The Novation Peak is the perfect example of how to use digital technology to advance analogue sound. The Peak is an 8 voice hybrid polysynth. Can a digital synth really sound as good as an analogue one, i hear you ask. Well this is what Novation is trying to achieve and i can tell you that it's a pretty solid effort. How about we delve in a little deeper in to this beautifully designed synth.
The Novation Peak was designed under the consultation of Chris Huggett, a highly respected British Engineer and designer. Chris was the man behind many analogue Synths that Novation have released, most notably, the Bass Station, released in 1993. The Bass Station is considered a classic synthesizer. Elements of the Bass station have been included in the Peak so even this new unit is steeped in history. If you don't know about the Bass Station or the SuperNova, they're are worth reading up on.
The Peak is a beautiful looking bit of kit. It feels well build and of high quality. There is a decent weight to it, having a metal body gives it a real feel of luxury. The wood trim around the sides is a nice touch too. There is also an option to add an aluminium stand which puts the synth at an angle for ease of use. The layout is logical and easy to get used to.
This section and the processing behind it, is what makes the peak special. Normal digital synthesizers rely on something called a digital to analogue converter to produce audio. This usually means a conversion of 44000 bits per second, or usually maxed out at 96000 or 96KHz. The Novation uses what they call New Oxford Oscillators to create different wave types. These are Numerically controlled oscillators at an unbelievable rate of 24MHz which creates a sound that could easily be mistaken for pure analogue. This oscillator technology is what enables to the peak to create some great sonic sounds. Novation claim that their numerically controlled oscillators sound so good, that its hard to tell between the Peak and the Bass station!
Inputs and Outputs
The Peak comes with all the inputs you would think to have so in this department its not a big surprise. You get left and right 1/4" jack outputs aswell as headphone output, 3.5 jack sockets for CV in, Midi In/Out and USB in. It also includes 2 pedal inputs for even more control. This unit plays nice with sequencers like the novation launch pad.
The peak includes some great digital effects. These effects benefit from the same FPGA (field programmable gate array) as the oscillators. This, however, means the sound quality of the effects, even though digital, is much higher than many of novations competitors. You get Reverb, delay and Chorus. The effects add great nuance to an already expressive synth.
Animator and Arpeggiator
The peak includes a clever feature called Animator which works similar to setting up a Macro. It gives you the option to set parameters and be able to change the sound of the synth at a touch of a button. The built in Arpeggiator provides a heap of chord progressions to help you build a song.
The Novation Peak is a beautiful looking and well designed Synth. Its versatile and gives a brilliant rich warm sound that is hard to believe isn't analogue. Novation have a rich history in building some great synths and the Peak does not disappoint. In-fact, it easily lives up to the hype created by its predecessors.
The Novation Peak is available to buy online
or from our Birmingham Show Room to give it a demo!