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Sydney, West Island
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Sydney, West Island
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  • Samples from Mars - Found Sounds from Mars for free

    Kia ora koutou,

    I just learnt that Samples from Mars is offering Found Sounds from Mars for free:

    I don't know how long this offer will last. If you're reading this in the future and you've missed out, I apologise, but look on the bright side - you probably have hover bikes by now.

    Ngā mihi,


  • What is your Deluge story?

    Many, many years ago (late 1980s/early 1990s) I was in a series of bands. I started with drums, though after a little while I decided I didn't like hauling the most equipment around and being the first-to-start-setting-up-and-last-to-finish-packing-down at gigs.

    I moved to guitar then. Much lighter to carry, but got to be heavier on the wallet. I partially blame the credit card companies who made a bad investment in me, thinking that I was a good risk as an under-employed 18-year-old. Eventually, I sold off all but two guitars with no real regrets, aside from the 1969 forest green Fender Mustang that I bought for $80, a year or so before Nirvana's Smells like Teen Spirit video was released, featuring Mr Cobain playing the same model - though left-handed.

    (It was a terrible guitar. Terrible. But by the mid-1990s, I had people offering me ludicrous sums for it. I eventually sold it to a guitar shop, who I hear on-sold it to a somewhat-famous musician in Boston for around 40 times what I paid for it. But I digress.)

    I sort of faded away from performing live music by the late 1990s, but still had my old TASCAM 4-track cassette recorder and was writing and recording the occasional weird songs. These are all still packed away somewhere, though the TASCAM is long gone.

    Anyway, a series of life changes and a series of moves happened, and playing music at all pretty much vanished. It got to a point where I might take one of the remaining guitars to play once a year or so.

    Fast-forward to the most recent move, from Wellington Aotearoa New Zealand to Sydney, Australia for work. 'Moving to a city where I don't know anyone? Not a problem, I'll just go out to a lot of places and make new friends. 2020's going to be a great year!'

    Cue pandemic.

    Yes, my timing's awful.

    After about a month of everything being locked down, I started playing guitar again, my soft, un-calloused fingertips complaining the whole way. A few weeks after that, I invested in a DAW, midi controller, and a used laptop to start messing around with this newfangled 'electronic music'. (I'm so set in my 1990s-recording-studio-and-TASCAM thinking that non-linear music creation and editing still seems so strange to me, but I try to learn.)

    At some point late in the year, I fell down the YouTube rabbit hole - as you do. I was investigating possibly getting a drum machine, and stumbled across a video about the Deluge. I vaguely remember thinking that it made some cool sounds, but I could not figure out how all the flashy-light-button-pressing-knob-turning worked. It seemed like it would have a massive learning curve.

    Then, early in 2021 after separated from my home and adopted family for a year, a YouTube video title caught my homesick eye:

    'Weird Sample Pack Recorded in a Backyard in Wellington'

    I'd seen this guy Cuckoo's work before, but had no idea he'd been to Wellington. Watching the video, that's when I learnt that the Deluge was made two suburbs over from where I lived. I had no idea. It only took me moving 2,000 km away to find out.

    I made the decision then and there to purchase one; and with its arrival in mid-February I've used it almost every day. The first 'song' I made - before even charging it - is still there, as well as other trial-and-error and happy-mistake songs. That's how I learn, and whilst there's still more to understand, the massive learning curve I feared was non-existent.

    The Deluge community has played a large part in that, something I hope to be a part of and extend. I attended an Ableton Live user group here in Sydney last month, and one of the organisers mentioned she'd been having trouble creating on a computer after spending all day in front of a computer for work. I suggested the Deluge as an option, then had an in-depth conversation about it with the organiser and another attendee. I'll be bringing it along to the next user group meeting.

    Since there's finally a travel bubble (no quarantine) between Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, I'll be flying back to Wellington for a visit this week. My Deluge is coming along with me, and I hope to pop into the Synthstrom office to say thanks in person for a wonderful instrument.

    Hashtag super long post

  • How to stay engaged with the Deluge forums?

    I use the 'Recent Discussions' button in the right-hand navigation for this. It highlights the new messages and threads:

    Aside from bookmarking threads, I don't think there's a way to get notifications on the forum.

    I hope that helps!