Circuit is small. Circuit doesn’t do too much. But what Circuit has been doing is steadily adding little improvements that are exactly what users have been asking for. It’s a uniquely focused tool, and that’s the reason I find myself writing about little firmware updates. They’ve been really important.

Now 1.5 continues that trend with three features that, while not flashy, could actually have a huge impact on how you work. Watch, in this clear video:

Fractional Gate or “staccato” features let you record up to six different levels of gate length – that’s how long the note will sound. You can even tap a length pad in a synth’s Gate View to enter them.

Patch preview. You can also preview patches, which makes finding and editing sounds easier. Cleverly, they even play a note or a chord based on whether a patch is monophonic or polyphonic, respectively. You can hold down shift to disable this, and it’s disabled by default in recording, so you won’t accidentally audition a sound while performing or recording.

MIDI send/receive. You can also turn on and off MIDI CC messages for send and receive so you don’t accidentally edit parameters. That function has parity on the Novation Circuit’s new sibling, the Mono Station. (Okay, technically the Circuit Mono Station, but that’s going to get confusing.)

In other words, put them together, and you can get your two Novation pieces talking to one another.

I’m looking forward to getting in the Mono Station to test; it’s inbound this week. Seems it’ll be time to throw together a new live set.

Now, Novation standardizes on putting firmware updates on their Components site, alongside online editing and patch storage features and the like, so you’ll find 1.5 there right now:

  • gridded

    if only they could free up the rigid quantization even slightly….

    • Oh yeah, that’s an area for all these machines to consider for finesse… I agree.

  • Dee Lux

    Yes, next they need to free up the quantization for sure, that would really put it over the top, but I will say this, Novation have come through for Circuit owners like no other manufacturer, there hasn’t been a single day I’ve regretted buying one, well worth every penny I spent on it. This is the most useable and practical groove-box ever made and it’s only getting better, Novation supports thier products and their customers, the circuit can be used in many ways to improve musical output and I recommend it to anyone from songwriters looking to create backing tracks for live or studio, to bands looking to add an electronic element to their sound, to TV and film composers as a midi sketch pad and a sound design tool, anyone can put this to good use not just DJ”s and electronic producers, I’ve told novation they are leaving mony on the table by only marketing this to the latter two groups i’ve mentioned. Also, Novation, this is a feature that would double your sales even though it is basic as the hills: Option to send a click out of one side with or without music, add that feature and start counting the money.

  • ioanni

    It is good for them at they continue to support their product.
    -Now if only they could add midi tracks for external gear. If not Circuit 2 should have 32 external MIDI polyphonic tracks and TWO MIDI outs.
    -MIDI in should do Ableton Link.
    -Internal sampler could have 8 slots.
    -The two internal synths are ok.

  • Stefan Arisona

    Nice to see the frequent updates. My only wish would be to see the manual updated as well (instead of having a collection of separate documents).