CONTEST: Win a Novation MoroderNova!

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To celebrate our upcoming interview with Giorgio Moroder, appearing in our August issue, we’re giving away a signature limited-edition Novation MoroderNova! To enter, email your favorite retro-sounding synth production trick to Our favorite submission will win the coveted MoroderNova and be printed in a future issue. Including an image will improve your chances of being selected! Bonus points for mustache shots, of course. Contest ends July 31; open to U.S. residents.

Pioneering producer Giorgio Moroder synthesized disco in the '70s and thus influenced three decades of house, techno and other EDM artists. In the '80s he became a movie soundtrack hit machine. Coinciding with his unlikely septuagenarian comeback album, Déjà Vu, Novation surprised the synth geek community with the limited edition MoroderNova, which is basically a reskinned Mininova synth that adds 51 expertly programmed patches representing an authentic overview of Moroder's remarkable career.

A scant 500 MoroderNovas went on sale this month for a MAP of $449, a premium of $50 over the MiniNova price. We had a chance to play the exclusive MorodoerNova patches, and they definitely delivered impressive reproductions of the original Moroder sounds, many of which he created on a Moog Modular system or other prized vintage synths.

Moroder was famous for his arpeggiator use, and 15 of the 51 special patches are arpeggiated, including highlights from his singles with Sparks, Blondie ("Call Me") and Limahl ("Never Ending Story"), as well as his solo singles from the E=MC2 and From Here to Eternity albums. Those albums also inspired the three vocoder patches that utilize the included gooseneck mic.

Some of the most recognizable sounds come from Moroder's soundtrack work on Scarface, Flashdance, Midnight Express and especially Top Gun, where the dead-on bass from "Danger Zone" and synths from "Take My Breath Away" should bring a smile to your face. There's also the iconic arpeggiated percussion from "I Feel Love."

In the bigger picture, it doesn't matter too much if you recognize these sounds or not. This is testament to Moroder's lasting contribution to electronic music. Most of these beautiful, long-evolving pads, warm, complex leads and distinctive basses will fit right into modern productions. Although the Moroder patches don't take advantage of the synth's handy Animate features, many of them sound great drenched in the board's built-in effects and when enacting slow sweeps on the giant Filter knob.