Circle² User Reviews & Walk-Thrus On Youtube / Gavin Burke on April 2nd

Already people are uploading user reviews of Circle², check out some below.

Thanks guys!

Upgrading to Circle² from Circle / Gavin Burke on April 2nd

It couldn’t be easier to upgrade to Circle² from Circle.

All you need to do is find your original Circle Activation Code and enter it in the same way as you did with Circle. You’ll have three empty activation slots ready to be associated with your new install of Circle².

Our Japanese distributor, Media Integration, have kindly translated to Japanese instructions on upgrading:

If you need any more info, please feel free to contact


Circle² is here! / Gavin Burke on March 27th

Circle² is now available for download.

Circle² is a free upgrade for existing Circle users. You can simply use your existing Activation code and Circle² will move from demo mode to fully featured.

Circle²’s price for new users is €99.00/$129.00.

Facebook page or Twitter feed for more info.

Get ready to say hello to Circle².

Artist Focus: Chymera / BronFAW on March 17th

To coincide with the release of Circle² (which is now in the last stage of beta testing), we’re reigniting our Artist Focus series to chat with producers who work with Circle. This month, we spoke with Irish-bred, Berlin-based artist Chymera.

For our readers who are not familiar with you yet, can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I’m a music maker, live performer and DJ originally from Cork, Ireland. I’ve spent time in various different places and now I’ve been living in Berlin for the last five years. Melodies are a huge part of my music and I generally make music across the house and techno spectrum on such labels as Ovum, Cocoon, Dirt Crew, Connnaiseur, Delsin and many more. I like long walks on the beach and my favourite colour is green.

What inspired you to get into making electronic music? How did you arrive at where you are?

I started DJing around the year 2000 and music making was just a natural extension of that. I had always written guitar based music since my early teens, electronic music was the way that I could make a finished piece of music from start to finish without having to rely on other musicians. I kind of stumbled into it as a career though, I never envisaged myself as being able to make a living from it, but here I am eight years after quitting full time work and I’ve enjoyed almost every moment.

Originally from Cork, you’ve also lived in Dublin and Barcelona before landing in Berlin. Do you see one of these homes as the most significant influence on your music? How does the scene in Ireland and Spain compare to your current one?

I would say the scene that influenced me the most was the Irish one, in particular Dublin. Dublin was where I bought all my physical record collection, it was where I attended my first gigs and started playing myself. It is the place that has shaped my outlook the most. My music has evolved slowly over the years but this would have happened regardless of where I lived. Most of the music I buy and hear, and the vast majority of the connections I’ve made, have been over the internet. So in that sense, living abroad has not had any profound influence on my music, but in a personal sense it has.

Also playing music in different countries and continents has definitely had an influence on how I play. In Ireland everything shuts down at 3 AM. So we’re used to playing short sets of usually maximum two hours. And if you’re playing last then it’s a short, intense workout. This still holds for my live sets, but for DJ sets I adapted and got used to playing for much longer. The clubbing scene is quite different in all those places. I just noticed this especially as I’ve played two gigs in Ireland this weekend. Dance music is a young person’s game in Ireland. There literally were about five people over 30 at the gigs including myself. It’s kind of sad but it seems to be culturally engrained in Irish people that dancing/clubbing is something you do in your youth, and once you have kids or settle down then you don’t go out any more. At the same time, it’s great to see young people getting into underground music and supporting it so voraciously. Berlin is another story, people of all ages and walks of life go out clubbing every weekend. Even in Barcelona it’s not strictly youth dominated, there are plenty of mature music connoisseurs at the gigs.

When writing a track, what is your process?

I make music every day, unless I am too busy with administrational stuff or if I’m just really not feeling up to it. I’ve even started making tracks when I travel now as well, at least just getting ideas down as I often have great ideas when I’m sat on a plane or a train. My process is always to start with the melody. I use one of my synths and just start throwing in chords or notes, sometimes with the mouse, sometimes played in or other times with a Step sequencer. Often the experiment will go nowhere, but sometimes it just locks in and I can quickly get something I like. Once I have a melody down then I start to add the other elements around that. The style of track is shaped as I make it. I can start out making what I think will be a stomping techno track and it gradually mutates into a deep house track or ambient track and vice versa.

Can you tell us about your studio setup? Is it quite static or is it prone to change?

My studio setup is very static but slowly evolving. I have a few pieces of hardware which are all at arm’s length, and I have a few trusted VST’s. The hardware is as follows: Vermona Mono Lancet, Moog Minitaur, Nord Lead 2, DSI Tetra, Oberheim Matrix 1000 and Juno 106. Every piece of hardware that I own gets used on a weekly basis, with the exception of my Access Virus which was responsible for all my music between 2005 and 2009 but now is sitting in a drawer. I would never sell it but I don’t have a need for its sound these days. As I only acquire new hardware very slowly, I have plenty of time to get to know each piece. As for VST’s I have a small amount that I use a lot. I love the TAL line of VST’s, in particular the Juno clone and the sh101 clone. I also use the Korg Legacy Suite a lot and of course, Circle. As far as effects go, I mainly use Ableton’s own effects in addition to the Waves H-delay and Valhalla reverbs. I also just bought a hardware delay - the Strymon Timeline and I’ve been slowly incorporating this into my music. I’ve got a wishlist as long as my arm when it comes to hardware, but I’ll just have to make do with acquiring a piece of equipment once every year or so. Right now I’m cautiously putting pieces in place to eventually experiment with a non-computer sequenced setup, but that’s going to take a lot more work to come to fruition.

What are your thoughts on Circle? Are there any certain features you like in particular?

I especially love the envelopes and modulation capabilities of Circle. I like the visual displays of the envelopes and the wide range of options available to really sculpt a sound and take it in different directions. Also the way the GUI is laid out is a little different to normal synths or VSTs but very easy to adapt to - I especially like how you drag the coloured dots to modulate parameters. I like that I can use the standard analog modelled waveforms and also blend in many different digital waveforms. In short, it can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.

We’d love to know how Circle has been used in your productions. Are you able to describe an example?

I used Circle on several tracks on a new album I have coming out under a new alias, Merrin Karras. It’s an ambient album and I found Circle particularly useful due to its very long attacks and releases in creating the kinds of lush slowly evolving pads I was looking for on some of the tracks. I finished the album already a year ago. I made it over the course of the previous two winters. The cold was just what I needed to get me in the mindset to make the music. The album is called Apex and will be coming out on John Beltran’s Dado Records in a couple of months.

To keep up to date with Chymera’s latest news follow him on Facebook, SoundCloud and Twitter.

Circle² Q & A / Gavin Burke on January 16th

Circle 2 Coming Soon

We’re happy to announce that Circle² is in the final stages of beta testing and release day is just around the corner. With this in mind, we sat down with Hugh from our development team to answer a few questions that Circle users have sent our way and to delve further into what to expect from version 2. We hope that this gets you as excited about Circle² as we are, and if there’s something else you’d love to know, feel free to add your own question to the comments below. Thanks to our Circle community for hanging tight - we can’t wait for you to experience Circle²!

How will the envelopes differ in Circle² ?

In keeping with Circle²’s updated, minimalistic design approach, each ADSR curve is now displayed in flat, block colour. Overlaid on each curve, the ADSR points have been squared off, and show their title. This aids clarity and distinguishes ADSR points from circular module knobs (which usually relate to modulation assignment). Attack, decay, sustain and release now also have their own modulation input holes, so their values can be changed over time via modulation assignment. A firm favourite of Circle users, the realtime envelope display, has been preserved.

I’d like to be able to search through my presets - how will presets be managed in Circle²? Will a search function be incorporated?

We wanted to separate preset browsing and preset management in Circle², therefore we have implemented a new dedicated preset browser, which enables sounds to be located very easily. Within the new browser, presets can be searched via text, and/or browsed using a characteristics tag cloud. All bank management and editing of preset characteristics is now delegated to the bottom bar preset manager, as was seen in Circle.

How is the VPS oscillator sounding?

A wide variety of interesting and harmonically rich tones can be made from the VPS oscillator. We’ve had quite a play around now and have ended up with a range of results: dirty reese style bass patches, ethereal pads, and gritty lead lines. Applying modulation to the horizontal and vertical parameters can give some really interesting results, either used subtly to give gentle movement, or used harshly to twist and contort a synth into oblivion. We’re excited to hear what you come up with!

