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Too_Mere has two great suggestions for workarounds, but yeah the feature doesn't intentional exist on the Deluge the way you describe.
Another way I simulate this is by taking any one sample (ie. a closed hihat) and then setting certain values to be patched to random or by LFO or by both. I'll make the hihat's sustain 0 and lower the decay till it seems to actually shorten the sample length, then randomize the decay by about 5 to 15 so now some hihats will randomly close slightly earlier than others. I do the same with master level, randomizing even just by 5-10 makes the effect not too distinct, then with randomize pitch by a small value of 1 to 5ish. Even small random variations with noise, LPF, decimation, will do a lot to simulate this with the built in synth engine that all kit rows have access to, just have to be tasteful/creative with it based on the type of drum sound you are trying to simulate.
Thanks for your input on this -- I had tried a similar approach but I think I have a ways to go in terms of building my intuition for how patching on the Deluge works. Your examples encourage me to look at this more closely. The random modulation approach is a workable intermediate solution. Over the long term, I do hope an "overloading/multisample" feature could be implemented, given that all the pieces are there. Are there defined channels for feature requests? Is the firmware open source? I program for a living and would be interested to look into whether this is something that could be hacked.
On a totally different front, I also wonder whether something like this could be hacked using the wavetable capabilities of the new firmware?
I've been looking around for tips and tricks for making drum tracks sounds less robotic, and in the process YouTube recommended this video, featuring the Roland TR-6S and a Deluge. At one point , with the Deluge acting as just a MIDI controller the host shows that the software on the other end of the MIDI can "overload" (not sure what the actual word for it is, it's basically a multisample) multiple samples into the same pad, and with each hit, one of those loaded samples is played at random (with probability 1/N, I assume, where N is the number of samples loaded). Obviously this goes a long way to making a drum track feel more "human".
This seems like a super useful feature that the Deluge should be able to perform (on its own hardware, not just relying on an external PC controlled by MIDI), but I can't find any evidence in the manual or in online discussion. Am I missing something? Can this be done on the Deluge?
PS - this is my first post. I'm new to music and the Deluge was really my first instrument. I've owned it for a year and absolutely love it. Thanks to everyone at Synthstrom and in this community for your passion in developing such an enabling piece of hardware!