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Deluge or Akai Force?

0
antic604antic604 PolskaPosts: 3

Now I'm aware this is a Deluge forum, but I'm having faith in you being objective ;)

I'm considering buying a bit of hardware so I could do some music without using my laptop & Bitwig Studio. I'm a hobbyist, with a normal 8-10h / day office job + 2h commute, 3 kids, wife, etc. so I don't have a lot of time for music-making. With laptop, I tend to spend too much time tweaking stuff endlessly and adding unimportant detail, instead of really progressing and finishing it. So I need to impose some limitations and I though a stand-alone hardware would be a good choice.

I've basically narrowed down the choice to either Deluge or Akai Force.

In favour of the Akai I count its feature-set: really great 64 pads with velocity & aftertouch + 8 knobs for tweaking parameters so you can actually play stuff expressively, big touch-screen with lots of information, compatibility with Ableton (that I also own), professionally sounding sound-library and host of on-board instrument & effect plugins. The cons? Size & weight definitely, necessity to be plugged in, the fact that it's mostly considered a sample-based machine and I'm planning to focus on synthesis & MIDI. It's basically a cut-down computer with a sampler, synth and sequencer on it in a (heavy) box.

In favour of the Deluge I count: very compact size, battery operation, more frequent & bigger firmware updates, lack of screen [surprisingly] and the fact that it seems open in terms of architecture, e.g. how you load samples, bounce tracks, etc. On the other hand the synthesis options do not sound convincing (despite on paper being strong - subtractive & FM, soon wavetable, 2x filters, LFOs, and so on...) and I'm afraid it's easy to get lost in bigger projects. I'm also afraid for its CPU performance if I wanted to focus on MIDI & synthesis.

Deluge definitely seems more fun & way cooler, whereas Force looks like a "serious" machine for professional producer, which I'm not. On the other hand I nevertheless try to adhere to certain standard with my music (I'm a hobbyist, but not a newbie) & I'm not convinced Deluge is the right choice sonically - most presentations & tutorials make it sound weak & plasticky, like early VSTs or old keyboards and the well-sounding demos are usually using full stems and/or many samples, which is something I'm completely not interested in (except for drums & maybe sound FX).

So I'm really stumped. My heart is leaning towards Deluge, but my mind is whispering Force :(

Any thoughts? :)

BTW, here's example of my music - I'm not expecting to pull off the same level of complexity on either Deluge or Force, but something in the ballpark would be very nice:

Post edited by antic604 on

Best Answers

  • 1
    GerwinGerwin GermanyPosts: 17
    Answer ✓

    Hello,

    I was also very interested in Akai Force but never tried one. But I found a posting in reddit of someone who described obout his experience and how much it feels like using a DAW or hardware device.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/synthesizers/comments/ano47g/akai_force_first_24_hour_impressions/

  • 1
    GerwinGerwin GermanyPosts: 17
    Answer ✓

    Yes, I am very happy with it. I use it in a setup with a Korg Monologue and Roland SE02.
    The SE02 has Inputs for Gate Trigger, Gate, CV and VCF. This makes it a good companion for Deluge. The Deluge synth is not bad. But for the more special Sounds I sample my synthesizers. What I like the most is to prepare tracks in different length and combine them together. I also like to set note events with probability of being played. I like to combine the Sequenzer of Deluge with those of the synthesizer and trigger gate or key.. The Deluge is for me more a live tool as a production tool. But of corse you can also produce tracks for recording purpose.

  • 2
    GameDudeGameDude EarthPosts: 41
    Answer ✓

    @antic604 said:
    Now I'm aware this is a Deluge forum, but I'm having faith in you being objective ;)

    I'm considering buying a bit of hardware so I could do some music without using my laptop & Bitwig Studio. I'm a hobbyist, with a normal 8-10h / day office job + 2h commute, 3 kids, wife, etc. so I don't have a lot of time for music-making. With laptop, I tend to spend too much time tweaking stuff endlessly and adding unimportant detail, instead of really progressing and finishing it. So I need to impose some limitations and I though a stand-alone hardware would be a good choice.

    I've basically narrowed down the choice to either Deluge or Akai Force.

