Novation's Launchpad format has been one of the new breed of grid based hardware that revolutionised non-keyboard music composition. Mostly working in the Ableton Live paradigm it needs a host computer to get the most from it, but the new Novation Circuit brings it all into a single, stand-alone unit.
With two 6 voice synth engines and four drum tracks, 2 side-chain tracks, two effects plus on board sequencing and mixing, it encourages you to get stuck in. There's no menu diving, all parameters are accessed via a cunning use of the 32 pad grid and mode buttons.
The 8 controllers also come into play for mixing and sound tweaking duties, indeed - automation is at the heart of what makes the Circuit tick. With battery power and an internal speaker for mobile use, its a perfect match for Gaz Williams interest in small portable devices. He takes an in-depth look at what Novation have got right and wrong with the Circuit.