Novation has released an update to their Circuit groovebox, making it more powerful and easier to use than ever.
The update, which is recommended for all users, delivers several feature requests from Circuit’s owners’ group, plus usability tweaks that they say ‘make Circuit one of the most capable music-making platforms on the market.’
The update marks the third update since Circuit’s release.
Here’s what’s new in Circuit 1.3:
- Sample Flip – The new ‘Sample Flip’ function lets you create multi-sample drum lines on each of Circuit’s drum tracks. In previous versions of Circuit firmware, only one sound could be used on each drum track. Now, you can select a different sample for each step in all four of the drum tracks. So for example, you can have a kick and a snare on ‘Drum 1’, freeing up other tracks for additional instrumentation or sample playback. This transforms Circuit’s drum- and sample-programming functionality and opens it up to new styles of music.
- Sample Preview – This frequently requested feature lets you play and preview your samples, without programming them into a pattern. In the studio, this speeds up the drum-programming process immensely due to the speed at which you can audition sounds. On stage, you can live-play any sample along with your existing drum patterns, using Circuit’s velocity-sensitive pads.
- Session Colours & Single Session Backup – Using the Circuit Librarian — part of the Components suite of browser-based tools — you can now change the color of the LED that represents your Session on the Circuit hardware. This means you can use colors to differentiate styles — pink for house, orange for Techno, for example — or to discern between different sections of your songs: green for intros, purple for main sections, say. Also new with Circuit v1.3 is the facility to manage sessions individually, rather than in a batch of 32.
- Sound Management – Updates have been made to the Sample Import tool in Circuit Components (more information below). You can now change the placement of your samples so you can, for example, group similar sounds together to make it easier to remember which sample is on which pad. (For example, you could have kick drums on row 1; snares on row 2; vocal snippets on row 3.)
- Bug Fixes – A bug relating to the timing of Session switching (leading to the very occasional missed playback of sounds on step one of the proceeding Session) has been fixed. Long samples, which were automatically faded out in prior versions of the Firmware, can now be played in their entirety, providing there is sufficient sample space on the Circuit.
Here’s a video intro to the new firmware:
Here’s a guide to the Circuit Components v1.3 update:
Finally, here’s a video demo by Dibia$e that showcases the updates:
Our contact at Novation says that “The functionality of Circuit will be constantly evolving, so it is all about building that community who will appreciate it.” They are planning a series of updates to the platform and have started a Circuit Owners Facebook Group for users to connect and to share feedback.
Pricing and Availability
The Novation Circuits is available now, with a street price of about US $330. The Circuit Components 1.3 firmware update is free, and can be accessed through the Circuit Components suite of web-based utilities, where you’ll also find updates to the Librarian.