Novation // Circuit


Thanks for the insight! Good job all-round :grinning:


Maybe someone could quickly check for me the absolute lowest note number the circuit can reach? I know seems like a stupid question… Then I ran into this limitation on the Qunexus :slight_smile:

Still wondering about triggering the analog rytm :-o


It’s the full range of MIDI notes. Right from C0 to (I think) G10.


Thank you! That’s a big help for me.


You pulling the trigger soon? (no pun intended)


I’m not sure… Would still need to find out whether it’s a good option as a finger drum controller. I mean, otherwise I’m pretty convinced :slight_smile:


Yeah I love the idea of using it to sequence my Nord Drum 2, would be perfect.
Only snag is I fell into the modular abyss and I’m not sure I’m equipped with the requisite strength to pull myself out again!

At least you know that you can get down low with the midi notes…
Got a real soft spot though for the Circuit and each update seems to make it more attractive. If Novation manage to allow samples as oscillators for the synths then I shall be forced to take action…
Wondering if next year they will release another version of some sort.

Watch this space eh?


The samples as oscillators idea is damn brilliant. I think that’s a bit unlikely, though, as it’s a bit advanced :slight_smile: I mean, to wrap your head around as a casual user. I’d love it.

My reasoning is that if I’m low on space, the circuit is the same size as a drum pad controller, AND it has all this excellent extra stuff going on… But yeah, still need to figure out what it is exactly that I need to do. :slight_smile:


I’d recommend against getting a Circuit for a controller if that’s the overwhelming need. It’s a bit limited there at present, locked to specific midi channels. Maybe a future update will address this. But if using it as a controller is a side benefit to all else it offers at its price point, it’s awesome.

I’m seriously considering a Launchpad Pro now though. It’s a dedicated controller and it just got Circuit’s Scales feature.


Can you disable quantize when recording finger drumming?


Nope. You’re locked to the Circuit’s grid.


I think there’s a point lost here for the Circuit, which is worth considering for anyone who’s considering buying one, no matter the reason - as a tool for writing songs, composing and structuring, it’s quite unlike any other.

It’s the first real attempt at a stand alone instrument based on a grid interface. As such, it has a quick and flexible sequencer for composing, and the way it’s built makes you come up with ideas as well as longer structures, like no other tool would. In that sense, it’s unique. Since it’s loaded with two synths and a couple of drum tracks, you can also execute on those ideas right away, both working on sound and structure in a combination that’s to this point, unique.

So when you’re considering the Circuit for this and that, it could be worth considering that you’re approaching it from what you already know and what you already want. I suggest you approach it with curiosity, as in “I just don’t know what this is gonna unlock for me”. Because I’m pretty sure if you use it coherently, as a tool for writing, structuring and playing, you’ll find tracks within you that you’d find nowhere else.

In that sense, I’d compare it to the Octatrack or the OP-1 - not in terms of features or function, but in terms of the way they’re designed, you will create things on those instruments that you won’t come up with anywhere else. That has nothing to do with features.

Given the price point, and the proper resell value (at least here in Sweden), it’s a small risk to take compared to what it might give you in return.


For the price it is a useful tool. Besides its onboard sketchpad looper sequencer functions, it is a pretty decent portable controller too.

There will be more updates coming (scales expansion has been mentioned) & looks like Novation will expand it as much as they can; they seem to want to ship as many as possible, rather than cripple it to protect similar products - which is a healthy attitude.

Love to see it get more programmability as a controller, allowing mapping of any midi message to pads, buttons & knobs, plus midi feedback to light up the pads RGB. Micro timing would also be great.


can you elaborate on LP pro vs Circuit as a controller? Circuit has the benefit of encoders and sound engine.


Basically, at this time, the MIDI output from Circuit seems geared towards being able to MIDI record a Circuit performance for later playback. The channels are locked (1 and 2 for synth, 10 for drums, 16 for some additional control - I don’t know if 16 transmits data), as are the control-change numbers on the encoders.

So using it as a potential controller for a small chain of instruments (in my setup, that’d be things like Machinedrum, Monomachine, DSI Evolver, Streichfett, Meeblip Anode, Volcas, etc) is difficult - I’d have to constantly be setting various devices to be on Channels 1 or 2 and the encoders would only be randomly useful per instrument.

Now, in a small setup (say Circuit plus Volca or Evolver), this may be fine. And the Circuit has a sequencer as well, which the LaunchPad Pro does not.

LaunchPad Pro makes it easy to change MIDI output channels, making it useful in a multi-instrument or multi-timbral setup. For that feature alone, it’s interesting. A future Circuit update may address this, but “future” and “may” are hard to hang ones hopes on.

LaunchPad Pro does not have encoders, but it does have a ‘mixer’ mode where you can play the grid like sliders. They have a video of using this to change parameters on the Machinedrum. But, I think the MIDI CC numbers in this mode are frozen (like the Circuit’s encoders) and it’s a crapshoot how it will work with gear.

The biggest downside of the LaunchPad Pro as a controller is that it’s still geared primarily towards Ableton Live use. I hope that the success of the Circuit as a standalone device may encourage Novation to make some new controllers (or add these features in the Circuit) that are divorced from Live. I’d like to see a hybrid of the LaunchControl XL (has a template editor to allow one to assign how it talks MIDI; is nothing but encoders and sliders) and the LaunchPad Pro (grid based performance / note entry tool).


If you look on the official Novation Circuit editor/software site, there have been templates made for LP and Circuit. I do not use Live but I recall seeing that over there a few times so it sounds possible to use Circuit in that fashion but to what extent, no idea.
I use the Circuit as a nice mobile sketch pad and also in studio experiment having it midi sequence my Waldorf Pulse and other hardware synths, then there’s the sample import and flip…it just keeps getting better. A very inexpensive tool…but I still want an OP-1.:grinning:


Crazy as it sounds, I’m selling my OP-1 and probably going to pick up a circuit to fill the OP-1’s shoes.


Circuit midi out to iPad’s THOR :heart_eyes:


Funny you mention this. This combo is what I’ve been playing with past weekend. Circuit + iPad is a great mobile sketchpad combo.


That sounds crazy.
Sorry you pitched a beachball there, I had to hit it!
But all the luck to you fella!