Let’s face it: the phrase ‘firmware update’ is unlikely to set your spine tingling. These revisions to a piece of hardware’s software are often rather tedious offerings, designed to fix existing problems rather than deliver anything new.
Not so the free version 1.8 update for Novation’s Circuit, which adds several creative strings to the venerable groovebox’s bow.
Let’s start with non-quantised recording, which enables you to go off-grid and work in microsteps on your synth and drum tracks. This is a feature that’s long been demanded by Circuiteers who want to make their music more rhythmically complex, and now it’s here.
Similarly, you can now edit your synth parts on a microstep level, giving you super-tight control of their timing at every stage of the process. To give you some idea of the control level here, there are six microsteps to every full step, meaning massive scope for rhythmic adjustment.
Continuing the theme of greater flexibility, Circuit 1.8 offers per-note velocity tracking, which means that different notes on the same step can have their own velocities (previously, they all had to be the same). This feature is available whether you’re recording or editing, opening to door to greater levels of expression.
Finally, MIDI channels are now assignable, which is great news for those who use Circuit as part of a wider studio setup. The default settings can be overridden so that Synth 1, Synth 2 and Drums can be assigned to whichever MIDI channels you like, removing another restriction.
All of which proves that, even close to three years into its life, Novation’s Circuit still has some new tricks to pull. Version 1.8 gives users even more for their well-spent money, and potential new customers an even greater reason to jump on board. Find out more on the Novation website