composition from Novation Circuit boot-glitch(es)

Last week, my Novation Circuit booted up in a rather worrisome state.

It was generating a flurry of random notes, even while stopped, and the lights were going bananas.

A quick search found this video of someone else experiencing the same problem.:


I tried power cycling repeatedly, but it didn’t help. The comment-thread on the video above suggest the firmware (1.6) can boot up corrupt, and would need re-install with the help of Novation Tech support. I tried connecting the Circuit to Novations Components app, but this only allows for automatic update to the latest firmware, not for downgrading or re-install. Since it was the weekend, I realized this was not getting fixed today.

After some initial frustration, instead of walking away mad, I decided to roll with it. Noticing that the squall could still be processed by the Master Filter, and and the Macro knobs could still tweak the synth sound of whatever sound program was making all the fuss.

So I recorded it.

Since this was a tape-style effort with no MIDI to worry about, I recorded various passes in Adobe Audition. I set up the session with 5 tracks, panned mixed them at various locations in the stereo field. Then I chose a track, and recorded an arrival/tweak/departure of that sound…eventually filling out the stereo spread and timeline until it felt right.

Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 12.07.09 PM.png

The more I tweaked the available sound(s), the more I moved from a noise-wash to a sparse, sputtering sounds, so thus came the sonic arc of the end results. The whole creative exercise took less than an hour, which was less time that I spend researching and struggling with the initial problem.

I give you: “Circuit LimpWare”


I went to sleep that night accepting that my Novation Circuit would require further attention once the work-week resumed.

When next I powered up the Circuit to call Novation, it seemed to work just fine.

I hope the next FirmWare/OS only behaves this way when I want to.


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