Will this new release feature an activation system which can be deactivated from a computer to free the license slot so that it can be used on another computer?

While Circle² will retain the existing activation system, if you already own Circle, you will get a new allocation of three activation slots. Circle users are also always welcome to reach out to our customer support team ( when wishing to transfer an activation slot to another computer.

What other new features can we expect?

In Circle²’s effects pane we have introduced two brand new modules, bucket delay and tube distortion. This gives Circle² a total of four individual modules for both distortion and delay.

When is Circle2 coming out?

Circle² will be released in early February, 2015. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter for more details!

Circle & OSX Yosemite / Gavin Burke on December 31st

Those who updated to OS X Yosemite may have found themselves unable to authorise Circle following re-installation. Fortunately our development team were able to make a quick fix and a beta version of Circle 1.2.0 is now available.The full version will be made available next week. To all users who were affected - thanks for sending feedback our way and for your patience!

Circle 1.2.0 Download link:

For development updates, please follow us on our social media channels:


Meet our newest team member: Hugh! / BronFAW on November 28th

We’d like to introduce you to the newest member of our Future Audio Workshop team, Hugh. Joining us in Berlin from Bristol, UK, Hugh is currently helping with the final stages of getting Circle² ready for the wider world. We got to know more about Hugh below.

How long have you been in Berlin? What brought you here?
I’ve been in Berlin for a few weeks now, I came out here to work with the guys at FAW.

What did you study? What got you interested in studying computers?
I graduated from Bristol UWE earlier this year, where I studied Audio & Music Technology. My initial interest in audio software came from making electronic music. From listening, then DJing, then producing, audio software development was the next logical step.

What will you be doing at Future Audio Workshop?
I’ll be working on plugin development for the moment. Right now we’re working towards the Circle² release. It’s looking and sounding amazing.

We’d love to learn about your taste in music. What have you been listening to lately?
I tend to listen to a wide range of styles, and my musical interests are constantly changing. I can get down with cheesy music as much as deep music, and old music as much as new music. However, in a club environment I’d rather hear techno or UK house at the moment.

What can we find you doing in your spare time?
In most of my spare time I’m in the studio making music, I don’t think there’s a better form of escapism. I work under a couple of aliases, one of them is Hugo Massien. I also run a label, Top Shelf Material. I established the label as a platform to push a strain of house that’s been growing in the UK underground over the last couple of years.

Welcome Hugh!

Artist Focus: Sinden / BronFAW on November 7th

With the release of Circle² just around the corner, we’ll be featuring a number of artists who work with Circle on our Future Audio Workshop blog. This week we spoke with UK-bred, LA-based producer Sinden.

For our readers who are not familiar with you yet, can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do

Hi, I’m a music producer / DJ. I’m from the UK, originally, but have since moved out to Los Angeles a few years ago. Most people associate me with the house / techno / club world, however I do a lot of productions for rappers and singers.

What inspired you to get into making electronic music? Is it something you’ve always known you wanted to do?

Well I had aspirations to be a DJ first actually. When I was a young teen I would buy vinyl but I didn’t have turntables until I could afford some cheap belt drives. I would rock University parties for my friends. To become a producer you still needed to have some cash and I couldn’t afford Logic (when Emagic used to own it). I was inspired after a chance meeting with Switch and he mentored me in the early days, he really taught me the ropes. I got made redundant from my job and then I decided this was like a calling for me to do the music thing full time.

You moved from London to Los Angeles in 2012. How does living in LA influence your work?

Well it’s had a huge impact on me. It changed my whole approach to the music I wanted to make and it opened me up to a lot of sounds that I don’t think I would explore in London. I’ve always soaked up the sounds from the West Coast as a record buyer / music listener but they weren’t at the forefront. In London I was making a heavier UK sound and I still am to an extent - that’s never going to fade - but for the rap music I’m making it’s in the spirit of sunshine and g funk, classic 90s rap updated for the clubs today. Even the dance music I make is filtered through my LA experience. Drum and synth sounds that are pleasurable to me are constantly being reconfigured.

