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Novation Circuit


kcinsu
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For $350, this seems like a great idea unit.

 

2 6 voice poly synths, and a 4 part drum machine; with ableton style clips and scenes. FX and you can export midi via usb or sequence it via usb.

 

Oh and did I mention battery powered and built in speakers?

http://createdigitalmusic.com/2015/10/hands-on-with-novation-circuit-drum-machine-synth-sequencer-hardware-all-in-one/

Edited by Kcinsu
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The sequencer and stuff seems pretty fun/intuitive but the synths and drums sounds are pretty lame/basic. Would be cool if you could change samples. Looks pretty fun to use.

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Sounds like you can sync 2 units together via MIDI as well.

 

$700 for 4 6 voice poly synths and 2 4 part drum machines... All with clip independence sounds quite nice, especially being battery powered.

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This looks pretty cool. It was smart in the teaser video to flank it with a 303 and a RYTM for cred.

 

Some thoughts on the Sonic State video:

4:18 - drums are pre-loaded ROM but macros can be used to sculpt the sounds. Based on my experience with the Monomachine I think this is plausible. And the drums do sound good, at least in the videos so far. This might be a deal breaker for you but I actually see this is as a positive - no dealing with sample libraries.

5:30 - you can have 1, 2, 3, 4, or 8 bar patterns. Drums are fixed to 16 step bars but synths can be anything from 1-16 and can be chained. 1-bar pattern limit is the achilles heel of the volcas for me so this sounds great.
7:48 - velocity can be programmed per step. Another one-up on the volcas.

9:15 - some kind of motion sequencing parameter lock type thing. Check.

9:58 - this is quite cool, you can jam on the steps you've recorded and play them back individually just by hitting the pads. This is something I wanted on the Octatrack & Monomachine (maybe the RYTM has this?) and it made me grin ear-to-ear to see this implemented!
10:49 - you can "not yet" get to the macro params over MIDI. So it sounds like they are planning to do some firmware updates at some point in the future to add some functionality in. I'm guessing loading in your own samples is a bit complex to hope for a firmware update for, but Novation at least expects to make MIDI/UI tweaks at some point.

11:30 - the automation you record for the fx is retained even when you change DSP algorithms "because we want people to experience as many happy accidents as they possibly can." :)
13:48 - you can switch "sessions" while the sequencer is running. Not sure what the relationship between patterns and sessions are but it almost seems like he's using them interchangeably. There are 16 overwriteable "demo" sessions and 16 blank user sessions. If patterns == sessions, that's 32 patterns of up to 8 bars so it's like 2 banks' worth of Elektron patterns (plus they can be longer so ymmv), not bad at all for the coin.
14:40 - you can hold the button in the top right corner and it looks like that will immediately trigger a session when you hit its pad. This was a really fun (although not incredibly useful) feature in the MPC that neither of my Elektrons have.

14:54 - all notes and a buttload of parameters are transmitted over USB. You only get notes over 1/8" hardware MIDI port.

16:24 - lol. I like this guy's style.

I was keeping an eye on those new portable electribes but this seems much more fun to me. I dig how they managed to do a screenless interface too. Don't know how much of it is just marketing hot air but I like the general vibe/attitude/purported design philosophy.

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I had a play with this thing whilst it was in development, and it was good fun. I believe the sound engine for the synths is based around the MiniNova, so pretty good for what it is!

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it still pains me a bit that Nord didn't turn the Nord Drum 2 concept into a full blown sequencer/drum machine unit. that thing honestly destroys the machine drum, i know I already said it but goddam its just so tasty.

edit: got a chance to play with the new electribe sampler and I found it a lot less fun/immediate than the previous red electribe with the tube inside

Edited by John Ehrlichman
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it still pains me a bit that Nord didn't turn the Nord Drum 2 concept into a full blown sequencer/drum machine unit. that thing honestly destroys the machine drum, i know I already said it but goddam its just so tasty.

 

edit: got a chance to play with the new electribe sampler and I found it a lot less fun/immediate than the previous red electribe with the tube inside

Throw in individual outs and that is my dream machine

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Guest Hanratty

Man... Lotta nice music toys coming out recently. Electronic bedroom producers... It..... It is our time.

 

I was thinking this too. I thought I'd be jaded at this point, but everything looks so fun.

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it still pains me a bit that Nord didn't turn the Nord Drum 2 concept into a full blown sequencer/drum machine unit. that thing honestly destroys the machine drum, i know I already said it but goddam its just so tasty.

That would be gorgeous but I feel like sequencers aren't Nord's strong suit.

 

Do you have a Nord Drum 2? How do you like it? Does it sound a lot different from the other Nords (I have a Micro Modular)? My gearlust has largely fizzled out and it's pretty much the last thing I really want, unless you count a Subpac and probably a new Mac at some point.

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dude its seriously game changing. Its hard to understand until you hear one on a proper sound system. I've never heard a drum synth unit ever (software or hardware) that sounds this solid and next level. Chrompahone and Drummax and Machinedrum come close, but imagine the power of all 3 of those combined into one unit and you basically have the ND2. Subpac is cool but its basically just a Sega Genesis Aura Interactor in a fancier case (told this to one of the guys behind the design and claimed he had never used one, and he had to buy one on ebay to check it out, claimed the subpac destroyed but I kinda don't agree). Subpac is definitly more a replacement for if you can't have a subwoofer in your apartment type of deal, Aura Interactor just feels/sounds cool as shit, its more of a mid punchy bass kinda feel. Do you remember this Atari game T-mek https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-MEK?Its basically like a really intense version of the way that game would pipe out speakers right on your spine and ass



post-8713-0-23718100-1382668748.jpg

Edited by John Ehrlichman
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That is awesome about the Nord Drum. I haven't used any of the other machines you mentioned although I got some pretty nice (by my standards) kicks out of my Micro Modular. I haven't seen any demos that really had the kind of sound I was hoping to hear from it but there's a character to the sound that catches my ear and makes me think that it really -could- make some of those sounds if pushed. I've thought that about things before, though, and turned out completely and utterly deluded, lol.

