Synthesizer: Ultranova or Blofeld for Ableton Live?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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aj1
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:07 am

Synthesizer: Ultranova or Blofeld for Ableton Live?

Post by aj1 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:13 am

I know there's a ton of information online about the Novation Ultranova vs the Waldorf Blofeld keyboard, but I haven't found a lot to do with Ableton adaptability (especially for the Blofeld). If you have experience with them, would you recommend one over the other and why? Why did you get yours?

- I'm looking for a good synth with focus on sound that is able to be used as a midi controller as well.
- I like the Ultranova because of its versatility
- I like the Blofeld because I want more keys to play with (49 vs 37 on the Ultranova; never owned less than 49 before and I feel like that would be too cramped. Thoughts?), and also because of the build quality mentioned in reviews
- Does either of them transmit/record MIDI for arpeggios?
- Which incorporates into Ableton better? Issues? Bugs? (Ableton specific)

Thank you!

pgmjsd
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:46 pm

Re: Synthesizer: Ultranova or Blofeld for Ableton Live?

Post by pgmjsd » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:36 am

aj1 wrote:I know there's a ton of information online about the Novation Ultranova vs the Waldorf Blofeld keyboard, but I haven't found a lot to do with Ableton adaptability (especially for the Blofeld). If you have experience with them, would you recommend one over the other and why? Why did you get yours?

- I'm looking for a good synth with focus on sound that is able to be used as a midi controller as well.
- I like the Ultranova because of its versatility
- I like the Blofeld because I want more keys to play with (49 vs 37 on the Ultranova; never owned less than 49 before and I feel like that would be too cramped. Thoughts?), and also because of the build quality mentioned in reviews
- Does either of them transmit/record MIDI for arpeggios?
- Which incorporates into Ableton better? Issues? Bugs? (Ableton specific)

Thank you!
I have an ultranova. It integrates with Live acceptably. No arpeggio midi, AFAIK. It is capable of great sounds, and is easy to program. Less expensive than the blofeld.

However: Tweaking certain params on certain patches can crash it. Automap causes Live 9 to fail to start. Not muti timbral. Some people have reported issues with the touch controls. The editor VST is good, but switching patches causes the audio stream to cut out.

hps909
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 10:09 am

Re: Synthesizer: Ultranova or Blofeld for Ableton Live?

Post by hps909 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:32 am

i would say blofeld.. i have the blo desktop build quality is first rate (steel not plastic) all controls transmit midi, integrates with live fine via external instrument .. blo does not send midi from arp .. i hate to say it but blofeld blows ultranova out of the water in versatility .. the only things that it has over the blo is bus power, 3 extra fx slots and a vst editor.. in blo you get nearly double the voices multi tibrality more filter models with awesome drive curves ...128 wave tables + user made wavetables .. you get 60 meg of sample ram so you can use any sample as an oscillator .. and extra lfo and an extra loopable 5 stage envelope
macbook pro 2.5 i5 os 10.12 , TC Electronik Konnekt 48, Live 9, Cubase 9, event 20/20, Waldorf Blofeld, roland tb-03, roland Jx-03, korg mikrokontrol, novation nocturn, akai lpd8

h3rtz
Posts: 249
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:35 am
Location: Beijing

Re: Synthesizer: Ultranova or Blofeld for Ableton Live?

Post by h3rtz » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:59 am

novation mininova here. similar to ultranova. no midi arpeggios either. vst editor is ace, seems to be better than whats available for blofeld. if integration was my main concern, i'd get the novation. sound and buildwise blofeld. just my 2 cents.

alexdecker
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:36 am

Re: Synthesizer: Ultranova or Blofeld for Ableton Live?

Post by alexdecker » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:02 am

I owned a Ultranova, and actually just sold it about a week ago.

