Studio / Live micro synth with vocoder, based on the Novation brand’s heritage and UltraNova sound engine.
Despite a respectable past in the synthesizer market, Novation’s entrance into the trending mini-synth category needed to make a bold impact that was exciting and relevant to a new, younger customer, yet still true to it’s heritage. Upon aligning the competitive landscape with MI SalesTrak figures, I observed that despite similar features, synths that appeared more authentic to the DIY aesthetic of vintage synths of sheet metal and wood, sold dramatically better than those with modern designs that deviated from the authentic synth lineage. Further interviewing of synth players, showed a deep appreciation for the tactile and audible “clunkiness” of toggles and buttons and inviting overstated “grabby” knobs of vintage synthesizers.
The result is a plastic clamshell design that remains competitive in price, but uses familiar touchpoints, such as a sheet metal control panel and wood endcaps, along with toggles and knobs that invite the user to tweak, drawing comparisons to the true vintage synth experience, in a compact, affordable package.