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Kit + keyboard mode = :´(

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MozartVonRobotMozartVonRobot SwedenPosts: 17
edited May 13 in Deluge Help

Is there a specific reason why hitting "keyboard" in a kit does nothing? I mean, you'd think triggering (and recording/copying/slicing) samples in real time would be the no-brainer use for a 128 pad grid. Is there something at the core of the hardware or firmware that makes this seemingly basic thing (equivalent to what the keyboard button already does on the synths) impossible, or is it just that the idea somehow hasn't come up, or it did and then was promptly forgotten as other, more exciting ideas came up? It's felt like a glaring omission ever since I bought my Deluge; something I've spent the last three years gradually, begrudgingly, coming to the realization that I regret spending that much money on, which I really wish I didn't have to say, because in theory, there's so much that's great about it, but I never use the damn thing, for this one reason. Trying to finger drum or trigger slices on a vertical column of 8 just feels...wrong, when practically every other sampler I have ever used (except for the Beat Thang, but don't even get me started on my frustrations with the Beat Thang) has at least a grid of 16...and there are 128 beautiful pads just sitting there to the left, and a keyboard button that does nothing.

Every update over the last three years, I've been hoping to see it added. It seems like such a small thing that would make such a huge difference. I assumed it would be there already when I bought it, but apparently one shouldn't assume obvious things based on what one has been informed that the keyboard button does with regard to the function of the 128 pad grid, and I've kept checking the website for updates every month, while my Deluge mostly just sits there, barely used, gathering dust. I had almost given up when, today, I saw in a random Youtube comment (on a video about a competing groovebox) that 4.0 was out, so I rushed to download it just to see if this one thing had finally been added. It has not. But a bunch of other, much weirder features have.

I don't get it. Is it me? Is my brain broken? Is my perception of what's obvious completely miscalibrated? Am I the weird one for thinking adding all these random fancy features is putting the cart before the horse when basic functions like keyboard mode for kits haven't even been put in place yet? Don't get me wrong, I respect the Deluge and everyone who's worked so hard to make it, it's a beautiful piece of gear that can do a lot of weird things, but...it feels like the priorities on these firmware updates are completely backwards. Literally. The sequencer can play patterns backwards now, and I still can't use it for basic live triggering of more than 8 one-shot samples. That's not even enough for a morning zoo sound board, let alone making music. I have never once in my 20+ years of making electronic music thought to myself "I really wish I could reverse this hi-hat pattern with the push of a button". I have however thought to myself "I really wish I had a portable sampler that could have 128 one-shot samples and slices at my fingertips". I thought the Deluge would be that. It certainly looked and sounded like it to me. But maybe I'm insane.

I still hold out hope that some day, this basic functionality will be added, and that's the day it'll probably become one of my favorite pieces of gear. Until then, it's an expensive paperweight that gaslights me, that I occasionally turn on and try to find any musical use for, only to find myself frustrated and turning it off again.

The untapped finger drumming potential of this thing is absurd. Or maybe I'm absurd. And I'm sorry. I really don't wanna be that person who comes here just to rant about how subjectively useless this objectively amazing piece of gear is to me, but I don't know what else to do. A sampler that small, with that many pads? Who wouldn't want that? If I knew I couldn't use them, I would have saved my money. I don't want to wish I had, but I do, and after all this time of owning this thing, and seeing that it can play hi-hat patterns backwards before it can do the most obvious thing one could possibly want a sampling groovebox with pads to do, I had to let it out. I'm sorry.

I would say I want my money back, but I'd buy it all over again if this one feature was added. It's the dealbreaker, and I only found out after making the deal, and then - perhaps stupidly - I thought there's no way it's not gonna get sorted out in the next update. Or the next next update. Or the next next next update. Or the one after that. Or...

I'm gonna regret posting this, aren't I?

Post edited by MozartVonRobot on
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Comments

  • 0
    pogodancepogodance United KingdomBeta Tester Posts: 45
    edited May 14

    I think it's raaather a little bit over the top but I do agree the grid is massively under used for live performance.

    I'd really like to see it support different scales like seen in launchpad/push/MPC and hydrasynth-desktop, where you can just bash buttons and know that every one is from a proper scale (as opposed to isomorphic where you have to be coordinated etc).

    Your suggestion would be great too.

    Both would make for very fertile live performance and creativity.

    And they both feel easy to implement, in comparison to huge new features, which is I guess why their absence hurts!

