The all-in-one groovebox now packs even more power for its size.

Novation has issued a major firmware update for its Circuit groovebox, expanding the intuitive hardware with several new performance features.

Circuit was released in 2015 as an all-in-one device for music-making with the capability to sequence built-in drums and synths, and perform using its Ableton-style grid of pads. It’s since had several updates to expand its capabilities.

Version 1.4 of the firmware adds four new features: drum pattern length, instant pattern switch, session colour select and improved clock settings, which make the device more compatible with other hardware.

As Novation’s video on the update explains, the drum pattern length feature allows Circuit owners to set the length of drum patterns in pairs, which can be used to create Shackleton-style polyrhythms. This is bolstered further with the new ability to switch patterns on the fly, which Novation says can be combined with automation to create glitchy drum loops.

A less exciting but no less useful addition is the ability to attribute a pad colour to specific sessions by turning a knob, making it quicker and easier to identify your saved tracks. The new clock setting feature will also be useful for anyone wanting to plug Circuit into another synth: holding shift while turning the unit on will now reveal independent controls for transmitting and receiving MIDI clock data.

The firmware, which can be found at the Novation website, is just the latest improvement made to Circuit’s functionaity over the past 12 months. Earlier this year Novation expanded its sample playing capabilities.

Read next: Novation Circuit review



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