Novation Circuit Tracks: Groovebox Sequencer With Synth Tracks, MIDI Tracks And Drum Tracks Electronic Music Making

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Novation Circuit Tracks: Groovebox Sequencer With Synth Tracks, MIDI Tracks And Drum Tracks Electronic Music Making

Novation Circuit Tracks: Groovebox Sequencer With Synth Tracks, MIDI Tracks And Drum Tracks Electronic Music Making

RRP: £299.00
Price: £149.5
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A limitation of the system (as on the Launchpad Pro) is that there’s no ‘Pattern Off’ state for tracks so you need to keep an empty pattern in each track if you don’t want to handle all track muting live. You can save up to 16 “scenes” per “project” (song) and play them back individually or sequentially. That said, I didn’t love the 32-step pattern length, and I’d hope to see it expanded to 64 steps in a future firmware update. There’s a built‑in mixer, with reverb and delay effects and side‑chain compression, plus a master filter which is great for transitions.

Doing so involved repurposing one of the synth tracks though, so being able to do this while still having separate control over the internal synths is a great touch. 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. Also, anyone thinking of playing electronic music live – and now we’re talking DJs wanting to add their own beats and grooves to their DJ sets as much as bands – will find much to like here.But what grinds my gears here is the fact that there’s an unused row in the mixer page that could have been used here. However, the Circuit Tracks (unlike the OG Circuit) has labelled macro knobs, which provide a general basis for preset designers to follow: Oscillator, Oscillator Mod, Amp Envelope, Filter Cutoff, Filter Envelope, resonance, modulation, and FX. Circuit Tracks is crammed with other features such as advanced FX, including synths, drums, sidechain, master compressor, and incoming audio in reverb and delay.

The simple pattern chaining system from the original Circuit is carried across here, allowing users to connect up to eight 32-step patterns. Novation have reverted from TRS MIDI jack connectors to traditional DIN ports, and have even added a Thru which can act as a duplicate Out. Each sample track has Pitch, Decay, Drive, and Tone controls, which work great for drums but can be limiting for more in-depth sampling. Even without having used it in any extensive fashion (I spend a lot more time futzing with my OP-1, which sits in my office), I quite like the Tracks because it made me dive into a lot of the practicalities of sequencing on a standalone device.While they do support pitch bending, it’s in a continuous fashion on the knob that makes it almost impossible to know which note you’re playing; let alone to know if it’s actually tuned. The surface-level depth of the synths keeps Circuit Tracks feeling accessible and hands-on, particularly given its lack of a screen. Comprehensive connectivity - Connect to your studio with full-size five-pin MIDI in, out, and thru, and analogue sync out. The output is definitely a bit low, I suspect it is a firmware feature to preserve headroom and prevent clipping. The Circuit Tracks has its strengths and weaknesses when compared to these devices, as well as when compared objectively to other music making methods such as DAWs.

Ultra functional among any of your studio equipment, you can sequence external synths and drum machines with two polyphonic MIDI tracks. Out of the box, you get get 8 sequencer tracks – two melodic synth tracks, 2 MIDI tracks and 4 (non-melodic) drum sample tracks, which you play through Novation’s distinctive 4x8 grid interface with velocity-sensitive backlit pads and a quite satisfactory set of multi-purpose encoding knobs that change function depending on context. Circuit Tracks’ high-quality compact build, built-in rechargeable battery, expandable storage with a microSD card slot and now extended sample time makes it the perfect portable partner.

Each note or gate can be assigned a percentage chance of playing on each loop, producing random variations. The Circuit Tracks inherits back the evolved feature set found on the second‑generation Launchpad Pro, reviewed in SOS April 2020. You can use a microSD card to load thousands of samples which can then be modified using the four drum tracks.

Lose yourself in a hands-on production workflow with Circuit Tracks – an all-in-one groovebox with two polyphonic synth tracks, two MIDI tracks and four sample-based drum tracks. I bought a CT and initially really enjoyed it, but ended up gravitating towards a Polyend Tracker as it seemed to offer a bit more control and flexibility. For existing Circuit Tracks owners, you’ll be able to update your device to the new sample time capabilities through Components. Novation Circuit Tracks, an all-in-one studio with two synth tracks, two MIDI tracks and four drum tracks. You have a couple of options once they are loaded to make them a bit louder - track mixer, which IIRC defaults to about 4/5ths max level, and velocity - I tend to set my kicks at max velocity for main hits, and the track level at max too - I suspect this is how the factory stuff sounds louder, but I have not checked.You can’t send the audio up the USB cable to a computer, either, which is a real shame – even a stereo mix out this way would have been good, but being able to output all the individual instruments this way to a DAW for a mixdown/developing the project would have opened up more possibilities. There are 18 more rubber buttons surrounding the pads and a row of 10 smaller buttons across the top of those. Recording longer patterns can still be awkward in Circuit, as you can’t tell where you are in the loop unless you are in the Pattern view. Concerning your comment on the (monophonic) patches, you should be able to hear whether a patch is monophonic or polyphonic.

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