It works fine as a midi controller if you can live with the Automap software (I had no problems making it work with Live 9). But I would say go with Blofeld. You will love having 49 keys instead of 37. Also, the Ultranova can't really make any sounds that you can't get out of Analog or Operator in Live, whereas the Blofeld has a different sound, so you will get something else. And the build quality is better on the Blofeld. Just my two cents…

- Alex

Goseba
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 10:12 pm

Re: Synthesizer: Ultranova or Blofeld for Ableton Live?

Post by Goseba » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:09 am

I sold (reluctantly to fund Push) my desktop Blofeld a couple of weeks ago. I still have an older Nova II keyboard. Had the Nova been the module and the Blofeld the keyboard, I would have sold the Nova because I wanted to keep a keyboard.

Another option could be a desktop Blofeld and a separate midi controller. Cheaper than a keyboard Blofeld. You could also consider a Nova module with them too.

pgmjsd
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:46 pm

Re: Synthesizer: Ultranova or Blofeld for Ableton Live?

Post by pgmjsd » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:16 am

alexdecker wrote:Also, the Ultranova can't really make any sounds that you can't get out of Analog or Operator in Live, whereas the Blofeld has a different sound, so you will get something else.
For the VA sounds, this is definitely true. The filter in the UltraNova sounds different to me. The wavetable and ringmod sounds are more difficult, but maybe possible with Operator. Of course, the Blofeld should be *very* good at wavetable sounds. :) I've been contemplating selling the UN and getting the Blofeld. I don't use the vocoder at all and the 'touch mod' things are fun at first, but I don't find them all that useful.

schullermusik
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:09 pm

Re: Synthesizer: Ultranova or Blofeld for Ableton Live?

Post by schullermusik » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:26 pm

pgmjsd wrote:
alexdecker wrote:Also, the Ultranova can't really make any sounds that you can't get out of Analog or Operator in Live, whereas the Blofeld has a different sound, so you will get something else.
For the VA sounds, this is definitely true. The filter in the UltraNova sounds different to me. The wavetable and ringmod sounds are more difficult, but maybe possible with Operator. Of course, the Blofeld should be *very* good at wavetable sounds. :) I've been contemplating selling the UN and getting the Blofeld. I don't use the vocoder at all and the 'touch mod' things are fun at first, but I don't find them all that useful.
Right there with you, in fact, my Ultranova is in a box waiting to go back to Guitar Center tomorrow. USB audio from the Ultranova was a better concept than a reality for me. I've been working with the Waldorf Largo VST and if they put as much effort in to the filters in the Blofeld as they did the Largo, it's a huge win. It's either that or a Virus, just like everyone else...

aj1
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:07 am

Re: Synthesizer: Ultranova or Blofeld for Ableton Live?

Post by aj1 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:49 pm

Thanks for all the feedback, everyone! I really appreciate it :)
The Blofeld seems to be a winning combo.

The lack of many knobs is kind of a drawback but I'm going to be working with it in the "studio" 99% of the time, so I think I will be fine not being able to mess with all the settings in real-time, yes? I'm not sure about the Blofeld's capabilities, but I'm sure it has a wide range of settings to play with too :)

I was looking at midi controllers since some of you mentioned getting the Blofeld desktop. I'm still a beginner so beginner's question: What would the lack of the MIDI Out (on the desktop version; present on keyboard version) limit me from doing? as far as recording with Ableton Live 9 goes?

Goseba
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 10:12 pm

Re: Synthesizer: Ultranova or Blofeld for Ableton Live?

Post by Goseba » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:05 pm

Blofeld desktop has midi out via USB if that is any help.

dysanfel
Posts: 428
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Re: Synthesizer: Ultranova or Blofeld for Ableton Live?

Post by dysanfel » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:56 am

That is interesting because my Supernova2 does transmit the arp MIDI.
Gig Rig - rMBP 2.3GHZ i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, OSX 10.11.x, Presonus FS, Live 9.x
Home Rig - i7-6700k Hackintosh 32GB DDR4, 2nd Generation Scarlet 18i20, ADA8000, JoeMeek SixQ, Live 9.x

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