This is my Novation circuit.
And I have no idea how to use it.
I bought the circuit more than a year ago, after making a video about this, the launch pad, and biovision.
I love this thing.
And in the time that I’ve had the circuit, I’ve only learned one thing about it.
It is not like this.
I switched it on for the first time, pushed the play button, was immediately confused by all the flashing lights, put it back in its box, and it’s been in the cupboard ever since.
So it really is about time.
I learned how to use this thing, but it still doesn’t answer the question of what is this?
According to the internet, it’s a grid-based groove box.
Yes, a groove box.
A groove box is a self-contained musical instrument.
That is, it can generate drums and melodies without any other equipment.
Everything you need is in the box.
The circuit groove box has two synthesizers and a drum machine built right into the site.
You could play something on the synthone, then back up with Zen two.
And then add some drums to these pads are used to input drums and notes to the box.
Simply put, this little machine can create music with no cables, no monitor, no computer, just as a standalone machine.
So I’m going to do is I’m going to spend seven days with the circuit, seven days of learning, and hopefully I can make something on each of those days.
But today is day one hour zero.
The first thing I had to learn about was the heart of the circuit.
The sequencer, I really have no idea what I’m doing, so I’m going to need to start somewhere with some videos.
So in the previous via a tutorial or two by Novation themselves and just messing around, this is what I figured out.
When you press play on the circuit, the bottom row of pads begins lighting up in sequence.
This 16 step sequence will loop round and round and round.
You can add a note to the sequence by using the top rows of pads and that pad will now stay illuminated.
Now socket please note every loop.
This allows you to add 16 notes in a loop.
The 16 step sequence idea is the essence of the circuit is how the drums and sensors are programmed by using a grid-like this to enter notes and using scales for the notes available to you.
Sukkot ensures that you are never out of time or out of key.
Once you get your head around that, you are on your way.
That doesn’t guarantee what you play will be good, though.
Well, that sounds terrible.
Time to try and make something musical.
I just came up with that.
On day two, I thought it’d be interesting to fill up all 16 spaces on the sequencer.
This gave me a crazy fool-sounding melody.
Then I learned how to use the effects section on the circuit.
Reverb and delay can really add another dimension to your summons.
I realized this whole video might just look like one giant ad for Novation.
But I can assure you that’s not the case.
They don’t know I’m making this video.
I bought this device with my own money.
But I do confess, I have fallen in love with this thing.
Well, music has a problem.
And it has a high barrier to entry.
If you want to get into music, you got to practice every day, learn scales, buy expensive software, perhaps get lessons and it’s written in a completely different language.
This simplifies all that to just this, enabling you to feel for making music and exploring that stuff I just talked about at your own pace.
The only issue I can see with the circuit is it’s expensive, which is why I’m going to give one of these away to one of you.
Stay tuned to the end of the video to find out how you can get your hands on one of these.
Alright, remember I said that the beauty of the circuit is that you don’t need a computer or a monitor or screen or anything like that.
You can just make music with the box.
Well, the synth sounds that come loaded with the circuit are pretty good.
But I didn’t create these sounds.
These were presets pre-loaded on the device.
And you know they sound okay.
I just can’t really see myself using that sound.
What I’d really like to do is to design my own synth patches, my own sounds, save them to the circuit.
I know where they are, and then I know what these dials will do that we’ll have more control over what and gang, but to edit patches, you need a Making your own Sam’s has a lot of this.
Whilst tweaking various settings, it’s an experimental process, but it’s a huge part of making music, who wants to play with presets.
After a while, messing around.
I had a bunch of songs that I designed myself.
Every so often, you’ll stumble across that sound they used in that song.
I know the sound.
On day four, I started messing around with drum samples.
The pre-loaded sounds are good.
But I wanted some more acoustic percussion sounds.
Since samples are just audio clips, you can upload anything you want to the circuit.
I found something more to my liking online and swapped out the samples, allowing me to get more diverse sounding drums.
In the 80s, on days five and six, I was really getting a feel for making music on the circuit.
I could navigate around quickly and tweak patches to get the sums I wanted.
I was surprised at the diversity and the type of music that could be made on this and how polished the trucks sounded out of the box.
In fact, everything you hear in this video was produced on the circuit.
All right is the seven.
And I had an idea.
The circuit drum machine plays back samples of drums, that’s recordings, some files of drums, and you can upload your own drum samples to the circuit as well.
But no one said it had to be drums.
Well, if I put a melodic sample on to the circuit, something with a tune, though singing, I could just play some really simple cards.
I could record those cards from my guitar, upload them to the circuit, loop it and then add synth basslines, synth leads and drums to it.
That way, I’m getting acoustic instruments and electronic instruments all on the circuit.
I’ve recorded a couple of different takes of those chords and processed them a little bit.
Here’s what it sounds like.
Why did I have to pick C sharp minor for the key that’s like the worst key ever?
Alright, I need a beat.
All right, this sounds pretty good.
Take a listen.
Hey, I hope you enjoyed this one.
Perhaps this has even encouraged you to pick up music this year.
It’s not too late.
As I mentioned earlier in the video, I’m going to give one of these innovation circuits away.
All you have to do to enter this competition is leave a comment on this Instagram post.
There are some rules in the description down below to the winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Instagram.
So make sure you follow me there to stay up to date.
Thank you very much for watching.
I’ll see you soon for the next episode.