Novation Circuit: A pair of 6 voice poly synths, a drum machine/sample player, sequencer and fx box all in one.
If you are familiar with the Ultranova/Mininova you’ll feel right at home editing the synth patches on the Circuit. The Isotonik Studios standalone editor is a well thought out application for getting the most out of the synth parts of the Circuit. The sound engine is like a cut down version of the Ultranova. The Circuit was designed to be a portable all-in-one song creation tool and it’s great for people who use it that way but it also serves as a great multitimbral synth and sample player module. In some ways it’s like a VA version of the Roland MKS-7 with a better interface and changeable drum samples that can be tweaked. I usually sequence and compose in Ableton Live and send the midi to the Circuit. Channel 1 gets sent to synth part 1, channel 2 midi data goes to synth part 2, and channel 10 sends midi data to the drums/user samples. I tend to program the 8 macros to the most common parameters I use to sculpt sounds and quickly memorize the assignments which makes fine tuning the sound very fast. One thing that sets this synth apart from others is the fact that the 8 macro knobs can modify 4 destinations EACH. In some ways it’s like having 8 mod wheels. The synths have many of the extra LFO types that can be found in the ultra/mininova. For those who use the built in sequencer there may be a tendency to stick with sharp attack sounds or short bits that that can be heard clearly as 16th notes in a fast tempo sequence but the synth is capable of some really great pads and long sustain type sounds as well. At the current price (spring of 2017) it is a great value. It’s an even bigger value since they updated the box to allow user created samples. My only current complaint is that when playing the synth parts from an external midi keyboard neither mod wheel nor pitch bend have any affect on the sound. The Isotonik editor allows for mod wheel and pitch bend as mod sources so I think novation will probably resolve the issue in the next OS update. I programmed a set of 64 synth patches that can be purchased here https://sellfy.com/p/wZ6J
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