Novation Circuit Tracks Review & Comparison With Original Circuit

In his latest loopop video, host Ziv Eliraz takes an in-depth look at the Novation Circuit Tracks, the latest member of Novation’s Circuit line of grooveboxes.

Eliraz compares the Tracks to the original Novation Circuit, and then takes an in-depth look at the new groovebox’s capabilities, including 32-step patterns, probability, Mutate, ratcheting, MIDI Sequencing, Scenes, using samples melodically and more.

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro
1:10 Tracks vs Circuit
7:10 Tracks vs Rhythm?
8:20 Overview
11:25 Sequencing
12:00 Sample flip
12:40 1-16/17-32
13:15 Pattern settings
14:15 Melodic seq
14:50 Scales
15:15 Live rec
16:15 Editing steps
17:00 Micro steps
17:25 Probability
18:05 Mutate
19:05 Ratchets
19:50 Automation
21:50 MIDI seq
22:30 Effects
23:10 Sidechain
24:55 Pattern grid
26:15 View lock
27:30 Scenes
29:10 Projects, packs
29:50 Components
32:35 Melody w/samples
35:00 Pros & cons
38:35 Outro jam

12 thoughts on “Novation Circuit Tracks Review & Comparison With Original Circuit

  1. Good value for the money, a nice upgrade to the original but the sampling and storage still pretty limited. Guess that’s why they’re making the other one to pair with it! The ability to save states is cool but if you want to perform live with it and you have to jump between states there’s that wait for it to load.

  2. Great for those who didn’t get one the first time around, but many of the limitations remain. Maybe a screen at $500 or so would sway people more easily. But it’s easy to see why they kept it at a lower price–it kills competition like Roland.

  3. the encoders should be freely assignable to midi cc for external sequencing. not 8 templates for certain machines. i sold my circuit mk1 because it could not. I also want to know if all the 4 melodic tracks can send midi out on separate channels. and on the same midi channel when needed.
    ‘sample flip’ was / is an afterthought nightmare, and there is no envelope what so ever on the samples. I think there exists no worse sample player actually.
    The lack of control on the synth and the impossibility to save patches, like on the original is still there.

    Fun sequencers though. When midi cc’s would be freely assignable. but they are not. Maybe something for my little nephew.

    1. Yep. This so called “Update” really misses the mark for features wanted by anybody who has the Mk1 Circuit. I’m really disappointed.

  4. I appreciate that Novation did not choose to try and “pro” this device up too much. That’s not what the Circuit is about. It’s a sketch or idea pad. It’s not an Elektron box. Immediacy and intuitive operation matter. (That’s not to say that the Circuit is somehow more musical than a Digitakt.) I guess I’m saying there’s an ethos as much as a workflow here. Those who never got on board are unlikely to be converted by the Tracks. I would imagine Novation isn’t trying to convert them anyway… hence the Rhythm.

    1. I think this comment is spot on. If you ever liked the original then you will actually understand what a big deal the new one is. The sequencer was always good and always improving. it’s now amazing. Probability, mutation, scenes in the mixer screen plus seperate midi tracks. Some of the internet comments leave me wondering … people seem to expect a fully blown studio controlling beast. No, it’s a Novation Circuit. To borrow their original marketing phrase now I can ‘start something’ with a couple of external synth ‘friends’. For me they’ve taken this in the direction of everything they’ve ever put into their sequencer and then added a few clever extras. If you want a DAW replacement go buy an Akai MPC (or just use a DAW cos it’s more powerful but that’s a discussion for another day) .. and why would you want a screen? If so then this is not the machine for you. Learn it. Learn it like an Elektron instrument and play it. It absolutely does not need a display. Just use your ears. Wonderful machine.

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