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How do you use your Deluge?

bast525bast525 Virginia Beach, VA, USAPosts: 21
edited June 2018 in General Discussion

I've had my Deluge for a couple of weeks, and have been lurking around this forum doing a lot of reading. Looking over a lot of feature requests, I started to really wonder what are the common ways people are using this device, and how differently people use it to how I am.

Up until about six months ago I worked 100% in DAWs, but started really getting into this hardware revival and seeing what people were doing. However, music has and always will be just a hobby, so I don't want to go all out buying numerous devices. Thanks to YouTube I really got to like the idea of a smallish, portable, "all in one" device that wasn't an iPad, but with buttons and knobs. The Circuit groovebox was very appealing to me, for being relatively inexpensive, but full featured enough to really stand on its own and be able to have fun making full tracks. Six months later I use the Circuit almost daily.

However, it is a limited device, definitely, and I wanted something similar in form factor and portability but more capable. I wanted to get more into sound design and using sample without needing to connect a separate device. I've been very interested in the OP-1 and finally saved up and ordered one but its been backordered for months, so I wait.

Then Jeremy at Red Means Recording did a video on the Deluge and my first thought was Circuit on steroids, with most of the features I wished the Circuit had. So, here I am. And that's how I use my Deluge so far, really as just a go-anywhere groovebox. Like a Circuit with more voices and tracks. I don't have any other devices to connect it to, other than the Circuit and some pocket operators. I haven't even tried recording or making my own samples or kits on it. I did download the "66 Legendary Drumkits" and a pack of 200 Synth presets someone posted on YouTube. Right now I'm really just trying to get to grips with the synth engines, all the routing/patching options and make some cool sounds, which I've been struggling with. With the DAW background, I'm also GREATLY looking forward to the upcoming arranger mode, and hoping the analog modeled synth engines sound a bit better.

So, post up! Let's here the ways you guys are using this thing, and maybe help inspire or show others some new ways to use it we hadn't thought of!

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    beakerbeaker AdelaideBeta Tester Posts: 41

    Mostly keys, pads and leads and drums, compiled into a pretty 'typical' song structure (intro/verse/chorus/../../../etc).

    Occasional samples here and there. Internal sounds and external MIDI hardware. Not very EDM like.

    Also .. unplug it all and take it on flights too (one to Auckland this weekend for work actually)

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    p_watsp_wats TorontoPosts: 111

    I also recently came to the Deluge after a lot of time with the Circuit. So far I've found some of the workflow/features pretty mind blowing and others a bit strange or/limited, but have been beta testing the new 2.0 firmware and there are some very cool things in there (the new arranger has amazing potential).

    @alien_brain said:
    stems from daw productions cut up and resequenced is how i have been using it so far.

    This is what I'd like to start doing as well when I'm a bit more familiar with all the features.

    My initial plan was to simply replace the Circuit with the Deluge in my existing mobile rig, but the Midi setup is a bit different. So far I've mostly used it on its own, but have recently experimented with recording notes via my Keystep and using the Deluge to sequence a Streichfett and JP-08.

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    VondragonnogginVondragonnoggin California, USAPosts: 190

    Had mine a month and been using it to sequence at various times a JP-08, Virus Ti, RE-303, SE-02, SH-01a, TB-03, Nord Lead 2x, and also synced with a Future Retro Orb driving an MB33 and synced with my Spectralis 2

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    cypher79cypher79 UKPosts: 157

    I actually quit making music because I was getting bored with making music with computers, but the Deluge has got me back into it.... I absolutely love the fact that I can just sit back on my couch and be making music on the Deluge within seconds of an idea coming into my head, that's awesome to me :smile:

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    bast525bast525 Virginia Beach, VA, USAPosts: 21
    edited June 2018

    I too had planned on replacing and selling the Circuit but I have decided to keep it. There is something about the workflow that makes the Circuit more fun and immediate for me, plus I feel less worried throwing the Circuit in a bag when I leave the house.

    Also, and this is purely subjective, but I feel like the Nova synth engine in the Circuit has a nicer sound than the subtractive engine in the Deluge. I'm still learning some of the deeper modulation tricks on the Deluge, but I'm familiar with subtractive synthesis in general and have gotten pretty good at creating full, deep and interesting sounds using the Circuit editor, custom macros and the mod matrix. Do far I haven't been able to create the same depth of sound on the Deluge, but this could be on me and my lack of experience with it. I have been able to get some interesting sounds using the FM engine on the Deluge though, and that's an option the Circuit does not have at all.

    In the end, I think the two will compliment each other nicely.

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    o0_o0_ SANTA MONICAPosts: 107

    Hey @bast525 I don't know if you hangout in the Red Means Recording discord server or not, but I also bought a Deluge roughly at the same time as he did. This is how I currently us it / plan to use it.

