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Novation Circuit

desktop synth groovebox (2015)


Overview and synthesis

Overview  A standalone all-in-one groovebox sequencer with built-in drum, bass and synth sounds; the circuit features internal speaker and works also with battery: totally portable when you're traveling dawless. The main panel features a 32- plastic pad (velocity-sensitive) on a 4x8 grid with 8t rotary encoders+  Master volume knob +a filter knob

Synthesis basically the main machine is 100% digital and it is composed by 2 main sections:
 -2 parts mono/poly synthesizer section with 64 patches, up to 6 voices polyphony each
 -4 parts drum section (kick, snare, hi hat, cymbal) with also 64 drum sounds. With latest OS  1.3 you can upload your own samples thru USB (MP3 and WAV up to 60 secons total time)



Sequencer The 6 track parts very similar to Ableton Push (Ableton Live Lite 9 is included  Circuit will also work as a standard USB-MIDI controller.) with nudge, swing options, and all movements can be recorded in a performance. The length of drum patterns 1/2 and 3/4 can now be set independently of the other pair to create  polyrhythm structures.

FX  16 delay preset  + 8 reverbs. Also distortion and of course, digital filter


Circuit Technical Data

  • 32 RGB backlit velocity sensitive button grid
  • 28 RGB backlit function buttons
  • 8 Continuous pots with RGB indicator LEDs
  • Dedicated filter and volume pots
  • 1/4" jack sockets for left and right outputs
  • Two MIDI sockets (3.5mm jack sockets with MIDI din break-out cables)
  • USB B 2.0
  • Front-mounted 3.5mm jack socket for headphones
  • Integrated speaker
  • Rubberised knob caps
  • Rotary controls secured to the chassis with metal nuts
  • Power supply connector
  • Power switch
  • Battery compartment for 6x AA batteries (included)
  • Kensington Security Slot

Sound Engine

  • 2 Nova synths
  • 4 Part drum machine
  • 6 Note polyphonic per synth
  • 64 Synth patches
  • 64 Drum patches
  • 8 Synth macro controls (Control up to 4 parameters with one knob)
  • 4 Drum parameter controls (Pitch, Decay, Distortion, Filter)
  • Mixer view with levels and mutes
  • Master FX with individual track sends
  • 16 Delays
  • 8 Reverbs
  • Sidechain effect (7 types and off). Triggered from Drum 1
  • Hi-pass / low-pass master filter


  • 32 Sessions
  • 6 Tracks per session (2 Synth and 4 Drum)
  • 8 Patterns per track (Synth 1, Synth 2, Drum 1&2, Drum 3&4)
  • 16 Demo sessions
  • Real time record (notes, with velocity and automation)
  • Auto-quantise notes to steps and automation to 6 events per step
  • 50 Automation parameters (up to 4800 events per pattern)
  • Internal tempo range 40 - 240
  • External synced tempo range 30 - 300
  • Swing 20 - 80%

Real Time Performance

  • Full range velocity scanning and record. Editable to 16 levels
  • 16 Scale types and chromatic transposition
  • Synth expand view doubles playable area
  • Drum expand view allows real time drum record
  • Octave (input) and pattern octave (edit)
  • Pattern length and nudge
  • Configurable pattern chain
  • Session instant switching and queued switch


  • Velocity and gate per step
  • Multiple gate lengths per step (via real time record)
  • Automation edit per step
  • Clear step, automation parameter per pattern, pattern, session
  • Duplicate step, pattern

Power Requirements

  • Circuit can be powered using 6x AA batteries or a power supply (both included). It can not be powered via USB
  • Maximum power consumption 12V DC 600mA

Product Dimensions

  • 240mm width x 200mm depth x 35mm height


Do you use this machine ? do you like it? You do not agree with our review?  Let us know in the comment field just below 



Audio demo and video 

novation circuit novation circuit
70 out of 100 based on 1 user ratings
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