    But it's such a great box overall.

    Post edited by pogodance on
  • 0
    pogodancepogodance United KingdomBeta Tester Posts: 45

    I also feel like the developer on Deluge is (in a good way) opinionated, and following "design like you're right". The bad screen feels like a choice: "screens are sometimes bad UI for electronic instruments, try not to rely on it".

    Overall the design choices on Deluge are brilliant. The same mind also sometimes made choices I disagree with. But it's all part of the good whole and maybe can't be disentangled.

    That said I'd still really really love scale view in keyboard!

  • 0
    MozartVonRobotMozartVonRobot SwedenPosts: 17

    @pogodance said:
    I think it's raaather a little bit over the top but

    It probably is. But I've made maybe four patterns in three years. The idea of using the Deluge just never hits me, because the moment I start using it, I run into this seemingly arbitrary wall and get annoyed. It just kills my creativity immediately. A lot of my musical roots are in boom bap and big beat. Sampling is too big a part of my process, especially in the absence of VST's, to find the Deluge fun to use. All I've managed to do with it is make tinny synth sounds that might be neat to use as sprinkles on top, but trying to make music entirely out of those sounds is just...lifeless to me. I could see myself using this thing a lot if the sampling side of it weren't so half-assed. And it's really just the lack of keyboard mode for sample kits that kills it for me. It's like trying to play a trumpet filled with cement.

  • 0
    pogodancepogodance United KingdomBeta Tester Posts: 45
    edited May 14

    The sampling on the Deluge is magnificent. Maybe an external pad controller would be good for you but I agree one unit with batteries is always best. Not sure what's better than deluge tho in one unit with battery. MPC live 2 has its own irritations and it's massive/heavy.

    Post edited by pogodance on
  • 0
    djAziddjAzid AmsterdamPosts: 105

    Well, sampling and slicing is actually quite simple, you just have to know how to use it.

  • 0
    MozartVonRobotMozartVonRobot SwedenPosts: 17

    @djAzid said:
    Well, sampling and slicing is actually quite simple, you just have to know how to use it.

    I didn't say it wasn't simple. I said there are seemingly arbitrary limitations. Even the video you embedded only shows the guy slicing it into 8 pieces. I'm saying 8 is not enough. I'm saying I want to slice a sample into 16 pieces or make a kit of 128 samples, and play them live.

  • 0
    djAziddjAzid AmsterdamPosts: 105

    Have you even tried it ? You can make slices upto 256 if you like....

  • 0
    MozartVonRobotMozartVonRobot SwedenPosts: 17

    @djAzid said:
    Have you even tried it ? You can make slices upto 256 if you like....

    And play 128 of them without scrolling?

  • 0
    djAziddjAzid AmsterdamPosts: 105

    Scrolling through multiple pages up/down/left/right is what you do on the deluge. Maybe you don't like how this works. Is there another device which can actually do this w/o scrolling ?

  • 0
    MozartVonRobotMozartVonRobot SwedenPosts: 17

    @djAzid said:
    Scrolling through multiple pages up/down/left/right is what you do on the deluge. Maybe you don't like how this works. Is there another device which can actually do this w/o scrolling ?

    If you're on a synth patch on the Deluge, and you hit the button marked "keyboard", it switches to a mode where, instead of the step sequencer, the 128 pad grid can be used to play several octaves of notes, live, without scrolling.
    If you're on a sample kit on the Deluge, and you hit the button marked "keyboard", one might expect something similar to happen, where you get all your samples laid out in front of you, to play live, the same way. It doesn't. Nothing happens.

  • 0
    djAziddjAzid AmsterdamPosts: 105

    The manual says: "KEYBOARD VIEW Enables playing melodic scales with the synth or for MIDI / CV."
    The keyboard mode isn't for kits.

  • 0
    MozartVonRobotMozartVonRobot SwedenPosts: 17

    @djAzid said:
    The manual says: "KEYBOARD VIEW Enables playing melodic scales with the synth or for MIDI / CV."
    The keyboard mode isn't for kits.

    That's the problem. I don't understand why kits don't also have a keyboard mode. It's an obvious gap in functionality that completely ruins the workflow for me.

  • 0
    djAziddjAzid AmsterdamPosts: 105

    ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • 0
    johnfranklinjohnfranklin YorkshirePosts: 10

    Keyboard mode in kits would be a great addition, you're right. No one can argue with the fact that finger drumming would be easier utilising the grid.

