Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Novation Circuit Rhythm launches for $400

Novation teased us back in February with the Circuit Rhythm, but we had almost no information beyond the fact that it was sample-based and what we were able to tease out of the labels on the front. Well, the Rhythm is officially here and it offers a pretty compelling marriage of the Circuit workflow and SP-404 style beatmaking for $400.

At its core the Circuit Rhythm is built on the same platform as the Circuit Tracks. It even has the same chassis (just in light gray instead of black) and rechargeable battery as the Tracks. The heart of any Circuits though is the eight-track 32-step sequencer and 32-pad control surface. They also have several built-in effects, plus mutate and probability features for adding variation and evolving your patterns.
You’ll even find the same exact selection of I/O ports on the back, including MIDI in, out and thru, analog sync, plus a USB-C port, a microSD card slot, a headphone jack, stereo audio outs and two audio ins.

Novation Circuit Rhythm
Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

But where the audio-ins on the Tracks are two mono audio feed for the mixer, on the Rhythm they’re stereo ins for the sampler. And instead of having two dedicated polyphonic synth engines, two external MIDI tracks and four drum tracks, the Rhythm has eight sampled tracks that can be anything you like. You can load up track one with some kick and snare one shots, throw a shaker loop on track two, play a bass sample chromatically on track three and then chop up some strings on track four. And you’ll still have four more tracks for adding little bits of ear candy.

In addition to the reverb, delay and sidechain effects you’ll find in the Tracks, the Rhythm also has what it calls Grid FX for live performance. These are punch-in effects that definitely draw some inspiration from classic sampling workstations like the SP-404 and SP-303 favored by the likes of J Dilla and MF Doom. There’s beat repeat, gate, vinyl simulation, phaser, auto-filter, digitize and reverse.

Novation Circuit Rhythm
Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

Key to capturing the vibe of those classic machines though are the sampling features. For one, you can resample a loop you’ve processed through those effects to bake in some compression and vinyl crackle, before chopping it up and rearranging your beat for even more stuttering, lo-fi goodness. But, crucially, it can also sample external audio via stereo ins and outs and then slice it up either automatically into equal chunks or manually by tapping pads as the sample plays to insert slices. That gives it a big leg up over some other budget grooveboxes like the Elektron Model:Samples.

The big question is whether or not the Circuit workflow, which eschews a screen for a series of function pages that you navigate with the RGB pads, will be as intuitive for manipulating samples as it is for playing synth bass. To answer that though, you’ll have to wait for our review (which is already under way).

The Novation Circuit Rhythm is available to preorder now for $400 and will ship in mid July.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Source link

Click to comment

Leave a Reply



A growing brush fire near Gorman on Wednesday evening produced an apparent “fire tornado,” footage captured by a television news helicopter showed. The video,...


Placeholder while article actions load As US public health authorities deploy a new strategy to expand access to the monkeypox vaccine, they need to...


U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Stonecrest, is set to host a virtual event today, Aug. 11, at 3 p.m. designed to address the housing shortage,...

Online Business Success

A gas pump is inserted inside an Audi vehicle at a Mobil gas station in Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood, California, US, March 10,...

Loan And Finance

People tour The Dali in St. Petersburg, Fla. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder. Want to visit your favorite museum or zoo for free? Then mark...

Social Media

Flip phones are back, with the early 2000’s trend inspiring a new range of advanced mobile devices from Samsung that provide alternative functionality, and...


You May Also Like


Introductions get a lot of attention. I’ve explored the topic of how to write them even though as a reader, I always skip them....

Online Business Success

The internet is now our nervous system. We are constantly streaming and buying and watching and liking, our brains locked into the global information...

SEO Guide

There are all kinds of pictures of the world on the internet, but to find one of these specific pictures that you want to...

Online Business Success

You can think of link building in many ways. I like to call it tedious, painful, and a test of patience. It’s also necessary...