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March 22, 2024

Novation Peak Polyphonic Synthesizer

Analog Beauty, Digital Brilliance

Novation named their eight-voice, polyphonic hybrid synthesizer "Peak" because it represents the pinnacle of their synthesis capabilities. So how did they reach such heights? Digital wavetables and numerically controlled oscillators are paired with analog filter and distortion circuits, making the Peak a truly cosmopolitan hybrid synth.

Whether you choose to make Peak part of your modular rig, use it to create polyphonic FM tones, or just connect a keyboard and rip out some fat bass lines, this synth will take you there! Read on to find out what this powerful polyphonic synthesizer can do.
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Meet the Oxford Oscillator

Novation Peak Polyphonic Synthesizer
In designing the Peak, Novation engineers created the Oxford Oscillator, which blends digital and analog philosophies. The Oxford uses both numerically controlled oscillators and wavetables to produce sounds, combining the best of digital precision and analog warmth. These oscillators also allow Peak to became a source for linear FM synthesis, further expanding the range of this synth.

And with three Oxford oscillators at your disposal, that can cross-modulate in a recursive loop, you'll have absolutely no trouble creating unique sounds with Peak.

Learning Curve as Smooth as a Sine Wave

Novation Peak Polyphonic Synthesizer
From the get-go, Novation engineers designed Peak so that it would be easy to learn and rewarding to master. As a result, the front panel is laid out in a way that makes sound generation simple for beginners. At the same time, more advanced synth users can really get into wild territory via the OLED menu screen, or through polyphonic aftertouch.

Users with other synth gear will be please to see Peak's robust I/O complement. With a 1/4" headphones out, stereo 1/4" outputs, CV input, two expression pedal inputs, MIDI in, out and thru and a USB output, it's hard to find electronic gear you can't connect to Peak!

Powerful Effects

Novation Peak Polyphonic Synthesizer
Oxford Oscillators are the meat of Peak's sound, but this synthesizer boasts some ridiculously good on-board effects as well. In the bottom-right corner of Peak, you'll find this section.

The global distortion control adds distinctive growl and grit to your sound, while you can also add pre-filter distortion to each filter via the overdrive control in the filter section. Post-filter distortion is adjustable via the screen menu. All distortion on Peak is analog.

Peak hosts powerful digital effects too. Chorus offers three variations of the effect, along with rate and level controls, delay is easy to dial in and sync, and the surprisingly lush reverb adds modulation for extra richness. All digital effects are operated through an A/D and D/A converter, but you can shut off all three via the front panel bypass switch. This stops the converter from running, preserving your signal from an unnecessary layer of AD/DA when the effects are not in use.

Goes Great With:

Novation Peak Polyphonic Synthesizer
Like other Novation gear, Peak plays well with its fellow brand-mates. Novation Impulse keyboard controllers pair well with Peak via MIDI. If grid controllers are more your style, you can also control Peak with a Launchpad Pro controller. Peak's CV modulation input lets you connect your other modular synth gear!