Novation CIrcuit Mono Station just arrived

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cognitive
Posts: 164
Joined: 25 Apr 2018
Location: Los Angeles

Post 16 Apr 2019

At the $249 special, I couldn't resist.

Well, guess what? Instant analog mojo!!!

Oh, I played with the presets and sessions, and even loaded the patch-flip pack to hear what THAT crazyness could do. But pretty quickly, I hooked it up to my MPC Live and start jamming to some material I had already put together. This is EXACTLY what the doctor ordered. Even more than a "standard" Circuit, this thing has serious movement.

And that sound ... :shock:

It oozes dirty bass or supersonic filtered squeals or anything in between and the way everything just morphs and grinds and turns even the most basic house beat into evolving soundscapes.... wow!

I got to the point where I was muting most of the melodic content on the MPC and just jamming with the Circuit Mono over grooves.

Next up, I'm kind of itching to try this thing with its mate, the "standard" Circuit.

Maybe it's just one of those "first day" crush things, but the Circuit Mono is already filling a musical void with some wicked soundscapes.

If you're into more "melodic" or textural analog stuff, or even more traditional analog synth sounds, this thing CAN and will do it, but it's also easy to drive it into "crazy" territory and even get more modular-type "noise" jam stuff out of it.

Honestly, I'm already impressed by both the sound AND the flexibility of this thing. And that Circuit sequencer on steroids, where all 53 continuous controls can be automated ... whoa!

I cannot wait to gig with this thing!

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aeox
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Joined: 23 Feb 2017
Location: Oregon

Post 16 Apr 2019

Glad to hear you're enjoying your new toy..

With a price like that, you can't really beat it, can you? Sounds like it was well worth the money!

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cognitive
Posts: 164
Joined: 25 Apr 2018
Location: Los Angeles

Post 16 Apr 2019

aeox wrote:
16 Apr 2019
Glad to hear you're enjoying your new toy..

With a price like that, you can't really beat it, can you? Sounds like it was well worth the money!
I had seen people sometimes complaining online that the sound wasn't "thick" enough or something. But some demos I had seen/heard sounded PLENTY fat.

Glad to find out that any concerns were completely unfounded. I can coax an "okay" analog-like sound out of digital "analog modeling" synths, but REAL analog just makes it so easy and gooey.

A couple of exceptions might be soft synths like The Legend or even Complex-1. Those sound pretty damned analog to my ears, but I also don't feel like hauling a computer/Reason setup to gigs, so there we are. :)

The Circuit Mono with all of its knobs and controls and sequencing goodness just makes everything so immediate and musical.

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jayhosking
Posts: 592
Joined: 28 Nov 2016

Post 17 Apr 2019

Amazing to hear! I love this thing, and think it does both subtle and bonkers really, really well. I find it really shines with some dark reverb or stereo delay.

And it plays with the regular Circuit so seamlessly that it just feels like you’re playing an expanded Circuit!

Enjoy.

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cognitive
Posts: 164
Joined: 25 Apr 2018
Location: Los Angeles

Post 17 Apr 2019

jayhosking wrote:
17 Apr 2019
Amazing to hear! I love this thing, and think it does both subtle and bonkers really, really well. I find it really shines with some dark reverb or stereo delay.

And it plays with the regular Circuit so seamlessly that it just feels like you’re playing an expanded Circuit!

Enjoy.
Yep, I'm running it into the MPC Live and using insert effects for exactly that.

Weird thing is, I tried the Mono Station synced with the "regular" Circuit last night, and wasn't feeling the love as much as I was with the Mono Station and the MPC Live.

Considering how much I enjoy the Circuit, I expected that combination to "spark joy" a little more. Maybe it was because I didn't have an analog mixer with EQ in the chain that the regular Circuit sounded kind of off? Admittedly I've been using the MPC Live for a while now and the Circuit has been mostly for auxiliary synth sounds and sequences, but I was surprised when using the Circuit solo without the MPC that it just wasn't as punchy as I remembered.

So far, the killer combo seems to be the Live and the Mono Station. Go figure.

kinkujin
Posts: 97
Joined: 01 Mar 2018

Post 18 Apr 2019

Where did you find that deal! Yeah!

I haven't dug into mine yet. Made a big hardware investment (Moog) and have been spending my free time with the Mother 32 these days.

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cognitive
Posts: 164
Joined: 25 Apr 2018
Location: Los Angeles

Post 29 Apr 2019

kinkujin wrote:
18 Apr 2019
Where did you find that deal! Yeah!

I haven't dug into mine yet. Made a big hardware investment (Moog) and have been spending my free time with the Mother 32 these days.
Novation sent out a 50% off code for registered owners of the Circuit. I don't blame you, spending time with the Mother 32. Nice piece of kit.


BTW, I figured out what was going on with not liking the Circuit/Circuit Mono combo. I had some lower quality samples loaded in my Circuit at the time, so it was sounding crappy compared to the MPC Live. Now that I have some good samples loaded, everything is back to normal and I love my Circuit again, and the combo of Circuit/Circuit Mono is very, very good.

One thing I don't quite have down yet is the muscle memory to deal with the slightly different button layouts on the sequencer sections. I have a gig coming up at the end of May where I want to use the Circuit/Circuit Mono combo, so I should work on that.

EdGrip
Posts: 1451
Joined: 03 Jun 2016

Post 30 Apr 2019

Just had a look at the product page!
Looks great fun. Might have to start keeping an eye out for used ones...

Every one of the short videos on the product page is a great idea that you can translate onto Reason devices in myriad ways - https://novationmusic.com/circuit/circuit-mono-station

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cognitive
Posts: 164
Joined: 25 Apr 2018
Location: Los Angeles

Post 11 May 2019

Here is my current HW setup with the Circuit Mono in the mix. I just received the EXH stereo compressor pedal on the left, and am using it to tighten up the sound coming out of the "classic" Circuit. With a little compression, I find it sounds a little more competitive with the MPC Live on the right.

All three are synced, and I can mix-n-match parts from all three devices.

I can do long live shows with just the MPC, and now I'm pretty sure I can do long live shows with just the Circuit plus the Circuit Mono.

But for some real fun, all three going at once is a blast. And even if the MPC is a powerhouse on its own, I think the Circuit Mono is going with me as part of any live show rig because it brings so much to the table in terms of hands-on moving, evolving fat analog goodness.

Not pictured is the Mackie ProFX4v2 mixer I picked up that seems EXACTLY tailored for this kind of setup. I use the on-board fx on the Mackie to sweeten up the Circuit Mono output with a little reverb or delay. If it had a buss compressor, I wouldn't really need the pedal, but where are you going to find a decent 4ch micro-mixer with a buss compressor? As it is, I got the mixer for about $100 new and the compressor was about the same.

Re. my previous post about the Circuit, I must have been trippin' because I was using a sample set that wasn't punchy enough. Once I switched back to some of my other packs, the Circuit sounded great again. That through the compressor and BOOM! goes the dynamite.
Setup_051019.jpg
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