Deluge or Akai Force?
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
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: