competitor is the Roland JD-Xi, which has a big preset library and up to 128 voices of total polyphony. This keyboard is wonderful since it also functions as a controller with MIDI I/O; furthermore, the sub is a potential option. The keyboard’s versatility is increased by the fact that its effects may be applied to other instruments. These options are available on most of the competing synthesizers that we have previously looked at; only the Korg MicroKorg lacks this capability. 

The synthesizer engine offers 14 different waveforms. Triangle, square, sine, sawtooth, and pulse are a few examples. It also includes 36 wavetables and 20 digital waveforms, giving Novation credit for packing so many options inside this synthesizer for $400. You get a lot of capabilities with this tool. Well, proceed to scan the keyboard, pausing at each key and switching what it offers. 

Blue lids illuminate the leftmost two-pitch wheels of the synthesizer. Wave already mentioned how the other competing synthesizers don’t have led pitch wheels; above this is a section to control the arpeggiator and an XLR slot for your vocoder mic. Two buttons to control whatever octave you are in, and another section of the set of the microKorg and Roland JD-xi is nearly identical.

The controls for the arpeggiator are absent on the UltraNova, which sets it slightly apart from the Minilogue. In my opinion, one differentiating feature sets the MiniNova apart from the competitors, including its larger brother. UltraNova’s best feature is its respectably sized 16-character LCD screen. The massive box LCD panels are preferred over the UltraNova 144-character slit LCD panel; the Minilogue, however, lacks an LCD screen.

The microKorg has a 3-character, 1-line, 8-segment LED display compared to the Roland JD-xis 16-character, 2-line LCD, although some may consider the UltraNova to be the clear winner. Experts believe that the MiniNova outperforms its competitors due to its screen. 

You may decide the genre or music style with the enormous knob, along with the aged synth and all options, which is the default setting. There are five options on each side, and your eight bank controllers are below it on the right. This is a good place to start for someone new to the synthesizer world, even though some of the competitors offer more banks. I believe that if there are any more, somebody may get lost.

Check Out: Best Synths for Ambient Music


The 8-Track Pattern Sequencer on the Roland JUNO DS61 features non-stop recording. The 128 Note Roland Juno DS88 includes Korg Minilogue features for polyphony Polyphonic 16-Step Step & Motion Sequencer. A gooseneck mic with a built-in Vocoder & Auto Pitch is a feature of the Roland JD-XI. The Yamaha MX88 1 has 61 drum kits and 106 voices.

mininova novation


  • High-performance UltraNova Sound Engine.
  • Our acclaimed Nova-series synth engine may be enhanced with up to 18 voices and powerful effects to create and alter massive sounds.
  • On the gadget is the Vocal Tune vocoder.
  • The effects engine may be used to process your instruments or produce catchy, robotic vocals.
  • With eight “Animate” buttons, large pitch and modulation wheels, and five knobs that enable you to alter your sounds in real time, you can radically distort your sounds.
  • 256 Excellent onboard sounds are present.
  • Look up sounds instantly by genre or musical style, from bass to pad, from hip hop to house.
  • Additionally, the keyboard can store 128 of your own sounds.
  • The Nova keyboard has editing software and a patch library.
  • Your synthesizer and effects may be fully edited, and you can save as many sounds on your Mac or PC as it can hold.
  • Download free sound packs on a regular basis from famous sound designers and artists.
  • It has software tools that can be triggered.


In essence, this is what makes a synthesizer an excellent choice. The MiniNova provides a solid and
rich tone since every one of its 3 oscillators has density/detune to enhance the sounds. In my opinion,
the microKorg’s tone isn’t as deep and rich.

However, the Roland JD-XI and MiniNova are similar,
especially because the latter has more polyphony possibilities. I think the price could affect which option you should pick. The Ultranova features a complete set of keys and the same synth machine as the MiniNova while it is significantly more costly.

Novation MiniNova Analogue Modelling Compact 37 Mini-key...
  • Make Huge Sounds- Create deep, gritty bass, soaring leads, lush pads, and vintage sounds with up to 18 voices and powerful effects.
  • Built By a Legend- MiniNova’s synth engine was conceived, shaped, and refined by British synth legend Chris Huggett and has his five decades of passion, experience, and expertise behind it.
  • Gently Tweak or Instantly Warp- Subtly tweak your sounds with the knobs, or totally warp them with the Animate buttons, pitch, and modulation wheels.

 While being more expensive and providing a wider variety of user options, the Korg Minilogue is believed to be significantly less portable due to its unique design. The Roland JD-XI is a fantastic substitute. It features all of the typical synth sounds and is an easy-to-use instrument. It is just slightly more expensive than the MiniNova. The microKorg also is thought to be the poorest choice. Its cost is lower than that of the MiniNova, if not somewhat less expensive. Investors just didn’t like the way it looked overall, despite the fact that the sound quality wasn’t too poor.


