Novation Peak


Not sure how recently it happened but these seem to be down to £999 everywhere now. I’m very tempted.

Anyone with experience of both the Peak and the Rev 2 that could break down their pros & cons vs each other? The 8-voice desktop Rev 2 is a similar price and I’m definitely in the market for a polysynth module.


The Rev2 is bitimbral while the Peak is monotimbral. The Peak can’t be expanded beyond 8 voices, however I believe it has more oscillators per voice.

Personally, I prefer the knob layout and UI of the Peak, plus there is something truly rumbling about the lower notes on some patches that borders on a sense of danger! The effects, while digital (so, too, the Rev2), are stunning.

Also, I’m a Tempest owner and its firmware saga-to-debacle ruined DSI for me. Couldn’t bring myself to spend money with them thereafter.

That said, you’ll have fun with either one.


Yes, my impression of the Peak is that I prefer the UI/layout and the flexibility. And I definitely think the Peak’s effects are much better. Just wondering if people felt the Rev 2 had something in terms of sound, maybe, or if they prefer the mod matrix setup.

I’ve heard of plenty of DSI support woes. Apparently a lot of early Rev 2s had voice card issues that needed replacement.


Don’t have a Peak, but used to own a Rev 2. Lots of software bugs, random weirdness, and had to replace the panel board due to issues with jumpy encoders (value skipping).


Effect are really better on the PEAK, no doubt, but IMO the raw sound of the REV2 is far better. It have this special character of the DSI.

More over the rev2 is bitimbral

Not any problem on my REV2 8 voices desktop, all fine.


I was browsing the Sweetwater site today and noticed on the novation peak page there is a warning about the synth exposing you to lead and other chemicals. Has anyone ever seen this before?


It’s a California prop 65 warning that shows that the product you are looking at contains an amount of lead or chemicals that MAY be of hazard to your health? Will the peak be dangerous ? For your love life yes. Anything else is a small amount of risk. Some of these warnings only apply if you gutted the peak and licked the components all day.


The warning is self explanatory.

If you pay attention it’s listed on various other items as well.


So you’re telling me I will not be able to lick the components?! For $1,300 I should be able to…


I’d still be curious to know what triggered the warning (the list of prop 65 substances is quite extensive). None of my other (new-ish) synths has it listed.


Don’t freak out, toxicity is one of the most misunderstood concepts in todasy media and labeling. Frankly it is getting to hysteria levels.

IMHO labelin shouldn’t even exist, simply no product should contain a dangerous dose of anything, that is the way it has been regulated for years but the key concep here is DOSE:


It’s dipped in Dr Hoffman’s special sauce
One lick per session and you will be PEAKing


hey! do you also experience distorted digital effects when using filter resonance at 2 o’clock? is gain staging so sensible or is there something wrong with my unit (it is a former show room unit)?

to verfiy:
set INIT patch
play a note and key latch
turn cutoff at 11 o’clock, resonance at 2’clock
chorus or reverb at 2 o’clock
now do you here an ugly digital distortion?

is this normal behaviour and just due to gain staging or is it a faulty unit of mine?


I’ll try to remember to check mine for you tomorrow…


nice, thanks :slight_smile: I hope it’s by design…




No. It sounds ok to me.
(firmware 262.255)


Sorry I guess it was an user error. I had the master volume >80%. my focusrite interface level was okay. So I think the da-converter of peaks effect unit distort if the master level is too high. Thanks for checking.


The effects section surely isn’t post- the master volume level is it? Do reverb tails etc. continue if you turn down the master volume? (Not unusual to have to temper levels into digital effects though.)


The digital effects are post VCA (and after the post VCA analog distortion) so in theory you could be overdriving the effect ins… But in the init patch setup the the OP described there is no hint of that. (And the master vol comes after everything)