Novation Circuit Rhythm is out now, the Circuit for beatmakers with an 8-track hands-on sampling engine, instant creative Grid FXs & more
Novation has celebrated a huge success with its Circuit. The device came on the market at a time when the focus of modern music producers shifted more and more to music-making with hardware devices. The success story of the hands-on groovebox then went into the second round with the Circuit Tracks at the beginning of this year. A revised version with a built-in battery, slimmer design, and other neat features.
The enormous update support from Novation also played a major role in the success of the original Circuit. This input also flowed integrally into the development of the new version. The Circuit Rhythm, the sampling Circuit which was first seen during the C Tracks release is out now.
Novation Circuit Rhythm
The Circuit is loved by so many musicians because it offers very intuitive and hands-on interface. Even without a display, you can compose tracks in no time. The Novation Circuit Rhythm is the Circuit for beatmakers with a different core but the same concept. Whoever masters the CT can also operate the CR.
The main role plays a performance-optimized sampling engine that is divided into 8 sample slots aka tracks. The Circuit Rhythm is not a simple sample player, but a full sampler. Thanks to the stereo audio inputs (L/R), you can record straight into the unit, and instantly capture sounds from records, synths, drum machines, and more. Novation has implemented this very easily so that you can capture sounds on the fly. In addition, there is re-sampling with which you can resample existing sounds or tracks.
The device has 128 sample slots that can be filled with a maximum of 222 seconds of sampling material, per pack. For each sound you can then choose how you want to play it: one-shot, gated, loop, reverse, choke, keyboard or slice. For the latter there are three variants that can also be changed on the fly.
In the upper third of the interface there are various parameters that allow you to manipulate instantly the samples. Including master/volume, tuning, sample start, lenght, slope, distortion, dedicated HP & LP filter controls, resonance and master filter. The sample playback engine is only monophonic, not polyphonic.
Each of the eight Circuit Rhythm’s sample tracks has its own 32-step pattern sequencer chainable up to 256 steps per track. The sequencer tracks are monophonic, and not poly. Same applies to the MIDI tracks according to my information. This limitation is a bit strange but yeah maybe they will unlock polyphony in a future update.
Like the Circuit Tracks, it comes with quantised and off-grid step recording option. Micro-steps, probability and pattern mutate are also available in the sequencer making very complex and varied sequences possible. Also sample flip, with which you can have a different sample on each step, is included. This makes sample sequencing extremely flexible. On top, you can automate the sampler parameters of each track in the corresponding sequence.
The Grid FX are new performance effects exclusive available for the Circuit Rhythm. With these, you can give character to your samples. The section includes beat repeat, vinyl simulation, filters, reverse, digitizer, phaser, and a gate effect. These are instant effects that can be triggered by the pads. Small disadvantage: they cannot be recorded as automation in a sequence.
In addition to the aforementioned Grid FX, CR also has Circuit’s basic delay and reverb effects.
The back is identical to the Circuit Tracks. It has audio inputs (L/R) for sampling, headphone output, analog sync out, L/R outputs, full-size-pin MIDI in/out/thru, and a microSD slot for expandable storage/loading in samples/projects. The USB-C port on the backs gives you connectivity to your computer or the option to charge the built-in battery.
Novation’s browser/standalone version of the Components interface is also fully compatible with the CR. You can load samples, backup projects, download artist- made sound packs, and create custom patches.
The features in action can be found in the detailed video from Loopop.
The Circuit Rhythm is suitable for everyone who is looking for a groove box with which one can sample in real-time and make beats everywhere, in the studio or on the go. An exciting device that continues the concept of the first Circuit and gives it in the hands of beatmakers. I think this is just the beginning and we will see a lot of updates for these in the future.
Novation Circuit Rhythm is available now for pre-order 389€/$399 USD worldwide. Shipping starts in mid-July 2021.
More information here: Novation
Available at our partners (you support Synth Anatomy via these links)