Novation announced two new Circuits at the same time. The Circuit Tracks is already available, but what can we expect from the Circuit Rhythm, which should be released before July?
Updated! Both are sold in the same price range, below $400 or 400 euros.
I'll try to update this article when we get more information, but based on what we currently know, they both have:
- 8 tracks
- Full size MIDI IN/OUT/THRU ports with TRS mini-jack connectors, and analog Sync-In
- Global tempo and swing
- Step sequencer with 32 steps with off-grid function
- Up to 256 step sequences per track, with Pattern chaining for longer sequences
- Polyrhythm and setting the start and end steps of the patterns freely
- Steps probability and mutation
- Synth patches, samples, and projects which can be stored on a microSD card.
- Integrated audio effects
- 32 Velocity-sensitive, backlit RGB keys
- Can be used on the road with their integrated battery
- Master FX sends with Delay, Reverb and Side Chain
Next, let's see the differences between the Tracks and the Rhythm.
Circuit Tracks strengths
- 2 polyphonic Synth tracks (6 voices), 2 polyphonic MIDI tracks fo external gear (6 voices), as well as 4 drum sample tracks
- External audio input to mix and process with effects from the Circuit.
- 2 Nova polyphonic synths engines
- 2 dedicated MIDI tracks for external synths, capable of sending notes and CC automation.
- Easy patterns transposition to other scales, and selectable scales for melodic tracks
- up to 64 samples on drum tracks
Custom MIDI CCs
Circuit Rhythm advantages
- 8 monophonic tracks for samples, and up to 128 samples per session
- And improved samples playback engine with edit, shape, slice, reverse, loop and resample.
- Record samples directly into the Circuit with auto-start
- Slice a sample to 4, 8 or 16 slices. You can easily edit the starting point and length of the slices
- Or play your samples chromatically
Grid FX with beat repeat, vinyl simulation, phaser, reverse, gater, digitise, and auto-filter that can be applied live.
Why would you choose the Circuit Tracks?
You will prefer the Novation Circuit Tracks:
- if you have external hardware synths that you would like to mix live with the Circuit generated sounds and effects
- if you need more melodic options thanks to Two Nova synth engines integrated, and the 4 polyphonic tracks, with 6 voices per track.
Why would you choose the Circuit Rhythm?
You will choose the Novation Circuit Rhythm:
- if you want to directly sample external instruments, and then chop, sculpt (no direct sampling on the Circuit Tracks, but you can put your samples on the SD Card)
- if you prefer to play with samples, instead of synth engines
My preferred Circuit
IMHO it seems that the Circuit Tracks would be a better option if you need more melodic sequencing than rhythmic. Polyphonic sequences are only available on the Circuit Tracks and, the 8 tracks of the circuit Rhythm are all Monophonic.
If you're more into sample editing/tinkering, resampling, and making beats from samples, then the Circuit Rhythm will be better for you.
But don't forget that the sample tracks of both Circuits are very powerful thanks to sample flipping. 4 or 8 sample tracks, does not mean 4 or 8 playable samples! You can play any of the 64 or 128 samples in your pack on each step! This is much better than any other sampler on the market for this price.
Currently, if you have a lower budget and already have external synths to sequence, maybe using a 4 tracks sequencer would be better for you? On that subject, I have an interesting comparison between the Korg SQ-64 and the Launchpad Pro MK3.
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Feel free to comment below if you find more information about the Rhythm 😊