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DELUGE goes OPEN SOURCE

16
Ian_JorgensenIan_Jorgensen Wellington, New ZealandPosts: 614
edited May 2023 in News

Since launching our beloved Deluge, we’ve added a ton of functionality, made it more versatile and packed it full of ground-breaking features. Our arranger, looper, advanced sequencing and MPE implementation are still industry leading.

At Synthstrom, we’re devoted to sustainability and want our Deluge to continue being the centre of our users' musical excursions for many years to come. Late last year we started retrofitting older Deluge variations with the OLED screen featuring in our new units. The next step we're taking has been even longer in development - waiting until we knew we had a community full of talented coders who were as passionate about the Deluge as we are. We know now the time is right - it’s time to take software development into overdrive - we’re going open-source!

What is open-source? Open-source means we're opening our software code to the community; our users who know how to write code can now develop their own Deluge features, make refinements to the existing code and contribute to a Community version for all users.

Before the speculation even starts, this isn't us working on a new model, there are currently no plans for that. We've employed a team to manage the open-source project so we can focus our energies into ramping up the building of new OLED Deluges to meet demand, speeding up the retrofitting and refurbishing of older units, and just maybe, finally getting the Deluge into limited retail - though don't hold your breath on that last part :)

Synthstrom will continue to maintain and update the main “Official” repository, including all official Deluge Firmware releases going forward.

Alongside there will also be a “Community” repository (for both the OLED & non-OLED versions), forked from the Official repository, as a central place for community code contributions to be merged together, so long as they don’t appear to break anything and represent complete features ready for use. And of course all future updates to the Official branch can be merged in, too.

And of course, you can fork either branch and make your own changes and share these with others, irrespective of what’s happening in the Official or Community repository.

Installing Community or other firmware builds is 100% compatible with your Deluge's hardware warranty. However, if you use a non-official community build, we won't be able to provide software support.

Our open-source project manager will initially oversee and maintain the Community repository, though this will probably change in the longer term, particularly if or when open-source development branches in multiple different directions. We’ve created thorough documentation and Rohan will also be on hand at the launch, to offer guidance and assistance to those getting involved - including open video Q&A sessions.

Rohan has always been eager to give back to the global community of makers and tinkerers that helped him as a beginner, we just had to make sure the time was right, we had the right people involved and that we had a system that aided those taking part.

We’re also launching a Patreon to help support those contributing to the 'Community' repository. This will allow the entire community to show their gratitude to those developing, testing and refining code by making a monthly financial contribution, from just $1. Though administered by Synthstrom, 100% of these payments (less Patreon fees and tax) will be distributed only amongst those coders contributing to the Community repository - distributed in accordance with how much each individual contributed.

We have re-opened the epic feature suggestion threads on our forums where coders can find ideas to work on and where users can discuss their desired features: https://forums.synthstrom.com/categories/deluge-suggestions

In special cases, the Official repository may consider submissions from the Community repository*, where features and their UI have proven universal appeal. However, Synthstrom needs to continue to provide our customers with a stable and high-performance official firmware version, so we need to be responsible for every line of code in this branch.

Deluge Firmware will be released under the GPLv3 license. There are no restrictions on personal use and this license allows for code to also be used in commercial projects - however, if even one line of code from this is used in a commercial project, the entire piece of code for that project must also be made open-source under this same license.

The newly open source Deluge Firmware source code will live in GitHub. We will be launching this project in June though you can follow our GitHub now and be alerted when it's live. https://github.com/SynthstromAudible

  • If a Community feature is to be accepted into the official repository this will be negotiated and licensed on a case by case basis with its developer(s)

Key dates & details:
Monday, June 5, 7pm EDT - Codebase made available, documentation released and Patreon launched.

Wednesday, June 7, 7pm EDT - Open Group video Q&A session with Rohan. Will be recorded and made available on GitHub following.

Saturday, June 10, 11am, CEST - Open Group Zoom session with Rohan. Will be recorded and made available on the GitHub following.

Following these Q&A sessions. Rohan and/or our Open Source team will be responsive in answering questions on the GitHub. Please try not to flood forums with questions until after these sessions as we anticipate much will be answered therein.

Open-source Project Manager: Jamie Fenton
An experienced games, audio and multimedia production tool engineer, Jamie Fenton is known in the Deluge community for developing the Downrush application. Downrush is used for transferring, viewing and editing of Deluge songs, patches, and media assets using a Wi-Fi SD card and your mobile device.

Post edited by Ian_Jorgensen on
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Comments

  • 1
    SolejkushaoSolejkushao MarseilleBeta Tester Posts: 38
    edited May 2023

    Wow :o
    This is incredible, kudos!!
    Not only are you going open source but you're also making sure there's a frame to make it work, and one that empowers the existing community.
    Big respect and can't wait to see what comes from this new dynamic!

    Post edited by Solejkushao on
  • 1
    elausoelauso GermanyPosts: 5

    This is BIG! I'm a developer with a strong affinity to open source, so I'm really interested to see where this is going.

    I have no experience with writing software for a (very complex) hardware synth, but I'm eager to peek inside the driving bits and bytes of the Deluge :)

  • 1
    jensgjensg Berlin, GermanyBeta Tester Posts: 297

    Nice. But what about the fw fixes that are there for the oled but not for non oled? Will these be ported?

  • 0
    Ian_JorgensenIan_Jorgensen Wellington, New ZealandPosts: 614
    edited May 2023

    @jensg said:
    Nice. But what about the fw fixes that are there for the oled but not for non oled? Will these be ported?

    This is the hope. The project manager will have both. This is a community effort, not us, so we need to see what comes from that, but if non-OLED users are getting left behind, we might have 'encourage things' to make sure that doesn't happen. There are still many more non-OLED units out there than OLEDs though, so my best guess is that there will be people who can do whats required to port onto the other. We believe in the community and that it will do the right thing, we want to be as hands off of the process as possible, but yes, if for some reason things aren't being ported to both versions, we'll do our best to work on it.

    There is also every possibility it goes there other way, as said, there are far more non-OLEDS than OLEDs out there and this will still be the case in June.

    Post edited by Ian_Jorgensen on
  • 2
    dan_blue_blahdan_blue_blah AustraliaPosts: 3

    Time to start working on the export to DAW feature? :)

  • 2
    tomtobblestoptomtobblestop Portland, Maine, USABeta Tester Posts: 16
    edited May 2023

    This is such great news. So many times software is open sourced with a drop and a wave. I'm really impressed not only that Synthstrom has made this decision but executed it with an eye to good stewardship.

    This has the potential to transform the Deluge hardware into a tremendous sound hacking device. So much stoke.

    Post edited by tomtobblestop on
  • 0
    GliderGlider USBeta Tester Posts: 12
    edited May 2023

    @tomtobblestop said:
    This is such great news. So many times software is open sourced with a drop and a wave. I'm really impressed not only that Synthstrom has made this decision but executed it with an eye to good stewardship.

    This has the potential to transform the Deluge hardware into a tremendous sound hacking device. So much stoke.

    Agreed on all points, this is incredible.

    Thank you Synthstrom Audible team and Jamie for taking up the reins on the community project 🙌

    Post edited by Glider on
  • 0
    Bay_MudBay_Mud OntarioBeta Tester Posts: 119

    Very cool. Curious to see where this all goes. Was never a great coder, so I'll keep to beta testing. Ha

    @Ian_Jorgensen said:

    @jensg said:
    Nice. But what about the fw fixes that are there for the oled but not for non oled? Will these be ported?

    This is the hope. The project manager will have both. This is a community effort, not us, so we need to see what comes from that, but if non-OLED users are getting left behind, we might have to step in a bit. There are still many more non-OLED units out there than OLEDs though, so my best guess is that there will be people who can do whats required to port onto the other.

    If I may, I think @jensg was asking specifically about the last firmware update that fixed the memory leak issues for OLED users, as some of us 7SEGs are still having to turn our units off/on again to help stability. Hopefully that fix is coming for us too regardless of the open source changes (which are exciting)?

  • 0
    hexagon5unhexagon5un MunichBeta Tester Posts: 121

    This is absolutely the coolest! 100x kudos!

  • 1
    Ian_JorgensenIan_Jorgensen Wellington, New ZealandPosts: 614

    @Bay_Mud said:
    Very cool. Curious to see where this all goes. Was never a great coder, so I'll keep to beta testing. Ha

    @Ian_Jorgensen said:

    @jensg said:
    Nice. But what about the fw fixes that are there for the oled but not for non oled? Will these be ported?

    This is the hope. The project manager will have both. This is a community effort, not us, so we need to see what comes from that, but if non-OLED users are getting left behind, we might have to step in a bit. There are still many more non-OLED units out there than OLEDs though, so my best guess is that there will be people who can do whats required to port onto the other.

    If I may, I think @jensg was asking specifically about the last firmware update that fixed the memory leak issues for OLED users, as some of us 7SEGs are still having to turn our units off/on again to help stability. Hopefully that fix is coming for us too regardless of the open source changes (which are exciting)?

    Oh, sorry, yes, this is not far away, we were aiming to have a bugfix update out in time for Superbooth initially. Sorry, I fully read that as about the OpS versioning.

  • 0
    darenagerdarenager Between a rack and a hardware placeBeta Tester Posts: 222

    Wow, very cool. Interesting to see what comes down the pipe!

    One possible concern is an unscrupulous manufacturer making “tribute” Deluges for a fraction of the price.

  • 3
    Ian_JorgensenIan_Jorgensen Wellington, New ZealandPosts: 614

    @darenager said:
    Wow, very cool. Interesting to see what comes down the pipe!

    One possible concern is an unscrupulous manufacturer making “tribute” Deluges for a fraction of the price.

    haha, I wonder which manufacturer you could be talking about :)

  • 0
    jensgjensg Berlin, GermanyBeta Tester Posts: 297

    If I may, I think @jensg was asking specifically about the last firmware update that fixed the memory leak issues for OLED users, as some of us 7SEGs are still having to turn our units off/on again to help stability. Hopefully that fix is coming for us too regardless of the open source changes (which are exciting)?

    Oh, sorry, yes, this is not far away, we were aiming to have a bugfix update out in time for Superbooth initially. Sorry, I fully read that as about the OpS versioning.

    Great!

  • 0
    Bay_MudBay_Mud OntarioBeta Tester Posts: 119

    @Ian_Jorgensen said:

    @Bay_Mud said:
    Very cool. Curious to see where this all goes. Was never a great coder, so I'll keep to beta testing. Ha

    @Ian_Jorgensen said:

    @jensg said:
    Nice. But what about the fw fixes that are there for the oled but not for non oled? Will these be ported?

    This is the hope. The project manager will have both. This is a community effort, not us, so we need to see what comes from that, but if non-OLED users are getting left behind, we might have to step in a bit. There are still many more non-OLED units out there than OLEDs though, so my best guess is that there will be people who can do whats required to port onto the other.

    If I may, I think @jensg was asking specifically about the last firmware update that fixed the memory leak issues for OLED users, as some of us 7SEGs are still having to turn our units off/on again to help stability. Hopefully that fix is coming for us too regardless of the open source changes (which are exciting)?

    Oh, sorry, yes, this is not far away, we were aiming to have a bugfix update out in time for Superbooth initially. Sorry, I fully read that as about the OpS versioning.

    That's great. Thanks for the quick response

  • 0
    funkylskfunkylsk FranceBeta Tester Posts: 5

    @darenager said:
    Wow, very cool. Interesting to see what comes down the pipe!

    One possible concern is an unscrupulous manufacturer making “tribute” Deluges for a fraction of the price.

    Berhinger ? :D

  • 0
    djAziddjAzid AmsterdamPosts: 199

    B) B) B)

  • 1
    psylenspsylens USPosts: 6

    This is like a dream come true! I hope to contribute! What language(s) are used?

  • 1
    synthriksynthrik Sweden Posts: 22

    Wow! This is awesome!

    Temporary panic mode... When will I find the time to contribute?!!

    I'm really glad to hear about this initiative and that there is a plan for its governance. Kudos!

  • 2
    eclipxeeclipxe Irvine, CABeta Tester Posts: 19

    Dream come true and even better to have Jamie leading things!!!

  • 1
    Bay_MudBay_Mud OntarioBeta Tester Posts: 119

    @eclipxe said:
    Dream come true and even better to have Jamie leading things!!!

    Definitely. Was a nice surprise reading that Jamie is part of this. Makes sense too!

  • 1
    HalbstarkHalbstark GermanyBeta Tester Posts: 2

    You are amazing!

  • 1
    dctuckerdctucker San Diego, CA, USAPosts: 5

    This is exciting news! I'm hoping to be able to add an alternate tuning scales feature, as well as tweak the way MIDI sequencing works.

  • 2
    GraciasfidelGraciasfidel Somewhere in spacePosts: 1

    Under the GPLv3 license I am very impressed, great news hoping to be able help too.

  • 4
    DucktailDucktail Posts: 6

    Awesome news! I'll hold off on most questions but can you share any info on required hardware ahead of the full source release? I'm interested in contributing and I'd like to know if I have all the hardware on hand to do so

    1. Is flashing and debugging with a probe possible on the released units? It looks like it has pads for SWD
    2. If so what hardware do you need for streaming firmware dev+debugging? I see Renesas only officially supports the j link and their own debug probe, but there is some support for cortex a9 in black magic probe
    3. Are you going to release any build and debug tooling as well?
  • 2
    xapxap USBeta Tester Posts: 17

    Best update I've seen yet (and there have been a lot of amazing ones). I love this particularly because of the promise of what's to come. Y'alls commitment to building community as a top priority has shown through since the Deluge's launch, and now we get to see the ultimate benefit of that: fully empowered community feature development!

    Also, who else does this? It seems like a really visionary move, I hope other gear designers are taking note!

  • 1
    alex_reidalex_reid Melbourne, AustraliaPosts: 3
    edited May 2023

    This is absolutely incredible news and a great gift to the community! As a software dev myself I can't wait to have a peek under the hood (and hopefully add dotted semiquavers to BPM sync settings 😆). Love your work, keep up the good stuff!

    Post edited by alex_reid on
  • 0
    BolganiBolgani SuomiPosts: 61

    Oh, what programming language and tech stack is the OG source code using?

  • 4
    norisoundsnorisounds swedenBeta Tester Posts: 28

    I'm not sure how the Patreon will be setup but what about also having feature requests that have a "bounty" reward system.

    For ex. I as a user want xyz feature and am willing to donate 5$ for said feature and those funds can go to the team/person that contributes to the feature. But I can still support all devs by donating to a general pot of money.

    Is that too capitalist 😃

  • 0
    hardwarecorehardwarecore wisconsinBeta Tester Posts: 22

    This is amazing. I remember for years back in the early 2000's when a lot of people were wishing we could unlock the SP-808 to take more modern storage methods and it would have been a dream come true if we could have had the source code for it. But, of course, that was never going to happen, not even on an obsolete product. And so the SP-808 never really did reach the legendary status that it could have.

    To actually take this step for an active and very popular product is absolutely mind blowing to me, in the best way possible. Whatever you come out with next, I'm onboard even if I don't need one. I will forever support this company because you are supporting us right back.

    And the way it's described sounds brilliant to me. This has the potential to be similar to the Skyrim modding community. Similar to how you can get a Skyrim mod that, say, turns dragons into Thomas The Tank Engine but keeps everything else the same, this opens up a path toward everyone having a Deluge that just does that one little extra thing that they always wished it would do. And to keep some oversight of it and have safe, official community mods is brilliant. This will really make it worthwhile for people to learn all the ins and outs of this one beautiful machine, as it will be able to adapt and grow with them on their musical journey.

    Now, if someone would please whip up a drum kit keyboard mode where the 16 pads can be assigned to play that row's sound by 16 levels of velocity, volume or pitch, I will be first in line with a fistful of Patreon money. :smiley: ;)

  • 0
    hardwarecorehardwarecore wisconsinBeta Tester Posts: 22

    @norisounds said:
    I'm not sure how the Patreon will be setup but what about also having feature requests that have a "bounty" reward system.

    For ex. I as a user want xyz feature and am willing to donate 5$ for said feature and those funds can go to the team/person that contributes to the feature. But I can still support all devs by donating to a general pot of money.

    Is that too capitalist 😃

    I think this is a wonderful idea. Let the market dictate the direction and make it profitable for the best and brightest to work on a specific idea and I do believe great things will happen. It could be set up on one of the usual crowdsourcing websites with a deadline and whoever nails it down gets the pot. Perhaps Synthstrom could even have someone in charge of running the campaigns so that you know that a trustworthy person/group is in charge of getting the campaign funds where they need to go, or refunded if the project doesn't meet the deadline.

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