    The One Box on the Go

    That's the primary use. The Deluge replaces a Digitakt which replaced an Electribe 2S. I'm very sequencer ( step sequencer ) centric, so the OP-1 was never an option for me because of it's virtual tape workflow. I wanted something that I could bring with me on vacation or just for me to be composing on the couch or out in the park.

    What's important in that use case was to be able to create the same type of tracks that I would do at home in the studio, so having a lot of tracks, and longer track length was really important, as well as bring able to deal with normal polyphony and chords ( my stuff is more deep house, downtempo, chillout electronica, so chord progressions are at the core ).

    My approach to composing is also very performance centric, I create a bunch of patterns/tracks and then assemble them on the fly, building the arrangement and progression as a live performance. So being able to "play" the device is very important

    Drum Machine / Sampler in the studio

    The other use case is ( and I've gotten some flack from Deluge users on that ) is to have the Deluge replace the Digitakt in the studio, and mostly do digital drum duties ( I have a Tanzbar Lite for the analog side ) and hopefully longer samples ( vocals chops would be neat, because of the time/pitch feature in the Deluge ). I currently use the Squarp Pyramid as my primary sequencer in the studio, and I have more midi devices than what the Deluge can address, and there are still things that I can do on the Pyramid that the Deluge can't.

    So far I'm really happy with the device, and I'm starting to get an understanding of its quirks and idiosyncrasy, so of them are surprising, but no show-stoppers so far...

    Good Luck, have fun!!!

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    fryyyyfryyyy germanyPosts: 154

    I'm also using this as a sequencing hub for my hardware synths. I tried using the internal sounds but besides the drums i cant get warm with them.
    Recently i started using a lot of sampled instruments on the deluge, like the Korg M1, which is amazing to have those sounds in such a small box.

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    AbortRetryFailAbortRetryFail FloridaBeta Tester Posts: 26

    I use mine to replace Seq24, Renoise, and get the PC out of my way of playing all this gear I've had for 13 years.

    I love both of those pieces of software, but I got sick of constantly troubleshooting latency, sync, and compatibility issues caused by the computer. I do systems administration for a living so it just feels like coming home to more work.

    I find myself using the Deluge's internal synth more often than I expected. Despite only having one algorithm, the on board 4-op FM is pretty good.

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    darenagerdarenager Between a rack and a hardware placePosts: 193
    edited July 2018

    I’ll mostly be using mine as a portable sketchpad, for me the Deluge has enough features and power to get ideas fleshed out without hitting too many limits, the battery power with easily available replacement was a major factor in my decision to buy it.

    I have a Digitakt, Octatrack and Toraiz SP-16 also, and plan on shuttling samples between each of these and the Deluge using the unique features of each. I will definitely use the Deluge in the studio also - in fact, I might even get another to stay in the studio, and one just for portable use, then just take the SD card into the studio to continue working, then back to the portable one for continuing work like at night time or whatever.

    I have a fairly extensive selection of other synths at my disposal and also a Squarp Pyramid which sequences all the ‘dumb’ gear, and I have a bunch of other grooveboxes which I use, I like to have them all (well actually a selection of them, as I have too many to have all set up together) synced up and do long performances akin to DJing but with my own music rather than records.

    I also have quite a bit of modular gear so I might use the Deluge to sequence and resample stuff with that.

    I have to say that I agree with a lot of what has already said about the Deluge, it is an incredibly impressive machine and has some excellent features and implementation, it does have some UI quirks which I’d prefer to be addressed before new features are added, and it does have a few glaring omissions - it will be interesting to see what future updates will bring. @rohan and team synthstrom should be extremely proud of what they have accomplished so far though, out of the gate it was already impressive, and the last update put a cherry on top.

    I’ve been a beta tester for over 15 years and done sound design and factory content for various companies, I’ve been using sequencers, synths, drum machines and samplers since the 80’s, and the Deluge stands tall and proud with the best of them, I’d have no hesitation in using it in a professional context either live or on a production.

    I am serious when I say I’m thinking of getting another one, I will see how OS development continues and how I get on with the one I just got, I have only had it for a week but already feel that it will be a device I will use for many years.

    I had read on a few places that build quality and the lack of a screen were issues, I have found that the build quality is perfectly satisfactory and indeed better than most, I also think it looks a lot nicer in hand than in photos, the lack of screen doesn’t bother me one bit, but I do feel that the alpha-numeric LEDs could be used more, like beat display etc. I actually like the retro look of the 7segment LEDs, hardcore sci-fi retro futurism!

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    o0_o0_ SANTA MONICAPosts: 107

    I can vouch for the build quality being excellent. I completely disassembled mine this weekend, and everything is solid, well laid out. I was actually surprised everything is on a single board, the way the encoders are mounted is clever, but unorthodox.

    I like the look of the LED but not the current usage. If you have a numeric display, display numbers. If you wanted to display letters ( like filenames, which makes sense for a sampler ) then the design should have specified a display capable of doing so.

    @darenager I'm probably going into transferring projects from the Deluge to the Pyramid, since we both have similar use cases. Have you looked into the Deluge to Midi workflow yet?

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    darenagerdarenager Between a rack and a hardware placePosts: 193

    @o0_ I have not yet connected them, but I will probably capture the midi output from Deluge into Pyramid for any internal tracks where I do not want to use Deluge sounds. However as I explore the synth side of the Deluge more I am finding that the internal synth is quite capable for most va and fm sounds, I find the filter resonance can be a bit too whistly in particular for acid type sounds at higher settings, so probably for those type of sounds and other ‘wet’ resonant type sounds I will use other synths for now, and possible sample them into the Deluge. Not to say that the Deluge can’t do acid sounds, but for now at least I think they are an area where I hope for improvement.

    Did you happen to take any pictures of your teardown? I took the bottom off of mine to check the battery, but that was as far as I went, but if you have pictures it would be great if you could post them.

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    o0_o0_ SANTA MONICAPosts: 107

    full video coming once I've got everything edited together...

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    bast525bast525 Virginia Beach, VA, USAPosts: 21
    edited July 2018

    @o0_ said:
    full video coming once I've got everything edited together...

    Looking forward to this video! My Deluge has some issues with fading lettering, Rohan offered to let me send it in to replace the face plate but I'm picky about my gear, and offered to cut out the middle man and replace it myself. He'll be sending me a new face plate at some point :dizzy:

    I'm actually looking forward to seeing the internal layout of this thing!

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    mbangmbang Gothenburg, SwedenPosts: 61

    Use it as main sequencer, also as sample player and poly synth for strings, pads, detuned goodness. Great together with my monomachine, machinedrum, modor nf-1m, blofeld!

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    WillWill Middle of NowHere, CanadaPosts: 207

    Well, it's really bloody unorthodox, but:

    I'm going to use it on my 'Bellcycle'.
    It's basically a recumbent style exercise bike, which I pedal (for a bit of cardio) while I play music.
    It's made of assorted bicycle and motorcycle parts (lost of cool sprockets, a Harley seat, etc.)
    I have a large wooden steampunk gear, with 22 antique brass bells attached to it, which I play with wooden mallets. ...Seriously.

    Currently, I'm adding a hub motor - to act as a generator to create power for a little car stereo type sound system, and to run some electronics.
    The original plan was to play my Blofeld with my Linnstrument, connected to a looper, but I'm replacing all that with the Deluge (and will be processing the sound of the bells through it as well)

    Not your average set up...

    (I figure I'll feel less guilty about the zillions of hours I'm going to spend with my Deluge, if I'm getting some exercise at the same time)



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    minigoatminigoat cincinnati ohio usaPosts: 296

    @will 22 is the sensible amount of antique brass bells. Ive seen 32 modern copper bells on a similar setup, but with your hub motor vs the traditional external motor, you went with the right choice😄
    Really, thats crazy sounding though! Crazy😎
    Toss us a video of it when you get the ole girl rolling.

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    Thats it for 99% of the time. There's nothing comparable for this task on the marked right now.

    There are better solutions for all the other things the Deluge can do.

    But sometimes (1%) I take the Deluge for a jam in the train/bus or at work.

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    @darenager said:
    it does have some UI quirks which I’d prefer to be addressed before new features are added, and it does have a few glaring omissions

    What are these, if you don't mind enumerating?

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    ckbarlowckbarlow Baltimore USAPosts: 6

    Some context helps: My musical life has two sides: composing/producing for TV and performing experimental improv (predominantly live-sampling others or myself). I also teach music tech at a uni.
    With the composing and teaching gigs + pandemic, by May 2021, I was really bleeping tired of looking at a computer screen. I rewarded myself with the Deluge to have a non-screen-based way to work, to play, to re/discover new approaches; and possibly to incorporate into my live-sampling setup.
    LOVE it so far. Have signed several new tracks made with it, can use it outside (in the shade) while watching our pandemic puppy, can use it in the passenger seat while traveling to visit godchildren... Just used it on a publisher project that's teaming up jazz composers with HH producers to create an album of the original jazz tracks plus a remix of each. I felt like using the Deluge rather than Logic kept me grounded in a hardware-style approach and I love the way that remix turned out.
    Next week I'll be taking it to school to show my students as we start talking about pattern-based devices and techniques. I fully expect it to flip their lids; it is a sexy little beast.

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