    I hear that the point of your initial post is frustration at the developers in not investing in an obvious functionality potential, but I think it's going to be a while before new updates now.

    I'm assuming this isn't at all the answer you want, but would using something like an old launchpad as a controller make the deluge more appealing to you?

  • 0
    MozartVonRobotMozartVonRobot SwedenPosts: 17

    @johnfranklin said:
    I'm assuming this isn't at all the answer you want, but would using something like an old launchpad as a controller make the deluge more appealing to you?

    Not for portability, no (if I can't put it in my lap and play it without external gear plugged in, what's the point of it running on battery?). Nor for desk space at home. Nor money, which I already spent too much of buying this thing. Not that I wouldn't try it if someone handed me a free launchpad. Does that work? If it does, that just makes it even more baffling to me that there's no kit keyboard mode. I mean, if it already accepts the midi for more than 8 triggers in kit mode, what's keeping the keyboard button from assigning those midi on/offs to the pad grid? It seems like it should be easier to implement than the synth keyboard mode must've been in the first place.

  • 0
    volstehvolsteh CroatiaPosts: 369

    @johnfranklin said:
    Keyboard mode in kits would be a great addition, you're right. No one can argue with the fact that finger drumming would be easier utilising the grid.

    I hear that the point of your initial post is frustration at the developers in not investing in an obvious functionality potential, but I think it's going to be a while before new updates now.

    I'm assuming this isn't at all the answer you want, but would using something like an old launchpad as a controller make the deluge more appealing to you?

    Actually, they said the next update was in the works alongside the 4.0 and come out soon™ after...

    🅽🅾🆅🅸🅲🅴 🅳🅴🅻🆄🅶🅸🅾🅽🅸🆂🆃?

  • 0
    MozartVonRobotMozartVonRobot SwedenPosts: 17

    @volsteh said:
    Actually, they said the next update was in the works alongside the 4.0 and come out soon™ after...

    And once again, I am back on the hopium. Could 4.1 finally make kits usable?

  • 0
    volstehvolsteh CroatiaPosts: 369

    @MozartVonRobot said:

    @volsteh said:
    Actually, they said the next update was in the works alongside the 4.0 and come out soon™ after...

    And once again, I am back on the hopium. Could 4.1 finally make kits usable?

    No way to know until they tease the features. Id say due to the frustration it brigs you, you better look for some other gear, since they never disclose update plans.

    🅽🅾🆅🅸🅲🅴 🅳🅴🅻🆄🅶🅸🅾🅽🅸🆂🆃?

  • 0
    MozartVonRobotMozartVonRobot SwedenPosts: 17

    @volsteh said:
    No way to know until they tease the features. Id say due to the frustration it brigs you, you better look for some other gear, since they never disclose update plans.

    That's the thing, though. Other gear. How much other gear I can't afford do I need to buy? I already spent a reasonable laptop's worth of money on this thing, thinking it would do something that seemed completely obvious. Who makes a sampling groovebox with 128 pads and doesn't implement the basic function of triggering samples with those pads? It makes no sense. Of course I assumed that would be possible based on everything else I knew about it (it has a keyboard mode for the synths; why should it not be assumed to also have one for kits?). That's the number one thing I wanted it for. The reason why I was willing to pay that much for it in spite of not being rich. It would be so much fun to just sample a 128 random things, have them all laid out on a grid in front of me, adjust pitches and just...play. Explore and discover musical ideas, multiple sliced up samples at my fingertips at the same time. Something that cannot be done in real time if it has to be interrupted by scrolling. I don't know what piece of gear does that, but it was my immediate thought when I saw the Deluge, that...holy shit, this is the device I've been dreaming of...but then I tried to use it, and no, it's not. But it could be. And I can't imagine the reasoning behind prioritizing any other feature above it. You don't plug a guitar into a bunch of effect pedals before putting the neck on it.

