Novation’s little brightly coloured groove box has been somewhat inspirational since its launch last year. It’s fed into the resurgence for external, tactile creativity while remaining very computer friendly and easy to integrate into a larger setup. You take it away, make music on the twin Novation synths and drum section and then drop it back into your rig. However, as with all standalone boxes, the edges can be easy to find and limitations start to appear. With Components, Novation is inviting you beyond the limitations of the box.
Components is a suite of tools for the Circuit which give you the ability to expand its original programming, to potentially design and customise it into your own instrument. That sounds really exciting, I hear you say, they must be blowing the lid off this thing with a ton of cool tools! Well, not exactly, but it’s a start. The first and probably the most game-changing tool is “Sample Import”. This does what it says on the tin and lets you drag and drop samples from your computer onto Circuit: drum kits, loops, instrument sounds, vocals, noises – whatever you want. You can turn the whole thing into an MPC if you so wish. Samples in wave or MP3 format are dragged directly onto any of the 64 pads (2 banks of 32) up to a total of 60 seconds in length. The editor runs in a browser and you can audition all the samples before dumping it to Circuit. You can save sample sets, restore the defaults, export and share with other users all within the editor. That’s pretty neat.
Next up is the “Editor” which gives you full and detailed access to the two internal Nova Heritage synths. This started life as a Max4Live plugin but is now available as a standalone product. Along with editing the parameters you can also assign the Circuit macro knobs to whatever controls you want. You can also save your patches to the computer and share them with other users. “Librarian” is the next component. This simply gives you the ability to backup your sessions to the cloud.
These components require the lastest v1.2 firmware which is available from the website free to all users. It also brings some new features like the ability to record from external controllers, auto-sync with Ableton Live, punch-in and overdub, improved automation and external preset changing.
It’s a decent update that promises to keep Circuit interesting and evolving for a long while to come. Circuit is available for GBP £249.
More information: https://uk.novationmusic.com/circuit-components