Superbooth 2017 brings us many surprises. Novation may have pulled off one of the best surprises of the show with the Peak synthesizer.

Novation Peak is a hybrid synth with digital oscillators, digital effects, analog filter, 17 mod sources and 37 destinations. Looking forward to getting my hands on this one. Love that stand and optional wood ends.

The New Oxford Oscillator

The implementation of the FPGA opens the doors to a new type of oscillator design for Novation Peak — The New Oxford Oscillator — the design of which stems from the analogue imperative. Peak’s raw waveforms are generated using an architecture designed and realised by Chris Huggett. It employs two waveform-generating techniques: Numerically Controlled Oscillators (NCOs) and wavetables.

High-resolution Control & The Modulation Matrix

Synth designers have known for some time that building a large and expansive modulation and control matrix in the analogue domain is costly and impractical. But there are significant sonic benefits of using analogue control voltage for parameter control, thanks to its smooth, seamless nature.

The Filter

‘Real’ analogue circuitry is hard to beat when it comes to filter design, due to the complex nature of the interaction between input gain, cutoff and resonance. As powerful as the FPGA and New Oxford Oscillators are, Novation Peak’s filters are 100% analogue. The eight self-resonant multimode analogue filters (one per voice), are based on the Bass Station II filter, but with increased resonance and adjustable keytracking.


Digital Effects

Novation Peak features three digital effects: reverb, delay and chorus, all generated by the FPGA at a sample rate of greater than 90kHz, and of notably higher quality than their equivalents on most other synths. The reverb stands out as particularly impressive, incorporating modulation and filtering, and sounding supremely lush and expansive.

The FPGA: Higher Ground

Central to Novation Peak is the use of a high-powered processor component called a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). In contrast to traditional DSP chips, which often need to run in pairs or quads, the FPGA is a single processor on which many functions can run — from oscillators to the modulation matrix. The key benefit to an FPGA is that it runs at a much higher rate than DSP-based technology, and this has a direct impact on the clarity of sound.

Technical Specifications

  • 42 Control knobs
  • 8 35mm Sliders
  • 1 Volume knob
  • 2 Data encoders
  • Rubberised knob caps with spun metal discs
  • 30 Function buttons (not lit)
  • 16 Function buttons (lit)
  • 2 Animate buttons plus hold button
  • 90 Indicator LEDs
  • OLED display
  • Kensington Security Slot
  • Power switch
  • Power supply connector
  • USB socket
  • MIDI In / Out / Thru
  • 2 1/4″ jack socket for continuous or switched pedals
  • 3.5mm jack socket for CV in
  • 1/4″ jack sockets for left and right outputs
  • 1/4″ jack socket for headphone output
  • Metal chassis with wooden end cheeks
  • Metal magnetic inset end pieces

Synth Engine

  • 8 note polyphony (dependent on voices used per note)
  • Mono-Timbral

Per voice

  • 3 oscillators
  • 1 noise generator
  • 1 ring modulator
  • 2 LFOs
  • 1 Amp envelope and 2 mod envelopes
  • 1 Filter

Waveforms include:

  • Sine, tri, sawtooth, square / pulse plus 17 wavetables of 5 waveforms per row


  • 1x State variable OTA filter per voice
  • 12/24dB slope
  • Low-pass / band-pass / high-pass
  • Pre-filter overdrive
  • Post-filter distortion


  • 16 modulation slots per patch
  • Each slot has 2 sources to 1 destination

Mod sources (17)

  • Direct (depth)
  • Modulation wheel
  • Aftertouch (polyphonic and channel AT)
  • Expression pedal 1
  • Expression pedal 2
  • Keyboard velocity
  • LFO1 positive
  • LFO1 bi-polar
  • LFO2 positive
  • LFO2 bi-polar
  • Amp envelope
  • Mod envelope 1
  • Mod envelope 2
  • Animate 1
  • Animate 2
  • CV mod input bi-polar

Mod destinations (37)

  • Oscillator 1-3 frequency, v-sync level, shape amount and level
  • Noise source level
  • Ring modulator output level
  • Overal synth output level
  • Filter drive, distortion, cut-off frequency and resonance
  • LFO 1 and 2 frequency
  • Amp env / mod env 1 / mod env 2 attack, decay and release
  • FM Osc 1 -> osc 2, osc 2 -> osc 3, osc 3 -> osc 1 and noise -> osc 1
  • Osc 3 -> filter cutoff frequency
  • Noise -> filter cutoff frequency


  • Analogue distortion
  • Chorus – 3 types
  • Delay w/delay sync
  • Reverb – 3 types


  • Arpeggiator w/ key latch – 33 patterns
  • Patch storage – up to 512 on hardware (ships with 256 factory patches)
  • Glide

more info https://us.novationmusic.com/synths/peak#

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