Free Novation Circuit Updates Make It Way More Powerful


Novation has announced the release of Circuit Components, a suite of free tools that expand the functionality of their Circuit groovebox.

Circuit Components makes Circuit way more powerful, adding sample import, a patch editor, cloud-based backup and more.

Novation_Circuit_Components_Sample_Import_screenshotThe most significant news is Sample Import (right, and video, above), a feature that enables the Circuit to play back, sequence and manipulate your custom samples.

Using a Web MIDI interface (which runs on Google Chrome or Opera, directly from the Novation website), you can drag-and-drop MP3 or WAV samples onto Circuit to create your own palette of sounds.


Also, in collaboration with Isotonik Studios, Circuit Components includes Circuit Editor, a standalone and Max4Live-compatible control application for Mac and PC that lets you tweak any of the parameters of Circuit’s two polyphonic synth engines, and then save the patches to Circuit.

Along with access to all synth parameters on the fly, you can use the editor to customize Circuit’s eight macro control knobs, patch by patch.

Unlike the recent public beta, the user no longer must use Live Suite and a Mac. Circuit Editor’s official public release now runs standalone too, on PC or Mac. Circuit Editor also allows the user to save patches to their computer.


Lastly, there’s Librarian, which also runs through the Web MIDI interface from the Novation website. This feature lets you back up all of Circuit’s 32 sessions to the cloud, recall sessions from any location, and share creations with others.

Updating The Novation Circuit

To use these Circuit Components, you’ll need the latest firmware: Circuit v1.2 unlocks compatibility, along with the usual bug fixes, new features; some user requests, and a few of our own ideas.

New Features:

  • Play with Other Controllers
    • Record MIDI notes from external instruments plugged into Circuit: either chromatically, or tuned depending on your choice of key and scale.
    • Manipulate Circuit’s macro controls from an external MIDI controller and record as automation. You can even use your iPad.
  • Play with Ableton
    • Automatically sync Circuit up with Live and easily record MIDI from your session – in tempo, in time, in key – with just a few clicks. You can even record your MIDI tracks from Ableton in one key and change it later in two button presses onboard Circuit.
  • Momentary Record
    • Hold record, punch in and overdub notes or macros without losing your flow – or accidentally breaking your existing work.
  • Step Edit
    • Even easier step-by-step automation: have a different pitch on your drums for each hit. Add FX to one note in a sequence. With the potential for a different sound on every step for every track, you don’t need to do the maths to know that adds up to unimaginable potential – for deliberate creativity or happy accidents.
  • External Preset Select
    • Remotely switch the sound of either of Circuit’s two synths on the fly using MIDI program change messages. Remotely switch the sound of any of Circuit’s four drums on the fly using MIDI CC messages. From any MIDI source.

For details, see the Novation site.

44 thoughts on “Free Novation Circuit Updates Make It Way More Powerful

  1. Kudos to them for supporting their products. If I had this update a month ago, I might still have mine. Its a really fun box with a lot of potential, like a mini electribe 2 with random controllable synth parameters instead of consistent set up. For example, “Is this knob controlling the pitch of this patch, nope, it was for the last patch, now on this patch, its controlling the modulation. How do I make it control the pitch? Get a computer yo!”

  2. Just awesome- an easy update, and makes the Circ so much more powerful – my only problem is deciding on which factory samples to swap out. A very viable Electribe alternative now, and with MUCH better support than that of KORG.

    1. I like it more than the electribe because when you use it it doesn’t sound like your always at the brink of the devices processing power, oscillators constantly dropping out to be appropriated somewhere else.

      1. Everyone has a computer and you’re not likely to sample during a performance. Therefore, it makes little sense to bake the extra functionality into a portable stand-alone performance device.

        Even the moon Nazis know that!

        1. there’s something to be said for a device that’s delivered completed and self-contained heh. something with a workflow that doesn’t need you to find the vague manual and be taken out of the jam room just to make any minor change.

      2. Thus comment makes me wish this site still had the down vote. It’s not sold as a sampler. It’s a synthesizer that plays back samples. It’s dirt cheap, relatively powerful, and they just greatly expanded its functionality for free. There is a high end synthesizer market just waiting for your nit picky scrutiny.

  3. This update has peaked my interest. User samples and custom sounds will make it a nice travelling companion. Well done Novation!

  4. I held off of getting a Circuit initially because they had talked heavily about updating it with new features. Now that they’re actually delivering on that promise, hard to think of a reason not to get it. Well played, Novation.

  5. Am I truly the only one thats not impressed by a web hosted librarian? Why can’t I just have it installed on my computer?

    1. Considering how many downloadable librarians over the years have gone the way of the dodo, I welcome this change. I’d welcome it a lot more if it was open source though and we could run it locally (or the community could choose to keep it alive publicly after Novation stops supporting it).

  6. $300 for two synths… and a sequencer…. and a drum machine…. and a sampler…. and a midi controller….. SOLD.

  7. Hmm I’m really thinking about replacing my electribe with this guy, looks really nice, but is it possible to controle the synth parameters (I mean all not only the macros) with external midi stuff or do you need the editor for this?

  8. clouds are doomed to break,60 seconds sample time very laughable to me,i guess your not the experts you claim to be ,as your all clearly wrong ,this is elephant dung a big pile of it ,

    1. It’s a basic, useful, forward-thinking groovebox. They took the percussion instrument samples and made them swappable with custom samples. In other words, adding samples was barely an intended feature, but some awesomeness they squeezed-out of an already-decent machine. Get an SP404sx if you want extensive sampling time, otherwise try the Circuit and see what it’s all about.

  9. 10 years ago people would have kill to have access to such a machine for silly 300 Bucks…
    Any complaining about anything about circuit is just a idiot with no brain and no knowledge…

  10. This looks great, but why should I have to have a Google or Facebook account to update the firmware on my synth? That’s a pretty BS requirement…

    1. Because Novation needs your data to spam you with their useless emails. Coming up next, you’ll be required to send your “selfie” as well… 😉
      Btw; This is 2016 I believe, 60 seconds of sampling in this day and age, really..?!

  11. When sales drop Novation will probably create a max for live patch to make it a Push emulator. It is a lite version of Push sort if.. Half the pads, no LCD…

  12. Nice one Novation but I sold mine. Will be waiting for MK2 with lcd screen, audio input, additional assignable outputs, more session slots, more synth preset and sample slots and a switch to bypass main filter. For making it a killer machine consider having 4 synth tracks and 4 drum tracks with a drum synth engine addition to samples.

    1. That would both be awesome, and cost more. For the money, I’d want their synths to be fully programmable from the hardware, and have digital audio output via USB.

  13. So if I create a bank of patches using the editor can I save them directly to my computer or do they have to go to the cloud? And if someone sends me a sound bank will i have to upload it to the cloud in order to use the librarian to install the sounds on the circuit?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *