Novation keeps giving Circuit users want they want, step by step by step. Circuit 1.6 comes with still more user-requested features.

Now, eventually, I expect Novation is going to run out of the ability to cram things into Circuit. Not only would you expect the developer to focus on newer hardware, but Circuit has a restricted processor speed and memory – you just run out of horsepower to do everything users might imagine. But whenever the day will come, today is not that day. (And, in fact, I think Circuit will continue to see interesting new applications in editors and sound content, from the user community if not from Novation themselves. My opinion only here.)

The just-released 1.6 firmware comes with three really nice additions:

1. Panning. Novation says this is the most user-requested feature. That makes sense, given this is a little workstation, not just a single monosynth or something like that.

2. Light dimming. Blinded by Saturday Night Fever no more. Take heed, all developers.

3. Micro Steps. This is a simple but fairly genius idea: you can retrigger a sample inside each step up to six times, for more complex rhythms, fills and stutter effects, or whatever.

4. Program Change. The Settings menu doesn’t just keep from blinding you – it also lets you send Program Change messages, which is useful for working with other gear.

Now, all this comes just in time for us to feature Circuit and Circuit Mono Station on our next webcast of CDM x Beatport: Plugged In. So if you have questions for us on either product and want us to answer on-air, leave them now in comments and we’ll try to get to them.

Also, I’d better practice, so I don’t shred in front of y’all.

You can grab 1.6 for free from Novation, at the Components site (alongside that clever browser editor and whatnot):

  • c0wfunk

    Another great update. Are there *any* other products / manufacturers releasing major features like this via software for free years after the hardware was released? Seems to me like this should be the new model, rather than the usual habit of pumping out new hardware and obsoleting the old instead.

    • Ian Scott

      Elektron just announced a feature update to the MK1 Octatrack giving it software parity with the upcoming MK2. 8 years old! (Edit – 6 years. Silly me, still that’s a fair while. Also the MK2 isn’t a guts update so both will run same firmware but they could have easily dropped support if they chose to)

    • Neil

      Ableton Push, I guess. How many years has it been version 9?

  • Will

    Great update. Big ups to Novation for continuing to add value to this little marvel.

    The microsteps is a big’n for me. Effects and trap hats aside, will just allow for more interesting drum programming with single offset hits. Would love to see an update/option that allowed you spread the 6 step divisions to either side of the beat instead of after only. Then you could use it to ‘rush’ hits. It could also do a better job of capturing off-grid live recordings.