Novation Announces Circuit, Synth, Drum Machine, Pad Controller Grid-Based Groove Box

When a photo of Novation Circuit was leaked yesterday many thought this was a MIDI controller. It's SO much more. Circuit is a standalone synth & drum machine with 4x8 velocity sensitive pads...  

There should be no doubt that here at Ask.Audio we're pretty excited about the new Novation Circuit which has been officially announced today. And we're working on a review as I type... so stay tuned!

In the meantime, here's all the details on the Novation Circuit they've communicated with us:

Sometimes, starting a track can be a difficult and daunting task. We're sure that like us, you've sat staring at a screen overwhelmed by the choice of plug-ins, struggling to write a beat that inspires you, a melody that doesn’t sound corny. 

As our 'Start Something' series has illustrated, inspiration can come in many shapes and forms, from taking a break from the studio and just living life to digging through vinyl and hunting for that elusive sound to get the ball rolling.

Close up of the new Novation Circuit.

Close up of the new Novation Circuit.

We suffer from this problem too and wanted to create a solution. We wanted something small and portable, something that doesn't sound like a toy, something that gives maximum creative output from minimum input, something that encourages exploration and creates ‘happy accidents’. That's why we created Circuit.

Watch the Promo video here:

Circuit is a standalone groove box that combines Nova-heritage synths with expertly sculpted drums. It’s all you need to make music anywhere. You don't need to buy three different things. With Circuit you can create an entire tune by combining up to 128 steps of synth and drum patterns, then add space, depth and energy to your music with built-in effects. It even has built in sidechain. When you’re done, save your tune to one of 32 slots.

The intuitive navigation delivers immediate results, scale modes ensure that you never hit a bum note and cleverly mapped macros deliver deeper personalisation, ‘happy accidents’ and moments of genius.

With Circuit, making a genuinely decent sounding track requires very little effort and takes minutes not hours.  And because it’s battery powered you can do it all on the bus, then take it back to your studio and finish it in your DAW.

More Details

Make new electronic music quickly and easily with a standalone groove box that combines Nova-heritage synths with expertly sculpted drums. 

Circuit is designed to inspire. Two Novation polysynths and a four-part drum machine, combined with an intuitive grid-based sequencer in a standalone box that will have you making electronic music in minutes. Hit some pads, tweak the knobs and your track will start to emerge, all locked in time and key. Play around with effects, patterns and sounds in real time, to produce your track, brimming with fat grooves and beats.

Novation Circuit in a studio scenario.

Novation Circuit in a studio scenario.

Compact and battery powered with a convenient built-in speaker, Circuit can be used to make music entirely on its own. In the studio it will work alongside your standalone synth gear and run in sync with your music software too. In short, it's all you need to inspire, create and play new tunes.

Ideas in Seconds. Tracks in Minutes

Circuit inspires, straight out the box. It combines a 2-part synthesiser and a 4-part drum machine with a 4x8 RGB velocity-sensitive grid sequencer, which will have you finding new musical directions and creating electronic grooves in no time.

Stand Alone

Compact and battery-powered, Circuit truly stands alone. You can create entire tunes from scratch without a laptop, then save them and play them back live. You don’t even need speakers, because it has a one built in. Of course, Circuit will plug in to your sound system and work with your computer and other synth gear too, via its Line outputs, USB and MIDI ports.

Cutting Edge Sound 

Building on our true Nova heritage, Circuit delivers cutting-edge sound with production-ready monophonic and polyphonic patches and tons of character for easily creating deep bass lines, epic leads and warm pads. 

Build Ideas Quickly

Embrace a new way to make music. Circuit's split grid shows your steps and notes at the same time, so you can sequence and play while seeing exactly what's going on. Build up your parts quickly and easily, either by programming each step or capturing your performance in real-time. 

Novation Circuit is designed to help you build entire tracks quickly and intuitively.

Novation Circuit is designed to help you build entire tracks quickly and intuitively.

Combine Simplicity and Experimentation

Use simple streamlined modes to keep your harmonies, rhythms and melodies locked in time and key while you make riffs, hooks and chords. Or start experimenting for some serious sequencing exploration.  

Looking for the Perfect Beat?

Velocity sensitive RGB pads let you quickly build expressive drum beats, by step sequencing or playing the wide range of drum sounds. Define your sound with total control over pitch, decay, distortion and EQ.

Easily Tweak Your Sound 

Sculpt your sound using eight macro knobs allowing you to subtly tweak or completely transform each patch. Then add movement and rhythm by recording or sequencing your performance.

Build Whole Tunes with Effects

Create an entire tune by combining up to 128 steps of synth and drum patterns, then adding space, depth and energy to your music with built-in effects. Sidechain your synths to the kick drum to get them to pump. When you’re done, save your tune to one of 32 slots.

Key Features

  • 2-part Nova-heritage analogue-modelled synthesiser
  • 4-part drum machine
  • 4x8 grid of RGB, velocity-sensitive sequencer pads
  • 6 voice polyphony
  • Loads of oscillator types and wavetables
  • 64 production-ready patches
  • Step sequence or build live
  • Lock your music in time and key 
  • Combine ready-made drum patterns
  • Tweak using 8 synth macro encoders with RGB LEDs
  • Record and play back your tweaks Combine up to 128 steps of synth and drum patterns
  • Add amazing delay and reverb effects
  • 32 slots for creating, saving and playing tunes without a laptop
  • Compact and battery powered
  • Built-in speaker
  • Works with computer and hardware via  USB and MIDI

What’s In The Box?

  • Novation Circuit 
  • USB cable 
  • 2 MIDI breakout cables: 3.5mm jack to female 5 pin din 
  • Printed Getting Started Guide 
  • Circuit patches sheet 
  • Safety information sheet 
  • 6x AA batteries included 
  • 12V DC power supply included

Price: MAP: $329.99. Available in October

Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional... Read More


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