Novation Circuit Tracks: Groovebox Sequencer With Synth Tracks, MIDI Tracks And Drum Tracks Electronic Music Making
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Each pack can be separately selected from a menu and given its own pad color, allowing various pack genres to be organized by color and pad location. Two audio inputs let you bring all your sounds into Circuit Tracks to send to FX and mix alongside its internal sounds. The TB-303 in the early 80s has lots of patterns and song mode, so this notion that adding more would stretch technical limits is absurd. Rather than simply adding loose samples to the card and then importing them into the hardware – something that would be tricky, given Tracks’ lack of a screen – the card is used to hold and import complete Packs.
Even better, there’s a pair of audio inputs so you can bring in the sound from these outboard synth sources. There’s still no effective way to play samples in a pitched fashion, or any features for looping, stretching or slicing (unless you pre‑prepare samples in your DAW), so although I occasionally use them to trigger longer ambient samples, these tracks mainly lend themselves to being drum triggers. The surface-level depth of the synths keeps Circuit Tracks feeling accessible and hands-on, particularly given its lack of a screen.There’s a slightly revamped sidechain tool too, which can apply ducking to synths and external inputs driven by drum tracks. The interface is very hands on that allows you to produce music very quickly and explore new sounds in an intuitive manner. This is the only element of the original Circuit that’s been outright removed, and honestly, it’s not missed – the audio quality was decent, but not great, and there are very few situations where headphones or connection to a proper set of speakers aren’t far better options.
Totally different from making music in a DAW, nowhere near as complex as the bigger and more expensive “music workstations” out there, it fills a niche all of its own. Each track has its own sequencer that can either a) “flip” between different step-locked sounds or b) play whatever sample is currently selected. Possible, but not easy… and therein lies for me both the biggest strength and the biggest weakness of this. Two synth tracks, two MIDI tracks and four drum tracks: everything you need to create and perform music. Let your creativity thrive with the acclaimed, hands-on sequencer, with which you can create 32-step patterns, chainable for up to 256 steps sequences per track.
Passing external instruments through allows you to control them in the built-in mixer and apply the built-in effects and filter, which is very nice. Scenes can also be chained into longer sections or even a complete song, as demonstrated by the pre‑installed factory projects. I was pleased to find metal shafts underneath each pot, which sit tightly beneath their rubber caps.
Create anywhere - The built-in rechargeable battery provides up to four hours of battery life, so you can make beats on the move. As title, I currently have owned a novation circuit for many years, since 2018, it's one of the musical devices that I had and have more fun with, I am particularly fond of it , I really enjoy the synth engine capabilities and drumming programmation is "ok", nothing spectacular, but does the job and is somewhat decent , I am thinking about adding another novation circuit in my setup, mainly for the fun a novation circuit gives when playing around with it and doing livesets.Overall these things are what I think it would have been easy for Novation to add, but still they didn’t.
Wherever you happen to be in the world, you can rely on a three-year warranty if any Novation hardware needs repairing or replacing due to a manufacturing fault. And I can let them use it without them “breaking” anything – I can give them a copy of the “pack” it came with and they can make projects, scenes and patterns all of their own, with my “grown up” work happily saved away elsewhere on the microSD. Components is Novation’s “online companion”, letting users create their own patches, load up samples, save templates, back up projects, and more.Go further with Components - Novation Components is the online companion that lets you delve into the synth engine, load samples and backup projects. The Circuit’s focus on a simple, intuitive workflow is truly emphasized for all of the above groups, as it provides a way to get in the flow and jam out without looking at or touching a computer screen. seconds to be exact – worth of sample time, instead of 60 seconds, giving you more freedom to find your groove.