    The only other groovebox I know of that even has a grid like that is the Polyend Play, and that one doesn't sample directly, it just plays from SD card, from what I understand. That's useless as well, because it ruins the immediacy of the sampling workflow. And if I wanted to sample without pads or use a midi controller, I could just use my 1010music Blackbox (hell, I could probably set up the Deluge in keyboard mode as a midi controller for the Blackbox and get closer to the right sampling workflow, but I can't be relying on combining devices when what I want is portability...and the Blackbox doesn't even have a battery, so I'd have to carry a power bank as well, and that's just silly). I've also got a Korg MicroSampler, which has 37 keys, but it's way too big and fills up with projects way too quickly (and the slicing functionality is trash). Everything's got some kind of limitation, and I'm looking at the Deluge and seeing that its one obvious limitation should be so easy for the programmers to fix, it's baffling to me that they haven't already. It's one simple, basic feature short of going from practically useless to my favorite instrument.

    It's summertime. I'd be making beats outside right now if the Deluge sample triggering got sorted out.

  • 0
    volstehvolsteh CroatiaPosts: 369
    edited May 15

    At least you can resell it for basically the same price... You may look into akai mpc or force...

    Post edited by volsteh on

    🅽🅾🆅🅸🅲🅴 🅳🅴🅻🆄🅶🅸🅾🅽🅸🆂🆃?

  • 0
    MozartVonRobotMozartVonRobot SwedenPosts: 17
    edited May 15

    @volsteh said:
    At least you can resell it for basically the same price... You may look into akai mpc or force...

    Those are not lightweight. I have an MPC Live. It's too heavy to carry around. And I don't like how stiff the pads are. Feels like punching a wall. And with the amount of velocity it requires at a setting that doesn't ghost trigger, if I put it on my lap, it's guaranteed to hit the floor. Another semi-regrettable purchase.

    Post edited by MozartVonRobot on
  • 3
    LegsMechanicalLegsMechanical United StatesBeta Tester Posts: 43

    I once worked at a craft bar where we made homemade “aromatic ginger tonic” to mix cocktails with. Some dude ordered one, drank half of it, and wanted his money back bc it wasn’t sweet like ginger ale. Our ginger tonic was not ginger ale and it had no sugar, hence it being “aromatic.” He threw a small fit even after we offered to make him a different drink bc we didn’t have ginger ale. It was obnoxious.

  • 1
    MozartVonRobotMozartVonRobot SwedenPosts: 17

    @LegsMechanical said:
    I once worked at a craft bar where we made homemade “aromatic ginger tonic” to mix cocktails with. Some dude ordered one, drank half of it, and wanted his money back bc it wasn’t sweet like ginger ale. Our ginger tonic was not ginger ale and it had no sugar, hence it being “aromatic.” He threw a small fit even after we offered to make him a different drink bc we didn’t have ginger ale. It was obnoxious.

    I understand what you're saying, and I understand that what I'm doing is obnoxious. I do however think there's a pretty big difference in logic between these two scenarios. Expecting one drink to taste like a different drink is a leap. Expecting the buttons that can trigger notes on a synth patch to also be able to do the same on a sample kit is common sense. That's not just applying the experience of one other device like this bar patron applied the experience of one drink. It's applying the experience of every single device I've ever used that could do both kits and chromatic scale. It's true of the Novation Circuit, the MicroSampler, the MPC, the Beat Thang, the Maschine, et cetera, even General MIDI can play drums on keys if you switch to channel 10. It's basic functionality. Comparing that to ordering a ginger drink, it's like receiving a glass of solid ginger. It's not the flavor, it's the state of matter.

  • 0
    pogodancepogodance United KingdomBeta Tester Posts: 45

    I think the Deluge is great overall, with some frustrating features, like all great gear.

  • 2
    HeptagenHeptagen Posts: 267
    edited May 16

    I don't know if my two cents will help you with your situation but I'm hoping I could at least give another perspective on this topic.

    I get where you're coming from. I've wondered about the lack of this functionality myself (and made a post about it on this forum). And like you I also think that this couldn't be that much of a hassle to add, compared to other features that require to rewrite stuff that already has been written.

    It sounds like you're approaching music making from a direction that includes a lot of sample slicing as a foundation and with that the grid just begs to be used as a playground for discovering new stuff. Totally reasonable.

    There are a lot of people who owned the deluge for years and never even learned how to work with samples - because it's not part of their workflow. The deluge can do a lot of things but few people actually use it for everything it can do. To some it's just a synth. Some people use it for its arranger. As a stem player in a live setting. As a portable sketchpad. To record their ukulele. As a master for their eurorack.

