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: