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Creative drum programming using Novation Circuit Tracks groovebox

Novation Circuit Tracks
(Image credit: Future)

Let’s combine some of Circuit Tracks’ more advanced sequencing tricks to create a short, 16-step drum groove that still has unpredictability.

Novation Circuit Tracks

(Image credit: Future)

Step 1: We start by programming a four-to-the-floor kick using Drum 1. To make the most of the limited tracks, we’ll have Drum 1 double up as a percussive bass part. By holding a sequencer step and selecting a new sample, we can insert a ‘sample flip’ to have some low toms sitting amongst our kicks.

Novation Circuit Tracks

(Image credit: Future)

Step 2: Next we refine this kick/bass groove by adjusting the velocity levels of our toms. We also use the Micro Step mode to nudge some of the toms off the grid slightly, all of which results in adding more groove and feel to the part.

Novation Circuit Tracks

(Image credit: Future)

Step 3: On the Drum Track 2 we add a clap on beats 2 and 4. To add movement to this, we can automate its decay time. To do this we just hit Record and adjust Macro 2, so that the first clap has a short decay and the sounds are longer.

Novation Circuit Tracks

(Image credit: Future)

Step 4: Moving on to Drum 3, we add closed hats on every offbeat. Once again we use a sample flip, this time to insert an open hat that sits one step before one of our closed hats. To add further variety, we reduce the open hat’s Probability to around 30%, so that it only triggers occasionally.

Novation Circuit Tracks

(Image credit: Future)

Step 5: Finally, with Drum 4 let’s create some random ghost notes. Firstly, we head into Pattern Settings and change playback order to ‘random’. We now program a few short, low velocity percussive sounds – it doesn’t matter where we place these since playback is randomised.