    Everyone has "this tiny thing" that they secretly hope to be added in the next firmware sooo badly. It's true, we have had interesting discussions about that on the deluge discord. Stem export, usb audio interface functionality, vocoder, midi templates, random / s&h lfo mode, all wet reverb, sustain pedal support for internal synth engine, automation drawing, compressor / limiter, a bigger screen (lol).

    Am I saying that your wish is niche? Yes. Because everyone's wishes are niche. For every feature that gets implemented, there are people jumping with joy and other who couldn't care less. Firmware 4.0 was celebrated like no other - but it wasn't for me. I celebrated anyway. :wink:

    The code comes from literally one single guy and he's "busting hump to develop it". Synthstrom has asked the potential customers not to buy the deluge for what it might be in the future, but only for what it is right now. They are the type of company who would rather have happy clients than a lot of clients.

    I'm sorry to hear that the deluge has caused so much bad feelings for you. I've had my moments where I got frustrated about the things the deluge couldn't do, so much so that I thought about selling it. The deluge gets so close to traditional daws that it sits right in the uncanny valley. It's painfully close but not quite there. I finally made peace with it by taking it for what it is and not for a portable daw. I let it be the tour guide and boy the places it made me go.

    But if you've already found your genre, your workflow, your style and the deluge doesn't fit in there, you should face the fact that it's better for everyone (yourself, the deluge, the next owner, synthstrom, the community) if you passed it on. There's no shame in that. You tried, you gave it a chance, it didn't work out, you walk away with almost no money lost but a bit richer in experience and knowledge on what you need in a piece of audio gear.

    I wish you all the best for your musical journey and a lot of happy and productive hours "in the zone".
    And if the feature in question ever gets implemented, I'll make sure to notify you so you can buy your deluge back. :wink:

    Post edited by Heptagen on
  • 0
    jensgjensg Berlin, GermanyBeta Tester Posts: 205
    edited May 21

    While I agree that every wish might be niche, the function is a glaring omission nonetheless.

    The keyboard is already there, sampling works great. So I also don’t get it why such a thing is just not touched upon. It would open the sampler up a vast amount.

    Post edited by jensg on
  • 0
    MozartVonRobotMozartVonRobot SwedenPosts: 17
    edited May 24

    @jensg said:
    While I agree that every wish might be niche, the function is a glaring omission nonetheless.

    The keyboard is already there, sampling works great. So I also don’t get it why such a thing is just not touched upon. It would open the sampler up a vast amount.

    Exactly. The dots are there, just waiting to be connected, and the sampler would go from feeling like you're reaching out between the bars of a small cage to walking freely. Open world sampling. From black and white to full color.

    Post edited by MozartVonRobot on
  • 0
    rezareza los angelesBeta Tester Posts: 303

    it would actually take a lot of consideration to get this working properly, it's not just a "allow it" and it'll work scenario. for example, how would you assign samples to a keyboard pad? can you assign the same sample to multiple pads? if so, would the samples be duplicated into different kit rows, or would it be on one row referencing the same sample? what if you wanted different pitch values for multiple instances of the same sample then? how would you map velocity of those multiples? what if you change the sample of one of these multiple-instances? should all of the instances change, or just that one? what if you want to exchange the location of one sample pad to another one, isnt that a brand new feature? can you adjust parameters of each pad via gold knobs simply by adjusting gold knobs based on what pad was last pressed? what if you wanted to adjust filter of one a long one shot sample while finger drumming, well the gold knobs would overtake the long one-shot's parameters because the drum sounds are being triggered afterwards. wouldn't that mean that the gold parameter knobs would flicker like crazy when you finger drum?

    obviously these questions can be answered, but the right answer is subjective, and it would have to be built up from scratch and some of the actions would be brand new commands in the first place.

    that being said, i found a hack to allow finger drumming in keyboard mode a couple months ago. it's not perfect and there are limitations, but it's a fun proof-of-concept. i plan to make a video this week.

  • 0
    jensgjensg Berlin, GermanyBeta Tester Posts: 205

    There is not much to question here for me at least. Show the kit rows on the keyboard view. Start with C0.

    That’s it.

  • 0
    jensgjensg Berlin, GermanyBeta Tester Posts: 205
    edited May 24

    Everything else stays the same. It doesn’t even need the scales function, only show the root note for better orientation. But even that is optional.

    So while I don’t want to get this thread into “feature request” territory as the mods around here are kind of touchy on these, let me just say this: it just makes sense to me from a user perspective playing the deluge almost every single day.

    Post edited by jensg on
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