First impressions of the Novation Circuit Mono Station
Fundamentally – and possibly speaking superficially – the Novation Circuit Mono Station is the hybrid of a Bass Station II and a Circuit. So perhaps I wasn’t too far off with my The Fly analogy.
Less superficially though, the Circuit Mono Station is a paraphonic analogue synthesiser and sequencer. Novation describe the Circuit Mono Station as “a next-generation monosynth that originates from the Bass Station II, with three sequencer tracks that benefit from the 32 velocity-sensitive RGB pads found on Circuit”.
To me though, I see this and I think of a standalone synth that I can play without needing to know my way around a set of black and white keys. With a choice of 16 scale types available – and 32 velocity sensitive pads on which to play them – the Circuit Mono Station lets non-keys players jam live with a bit more freedom and confidence, and lets accomplished ivory tinklers interact with notes in a different way – always a good way to come up with things you might not normally create.
Once you’ve come up with an idea or two, you can get those down on two independent sequencer tracks – one for each oscillator in paraphonic mode. You also have an additional sequencer track to record modulation parameters; perfect for adding a lot more life and movement to your sequences.
With a multimode filter offering 12 and 24 dB slope low pass, band pass and high-pass options, three distortion modes and a 4×8 modulation matrix, this is a proper synthesiser as well.
The Novation Circuit Mono Station – review of the features
- Analogue monosynth and sequencer
- Two oscillators with individual control of sync and tuning parameters
- High-pass, low-pass and band-pass filters with slopes of 12dB and 24dB
- Three distortion modes
- Choose monophonic or paraphonic modes with individual glide control
- Four-by-eight modulation matrix that enables complex alteration and routing
- Load and save up to 64 patches on the device
- Three sequencer tracks (two oscillator sequencers, one modulation sequencer)
- 32 velocity-sensitive RGB pads
- 16 scale types
- Changeable sync rates
- CV/Gate, CV mod plus MIDI In, Out and Thru for connecting and controlling additional hardware
- Modulate, evolve and process sources through the audio input
- Backup patches and sessions on Mac or PC with the Components software
In the box, you’ll get your new Circuit Mono Station, a USB cable, 3 MIDI breakout cables and a power supply; you’ll also receive Ableton Live Lite and 4 GB of Loopmasters sample content.
Summing up the Novation Circuit Mono Station
I’ll admit I was more curious than excited when I first saw the Circuit Mono Station, but I think this one is going to be a winner. Much like the original Circuit, I can see this one being a slow-burner, but the more time I’ve spent going through the features to write this post, the more interested in it I become.
In particular, as a non keys player, part of what appeals to me about the Circuit series – and to my Ableton Push – is the fact that I can pull up a key and a scale, and play. Live. And it’s fun, it’s immediate and you can take it to the stage or to your open mic jam night and just plug in and play. And I like gear that lets me do that.
Being able to split the Circuit Mono Station into two single oscillator monosynths with their own sequencer track using the paraphonic mode is a great idea. All of a sudden, there’s the two sequences you need. Bass and lead, or two basslines playing off each other for an immense Hardfloor experience (or should that be Acperience?)
You know what I’m thinking? I’m thinking a Novation Circuit Mono Station, paired with an Elektron Digitakt or an Arturia Drumbrute. I reckon you could kick-start a whole new genre with that. 2017 is shaping up into a good year…
We’ve got our order in and expect to receive these from the first UK shipment. If you have any questions – or want to get your name on the preorder queue – then feel free to get in touch or call into one of our stores, or place your order online.