Hey DJ, hey sampler – Circuit Rhythm 2.0 beat matches, samples in time, and more
Novation’s Circuit Rhythm is back, and it suddenly makes a whole lot more sense. Effects are tweakable, you can create scenes, you can sample over time (with fixed duration recording), and in a first for samplers, there’s explicit functionality to let you beat the game.
Novation has muddied the waters a bit on Circuit with the second-gen hardware. For the first time, you had to choose – Circuit Tracks, which mixed polyphonic synth tracks, and Circuit Rhythm, which could record samples. They were otherwise quite similar. I think for a lot of people the Rhythm won, although you could be forgiven for wondering why it wasn’t called Circuit Sampler.
Well, now we have a Circuit Sampler that really pulls the picture together. While there are other devices that can sample in this price range, it also seems, well, more Circuit-y. Firmware version 2.0:
beat the game. Speed up or slow down samples for beat matching. Yes, you can do it with other samplers, but with a bit more work – and not with this Novation Circuit grid. (Actually, come to think of it, this really isn’t directly possible in some grid-based software, which everyone noticed in the early 2000s when they added a crossfader. But I digress .)
It is important. On the one hand, this means you can add Circuit Rhythm as an extra deck to spice up a DJ set. And that’s a good thing, especially because everyone is a DJ now.
On the other hand, it’s just as useful to pull off these kinds of DJ-style moves when you’re doing a remix or even an original production.
And there’s more…
Fixed duration recording. It’s funny that it wasn’t in firmware 1.0, but now in Sample Record you can choose fixed length recordings of 8, 16, 32 or 64 steps. It also makes perfect sense in a grid-based device like this.
Scenes. Store patterns and muted track states in Scenes. There are no dummy clips – uh, sorry, dummy patterns necessary to remove it. (Yeah, uh, sorry, I was still thinking about that DAW grid.)
This is welcome in part because it allows you to quickly create arrangements on the fly, ideally escaping the endless death spiral of starting but never ending tunes. I heard. From a friend. On this subject.
Editable grid effects. This unlocks all parameters for all those Grid FX so you can tweak them to your liking – and recall them in the performance, of course.
If my sarcastic explanations didn’t make sense, Novation also has some how-to videos to watch.
And yes, if you expected them to go the DAW-free spot, they did. As they have for a few years, however, they are once again selecting some terrific artists – here, Trishes.
Plus, here’s the full announcement stream in all its glory:
And, like, chill lofi beats.
As always, a free update, available through your browser in Circuit Components.