More precise / accurate parameter control
I love my Deluge, but one thing that I think is completely unnecessarily limiting its potential is the control you have over parameters. Most of them are on a somewhat arbitrary scale of 0-50 or -50 to 50. This makes it hard to do things that should be easy, even if not directly supported by the Deluge. For example, setting delay to a perfect triplet, or setting a filter cutoff to exactly 1.5x the note frequency.
I know Deluge is capable of doing this right, because it already does so for certain parameters! Also, using the golden knobs (very carefully) or external MIDI control allows finer adjustments than the 0-50 integer scale used by most parameters, so I know the Deluge software and file format can handle it. Here's how I think things should work:
For time-based parameters, you should have the option of setting the time in seconds and milliseconds (like the sample loop point editor already does!), using sync, and possibly seconds and samples. Sync should support dotted and triplet times in addition to the current 2^n beats. This applies to these parameters:
- Envelope Attack / Decay / Release
- Sidechain Attack / Release on the sidechain)
- Arp Rate
- Mod Fx Rate
- LFO 1 / 2 Rate
- Delay Rate (OK, it sounds a little weird calling it that, but if you read the labels crosswise and vertically that's what it appears to be
- possibly Portamento and Mod Fx Offset (not sure what units those are in)
For relative frequency parameters, you should have the choice of semitones and cents (like Transpose already does!), ratio (12.00 transpose would correspond to 2.000 ratio since 12 semitones are an octave which is a frequency ratio of 2. Should have at least three decimal places) and possibly some small-whole-number ratios so it's easy to do, e.g., 5/4. This applies to:
- Sample Speed
- Oscillator Transpose
- Unison Detune
- LPF / HPF frequency (I think these are relative to the note? Correct me if I'm wrong).
For absolute frequency parameters, we should be able to use a note name (C4) or a frequency (Hz). Applies to Bass and Treble Frequency.
For "fraction" parameters we should have a value from 0 to 1 (or 0 to 100 if you insist). This desperately needs at least 4 significant figures (E.g. 0.0001 or 0.01% needs to be possible and different from 0 / 0%). A dB option (only negative values allowed) would be great too. This applies to:
- Osc / FM Mod Retrigger Phase (but leaving this in degrees is also fine)
- Osc / FM Mod Feedback (I think, not totally sure how this works internally)
- Osc PW
- FM PW (if/when this feature is added)
- Sustain (except it would actually be really awesome if you put this into the "ratio" category below, as that would allow a 2-phase attack, and it's probably no harder to implement!)
- Sidechain Vol Duck
- Arp Gate
- Mod Fx Feedback (maybe? You'd know better than I what units are appropriate here)
- Mod Fx Offset (maybe?)
- Reverb Damping, Reverb Width (maybe?)
- Reverb Amount, Delay Amount (ratios above 1 are probably too dangerous to allow here)
There are some fractions that can go negative (same as above except range -1 to 1):
- Master Pan
- Reverb Pan
Then we come to the ratio parameters. These should allow a ratio (1.0 = unchanged, 0.0001 = divided by 10,000, 1000 = multiplied by 1,000 -- and yes, it should have at least this much range) or a positive or negative dB. These are:
- Osc / FM Mod / Master Level
- Bass / Treble Adjust
- I feel like there shoudl be more, but I can't think of what they are...
That almost wraps it up. There are some oddball cases:
- Saturation, Bitcrush, Decimation: I have no idea what units are useful for these.
- LPF / HPF resonance: Q is maybe the most comprehensible, but I'm not sure whether it applies with the type of filter you're using.
- Anything that has discrete values or is otherwise weird (e.g. the waveform viewer with the start / stop markers) is probably fine as is.
Mod depths (all) should be in the units of the parameter they're modifying, and should have the same actual range as "ratios" above. Mod sources should in most cases be normalized to a range from 0 to 1 (e.g. envelopes) or -1 to 1 (e.g. LFOs), but there may be cases where other units are far more useful (e.g. if "note" is represents as semitones above / below middle C, it would be a lot easier to use it to modulate frequencies in a predictable way.
I hope this is seriously considered. I think despite the length of this post. these changes would be relatively easy to make (the only tricky part being to choose a UI to change units; maybe pushing down on the left-right knob while editing a quantity?) and significantly benefit many users.