Live perfomance hassles 😬
Hi! Yesterday was my second gig with the Deluge and I'm torn apart again between loving and hating the Deluge. I'll list my main problems. Is anybody else struggling with these?
➜ I get super confused about what is inside each clip. Yes, the lights indicate notes or even audio clip peaks and you can long press clips to see what kind of clip it is - but in a stressful live situation you can still get "lost" pretty easily IMO. I ended up (un-)muting clips randomly at times which is a shame... The possibility to name clips yourself (all kinds of them!) would help with this.
➜ The looper is very confusing and I kept messing up because of it. I used a MIDI foot controller to trigger looping (Icon G-Board) and recorded guitar loops. Sometimes, for no obvious reason, recording didn't start. Probably the empty audio clip I prepared wasn't armed anymore or something, no idea why. At other times the Deluge started recording, but not on the audio clip, but on some other synth track, because apparently the audio clip has to be the last one you touched. If you mess up timing and don't end recording in time, stuff gets messed up and you have to press undo. The looper needs to be rock solid in a live setting, simplifying the operation is necessary.
➜ I used a MIDI controller with knobs & faders (Akai Midimix). Turning knobs often results in ugly parameter jumps as there is no "pick up" mode. So say I have one knob at maximum, load up the next song and in this one I want to use it to fade in a sample. I'd have to move it from max to min as fast as possible, probably producing some unwanted sound. That stuff is embarassing when playing live. Otherwise it works quite well and opens up lots of possibilites. A pick up mode for MIDI control would be great.
➜ Why the hell is the delay still set up to completely freak out when turned up more than halfway? It would be ok if it did that at 100%, but this way you have to be extremely careful to stay inside the allowed range. This is extremely unsafe when playing live, not useful and just stupid.
➜ The 4.0 firmware seems to be a bit wonky at times. Before the gig I had problems with USB hubs not working (I need one to connect both MIDI controllers) and had to get a powered USB hub to ensure a solid connection. During the gig I had a weird bug where MIDI notes sent to an external synthesizer triggered only after 1 or 2 measures played. Also when loading a new song while another one plays, there can be unpleasant pop noises when pressing "load". It looks a bit like the MIDI and USB stuff might need a cleanup.
I really like the Deluge, it looks great and offers everything you need, but after this gig where I felt like I stumbled through my own songs while the machine kept on tricking me, I think about having to drop my "dawless"-dogma and just set up a laptop next time.