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Somes questions about the Novation Circuit Tracks

edited November 17 in Hardware

Long time ago, I bought a Novation Circuit OG. I loved it. I told to myself that I will never sell it. I sold it anyways. I make a lot of mistakes like that.

Now I want a Circuit Tracks. But I have a couple of questions about it.

1- The knobs of the OG were, to my opinion, of a great quality (solid feel, smooth and fun to move). How are the knobs of the Tracks? Same quality?

2- Is it easy to use with the iPad?

3- Let's say I control synth 1 in AUM with MIDI 1 of the Tracks and synth 2 in AUM with MIDI 2 of the Tracks (the 2 news options in Tracks). Is it possible to quickly go to synth 1 to synth 2 with a single press of a pad? The knobs will adjust? If I press MIDI 1 on the Tracks, the knobs will controls synth 1 and when I switch to MIDI 2, the knobs will control synth 2? Can I easily put MIDI 1 on let's track midi channel 2 and MIDI 2 on midi channel 8?

4- Can I record my Tracks inside AUM with only a USB cable? Or do I need to plug the output of the Tracks in my audio interface IN ?

That's it for now. I will update if I think of others questions.

Thanks!

Comments

  • I found answer for 4.

    IMPORTANT: Novation Circuit series Grooveboxes doe not support audio over USB. If you want to record the sounds from the device, you'll need to connect it to an audio interface using ¼-inch TRS cables (one for mono, two for stereo).

  • I only had the Tracks briefly (got sick of opening Components to edit synth parameters), but I’ll see what I can answer from memory:

    • I quite liked the knobs. They were sturdy and had a nice resistance to them.
    • It’s somewhat easy to use with the iPad. Apple doesn’t allow WebMIDI on their mobile devices so you can’t use Components; this is ultimately what led me to return the Tracks. There are, however, third-party editors you could use. As far as sync and recording go, it’s pretty straightforward — plug the audio outs into your interface and connect MIDI via USB or 5-pin, then you’re up and running!
    • Yes, MIDI channels and knob CCs are configured per-track so you can easily record a sequence for synth A on MIDI 1, tap the pad for MIDI 2, and have immediate control over synth B. It may take a few minutes to set up, but this is the feature I miss most from the Tracks — I built a nice hardware/AUv3 setup in Loopy Pro and it worked great.
    • As you noted, USB is for MIDI, data transfer, and charging only.

    I’ve thing I really liked is the Packs setup. There’s slightly more work up front because you need to select, trim, and organize a batch of samples, but you can put together separate Packs for whatever sort of genres you feel like making. I found it more convenient than browsing through all my samples every time I started a new project on the Digitakt, and it’s a lot more flexible than something like the Electribe where you only get one sample set.

    One thing I didn’t like is that they show you the battery charge level when you start up, but I couldn’t find a way to check it while the unit is on. So if you’re away from a USB-C charger, you have to keep guessing how much time is left on the battery.

    All in all I thought it was a great device and if they find a way to allow more control over the synth engines without diving into Components, I will buy another one in a heartbeat.

  • @jrjulius said:

    Thank you for your great answer. I wil probably buy a Launchpad Pro + Launch Control XL instead of a CT.

  • @jrjulius said:
    I only had the Tracks briefly (got sick of opening Components to edit synth parameters), but I’ll see what I can answer from memory:

    • I quite liked the knobs. They were sturdy and had a nice resistance to them.
    • It’s somewhat easy to use with the iPad. Apple doesn’t allow WebMIDI on their mobile devices so you can’t use Components; this is ultimately what led me to return the Tracks. There are, however, third-party editors you could use. As far as sync and recording go, it’s pretty straightforward — plug the audio outs into your interface and connect MIDI via USB or 5-pin, then you’re up and running!
    • Yes, MIDI channels and knob CCs are configured per-track so you can easily record a sequence for synth A on MIDI 1, tap the pad for MIDI 2, and have immediate control over synth B. It may take a few minutes to set up, but this is the feature I miss most from the Tracks — I built a nice hardware/AUv3 setup in Loopy Pro and it worked great.
    • As you noted, USB is for MIDI, data transfer, and charging only.

    I’ve thing I really liked is the Packs setup. There’s slightly more work up front because you need to select, trim, and organize a batch of samples, but you can put together separate Packs for whatever sort of genres you feel like making. I found it more convenient than browsing through all my samples every time I started a new project on the Digitakt, and it’s a lot more flexible than something like the Electribe where you only get one sample set.

    One thing I didn’t like is that they show you the battery charge level when you start up, but I couldn’t find a way to check it while the unit is on. So if you’re away from a USB-C charger, you have to keep guessing how much time is left on the battery.

    All in all I thought it was a great device and if they find a way to allow more control over the synth engines without diving into Components, I will buy another one in a heartbeat.

    Last question for you if I can. On MIDI 1 and 2, is it possible to use the pad to send midi cc? Something to map transports button like play stop rec, etc.

  • @Montreal_Music Unfortunately not — as far as i know, you can only send CCs with the knobs.

  • edited 11:44AM

    @Montreal_Music said:
    1- The knobs of the OG were, to my opinion, of a great quality (solid feel, smooth and fun to move). How are the knobs of the Tracks? Same quality?

    Even better imho.

    2- Is it easy to use with the iPad?

    Totally easy :-) Of course it does just MIDI over USB, not audio.

    3- Let's say I control synth 1 in AUM with MIDI 1 of the Tracks and synth 2 in AUM with MIDI 2 of the Tracks (the 2 news options in Tracks).

    Is it possible to quickly go to synth 1 to synth 2 with a single press of a pad?

    yes .. by pressing button "synth1, synth2, midi1, midi2" you instantly jump in corresponding channel.. you can also just pres and hold any ow them - during ho hold you see knob values on that given chanbel (any tweak of knob affect that channel) and then when you release synth1/2/midi1/2 button you jub back to channel where you was beffore .. VERY handy !

    The knobs will adjust?

    yes

    If I press MIDI 1 on the Tracks, the knobs will controls synth 1 and when I switch to MIDI 2, the knobs will control synth 2?

    Tracks has separate SYNTH and MIDI tracks (main difference to OG which had just 2 mini tracks)... Tracks can receive on 4 independent chanels MIDI informatio for synth1, synth2, midi1, and midi2, and vice versa it can play sequences for synth1,2 and simmultaneously send another 2 sequences into midi out 1 / midi out 2

    Can I easily put MIDI 1 on let's track midi channel 2 and MIDI 2 on midi channel 8?

    yes you can set any midi channel you want to any Tracks channels (synth1,2,midi1,2 and drums)

  • edited 11:51AM

    Last question for you if I can. On MIDI 1 and 2, is it possible to use the pad to send midi cc? Something to map transports button like play stop rec, etc.
    @jrjulius said:
    @Montreal_Music Unfortunately not — as far as i know, you can only send CCs with the knobs.

    You can record knob (with CC mapped to it) position into step - so when sequencer plays, CC will be sent when that step is played. Also when playback is stopped and you it that step button, it sends CC value recorded innit ..

    Circuit simply plays (sends to midi out) everything what is recorded in step, in case you hit that step, or when sequence is played and it reaches that step ..

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