Just picked up a Novation Circuit this weekend.

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
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cognitive
Posts: 155
Joined: 25 Apr 2018
Location: Los Angeles

Post 04 Feb 2019

jayhosking wrote:
04 Feb 2019
cognitive wrote:
18 Sep 2018
So here's my live performance rig with 2 Circuits, the Arturia and an iPad running djay Pro.
Hey, Cognitive, how have the sets been going? Did you ever get any recorded footage of that one show you told me about?

After playing around with many other synths, it's always nice to go back to the Circuit and realize how powerful, versatile, and inspiring it is. If you haven't picked up a Circuit Mono Station, maybe consider it! It plays very, very well with the original Circuit.

Hey Jay! The gig went really well and people were up and dancing a lot. I did two sets, with another more traditional DJ filling in between. The DJ was playing lots of "hits", but people seemed to like the "vibe" of the original electronica more. The guy who booked the event came up during my break and gave me a cash bonus on top of what I was already getting paid.

Unfortunately, I was under a time crunch and didn't get to work in any of your material for the show as I had intended. Part of that was because of samples/patches conflicts with my existing projects, so to do it right on such short notice, I would have had to dedicate an entire Circuit to your files. :(

That said, two Circuits as "decks" were MORE than adequate to keep people dancing, plus I was VERY pleased with the sound through the PA even without a master compressor in the chain.

Someone did take a couple of short clips during soundcheck, before we left the dock of the cruise, so I'll see if I can dig that up.

EDIT: Aaaaaand I just realized I'm talking about a completely different gig (cruise ship) than the OC dance club gig I was talking about in previous posts. :lol:

Okay, that one went well too. There was a more traditional DJ opener, then a dance set by an up-and-coming singer, then I did my thing with two circuits. The sound in the club (incredible sound system BTW) was FAAAAAAAAAAAT!

Lately I've been getting even more involved in the LA "house" scene, and underground parties associated with creative collectives and/or burner groups.

In general, people are kind of surprised at my "two Circuits" rig because a lot of the local DJs are used to seeing/using memory sticks loaded with their sets to plug into the standard Pioneer 2-deck/mixer DJ rig that's already set up. But then I start performing and it suddenly doesn't matter what equipment I'm using.

So what new toys are you playing with and loving these days? I've had my eye on the Circuit Mono or an analog box like it. I've also been looking the the Roland SE-02, the Behringer Moog clone, the Behringer Crave and even the Neutron. Something to enhance my current rig with some genuine analog fatness.

That said, I'm also looking at the other end of the price spectrum, maybe a Circuit on steroids like the MPC Live. The upcoming Akai Force looks wild, but may be overkill, considering.

Another interesting (cheaper) option is the new Elektron Model:Samples. Neither this nor the MPC have analog synths, but they could really bring something to the table for production and live performance options.


Nice jam, btw. You always seem to have musically interesting ideas that are very enjoyable and with groovy execution. :)

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jayhosking
Posts: 572
Joined: 28 Nov 2016

Post 05 Feb 2019

cognitive wrote:
04 Feb 2019

Hey Jay! The gig went really well and people were up and dancing a lot. I did two sets, with another more traditional DJ filling in between. The DJ was playing lots of "hits", but people seemed to like the "vibe" of the original electronica more. The guy who booked the event came up during my break and gave me a cash bonus on top of what I was already getting paid.

Unfortunately, I was under a time crunch and didn't get to work in any of your material for the show as I had intended. Part of that was because of samples/patches conflicts with my existing projects, so to do it right on such short notice, I would have had to dedicate an entire Circuit to your files. :(

That said, two Circuits as "decks" were MORE than adequate to keep people dancing, plus I was VERY pleased with the sound through the PA even without a master compressor in the chain.

Someone did take a couple of short clips during soundcheck, before we left the dock of the cruise, so I'll see if I can dig that up.

EDIT: Aaaaaand I just realized I'm talking about a completely different gig (cruise ship) than the OC dance club gig I was talking about in previous posts. :lol:

Okay, that one went well too. There was a more traditional DJ opener, then a dance set by an up-and-coming singer, then I did my thing with two circuits. The sound in the club (incredible sound system BTW) was FAAAAAAAAAAAT!

Lately I've been getting even more involved in the LA "house" scene, and underground parties associated with creative collectives and/or burner groups.