  • A single UltraNova Sound Engine.
  • Our distinctive Nova-series synthesizer, with up to 18 voices and powerful effects, can produce and modify enormous sounds.
  • You may use the effects engine to process your instruments or create robotic and recognizable vocals.
  • The Live Tweak and Warp Sounds.
  • With the help of five knobs, eight “Animate” buttons, and large pitch and modulation wheels, you may completely alter your sounds.
  • Available are 256 Awesome Onboard Sounds.
  • Instantly look up sounds by style or musical subgenre, from hip hop to house, from bass to pad. Additionally, 128 of your own sounds may be stored onboard.
  • Your effects may be layered.
  • Each voice may have up to five effects added, including EQ, compressor, delay, chorus/phase, distortion, reverb, and our very unique gate “stutter” effect.
  • Editing software and patch librarians are available.
  • Edit your synth and effects completely, then store as many sounds on your Mac or PC as you can.
  • Bass and vintage synth are present.
  • Regularly available for download are sound packs made by renowned musicians and sound designers.
  • Use MIDI I/O to activate external sound modules and join bigger keyboards.


  • UltraNova Sound Engine is present.
  • Our distinctive Nova-series synthesizer, with up to 18 voices and powerful effects, can produce and modify enormous sounds.
  • You may use the effects engine to process your instruments or create robotic and recognizable vocals.
  • On the keyboard, adjust and warp Sounds Live.
  • With the help of five knobs, eight “Animate” buttons, and large pitch and modulation wheels, you may completely alter your sounds.
  • Available are 256 Awesome Onboard Sounds.
  • Look up sounds instantly by genre or musical style, from bass to pad, from hip hop to house. 128 of your own sounds may also be kept onboard.


  • It has a heavy feeling.
  • It is a little expensive.


To maintain their market dominance, many businesses are competing with one another to outperform one another. The keyboards for the contest are; 

Moog Subharmonicon Semi-Modular Polyrhythmic Synthesizer vs Novation MiniNova

Harmony and rhythm are well coupled in analog. The Semi-modular 60HP analog synthesizer module with 2 VCOs, a Sequencer, a VCA, and 4 Suboscillats. A 6-tone sound engine and a multi-layered sequencer are used to promote sonic exploration. 

Use both to investigate polyrhythms, subharmonics, and the intriguing connections they could provide. You’ll be able to build organic sequences from scratch that alter and grow as you perform. Thanks to a range of user-friendly hands-on controls, the Subharmonicon is easy to use. 

Despite the fact that you’ll be making complex noises and patterns, it has been created to be as user-friendly as possible. Because it features two VCOs, two four-step sequencers, four rhythm generators, and four subharmonic oscillators, this little, powerful synth shouldn’t be overlooked.

MOOG Tabletop Synthesizer, Black, Subharmonicon...
  • 60HP Semi-modular Polyrhythmic Analog Synthesizer Module with 2 VCOs
  • 32-point Patchbay
  • 4 Suboscillats

Nord 49-Key Modeling Synthesizer vs Novation Mininova

Nord’s Lead A1 Analog Modeling Synthesizer has a forward panel interface that is easy to use yet highly powerful. It has a lovely sound. Numerous musical genres work well with Lead A1’s unique tones. Also, The Lead A1’s mindfully thought-out user interface highlights experimentation, speeds up programming, and yields spectacular results. 

At the center of the Lead A1 is a special analog modeling machine that can duplicate a whole analog sign path with astounding accuracy and significant sound variety. With its 26-voice polyphony and with four simultaneous synthesizer sections, the Lead A1 shows a synthesizer that outperforms the norm. The Lead A1’s front panel section is crucial to its design. 

Professional musicians’ needs to quickly achieve the optimal sound led to the design. It is simple to create and experiment with patches on the Lead A1 thanks to its redesigned oscillator section, also pre-programmed modulation matrix and simplified ADR envelopes.

Nord Lead A1 49-Key Analog Modeling Synthesizer
  • New analog modeling engine with 26-voice polyphony and four simultaneous synthesizer parts
  • Simple yet sophisticated front panel interface designed for speedy patch creation and deployment
  • Multi-configurable oscillator, 5-waveform LFO, 12/24 dB low pass filter, 4 arpeggiators with up, down and random modes and 4-octave range

Yamaha Reface Portable Synthesizer vs Novation Mininova

The polyphonic Reface in 8 notes is more than just another monophonic analog clone, CS’s five unique oscillator modules offer an astounding range of sounds from analog to digital. Use the built-in effect and filter to give your sound personality, and the LFO and EG to animate your sound. Use the built-in Looper to capture musical inspiration. 

You may create complex chords and pads with eight-note polyphony, or you can switch to mono mode to create a heavy synth bottom or solo leads. Analog Physical Modeling Engine, Integrated Looper to record song ideas or just to jam, You can work swiftly and naturally wherever you are with its 37-key HQ small keyboard, which features an integrated speaker system and a better feel and responsiveness.

Yamaha REFACE CS Portable Analog Modeling Synthesizer, White
  • Analog Physical Modeling Engine with multiple synthesis and oscillator types
  • 8-note polyphony allows complex chords and pads or switch to mono mode for fat synth bass or solo leads!
  • Integrated phrase Looper: capture song ideas or just jam!

Korg MicroKorg Modeling Synthesizer vs Novation Mininova

The Micro Korg delivers a broader variety of waveforms than any other modeled synth and shares a dual-oscillator DSP synthesis engine with Korg’s lauded MS2000. There are a total of 71 waveforms in Oscillator 1. They include less popular choices including Vox wave and cross wave in addition to more usual analog waves like Saw, Pulse, Sine, and Noise. 

They work well together and offer a cool selection that can be changed to produce a wide variety of timbres. Thanks to its 64 distinctive waveforms from Korg’s vintage dw-8000, the Micro Korg can also reproduce a variety of imitation sounds. It would be challenging to replicate sounds like bells, electric pianos, guitars, basses, and other instruments on an analog synthesizer. 

Additionally, you may use oscillator 2’s ring and sync modulation to produce the intricate tones that actually distinguish a competent synthesizer. The four filter modes include a very severe -24 dB (4-pole) low pass setting, a -12 dB (2-pole) low pass setting, a High pass configuration, and a bandpass configuration. 

All of them resonate. You may sculpt your sounds with two traditional ADSR envelope generators and two midi-synchronization LFOs. You may get performance that is unheard of from a virtual patch matrix by adding one that enables you to construct complicated modulation settings, such as routing the Mod wheel to control filter cutoff or pulse width or utilizing an LFO to control panning or loudness.

Korg microKorg 37-Key Analog Modeling Synthesizer with...
  • Sound Generation Method: Analog Modeling Synthesis System
  • Synthesizer Program: Multi Timbral=2 (max, Split/Dual Mode)
  • Voices: 4 voices. Power Supply- DC 9 V (AC adapter), or six AA alkaline batteries (sold separately)


The Roland JD-XI or the MiniNova are your two best choices if you’re seeking something more lightweight and portable, in my opinion. The features and the cost are both accurate. From my point of view, the Roland outperforms the MiniNova in a number of areas, although at a slight financial premium. However, if mobility is not a major concern for you, you might want to think about the UltraNova and the Korg Minilogue. 

Both provide the customer with a variety of options and excellent sound. Even though the Ultra Nova is a little more pricey, the sound quality is excellent. The MiniNova is a superior product to many of its competitors in its pricing category, although it lacks some of the added features. Although the MiniNova outperforms several competitors in its price range, it lacks a few of the extra capabilities that Roland’s keyboard is rumored to have possessed. Simply said, this keyboard is perfect.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is Novation Mininova Polyphonic?

Up to 18 voices can be polyphonic, and each sound can have up to five synth effects. You may reproduce recognizable voice sounds from hip-hop, urban, and electronic music using MiniNova’s inbuilt Vocal Tune and vintage vocoder effects. For a little synth, MiniNova boasts a powerful sound engine.

2. Is Mininova a Midi Controller?

Although the MiniNova does produce MIDI data from its controllers, a Control Surface is not what it is mainly used for. The MiniNova’s keyboard will deliver conventional MIDI note messages, while the onboard controllers will generate CC messages.

3. What Kind of Synth is Mininova?

The MiniNova studio and live synth use the same sound engine as its larger sibling, the UltraNova. It has 256 fantastic inbuilt sounds that you may completely distort with eight “animate” buttons or adjust with five knobs. It includes up to 18 voices, and each sound can have up to five synth effects.
Large sound, and a little synth. On a rugged and small 37 mini-key synth, you can produce all the bass, soaring leads, luscious pads, and vintage sounds you could ever want. It has all of the conventional synth sounds, and the instrument is simply set up. The price difference between it and the MiniNova is marginal too.

4. Does the Mininova Have an Onboard Audio Interface?

Because the Mininova lacks an internal audio interface, you must connect the audio outputs to an external audio interface or the line input on your computer in order to record sounds from the Mininova into your DAW.

5. Does Novation Mininova Have an Aftertouch?

The Novation MiniNova comes with a distinctive portion of front panel controls and a little keyboard contains velocity-sensitive buttons but no aftertouch even though the synths drive hardly responds to it. Compact USB MIDI Keyboard with Bluetooth Speakers, Headphones, and Audio Savings.

Being in love with music, Larry started this website to help piano lovers get the most detailed and accurate information with his 5 Years of experience of working in a music store.

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