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The update just ended up being WAAAAYYYY bigger than we anticipated and is taking longer than we expected, but its still under intense development, there is some MAD coding going on here, we know peeps excited for this and Rohan is busting hump to develop it.
It's been really lovely to see, over the past month I've had several users email or message me checking that we're OK as they've noticed an absence from social media.
We're great! Just a little busy. I thought perhaps I could explain why we haven't been online much recently.
If you've been paying close attention, you might have noticed that recently we advertised for a couple of temporary staff. We've been struggling to keep up with demand for the Deluge most of this year - many new users would have noticed this, had you purchased one in the past six months there may have been a note on the site asking you to expect a few days delay before shipping - we've been playing catchup for most of the year, including being in 'lockdown’ and unable to manufacture for a some of that time.
There are now nine of us working fulltime for Synthstrom Audible, this is almost double just 18 months ago, let alone when it was just Rohan and I in the beginning.
Around a year ago, so he could focus on software dev, Rohan handed over day-to-day administration and management to me – this was the biggest change our company had made to date and meant that rather than me simply spending my days surfing the net sharing posts and hanging out with you all, I now had to do some serious work and manage a growing team.
We don't really envision getting much bigger and we're really happy with this size team, so, haha, I've actually been refraining from sharing much stuff online as a way to slow down sales. I know, this seems ridiculous to slow down sales, but we prefer our staff to be chill and happy and our production manager to not be stressed, so when sales get too high, I pull back on any sort of online promotion of the brand so they can catch up. Too popular. First world probs.
Another reason why personally I've been online less is looking after my mental health. Not just getting offline more in general, but it got to the point where I couldn't post anywhere on any platform without someone taking the opportunity to pester or grumble about our next update and it was getting to me. It does bum us out how long this update has taken and we accept it’s been far too long - I really Behringered those tease's and should have considered Rohan a bit more when he said it was too early to share those.
I've been holding off on lots of community stuff, including the community newsletter as I wanted to wait until there was substantive progress on that, ie: in beta. It sucks that I'm currently anxious about being in our own public spaces, but people tend to be politer when emailing me than when commenting indiscriminately and anonymously online.
We're all flat out here including Rohan who has actually been working on the next software update at the same time as the one you're all waiting on. We will not be teasing anything from that, not until its ready to go. Don't worry, THAT following update won't be a year after the next, we expect more like 3-6 months following the upcoming update - much of the work is already done.
Unsure what to do with these forums. I spent a bit of time building a new forum using Discourse but struggled with porting all the existing conversations here, and these forums have become a great resource. I didn't want to just have this become some weird archive, and I guess in all honesty, haha, I've just been hoping that an answer would fall from the sky...that FB would die or some amazing new platform which combined the immediacy and fun of Facebook with the permanence and rigidity of classic forum structure would just exist. I also didn't want to step on anyones toes. I love that others have started communities on other platforms, and why would I create a separate Dischord channel or Reddit etc, when those are going just fine? If we invested a bunch of time in a platform here, it would only really succeed at the expense of other platforms, and I don't mind the community being spread out.
These forums are primarily for us a way of offering a help service and for people to come when seeking answers, we know they kinda suck as far as discussion goes...but there are so many other places people can also go for that. I know everybody thinks they have the answer for this: ”use ___ because this particular forum I use uses that and it works well!". Unfortunately, we are in a unique place, we have a really fragmented community on many platforms – I guess we wanted to try consolidate that and have it in one place, but I've come to learn that people want what they want and want to be on the platform they enjoy the most. I for one enjoy Instagram probably the most, even though it sucks for discussion, but it rules for sharing and discovering Deluge content – and that’s what I love most. We can't provide a platform that is Insta meets FB meets Discord meets Reddit and I don't know if I'd want to.
One idea is to really streamline these forums and just focus 100% on what they do best:
- Deluge Help
- Sharing of presets/samples, tips & tricks
- Third Party content
- Beta testing
- General discussion/news. (it doesn't do this so well, but would seem odd to remove)
And we actually make more of an effort to point people to other platforms to spend time on. We currently point people to these other places as soon as they make a purchase (https://synthstrom.com/links/), but we could give those spaces an even greater presence on our own site. I'm not precious about being in control of where people chat, we just want the best experience, and I'm OK with that being on another platform.
A note on Synthstrom TV
I loved doing the TV station but it took a serious toll on me, all those early mornings and late nights trying to be live in times most convenient to those around the world along with the stress of keeping the stream running. Without dedicated servers it’s a real challenge and I would have constant dropouts. The final straw for me came when I was taking a short holiday for a few days and the stream broke almost immediately as I set off, but I couldn't fix till got home, but rather than just be chill and enjoy my break, I agonised over it the whole time, haha, you know, that stupid anxiety when you know it's silly to be concerned but you can't stop thinking about it. Anyway, I got home and decided to not kick it back on and instead take a pause.
I love doing it though...as some may have saw me mention a little while ago, I do plan to bring back Synthstrom TV in December, as I do miss hanging with ya'll in that environment, but yeah, haha, maybe it will be offline lots because I'm trying not to get hung up about that. I've been collating a whole bunch of cool videos to have on the playlist when it relaunches and just plan to programme timings that suit me a little more
Sorry I'm not online much at the moment. Don't worry we're hard at work and not going anywhere. Maybe these forums need a gigantic overhaul (and that doesn't just mean using a new platform). What do you think?
Because I'm not sending them Deluges Because we don't even have enough to sell to people who want them who are definitely the priority.
We don't care if sites don't talk about us.. We care if users do.
At Superbooth 2018 we unveiled the ‘arranger’ for the Deluge - a suite of features offering a brand new approach to complex song composition on a stand-alone piece of hardware.
Well, for Superbooth 2019, Rohan has gone above and beyond, creating another inventive and entirely new way of interfacing with the Deluge. We are over the moon today to announce that the Deluge synthesizer, sequencer and sampler is soon to also be... a looper!
We asked some friends to have a jam on the alpha firmware and they show a glimpse into what is possible. You can find links to all four videos in our newsletter (http://bit.ly/2Zvu1f7) if you haven’t received it in your email.
There will be further videos made at Superbooth (May 9-11) which will further explore the workflow and show just what is possible.
Please don’t ask us if it does this or that - we’ll have more details soon. We’re just really excited and wanted to share this with you as soon as possible.
Time to soon dust off that Wavetable shortcut on your Deluge
Still no release date for 3.2, haha, "soon".
Another big feature tease in a week's time. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/SynthstromAudible
Important information on our new focus on these forums and the temporary removal of feature requests
Something we've been wanting to do for a while as a company is wean off our reliance on Facebook as a way of keeping in touch with our community.
Though we will continue to use Facebook, we will be reducing the time spent on it and making some major changes outside of it.
The reason that we enjoy spending more time on Facebook than our own forums, is that through our moderation we kept people from constantly making requests and derailing conversation. This has led to the Facebook groups being a much healthier and supportive place for general discussion about the Deluge, and we wish the same for our own forums.
To make this happen, we'll be implementing a few major changes.
1. We'll be archiving the "feature requests" forum and removing all discussion related to feature requests for the next 12 months.
We already have a firm plan in place for development for the next couple of software updates, we'll re-instigate this forum and invite user input once more after then.
2. We'll be moving our beta-testing off of Facebook to our official forums.
We will be requiring evidence of Deluge ownership to be able to take part in that new program.
If you wish to be a beta tester on our official forums, you will need to verify identity this way:
Send Deanne an email (Deanne.firstname.lastname@example.org) with
1) Your Synthstrom forum username (not FB)
2) email address you signed up to the forums with
3) a photo of your Deluge along with a piece of paper with your forum username written down on it.
3. We'll be placing renewed focus on our support through the forums with a new 'Help' category, where we have advanced Deluge users organised to respond to any questions, basic to advanced within 24 hours - or they will escalate to our attention
4. Rohan, Ian and other members of the Synthstrom crew will be much more active than previous.
This isn't us saying goodbye to Facebook, we know for many that it's the most convenient way for you to keep in touch with us, this is simply a new commitment to our own forum community.
Sorry DVB, we don't share our road map, and we won't in the future. We actually look at the Deluge as being an already amazing finished machine. We continually work at developing it further because we love that the UI has so much potential and we believe that it's a better way to exist in this industry - continually making products better, rather than constantly churning out new ones. Also, Rohan loves coding and I love seeing the pure joy in his face when he finishes a new feature.
We made mistakes early on announcing a couple of things that were on a road map (that, was, hahahaha, a VERY long roadmap) we won't make that mistake again. When things are done, they're done, if they don't get done, they don't get done. We don't feel pressure to do anything or add any particular feature because the Deluge is already a dope device, it was dope when we started selling it for this price in 2016, it's ridiculously dope 6 major updates later at the very same price. We don't plan on putting the price up, yet we plan on adding lots more to it - we don't feel any pressure too, it's already amazing value for money, we do this because we want to. Machines have quirks, they don't always fit in with everyones workflow, sometimes people buy them and they don't do what they think, so they sell them...this if life.
We try to look after our mental health and be happy in our work, and haha, putting the weight of a massive userbase who are all trying to pull you in different directions with the utmost belief that they each know best and their individual workflow is the most important, is not a healthy way to live.
Rohan develops as his pace, the ideas/refinements/changes that he wants to implement that are influenced by our community, sometimes they don't get implemented quickly, sometimes they can take years of going back and forth and mutliple iterations, sometimes some come hell quickly. If we have to choose health and longevity over promising people stuff and then stressing out and having angry people because we can't deliver fast enough, we'll go with the former every time.
Our next feature tease in a few weeks will have one-quarter of our user base lose their fucken minds, (seriously), one quarter be like "that's pretty cool", quarter be like "I might use that sometime" and a quarter "meh".
Haha, and that's fine with us, and how it should be - we made a machine that does a ton of things - which means it gets used many different ways - which means we can never make everyone happy
I'd simply like to know where it's headed.
Just assume it's already finished, that way anything that comes is a bonus and you can enjoy each update, rather than live in anxiety over what might come next. The Deluge is fucking awesome, hell fun to make music on, to perform with and anything else is gravy.
Please just let us do our thing We read these forums constantly and look at all the feedback on the features, but people bugging us, will just make the project no longer fun. And trust me, I know the frustration, there are things personally I would love that would make my workflow easier and faster (and I have the ear of the man) but aren't coming that soon (if at all), but fuck it, the Deluge rules and I can still have an awesome time with it, so I get about doing that.
The OP-Z is a rad device for sure, looking forward to seeing what modules they release, it's an exciting format.
When is the new firmware planned for release?
Sorry that we don't even talk about it. Just felt it was better to shut up and just deliver it when it was ready rather than continue teasing etc. We totally appreciate the update is overdue and people have been very patient.
So our hundreds of beta testers have something to do while staying safe at home we moved forward our next firmware release a few months, a little less packed full than usual because of this, but with some exciting new features all the same:) Check out this video showing off some of the forthcoming features of the next release.
Community legend Leonard Ludvigsen has a few minutes at the end of the clip to show some sequencing and live performance workflow with the new features.
In beta-testing now, a process which normally takes, around 6 weeks.