In general, people are kind of surprised at my "two Circuits" rig because a lot of the local DJs are used to seeing/using memory sticks loaded with their sets to plug into the standard Pioneer 2-deck/mixer DJ rig that's already set up. But then I start performing and it suddenly doesn't matter what equipment I'm using.

So what new toys are you playing with and loving these days? I've had my eye on the Circuit Mono or an analog box like it. I've also been looking the the Roland SE-02, the Behringer Moog clone, the Behringer Crave and even the Neutron. Something to enhance my current rig with some genuine analog fatness.

That said, I'm also looking at the other end of the price spectrum, maybe a Circuit on steroids like the MPC Live. The upcoming Akai Force looks wild, but may be overkill, considering.

Another interesting (cheaper) option is the new Elektron Model:Samples. Neither this nor the MPC have analog synths, but they could really bring something to the table for production and live performance options.


Nice jam, btw. You always seem to have musically interesting ideas that are very enjoyable and with groovy execution. :)
I love that you're doing a bunch of shows with those two Circuits. Amazing. I'd love to see any footage you might have. I briefly had two Circuits before I realized that I was bumping up against the eight-sequence limitation with almost every track (you can hear from these songs that I like long progressions).

The Circuit Mono Station plays so friendly with the Circuit that, if you're thinking about building onto your existing setup, it's a no-brainer. It actually sounds surprisingly good, too, with its own characteristic squelch to the filter and distortions. The Circuit Mono Station also gives you a handy clock out for Volcas or Pocket Operators, if you want to expand that way.

The Behringer Model D sounds phenomenal (I've got one of them, too) but will eat up a sequencing track, whereas the Mono Station handles its own sequencing duties. Truthfully, I was hoping the Deluge would be my "Circuit on steroids" but ultimately I don't like working with it that much. It's fantastic for sending MIDI out to a bunch of devices, though. The Neutron is supposed to be awesome, and the recordings sound great, but man alive, I can't get over the horrible-looking front panel! Shallow, I know. The Crave is a super deal for the price point, but having a couple more oscillators will really give you more flexibility in getting a good, fat, analogue sound.

I am almost certainly getting the Akai Force. Right now, the Deluge is the brains of my hardware setup, but like I said, I don't love working with it. The Force (hah!) will give me everything the Deluge does plus a whole lot more. Imagine launching clips to all your hardware synths!

And thanks for the kind words! Feel free to check out some of those other videos to see what hardware I'm into right now.

User avatar
cognitive
Posts: 155
Joined: 25 Apr 2018
Location: Los Angeles

Post 05 Feb 2019

jayhosking wrote:
05 Feb 2019
cognitive wrote:
04 Feb 2019

Hey Jay! The gig went really well and people were up and dancing a lot. I did two sets, with another more traditional DJ filling in between. The DJ was playing lots of "hits", but people seemed to like the "vibe" of the original electronica more. The guy who booked the event came up during my break and gave me a cash bonus on top of what I was already getting paid.

Unfortunately, I was under a time crunch and didn't get to work in any of your material for the show as I had intended. Part of that was because of samples/patches conflicts with my existing projects, so to do it right on such short notice, I would have had to dedicate an entire Circuit to your files. :(

That said, two Circuits as "decks" were MORE than adequate to keep people dancing, plus I was VERY pleased with the sound through the PA even without a master compressor in the chain.

Someone did take a couple of short clips during soundcheck, before we left the dock of the cruise, so I'll see if I can dig that up.

EDIT: Aaaaaand I just realized I'm talking about a completely different gig (cruise ship) than the OC dance club gig I was talking about in previous posts. :lol:

Okay, that one went well too. There was a more traditional DJ opener, then a dance set by an up-and-coming singer, then I did my thing with two circuits. The sound in the club (incredible sound system BTW) was FAAAAAAAAAAAT!

Lately I've been getting even more involved in the LA "house" scene, and underground parties associated with creative collectives and/or burner groups.

In general, people are kind of surprised at my "two Circuits" rig because a lot of the local DJs are used to seeing/using memory sticks loaded with their sets to plug into the standard Pioneer 2-deck/mixer DJ rig that's already set up. But then I start performing and it suddenly doesn't matter what equipment I'm using.

So what new toys are you playing with and loving these days? I've had my eye on the Circuit Mono or an analog box like it. I've also been looking the the Roland SE-02, the Behringer Moog clone, the Behringer Crave and even the Neutron. Something to enhance my current rig with some genuine analog fatness.

That said, I'm also looking at the other end of the price spectrum, maybe a Circuit on steroids like the MPC Live. The upcoming Akai Force looks wild, but may be overkill, considering.

Another interesting (cheaper) option is the new Elektron Model:Samples. Neither this nor the MPC have analog synths, but they could really bring something to the table for production and live performance options.


Nice jam, btw. You always seem to have musically interesting ideas that are very enjoyable and with groovy execution. :)
I love that you're doing a bunch of shows with those two Circuits. Amazing. I'd love to see any footage you might have. I briefly had two Circuits before I realized that I was bumping up against the eight-sequence limitation with almost every track (you can hear from these songs that I like long progressions).

The Circuit Mono Station plays so friendly with the Circuit that, if you're thinking about building onto your existing setup, it's a no-brainer. It actually sounds surprisingly good, too, with its own characteristic squelch to the filter and distortions. The Circuit Mono Station also gives you a handy clock out for Volcas or Pocket Operators, if you want to expand that way.

The Behringer Model D sounds phenomenal (I've got one of them, too) but will eat up a sequencing track, whereas the Mono Station handles its own sequencing duties. Truthfully, I was hoping the Deluge would be my "Circuit on steroids" but ultimately I don't like working with it that much. It's fantastic for sending MIDI out to a bunch of devices, though. The Neutron is supposed to be awesome, and the recordings sound great, but man alive, I can't get over the horrible-looking front panel! Shallow, I know. The Crave is a super deal for the price point, but having a couple more oscillators will really give you more flexibility in getting a good, fat, analogue sound.

I am almost certainly getting the Akai Force. Right now, the Deluge is the brains of my hardware setup, but like I said, I don't love working with it. The Force (hah!) will give me everything the Deluge does plus a whole lot more. Imagine launching clips to all your hardware synths!

And thanks for the kind words! Feel free to check out some of those other videos to see what hardware I'm into right now.
Well, you and I seem to be heading in a similar gear direction if you're getting the Akai Force. After a lot of agonizing about how to expand my setup, I went in to a local music store today with the intent of picking up a new Elektron Digitakt.

However, while I was looking around, I saw a used Akai MPC Live in the case, but with no price shown. Just out of curiosity, I asked how much it was going for, knowing it was going to be > $1,000. When he came back and said it was the same price as the new Digitakt, I said WHAT?!!! :shock:

So after spending time with the used MPC Live in the store (already had the factory reset and the latest OS loaded), I verified that there was not a scratch or ding on it, everything worked perfectly. So I ended up buying the thing.

I knew the Digitakt was going to be massively fun, but still a bit of a compromise from what I REALLY wanted, either a Live or Force. I guess I got lucky today. :D

User avatar
jayhosking
Posts: 572
Joined: 28 Nov 2016

Post 05 Feb 2019

cognitive wrote:
05 Feb 2019


Well, you and I seem to be heading in a similar gear direction if you're getting the Akai Force. After a lot of agonizing about how to expand my setup, I went in to a local music store today with the intent of picking up a new Elektron Digitakt.

However, while I was looking around, I saw a used Akai MPC Live in the case, but with no price shown. Just out of curiosity, I asked how much it was going for, knowing it was going to be > $1,000. When he came back and said it was the same price as the new Digitakt, I said WHAT?!!! :shock:

So after spending time with the used MPC Live in the store (already had the factory reset and the latest OS loaded), I verified that there was not a scratch or ding on it, everything worked perfectly. So I ended up buying the thing.

I knew the Digitakt was going to be massively fun, but still a bit of a compromise from what I REALLY wanted, either a Live or Force. I guess I got lucky today. :D
Holy moly! That's an amazing deal!

And you know, I really do think you're getting a lot more with the MPC Live than the Digitakt. I may be the only one, but I really don't think the Digitakt's workflow is intuitive, fast, or fun, and its sequencing abilities are just a little too limited (especially compared to the Live). Granted, the Digitakt feels amazing and also has great onboard effects/editing, but it's not for me.

Great score by you! I am almost certainly going to pick up a Force. And probably some more synths...

