Novation Circuit vs Novation Circuit Mono Station

Enrique Martinez shared this video, which compares and contrasts the Novation Circuit and the Novation Circuit Mono Station.

Martinez covers the obvious differences in their controls and architecture, but also digs into some of the two devices’ less obvious differences. He also talks about the pros and cons of each.

For more on the two devices, check out the playlists below.

Novation Circuit Tips:

Novation Circuit Mono Station:

9 thoughts on “Novation Circuit vs Novation Circuit Mono Station

  1. I played around with the Mono-Station at my local Shop a few Days ago..
    I have the Circuit at home, so I knew how to interact with it.
    Started the Sequencer, recorded some Notes and started tweeking.
    Don´t want to talk about the sound, that´s what you got to find out for yourself, if it fits into your Projects.
    A cool thing is definitely the small mixer Section, where you can control the Volumes without changing the tab.
    But what I really need to complain about, is the really small modulation Matrix.
    As you can see in some pictures of the Monosynth, you can route 4 Signals to 6 destinations. I don´t want to say, that there wouldn´t be enough space for creativity, but the “older” Circuit has more options and offers much more freedom (for one of two synths, packed in a smaller Format).
    I was so “shocked” about the small amount of features, so that I didn´t played a lot around with the Mod Sequencer, but back again to the “origin” you have 8 Control Knobs on everyone can be laid up to 4 functions or routed modulations. So you can record up to 32 Functions, without changing the Tab.

    A few weeks ago, a friend of mine told me, he was at a music Store and asking for a small Synth to begin with, with an “optional intergration” into the DAW. He´s a absolute beginner, doesn´t know what MIDI can do and so. Guess what they told him to buy. A Native Mashine for 600 bugs :/
    I showed him the Circuit, on the same day he ordered one.

    From my point of view, the mono-Station is a limited Circuit with lettered knobs, a giant step backwards. And if you have a Circuit, you may already have an other analogue Synth.

    In my “Projects-Setup”, the origin Circuit is connected to the Nord Drum 1 (fits perfectly with it´s 4 drum tracks) and to 2 Synths of choice to jam and find sounds with it. For Projects i´ve never used the sounds from (not because it sounds bad, but i have tweaker friendlier synths). As a 2Synth 4Drums Sequencer and for jaming on the Sofa it´s perfect to me.

  2. Why compare these 2? Maybe a Roland SE-02 and a Monostation? Its like comparing a Korg Minilogue and a Arturia Minibrute.

    The monostation is looking pretty sharp btw.

  3. I would never compare a Groove-Machine with a synth.
    But in this case I wanted to know: “why should I buy myself a monostation if I already have a circuit”
    It´s the Formfactor, the Price and the same Manufacturer, why I started thinking of this.
    I mean, with the Volcas for example, they have the same size, nearly the same price, but all Synths are completly different and every Volca is a unique sounding Module, togehter you can nearly make a whole song and they complete each other in a great way.
    But I don´t see that big differences and dependencies between those two Novation Products.
    I´m repeating myself: But from my point of view, the mono-Station is a strongly limited Circuit with lettered knobs. But please give me Sounds raw from a monostation, that you can´t do with the circuit.
    And stop making notes like, “whoo but the Ghost is missing, the spirit is gone”
    I don´t want to blame Novation, I have the Mininova and Circuit, and i´m quietly impressed by the peak. But I really can´t figure out, why a circuit owner would buy this. Or any other musician that doesnt get influenced by “a sharp design”.

    And yes If the look is so much important to you, I can imagine what priority you define for the sound, haptics and workflow.

  4. to me both items are unuseable and cumbersome – due to the lack of a display. novation should come up with a circuit version that has a decent screen, just like the electribes have.

    1. And yet they’re both hits for Novation, and there are tons of people using them to make music.

      How do you reconcile the facts with your perspective? Are Circuit users just smarter or harder working than you, or could those ‘unusable’ instruments actually be easy to use, but just not to your taste?

    2. I actually like how my Circuit doesn’t have a screen. I don’t think it really takes away from the experience and think Novation has done a brilliant job of creating a workflow that is quick and intuitive while packing a ton of features in. Compared to the DSI Tempest and the Akai MPCs that I’ve used, the Circuit is very very fast to create with once you wrap your head around it. Honestly, the Circuit’s sequencer is probably my favorite hardware sequencer that I’ve used. The note/chord entry and per-step editing is amazing and very hands-on, and I enjoy that I don’t have to dig through menus and edit values.

      1. Totally agree, I would like a display in future models because it would enhance the circuit so that you wouldn’t need to do some stuff on the computer and could see the macro knob info, but it isn’t necessary to play the device at all.

    3. I have never understood why people want a screen on this. The lack of one has never once hampered my creativity or the usability of the Circuit.

  5. I had a Circuit for a while and enjoyed using it a lot. I now have a Mono Station and like that too. It’s an analog synth, so it obviously delves different sonic territory. Being able to add external audio is always a nice feature. Workflow is simple and straightforward. The mod options offer plenty of sound design depth. Coupled with the sequencer and automation, it becomes quite capable. Even though it’s not as feature laden as the BS2, it still feels like it has enough options to satisfy creative needs. Being able to completely edit all synth parameters, without a computer or an iPad, makes the Mono Station much more appealing to me than the Circuit. I think the original Circuit the Mono Station would compliment each other nicely. Both are great creative tools with a lot to offer. Build quality is outstanding on both. They both have a small footprint which is always nice.

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