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  • Newbie w/ Ultranova, setup problems

    I just got an Ultranova this weekend and all I'm trying to is connect it to my iMac via USB and get some synth sounds out of the attached USB speakers (which are connected to the iMac), but so far I'm only able to get the keyboard to play Garageband's softsynths when it's launched.

    I downloaded all the latest software package from the website and installed the Plug-In editor, the Librarian, the USB driver and updated the keyboard to the latest firmware. I went into GLOBAL and turned ON the Local Control Setting. And I made sure the MONITOR knob was set to Synth/Inputs. I also went into Apple's System_Preferences and changed the SOUND input to Ultranova.

    I'm a complete newbie and although I read the manual twice already I'm sure I'm missing something, maybe something simple. Any ideas?

  • #2
    I'm not very used to Garageband but are you sure you have audio track, not midi track, and monitoring on? Also check the AUDIO-settings on the Ultranova, make sure that input mode is set to synth or synth+inputs. I think that there is also kind-of mixer, bang it all the way to 127 for every channel.

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    • #3
      Did you install the Editor software? It seems that might answer your problem.
      <div class="signaturecontainer">SPAM - Korg Poly-800 w/ Moog Slayer mod $250 shipped CONUS<br>Spunkytoofers Rabbit Hole (circuitbent PS-2) $300 shipped CONUS<br>E-Mu Ultraproteus, power cord, good shape (minor rack wear) $225 + shipping<br>Roland S-10 sampler, power cord, manual, and disks, great shape $100 + shipping (I just don't have room for it)</div>

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      • #4
        For the Mac there's a single installer which includes one app (the Librarian) as well as the editor which is a plugin, a USB driver, and the latest firmware update for the synth. The installer does takes care of everything with one click, and I confirmed that everything got installed and that the Ultranova got updated.

        The editor does not show up in Garageband, or at least I don't know how to invoke it.

        If I launch Reaper and INSERT > New Virtual Instrument (I assume this is what I need to do) I get this pop-up:



        When I choose either "AUi: Novation: Ultranova Editor" or "VSTi: Ultranova Editor (Novation)" I get the editor window but first with a pop-up in front of it which says that the plugin does not export audio, and I'm totally confused:



        I'm guessing I'm doing something wrong but don't know what.

        Shouldn't there be a way to just connect the Ultranova via USB and be able to get to play around on the synth without having to launch an editor anyway?

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        • #5
          Did you try what I told you? Don't launch the editor. It's editor, it won't give you any sound. Plug your Ultranova to your computer via usb, check the audio settings of Ultranova, you find them behind the AUDIO button (next to Global). Open the audio settings of Reaper, select the Ultranova as input source, select your speakers as output source. They should be in the list if they are connected via usb. Then insert new audio track, arm it for recording, turn on monitoring and find the right input source.

          And all this can be found from the manuals.

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          • #6
            You might also consider that the Ultranova is, basically, a USB sound card plugged into your Mac once you plug it in; you might want to go into your Apple Audio/MIDI settings and see if it's showing up properly there, and then select it through there if you can.
            <div class="signaturecontainer"><font face="Franklin Gothic Medium"><font size="4"><font color="seagreen"><i>A Gadibus usque ad Auroram</i></font></font></font></div>

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            • #7
              I am sure you will have to activate the Ultranova as an audio track not midi. I don't know if this can be dealt with in the editor. I do think the sounds are on the editor as well.

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              • #8
                Did you try what I told you? Don't launch the editor. It's editor, it won't give you any sound. Plug your Ultranova to your computer via usb, check the audio settings of Ultranova, you find them behind the AUDIO button (next to Global). Open the audio settings of Reaper, select the Ultranova as input source, select your speakers as output source. They should be in the list if they are connected via usb. Then insert new audio track, arm it for recording, turn on monitoring and find the right input source. And all this can be found from the manuals.


                I mentioned the editor because Suilebhain asked about it.

                In Reaper under Audio > Device Ultranova is listed as the Audio Device. I don't see a place in the Preferences to list the speakers as the output device, although it's configured that way in the OS's System Preferences.

                I don't see a specific option to add an audio device from the menu (like I said I'm a newbie and I don't know Reaper):

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                • #9
                  You might also consider that the Ultranova is, basically, a USB sound card plugged into your Mac once you plug it in; you might want to go into your Apple Audio/MIDI settings and see if it's showing up properly there, and then select it through there if you can.


                  That part is pretty straightforward. In System Preferences > Sound, I have Ultranova as the INPUT and USB Soundsticks as the OUTPUT.

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                  • #10
                    That part is pretty straightforward. In System Preferences > Sound, I have Ultranova as the INPUT and USB Soundsticks as the OUTPUT.


                    There isn't any option for output at the Reaper preferences? Weird. Audio track is just, well, new track. Command + T. Then just look from the Reaper manual how you select input, arm track for recording and turn the monitoring on for that track. You were writing about Garageband on the first post, why did you change to Reaper. Garageband is much simplier to use for this kind of things than full DAW you aren't used to.

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                    • #11
                      I noticed that you said the speakers are connected to the Mac; if you're selecting the Ultranova as the output in GarageBand/Reaper/whatever you decide to use, it's going to try to use the Ultranova's outputs, as the Ultranova acts as an external sound card over USB.

                      Short of cabling the Ultranova's audio out to the line in on your Mac, I don't think there's another way you'll be able to get the sound from the Ultranova out through the speakers while they're attached to the Mac. You're better off attaching speakers to the Ultranova and using its capabilities as a sound card/audio interface, as the quality's going to be much better than using the Mac's internal sound card.

                      This is going off my experience with the X-Station and Xio, but I can't imagine Novation's changed the basic way their synths work that much.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for everybody's help. Turns out I did need to add an audio track (I did it in Garageband, haven't tried Command-T yet in Reaper), and the synth sounds great. I'm just a little disappointed that I couldn't have the Mac simply recognize the synth as an audio source and be able to mess around at any time without a DAW handy....

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                        • #13
                          You need an external AD/DA audio interface with monitor outs any way. that will solve your whole issue once and for all.

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                          • #14
                            I only mentioned installing the editor because I read in the manual that there were further instructions on various types of setups in the manual that comes with the editor.
                            <div class="signaturecontainer">SPAM - Korg Poly-800 w/ Moog Slayer mod $250 shipped CONUS<br>Spunkytoofers Rabbit Hole (circuitbent PS-2) $300 shipped CONUS<br>E-Mu Ultraproteus, power cord, good shape (minor rack wear) $225 + shipping<br>Roland S-10 sampler, power cord, manual, and disks, great shape $100 + shipping (I just don't have room for it)</div>

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                            • #15
                              You need an external AD/DA audio interface with monitor outs any way. that will solve your whole issue once and for all.


                              Not really. My Harmon Kardon Soundsticks are USB speakers that connect to the Mac. I guess the 'once and for all solution' means ditching my current speakers and buying monitors AND an external soundcard? No thanks.

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