Novation Circuit Groove Box !
Lets break down what this ultra portable synthesized work station has under the hood in this Novation Circuit Review.
This bad bwoy is a standalone groove box that is packed with features such as the playable pads, tweakable knobs, plus stacks of synth and drum sounds that allow you to make electronic music quickly and easily in both sequence and the newly added sample flip mode.
This is a powerful and portable groove box, that has been designed primarily to work in standalone mode, meaning you don’t need a computer or laptop to make electronic beats instantly and can be integrated with other midi hardware gear and your DAW of choice.
The Novation Circuit is perfect for people that are new to producing electronic music and will give you great hands on experience while making live electro, step sequencing, adding effects and tweaking sounds.
Veterans of music production might find this piece of gear a bit restricting with only 60 seconds of sample time to store the 2 X drums and 4 X synths.
However, the team at Novation have been constantly updating the firmware on this little portable groove box adding Circuits own custom software, Novation Component, that allows to change out your sounds and backup your Circuit content.
So if you’re new to producing or you’re in the market for a portable jam session tool that you can pull out on the plane, then load into your laptop once you hit the tarmac keep reading as the Novation Circuit might be what you’re looking for.
- Powerful groovebox
- Instantly get creative
- No laptop or software required
Groove Box Buyers Guide
The Novation Circuit is a great take on the traditional groove box and packs a lot of punch in such a small unit.
The Novation hallmark synth sounds combined with clever and intuitive engine plus tactile controls at this price point is a clear winner: Korg’s similarly priced Electribe 2 sampler doesn’t feature a synth engine and Native Instrument Machine Jam requires a computer to work.
And it looks gorgeous, too.
Novation states that Circuit’s “maximum creative output from minimum input” encourages exploration and creates ‘happy accidents’.
From the user interface point of view, this is certainly correct: the sequencing approach takes almost no time to learn and the RGB indicators give a nice color-coded user experience that is definitely a deal-breaker when you’re looking for something to take on a gig.
The velocity sensitive pads feel great and the knobs have enough resistance to be useful.
Portability seems to be the biggest winning factor here though: using Circuit with battery power and sequencing away with no need for laptop is a ridiculously good experience here.
But Circuit certainly has its place on a studio desk too with its intuitive user interface.
I wouldn’t go as far to say that Novation has built a “Launchpad killer” or even tried to do so, but rather created a creative standalone tool that has features no competitor can currently offer at this price point.