    In favour of the Akai I count its feature-set: really great 64 pads with velocity & aftertouch + 8 knobs for tweaking parameters so you can actually play stuff expressively, big touch-screen with lots of information, compatibility with Ableton (that I also own), professionally sounding sound-library and host of on-board instrument & effect plugins. The cons? Size & weight definitely, necessity to be plugged in, the fact that it's mostly considered a sample-based machine and I'm planning to focus on synthesis & MIDI. It's basically a cut-down computer with a sampler, synth and sequencer on it in a (heavy) box.

    In favour of the Deluge I count: very compact size, battery operation, more frequent & bigger firmware updates, lack of screen [surprisingly] and the fact that it seems open in terms of architecture, e.g. how you load samples, bounce tracks, etc. On the other hand the synthesis options do not sound convincing (despite on paper being strong - subtractive & FM, soon wavetable, 2x filters, LFOs, and so on...) and I'm afraid it's easy to get lost in bigger projects. I'm also afraid for its CPU performance if I wanted to focus on MIDI & synthesis.

    Deluge definitely seems more fun & way cooler, whereas Force looks like a "serious" machine for professional producer, which I'm not. On the other hand I nevertheless try to adhere to certain standard with my music (I'm a hobbyist, but not a newbie) & I'm not convinced Deluge is the right choice sonically - most presentations & tutorials make it sound weak & plasticky, like early VSTs or old keyboards and the well-sounding demos are usually using full stems and/or many samples, which is something I'm completely not interested in (except for drums & maybe sound FX).

    So I'm really stumped. My heart is leaning towards Deluge, but my mind is whispering Force :(

    Any thoughts? :)

    BTW, here's example of my music - I'm not expecting to pull off the same level of complexity on either Deluge or Force, but something in the ballpark would be very nice:

    I have both, and if I could only have one it would be Deluge- no question.

    I can make relevant music with Deluge in a few hours- all my own production using my own samples if I want and shape a song- while sitting on the couch watching the Simpsons lol.

    It's really fun to use, and very capable of making serious, professional music- it just depends who is making that music.

    The Force has been designed for a project studio that uses the Ableton DAW, and the sad news for me is- I don't even use Ableton.

    Deluge is for anyone with any musical production style who doesn't want to even be near a computer.

    Deluge is the proverbial 'desert island' groovebox imo.

    Yes, I love the fuckin' thing lol.

  • 1
    NRuckNRuck UKPosts: 68
    Answer ✓

    I have never used a Force so can’t give a direct comparison. What I would say is that if you are like me, a busy guy with full time job etc. then you will probably make more music in a shorter time with a a deluge, mainly due to it’s portability and also because it’s very quick and intuitive to get down full song structures You can achieve great sounding synth patches on the Deluge but that does normally require a bit more work. Check out the ‘Boards of Deluge’ patches that a user posted on the forum here if you don’t believe me. Some stunning synth patches there. I really like making patches from samples / multi samples of my own gear as well as using the Deluge as the ‘brain’ to sync and sequence my external gear and it can simultaneously control my Korg ARP Odyssey via cv and Minilogue, Mono Station, Zoia via midi without breaking a sweat.

  • 1
    uijauija GermanyPosts: 6
    Answer ✓

    I owned a Force and now bought a Deluge. The force is a very powerful tool and as soon as song mode comes around should be a great device for song creation. For me, it was too much of a daw in a box.
    I want a hardware sequencer with its own sounds, I want to create songs with it and be creative without using the mouse/touchscreen all the time. I liked a lot of the workflows the force provides but on nearly every step, it was not quite there where it should have been. The Sequencer for drums makes it really hard to create long patterns with a lot of percussion instruments without changing screens all the time. Sequencing for Audio was not that great of an experience either. At the end I played in live and corrected everything on the touchpad. I didn't like the touchpad for more than menudiving. Working with the piano-roll was a nightmare, as you had to either scroll in so much, that you cannot see a lot, or tab again and again until you find the point the software wants you to touch to mark a single note....
    I didn't like the sample-handling too. I hoped it was like what I have seen in videos for the MPC Live and X, but I was not able to find my way into it.
    So at the end, the force was not for me.

  • 0
    DiamondEyesDiamondEyes Maidenhead, UKPosts: 24
    Answer ✓

    Akai MPC One is on my radar

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