by Chadwick Wood
June 25th, 2019
The Patch Base Vote list-topper, the Novation Circuit, is now the newest editor available in the app. Patch Base version 3.6 brings the update.
The Circuit actually reminds me a lot of the Yamaha DX200: a groovebox with sample-based drums, 2 synth voices, and sequencers for all of them. And while the Circuit is easy to navigate itself, for playing notes, making patterns, tuning drums, etc., like the DX200 it offers nothing on-board in the way of creating your own synth patches.
Patch Base now makes it possible to have full control over the synths on the Circuit, in a very portable way. Any Circuit owner already knows that Novation offers a web-based editor for the Circuit, which is great when you're working from a desktop. But now all you need is your iPad and a USB cable and adapter, and you have hands-on synth editing. It makes the process of sound design with the Circuit a lot more immediate and focused.
The Synth editor puts all the main parameters for a voice on a single screen: both oscillators, the filter, the envelopes, the mixer, and the chorus and distortion effects. Most of the Mod Matrix is there on the main tab as well, since often you'll want to go back and forth between, say, the LFO or envelope and the Mod Matrix. It's nice to be able to see them at the same time.
The second tab of the editor gives you access to the 8 Macros for a voice, as well as the Mod Matrix again, to make it easier to edit the Macros (which often access the Mod Matrix). Also, if you turn the Macro knobs on the Circuit, the Macro controls in Patch Base will update as well, making sure things stay in sync.
And like other editors in Patch Base, the Circuit editor lets you save patches and full banks (of 64 patches each) to your iPad, as well as saving your new patches to the memory of the Circuit itself.
The editor does not currently offer Session or Sample management, because I can't find any documentation on how to support those (and they require the Bootloader mode for the Circuit, which I kind of doubt that Novation wants 3rd-party developers messing around in). But if that changes down the road, I'd love to add that support.
So, check out the update, and if you haven't already downloaded Patch Base, grab it on the App Store! Patch Base supports more than 50 synths at this point, with more on the way.