When writing a track, what is your process? (Do you program drums first? Do you sit down at a set time and say “Now I’m making a track” or spontaneously rush to your studio…)

I’m a big believer in writing music when the time is right. Being frustrated in front of a screen is the worst. If the magic isn’t happening I play a video game, walk my dogs outside or watch some TV. I like to come back to the studio when I have a vision of what I want to make. I like to explore different mediums to making music too. Before it was only ever Logic for me and I needed a laptop. I was quite linear in my approach but I fully embraced the iPad and iPhone music apps for making beats on the go, even portable synthesizers, field recording found sounds. There’s so much you can do outside the studio to fuel your imagination for when you make the commitment to sit down in front of a project. I like to get in and get out, haha, but if you can make music in a park isn’t that so much better? Most times than not I’ll program the drums first unless I have a melody that will dictate the rest of the track. Basslines can happen at the beginning too. I like to get a solid 8-16 bars that will become the backbone of the track and once I’m happy with that, I’ll program some variations. Also really important, I like to map out the track early so that I have a loose goal of what I want to happen where. I find that I’m more likely to finish a track.

Can you tell us about your studio setup?

I’m running Logic X, which has always been more DAW of choice. Soundcard wise I’m running everything through the UAD Apollo Quad, which sounds amazing. I’ve been using Universal Audio’s plug ins for a good few years now. As someone who produces and mixes in the box, this suits me down to the ground. I’ve got a few toys like Maschine, Roland R8, SH09, Juno 2, Ensoniq ESQ-1, Moog Minitaur, Access Virus, Dave Smith Tetra, Microkorg XL, some old FM keyboards like the Yamaha SY77 etc but my workflow is mostly really VSTs and sampling vinyl and manipulating those audio samples / sound designing in the box. I just love the ease that you can work on the road this way. I feel l could easily scale down most of what is in my studio.

What were your initial thoughts on Circle? Are there any certain features you like in particular?

I love circle. It’s really accessible (and really slick looking!!) to get into but you can also explore it a lot further too. My initial thoughts were that the interface is really pleasing to use, its really visual and the fact that you can see LFO’s and envelopes moving, breaks things down in a way that is easy to grasp. It’s just fun to pick up circles and experiment a bit with it. The way you manipulate the synth will show an instant visual display of what you’re doing. It’s color-coded so that you don’t get muddled up when you’re assigning modulations. The layout also makes a lot of sense, its not confusing or intimidating and for my workflow’s sake it’s so important. That first 30mins – 1 hour in the initial stages of production are so crucial so I’ll use presets to get roughly the sound I want and then tweak them later. Circle allows this with their easy to use menu, which folds out at the bottom. Also being able to search sounds by characteristics is cool too. Small things like that and being able to randomize particular areas of your sound and to what degree is a really cool feature and I do like the unpredictable.

We’d love to know how Circle has been used in your productions. Are you able to describe an example?

If I’m on the road travelling I like to, rather than starting a new track, just open up Circle and mess around to create a few starting points for productions and save the patches for later when I get to my studio. I usually start with the stock sounds and then go from there and often I end up completely going off on a tangent but that’s really the beauty of getting lost in the program. I just used Circle as the lead bass sound in a forthcoming production for a project I’m doing called The Crystal System. Actually Circle is usually the first point of call for basslines and also pad sounds and weird one shot FX sounds.

I also used Circle for this one:

Since there’s over a hundred wavetables you can get some really interesting variations and movements in your sound. I like to open up various channels of Circle, detune one instance slightly from the other and stack them on top of each, with some panning you can get some interesting sound possibilities.

Do you follow the latest developments in music technology?

Yeah all the time, I’m constantly looking for new workflow ideas and ways I can integrate new technology into my setup. I love, for example, linking up the Lemur to Circle so I can control the parameters wirelessly.

What do you have coming up next?

I’m working on my next wave of solo productions, I’m launching a new project called The Crystal System which is more song based disco and house stuff, it’s channeling the spirit of the boogie and good vibes. I’m also collaborating more with rappers, like my work with Mykki Blanco. I’m also touring in North America in the first 2 weeks of December with Fake Blood so you can catch me out and about (at these clubs).

To keep up to date on Sinden’s latest news follow him on Facebook, SoundCloud and Twitter.