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cognitive
Posts: 155
Joined: 25 Apr 2018
Location: Los Angeles

Post 06 Feb 2019

Looks like I picked the right time to go for a used MPC Live. Between 2.3 and the just-released 2.4, it now has on-board synths, dozens of high quality AIR effects, and critical (to me) for live performance, better support for seamless transitions between clips programs. No "dual decks" or tricky scene management needed because clips that are pad-launched in one program can keep playing even while switching to other programs. For the most part, I'll just treat programs as "songs" for live performance.

If I can do 2 hours with a couple of Circuits, it's going to be a breeze to set up and perform long sets on this thing. For the time being, I intend to keep at least one Circuit synced with the MPC for live performances, but the MPC will become my foundation.

As an added bonus, if my MPC ever fails in a live setting, I can always fall back on one or two Circuits to keep the party going.

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cognitive
Posts: 155
Joined: 25 Apr 2018
Location: Los Angeles

Post 07 Feb 2019

Okay, that's pretty sweet. I just registered my USED MPC Live, and had no issues with registration AND they (Akai) provided links and auth codes to ALL the latest software and expansion packs normally included with a new purchase. This kind of painless and generous treatment generates a LOT of good will from me toward Akai.

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jayhosking
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Joined: 28 Nov 2016

Post 07 Feb 2019

Reading all this has me excited to pick up that Force. Let me know how the synths are?

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cognitive
Posts: 155
Joined: 25 Apr 2018
Location: Los Angeles

Post 07 Feb 2019

jayhosking wrote:
07 Feb 2019
Reading all this has me excited to pick up that Force. Let me know how the synths are?
Haven't tried the synths yet, mostly just getting all the MASSIVE amounts of extra content exported to the hardware.

Interesting approach, where the PC (or Mac) workstation software and content that comes with it mirrors the MPC Live firmware and content so one can work on projects in a PC, Live or hybrid fashion equally well.

Like I needed to learn another "DAW" workflow, but this thing is too powerful to resist! :twisted:

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cognitive
Posts: 155
Joined: 25 Apr 2018
Location: Los Angeles

Post 17 Feb 2019

Okay, to follow up on the MPC Live synths, they are certainly sounding very good and musical to my ears. The Circuit's "Nova" engines seem more powerful in terms of controls, oscillator wave shapes, matrix routing, etc,, but between TubeSynth, Bassline and Electric, plus the integration with all of the other things you can do with the Live, there's a lot of sonic territory covered. There aren't any complex waveforms or wavetables, but interestingly, you can also build "synth" patches outside of the synth plugins using samples as source material for looping oscillators routed into various filters, etc., so there IS a way to kind of skin that cat too.

Sonically, the MPC Live's synths sound naturally warmer to my ears. The output of Bassline can have some seriously fat girth and the TubeSynth is a nice analog emulation that is pleasing to the ears. The FX options built in to the TubeSynth are sweet as well. Basically, I often have to tweak the Circuit synths quite a bit in the editor to emulate analog warmth, whereas TubeSynth and Bassline seem to have some bit of mojo built-in to the virtual circuits making it easier to get to that warmer sound. Electric does what it says it does and nicely emulates a variety of electric piano and other related sounds.

Bottom line is, once I get enough material together, I will be more than comfortable performing live sets, including keyboard-driven synth stuff, with JUST the MPC Live and my Keystep.

Sadly, I predict less and less use of my Circuits as things progress. :(
Last edited by cognitive on 21 Feb 2019, edited 1 time in total.

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jayhosking
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Joined: 28 Nov 2016

Post 19 Feb 2019

cognitive wrote:
17 Feb 2019
Sadly, I predict less and less use of my Circuits as things progress. :(
Alas, I imagine that's sort of the fate of the Circuit. It's the closest thing I've ever encountered to a gateway drug, and is more than enough to play a set, but our ambitions and designs keep growing. That said, I wouldn't rush to sell them! Sometimes the limitations are inspiring.

Me, I've mainly moved onto hardware synths, but I still really enjoy going back to the Circuit.

prophecy
Posts: 48
Joined: 18 Oct 2018
Location: Liverpool

Post 22 Feb 2019

I've just read this thread from start to finish. It's great coming late to something and not having to wait to hear how gigs turned out, etc.

And I'm sure, with all the promo you two have done, you'd find happy homes for your Circuit(s) to go to if you ever felt you wanted to let them go.
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