Quick Look: Novation MoroderNova - EMusician

Quick Look: Novation MoroderNova

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Pioneering producer Giorgio Moroder influenced three decades of house, techno, and other EDM artists. In the ’80s he became a movie soundtrack hit machine. Coinciding with Moroder’s comeback album, Déjà Vu, Novation surprised the synth geek community with the limited-edition MoroderNova, a reskinned MiniNova synth that adds 51 expertly programmed patches representing an authentic overview of Moroder’s remarkable career.

Just 500 MoroderNovas will go on sale in July for a MAP of $449, a premium of $50 over the MiniNova price. We had a chance to play the exclusive MoroderNova patches, and they delivered impressive reproductions of the original Moroder sounds, many of which he created on a Moog Modular system and 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 and Blondie, 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 the Donna Summer classic “I Feel Love.”

This instrument 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.