"The Novation Peak is an eight voiced polyphonic synth. There are three New Oxford oscillators for each voice which utilises two waveform generating techniques and 17 digital wavetables.
The unit features pre and post filter distortion for each voice, as well as a global distortion for the whole synth. Other effects include reverb, delay and chorus and there's also an arpeggiator built in.
There's a fantastic modulation system which offers a 16 slot modulation matrix as well as 16 directly assignable controls on the front panel. There's also the option to connect to other modular systems through the CV modulation input.
The design is perfect if you're looking for a desktop unit and an there's also an optional die-cast aluminium stand than can be purchased separately.
Novation Product Overview
Peak is an eight-voice desktop polyphonic synthesiser with three New Oxford Oscillators for each voice. The oscillators sound completely analogue by being high-quality NCOs (Numerically-Controlled Oscillators), but gain the flexibility of the digital domain with 17 digital wavetables. They can also become a linear FM source using either the analogue-sounding NCOs or digital wavetables – so are able to cross-modulate in a recursive loop.
The synth has a resonant multi-mode analogue filter for each voice, and three distortion points for each voice – pre-filter, post-filter and global – in an analogue signal chain. Peak is capable of receiving polyphonic aftertouch, which puts expression right at your fingertips. Reverb, delay and chorus effects are at one's disposal, and there is also an on-board arpeggiator.
The modulation system puts a 16-slot modulation matrix and 16 direct assignments in the main controls, cleverly arranged for intuitive patch design and sound editing. There are three ADSR envelopes and two LFOs for each voice, and more elaborate movements and secondary ‘via’ assignments are made just a few menu button presses away. In addition, two animate buttons give live performers instant one-touch transformation of patches.
Peak connects to modular systems via a CV modulation input, and has MIDI I/O on five-pin DIN ports, so other MIDI gear can be connected. Via USB, Peak can be plugged into Mac or PC, where unlimited patches can be kept using the Components software."
The oxford oscillators, are they analog as in Oscar? Oscar is on the clone to-do list for Behringer as well AFAIK. Interesting to have so many different synth options in this space suddenly. The bass stations always had strong filters, so ... fingers crossed.
They consider it a hybrid and is somewhat explained in the video. I think they're after a BIG, more EDM modern sound, given the stereo spread at the oscillator, new waveforms, distortion possibilities, and with the right FXs, yes. Not another Jump synth...hopefully.
I think the DCO move is smart with analog filters. It greatly expands the tonal possibilities to have the wavetables. I also like that they used DSP to eliminate aliasing - they went for quality. It will be interesting to see how this one develops. I'm also watching DSI REV2 and the Waldorf Quantum. It is a great time to like synthesizers!
Loc: Saugerties, NY
Just to be precise, NCOs (it's in the press release at the top and in the tech video) are not DCOs. According to this , Wavetable synths of the 80's used NCOs. They manipulated a sample of a single pitch to generate other pitches. A DCO generates the waveform using standard analog circuitry, with a digital control circuit to maintain tuning stability.
Most of the feature set exists in the Alexis Ion and descendants. I loved the feature set, but found the sound somehow flat.