 

Yeah (soz not to derail thread too much, maybe I'll start a new one) you know the thing looked very gimmicky to me at first. Actually Entorwellian told me about it and at first I wasn't sure whether he was joking until I looked into it a bit. I read a bunch of glowing reviews on Gearslutz and there's some fairly reputable people on their list of users. I haven't used one before, though, so I don't know? It seems pretty legit though from everything I've read. Would definitely be ideal to try one first.

 

I'm actively saving up for one of those right now though so if you're going to≈ talk me out of it, please do soon, lol! Worst case I will just go buy a subwoofer though. Subwoofer is probably better for my ears anyway.Neighbors aren't really a problem but I just don't want to be rude or get self-conscious about making a ruckus. At this point my little 2006 Rokit RP-5s are a little long in the tooth.

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I'll wait till they upgrade the circuit with a sd card slot to import your own samples, it is cool for on the go sketching, but I prefer a second hand electribe sampler right now, the old one.

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That is awesome about the Nord Drum. I haven't used any of the other machines you mentioned although I got some pretty nice (by my standards) kicks out of my Micro Modular. I haven't seen any demos that really had the kind of sound I was hoping to hear from it but there's a character to the sound that catches my ear and makes me think that it really -could- make some of those sounds if pushed. I've thought that about things before, though, and turned out completely and utterly deluded, lol.

 

Yeah (soz not to derail thread too much, maybe I'll start a new one) you know the thing looked very gimmicky to me at first. Actually Entorwellian told me about it and at first I wasn't sure whether he was joking until I looked into it a bit. I read a bunch of glowing reviews on Gearslutz and there's some fairly reputable people on their list of users. I haven't used one before, though, so I don't know? It seems pretty legit though from everything I've read. Would definitely be ideal to try one first.

 

I'm actively saving up for one of those right now though so if you're going to≈ talk me out of it, please do soon, lol! Worst case I will just go buy a subwoofer though. Subwoofer is probably better for my ears anyway.Neighbors aren't really a problem but I just don't want to be rude or get self-conscious about making a ruckus. At this point my little 2006 Rokit RP-5s are a little long in the tooth.

i think the cool side of the subpac is that if it takes off and becomes it's own type of thing it might be an interesting way to sort of make music exclusively for it. I'm more interested in hearing people experimenting with frequencies you can't hear or things like modulated bass tones, that you couldn't get the same effect from by standing near a sub woofer. I'm sure for the money it's not a total ripoff, but if you can afford a decent 12" or larger subwoofer for monitoring, even just a home theatre one get one of those instead.

 

I was surprised but not completely to see Eskmo doing something I had planned out but never followed through on for a bulk amount of Aura Interactor vests (found a company in Minnesota with tons of dead stock old video game shit including sealed Interactors for $5 a pop) . He's letting deaf kids make /play electronic music by 'hearing' it with their bodies using subpac. check it out:

 

 

 

not really a fan of his music but this is a really interesting idea that I hope gets more traction over the years

 

a friend of mine ended up doing an entire Aura Interactor ambient album, but by the time he finished it we didn't really have our shit together enough to do any kind of bundled package like 'this album can only be listened to on the aura interactor'

 

the only thing I still really take issue with (and again i'm not talking shit about the product the company produces, its definitely high quality)is the 'inventor' of the subpac should chalk up most of his success to very slick marketing, not that it's a new concept or even that much better than what already existed. the fact that dubstep producers haven't played flight simulators or owned an aura interactor vest to accompany their sega genesis isn't surprising (most prob grew up on PSX or ps2 and don't give a fuck about hardcore PC gaming). There were a slew of products even after Interactor which were basically chair mounted subpacs, you slap one on the back of a chair or under your ass, some of them were even upwards of $300. The same websites that used to sell really expensive steering wheels and flight joysticks used to carry them, for some reason the market just disappeared and only recently is pretty much the identical technology being rebranded as some kind of game changing product.

 

 

now that we're on the topic of 'haptic suits' (new phrase i just learned, thanks assholepedia)

check this shit out : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haptic_suit

 

some of them don't use sound but actually simulate gunfire on multiple points of the body with solonoids. imagine making 'music' with this, ridiculous. it would be like breakcore computer controlled massage

 

 

 

Edited by John Ehrlichman
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The ND2 just sounds so expressive. While quite versatile, it oddly doesn't get crazy in its sound design. You are always kind of in the world of : tone, noise, click. That's really all there is that makes up a sound... Now there are lots of tones and they have their own characteristic sounds... And there are a number of click (attack) sounds for punch. The noise is can be filtered by your choosing, and there are some creative envelope options to get clap sounds... And that's it. But the way the parameters respond to velocity just make it so expressive and compelling. It really feels alive.

 

Currently I sequence it with my Machinedrum, because the clock is so tight, and the plock CC messages make the sounds move a bit differently then you'd get out of it just playing it normally. It's such a good combo.

 

Seriously, if elektron and clavia joined forces to make a MachineNordDrum with individual outputs, I'd die. The one workflow buzz kill is adding external effects to each sound... Its stereo out, and so if you want to add external effects to each drum part, you're going to have to make multiple passes of recordings for each voice, and that drives me bonkers. I can just pray for a v3 with individual outs.

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