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Question about Deluge for orchestral music

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For years I've been looking for a workstation that can create orchestral arrangements, and I think the Deluge might be the right device. The approach I would take is to use the synth or sampler to create decent (they don't have to be perfect) orchestral instruments. Then use a keyboard and eventually a wind controller to record specific tracks, and layer and arrange the tracks into full pieces.

The top end workstations from Korg, Yamaha, and Kurzweil can do this, but I'm looking for a straightforward and simple user interface. I used to own an Ensoniq MR-76, and that keyboard had the best interface for music composition I have used, but the Deluge appears to have some real advantages over the Ensoniq. I have a question though. Is it possible to record sequences in real time using an external MIDI controller? In other words, does the Deluge work like an old school sequencer that acts more like a tape recorder than a beat box?

Anyone who with tips about doing classical music on a Deluge please chime in.

Thanks in advance!

Comments

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    beakerbeaker AdelaidePosts: 39

    Hi,

    Not so much orchestral, but I am a 'traditional' music writer/tinkerer .. so yes possibly use the Deluge is a similar way to you.

    Apart from using it on a plane (to kill time), all of my Deluge compositions have been played in, in real time, from my Nord Lead A1. Some samples/beats are placed in a more step/beat mode to overcome my appalling timing for drums.

    The only thing you won't find .. is that you can't just hit record and play without setting the track length (ie it won't auto extend). However .. it is super easy to make a new track and set it to say 64 bars (2seconds of work), and no, this won't change the length of other tracks .. so you can have 1 bar loops playing over a 64 lead (or in your case orchestral) and mix and match at leisure.

    Also, take a look at some of the new videos showing Arranger mode and "white instances" !!
    A bit hard for me to explain here .. but you'll see what I mean when you watch them.

    Cheers

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    tumble2ktumble2k Posts: 7

    Thank you @beaker! It sounds like the Deluge will work well for my purposes. I don't mind setting the max length of the track at the beginning. I'm sure it can be modified easily.

    I looked at white instances, and it looks like a way you can customize instances of loops. I bet that's super cool for songwriting. For classical, there's not a lot that you can loop, so it may not be so useful. But I do see arranger mode being a powerful way to join tracks of individual sequences to form the final composition.

    I too use step sequencers. I'm no good at arpeggios.

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    beakerbeaker AdelaidePosts: 39

    :)

    The magic of the white instance is that, you can make one of any length in the Arranger, and it will then set the corresponding track section to the same. Is actually even quicker than using the track doubling short cut.

    So I use it to 'plan' out how long my intro/verse/chorus/outro etc are with relation to each other, even before recording anything !!

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    tumble2ktumble2k Posts: 7

    Very cool!

    One more question: What if I have a song whose tempo or time signature changes in a section of the song (for example, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by the Beatles). Is that possible to do?

    Thanks again!

  • 0
    beakerbeaker AdelaidePosts: 39

    Ok, not super experienced with either of those but ..

    • not sure about tempo changes mid-song, but you can semi-automate loading one song after another and it will do so in sync and respect each song's own tempo
    • OR - keep the segment of a different tempo in its own song, resample it, and play it back as a once-play sample segment. (not perfect solution)[anyone else got a better one??]
    • time signature changes are a doddle, as any track can be any length (even fractional bars).
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    amiga909amiga909 SwitzerlandPosts: 739

    my 2 cents for orchestral music:
    not a classical composer by any means, much harder than my average techno jam :)
    what makes the Deluge more capable than other hardware samplers is its ability to stream samples, u can do Kontakt style multisample instruments with GB's of sample data. Easy to do with http://forums.synthstrom.com/discussion/1032/multisample-kit-generator-now-you-can-import-your-kontakt-instruments-or-other-sample-libraries
    as for editing orchestral scores, no hardware sequencer looks good. classical music has long patterns and loads of notes (letting aside stuff like some Bach Fugues that have repetitive character). a 8*16 step sequencer is just not a good fit here compared with a piano roll on a big display. I'd go for Cubase or Reaper for orchestral music, mainly because I suck at playing keyboards.
    as for the effects, Deluge rather serves electronic music, Deluge does not have much in regard to "realistic" effects (natural sounding reverb, impulses, high-end Filter/EQs, ..). Other hardware samplers have effects better suited for classical music (Akai, Kurzweil, Yamaha, ..).

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    tumble2ktumble2k Posts: 7

    @beaker said:
    Ok, not super experienced with either of those but ..

    • not sure about tempo changes mid-song, but you can semi-automate loading one song after another and it will do so in sync and respect each song's own tempo
    • OR - keep the segment of a different tempo in its own song, resample it, and play it back as a once-play sample segment. (not perfect solution)[anyone else got a better one??]
    • time signature changes are a doddle, as any track can be any length (even fractional bars).

    That makes sense about the time signature. The tempo change sounds difficult. I rifled through the manual and it looks like there's no way to automate tempo changes because they're global and not associated with a particular track. Some workstations have a separate track master track where you can automate the tempo changes. Maybe this could be a feature request.

    Method #2 is cool and shows how the Deluge can function as a DAW. The only issue there is resyncing the end of the section with the different tempo with the original tempo.

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    tumble2ktumble2k Posts: 7

    @amiga909 Thank you for the feedback. I think you may be right that the Deluge isn't the best fit here, but it may be the best that's available now. What attracts me to the Deluge is that it's conceptually simple. The UI has been designed thoughtfully for streamlined operation, which is very rare for the synth world. For this alone I'm willing to use it instead of a Korg, Kurzweil, or Yamaha workstation.

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