Novation Supernova Ii - Vsti/Standalone Control Interface

Beware - this is probably only of interest if you own a Novation Supernova II, Supernova, Nova Laptop or Nova.

After a weekend of furious hacking, compiling and bug-hunting, I’ve finished a beta build of my control/editing interface for the Novation Supernova II synth.

It’s based on the Ctrlr project and offers a standalone executable AND a VSTi dll (currently for Windows, but an AU should be available in the next few days) with an extensive tabbed virtual controller mapped to lots of the Supernova’s most important CC and NRPN parameters.

Using Renoise’s MIDI Control device is fine for just a couple of params, but it’ll only do CC and each devices has a limited number of params - until now, I had multiple saved presets for the device which I had to laboriously load each time…

Now, however, you can basically treat the Supernova as a VST instrument - you send MIDI to it as you would a VSTi, it takes its own MIDI input from the Supernova (so knob/slider values are kept visually in sync), you can drop both CC and NRPN parameters (hundreds of them!) into an Automation device and go crazy. Except for a few really in-depth things which still have to be done by getting physical with the hardware, you can build complex patches from scratch within the controller and preview notes as you would with a VSTi.

This is a bit like Midi Quest by Sound Quest, with the slight difference that it looks better, it actually works and it’s completely FREE!

NOTE: eventually, there’ll be a complete CC/NRPN implementation, but this build only covers about 90% of the CCs and about 50% of the NRPNs. That’s because I wanted a controller that gave me DAW automation of critical parameters and also let me do a decent chunk of patch editing. For now, there’s some stuff you’ll still have to go to the hardware to do (and some stuff will never be available to software control, like the Osc Solo button), and I won’t invest time in doing the FULL implementation until Ctrlr has full sysex librarian capabilities - only then will it be worthwhile. But that’ll be reeeeally cool

NOTE #2: since most Windows MIDI drivers won’t let themselves be shared, you might have to play around with MIDI outs. I’ve got about 6 x MIDI I/O so I haven’t had problems…

NOTE #3: Nova/Nova Laptop owners - not sure if this’ll work for you, but it’s worth a try. I know lots of the mappings will probably be the same, but I make no promises :)

Check it out here. There are also other Ctrlrs for other hardware synths on there. Next on my personal to-do list is the Access Virus B and possibly the Roland JV-1010 (although the JV looks REALLY complicated to do…not sure if I can be arsed).

Just like to say thanks for sharing this, it has brought a new lease of life for my supernova II. I have also downloaded the super bass station interface from the Ctrlr site which is also good. Keep up the good work, not bad for a geordie! :P

well you can always insert multiple renoise midi cc devices and save the effect chain

This is true, but expanding/contracting/horizontal scrolling/dragging teeny little faders/peering at tiny text is all a little more hasslesome than having a (slightly more) intuitive synth panel layout to tweak :) I’ll be refining the graphics over time to improve this. But the real, longer-term dream is to use this for patch integration a la Virus TI; when I’ve done more mapping and bugtesting with the Ctrlr dev, you’ll be able to snapshot, recall and load hardware settings with this.

But the tip’s appreciated - I have that setup in place for some other hardware devices where I only need a smaller number of params to be automatable.

Aah, no problem! Good to know mackems are able to enjoy virtual analogue synths and mains electricity now :P If you come across any bugs - big or small - just let me know on here or on the Ctrlr forums (where I’m known as crayolon) and I’ll jump on them as quickly as possible. I discovered one myself last night but forgot to write it down and fell asleep… I think it was that I forgot to put a Poly/Mono selector on the panel, which is fairly important :blink:

I own a Novation Nova. It seems that doesn’t work as VST or EXE. I can change the programs, and the Nova receives MIDI when I move any knob. However I doesn’t receive MIDI when I play some keys :S

I would appreciate you finish it and it would be compatible with Nova. Thanks you!

Juan - ‘doesn’t work’ is a bit of a sweeping statement, considering it sounds like maybe your MIDI just isn’t set up properly in the preferences ;)

You need to have Output Device and Input Device selected in File->Preferences->General, and you probably also need MIDI Thru to be enabled. If that fails, you may need to experiment with using VST Output/Input options, but the most likely cause of the problem you described is that you simply don’t have MIDI Thru ticked. So your keyboard is sending MIDI to Renoise, but without MIDI Thru ticked, there’s no way that the VSTi knows it should pass on the incoming MIDI to the output device and thence to the Nova.

Hopefully you’ll find that this will work. There are no changes I can make to make this more compatible to the Nova, since the MIDI implementation for the parameters used is exactly the same on the Nova as on the Supernova II. Even so, I sold my Supernova II last week and I sold my Nova desktop last month, so I can’t do testing for either ;) But please absolutely confirm that my suggestions don’t solve your problem before saying that it “doesn’t work”. If that’s the case, you should bring the discussion over to where there’s a dedicated forum thread for the Supernova II. This controller is open source, which means you can contribute code or suggestions to the effort or ask nicely for somebody else on there to help. I’ll continue to help where I can, despite no longer having the hardware :)