Novation Ultranova vs M-Audio Venom vs Roland Gaia

Jan 19 • Articles • 2272 Views • No Comments

Novation Ultranova, M-Audio Venom or Roland Gaia? Which one would you choose?

We’ve often been asked to compare these three synthesizers, and as always … each have their particular sound, features & price tags. In this post, we’ll be summarizing the differences and adding a quick comparison table.

Now, straight to cut. If you’re in dire need of multi-timbral, drum patches, FM synthesis & particulary a 49-key synth, then M-Audio’s Venom is your pick. If you’re looking for a more hands-on approach on synthesis and in need of a 1-on-1 knob/slider parameter control, then you’ll be looking at the Roland Gaia. But what these both lack are features like: aftertouch, wavetable synthesis, vocoder & external audio synth processing. This is where the Novation Ultranova stands out, as it does all of this & more. Even though it doesn’t have FM synthesis, like the Venom, it does have FM waveforms in the wavetable. The Novation Ultranova triumphs in features over the other two synthesizers on paper and is equally as powerful sounding as both.

Of course, in the end of the day … its what you really want from a synthesizer that makes you pick a particular one, but why not go for the best bang for the buck?

Here’s a quick comparison chart:

Spec UltraNova Venom Gaia
Price (MRP) INR 48,000/- INR 35,500/- INR 47,500/-
Aftertouch Yes No No
Analog Modeled Yes No Yes
Waveforms Square, sine, tri, sawtooth, pulse, 9x saw:pulse combinations. 20x digital waveforms, 36 Wavetalbes (w/ 9 waveforms each) 41 oscillator waves and 53 drum sounds sampled from vintage synths. SAW, SQUARE, PULSE/PWM, TRIANGLE, SINE, NOISE, SUPER SAW
Wavetable Synthesis Yes No No
Modulation Matrix 20 Slots 16 Slots None
Modulation Sources 17 31 None
Modulation Destinations 66 (Includes FX Params!) 17 None
Filter Drive Yes Yes No
Filter Types 14 6 4
FM Synthesis No (There are however some FM waveforms in wavetable) Yes No
Envelopes Per OSC 6 3 3
Audio Input Can Be Processed by Synth Engine Yes No No
Vocoder Yes No No
Computer Editor Yes Yes Yes but costs an extra $99
Editor Runs as VST/AU Stand-Alone Stand-Alone
Control 8 Touch Encoders, Filter/Last Param Knob, Mod & Pitch Wheel Matrix, Mod & Pitch Wheel Nearly 1-for-1 knob sliders, D Beam, Mod & Pitch Lever
Front Panel Editing Experience LDC + Page linked knobs with  touch encoder focus. More dedicated back lit buttons for selecting sub menus than Venom Matrix + LCD Clear signal flow on front panel with nearly 1-for-1
User Preset Slots 508 (4 banks of 127 Slots) 512 single, 256 Multi 64
Effects 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, 12 band vocoder
Global: Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser. Insert: Compression, EQ, Distortion, Bit Reduction, Decimation, DIST, FLANGER, DELAY, REVERB, LOW BOOST
Audio Interface 2 in 4 out 2 in 2 out None
Multittimbral No 4 No
Polyphony 20 12 64
MIDI IN/OUT/THRU IN/OUT IN/OUT
Power Options Bus Power/AC AC AC/Batteries
Ableton Integration Automap/Stream Audio via USB Stream Audio via USB Stream Audio via USB
Keys 37 49 37

Chart from: Mark Mosher

You can buy the Novation Ultranova or the M-Audio Venom from www.theinventory.in

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