Artist Focus: David Johnston (Echoic Audio) / BronFAW on October 17th

Following our interview with Fabrizio Sestito earlier this month, we learn more about working in sound design this week with David Johnston of Bristol-based studio, Echoic Audio.

To get started, can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

My name’s David Johnston, I’m one of two co-founders of Echoic Audio alongside Tom Gilbert. We compose original music and sound design for adverts, animation, games, TV and film. We started the studio four years ago and have built a steady client base of international agencies and brands. Echoic is based in Bristol, UK. We enjoy working from this city. It’s a vibrant, youthful and culturally diverse place with strong musical roots.

We’d love to know more about Echoic Audio. Can you share how your studio came about?

Tom and I met over ten years ago through a mutual friend and had shared love of electronic music. We started DJing and writing tracks together. Plus I had taken an MA in creative music technology at Bath Spa University. It was here I first had a taste of sound design working on various multimedia projects. Tom was working at the BBC in a variety of roles and subsequently as an freelance editor. It was during a freelance position he was asked to apply his musical skills to an edit, adding sound design to a 3D animation. This sparked an enthusiastic interest and we both went away and looked into the area some more. At the same time, a studio space became available in a local creative hub and we jumped at the chance to take it on and start our new venture.

What inspired you to get into sound design? Is it something you’ve always known you wanted to do?

I’ve always had a keen interest in sound effects and enjoyed syncing sounds to video during my MA course. I also did some work experience at Films at 59 in Bristol. They are a popular post production house working on a number of high profile TV series. It was here I first saw Foley work being recorded live to picture. It was a nature documentary and I was mesmerised. It gave me such a big insight into how much audio is added in this post production phase.

Echoic Audio caught our attention with recent project Symphonic. Can you tell us about the process involved in creating the music and sound for this composition?

We started with a piano composition in Logic 9. We use the Imperfect Samples suite of pianos because we love the real and organic sound of the recordings. They tend to leave in pedal moves and fingers on keys which gives it a human sound. But even so, we decided this wasn’t enough and asked pianist Helen Stanley to perform the piece on her grand piano. This sounded amazing and was the first building block in the soundtrack. Next we recorded live cello and violin parts and then a female vocalist. The musical elements were carefully thought through to leave space for sound design at key moments.

There were a lot of recordings made for the sound design. These include punching a fabric sheet, and flapping round the sheet, tennis balls in a box, ping pong balls, an indian cymbal against a chain and LFO modulations from an Octave Cat synthesiser. These were edited and layered with atmospheres to create an organic and engaging backdrop to each exhibit.

Tell us about the studio setup at Echoic?

We use an iMac with Logic and Ableton. We have plenty of plugins but we try to record a lot of audio through real FX chains as well. We use kit such as Boss Compressor/Sustainer, Boss Overdrive, Ensoniq DP/4, Zvex Lo-fi Junky, Electro Harmonix Memory Man, English Muff’n and a Sherman Filterbank. We don’t have much outboard in terms of mastering so that’s all done in the box. Our main audio interface is a Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56. There’s a number of old synths kicking about too including Roland Juno 106, Roland Juno 6, Roland Jupiter 6, Roland JX-3P, Yamaha DX7, Octave Cat, EDP Wasp plus drum machines such as Roland 606, Roland 707 and Boss DR-660. Also we use a Genelec 8040B monitors.

How long did it take you before you got to the point of being able to hear or imagine a sound and then design it?

It didn’t take too long but there was a lot of experimentation. It’s all about knowing your tools and knowing what actions to take to manipulate a sound in a certain way.

What other artists sound design work excites you? (Do you see any other artists in particular or studios as a whole as influencers on your work?)

There’s a huge amount of film and games sound designers that influence us, people like Richard Devine, who is a total genius at coming up with otherworldly sounds and textures plus other studios such as Echolab based in Dublin and Box of Toys Audio. Both these studios excel at creating cutting edge soundtracks. But Echolab was also an inspiration as he wasn’t based in London. He proved to us that it’s possible to work on great projects without being in the capital. I’ve also always enjoyed David Kamp as he brings a different more playful tone to his work.

Do you have any advice for our readers who want to get into sound design?

Practice as much as possible. Get involved in communities of visual artists and offer your skills for free. If you don’t have artists to collaborate with then practice on other people’s work. Rescore the latest hollywood trailer or a set of TV idents. Just get involved in any way you can and hone your own skills as much as possible. Then once you have the skills, read a few books on starting a business or freelancing successfully. There’s a lot to be learnt here too and so it’s the combination of creativity, enthusiasm and basic business skills that work together to make a successful studio.

Read more about Echoic Audio on their website, or contact David at

Artist Focus: Fabrizio Sestito / BronFAW on October 3rd

In the lead-up to the release of Circle², we’ll be featuring a number of artists who work with Circle on our Future Audio Workshop blog. We kick off our series this week with sound designer, Fabrizio Sestito.

To get started, can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I am a sound designer for companies such as Sample Magic and Native Instruments. I work in tandem with Nicolò Papini and we are both based in Berlin. In our spare time we work together on our music, exploring Techno and Ambient sonorities. I design and produce mainly for NI Maschine and Reaktor, from drum shots & kits to complete tracks. I also enjoy coding and craft beers.

What inspired you to get into sound design? Is it something you’ve always known you wanted to do?

I’ve been always attracted to electronic music and sound design in general. As a kid I used to play violin and my teacher helped me install a sequencer to practice with a midi orchestra at home. I got into computer programming at the age of 10 through my father, who is also an audio and electronics geek.

I studied Computer Science/Mathematics and, as I was never really good at playing a real instrument, electronic music was the fastest and “laziest” way to be creative, and also it fitted well with my techie attitude. I had a good friend in high school who introduced me to Ableton 4 and the first soft synths, so I started experimenting with music technology.

In 2008 I met Vitalic during a gig in Rome, he was always one of my favourite artists, and we became friends. Lately I have released on his label and from time to time I work with him as a mixing/mastering engineer. He has taught me a lot, especially to be less mathematical and schematic in my creative process.

When designing a sound, what is your process? (Do you follow a set method? Does this vary by project?)

It depends by the context of the project I’m going to work on. In general, if I’m not really familiar with the sounds I have to make, I start analysing carefully the references with my beloved Sonus Faber. I try to guess how these sounds are made and absorb the mood of what I’m listening to. Then I start playing around in my studio, I tend to be really personal and forget about the references for a moment. Eventually something good comes out and then I start thinking how to make it functional, going back to the goal of the project.

How long did it take you before you got to the point of being able to hear or imagine a sound and then design it?

I guess you’ll never reach this point, but it’s continuously improving somehow. Also, the design process is never so deterministic. A lot of sounds come from random and unrepeatable interactions of several factors, the important part is being able to recognise which one could be functional in another context.

You moved to Berlin from Rome in 2011. How does living in Berlin influence your work?

I always felt a bit isolated while living in Rome. I didn’t know a lot of people producing electronic music or sound designing, except some friends that owned a studio and they were mainly recording rock bands. When I moved to Berlin I met a lot of interesting engineers and artists, and it was really easy to collaborate with many of them and also to have direct feedback and criticism about my work. I think this made me grow a lot.

Tell us about your studio setup?

I work in a home studio environment with Adam A7X, MOTU interface, Mac pro running Ableton 9, APC40, Maschine and a bunch of hardware synths/drum machines. I’m a big fan of Elektron, I own an Analog Four and Rytm. On the vintage side I’m in love with my SH101 and my Korg DSS1, it’s a 12bit sampler-synth with analog filters and it’s great for pad and textures.

Some of my favourite plugins are Omnisphere, FAW Circle, NI Massive and FM8, Soundtoys and Cromaphone. We are always renovating the studio and searching out new solutions: today I’m really excited to try Nico’s new DSI Tetra and we’re planning to get a Strymon Bigsky reverb soon.

What other artists’ sound design work excites you? (Do you see any artists in particular as influencers on your work?)

My biggest influence is the Italian progressive rock scene of the 70s, bands such as Balletto di Bronzo, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Goblin, PFM. At the time there were a lot of good pianists with a classical education who started messing around with synthesisers. Right now I really like the work of Alessandro Cortini and Abdulla Rashim.

Do you have any advice for our readers who want to go from using presets to starting to design their own sounds?

I really enjoyed the reading of Welsh’s Synthesizer Cookbook.

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