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3.2 Firmware Tease (MPE record and playback)
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.
We're OK :)
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?
Why is the Deluge being ignored by the big music tech sites?
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.
4.0.0 FIRMWARE OUT NOW!
We're very excited today to announce the arrival of our huge 4.0 software update.
Instructional videos and downloads links are at the bottom of this spiel.
- Wavetable synthesis, and improved single-cycle waveform playback.
- Support for MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE), and similarly MIDI polyphonic aftertouch. The Deluge can receive MPE from external MIDI controllers that support it, it can record this data, and the internal Deluge synths can respond to it. And this MPE data may also be output again to an external synth.
- Euclidean sequencing - per row of a clip on the Deluge. This also means that now individual rows within a clip may be set to different lengths.
- Sequences can be set to play in reverse, or to ping-pong.
- Synths, kits and songs may be put into folders, and the user can browse these when saving and loading.
- MIDI input devices (and to a limited extent output devices) may be differentiated and treated separately, so that two devices sending on the same MIDI channel won’t be confused.
- Improved handling of regular MIDI pitch bend and channel pressure. Adjustable MIDI pitch bend ranges.
- Sharing presets along with their audio files, with other Deluge users, is now easier.
This massive release makes the Deluge the first standalone hardware sequencer to offer comprehensive MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) support, allowing you to record, edit and transmit expressive MPE with compatible devices. You can also use external MPE devices to get expressive with the Deluge’s internal synth/sample engine. Tip: combine with the Deluge’s multisample support to bring expression to everything!
EUCLIDEAN SEQUENCING & INDIVIDUAL ROW LENGTH
Euclidean note entry brings an entire new method of beat and melody creation to the Deluge. Coupled with the ability to now make any row within a kit, any length, this infinitely broadens the scope for new rhythmic variations and ever-evolving melodies.
You can set the length of a row, dial in how many steps you would like to play on that row (automatically divided ‘musically’), and then move those notes horizontally - this becomes not just a new way to make innovative rhythms, but an incredibly versatile performance tool.
If being able to set the length of a row wasn’t enough, you can now tell the Deluge what direction (forward, reverse or ping-pong) to play-back those particular notes and not only that, you can have each and every row playing a different direction. Warning: fun.
POLYPHONIC AFTERTOUCH, IMPROVED “MONO” EXPRESSION
In bringing MPE to the Deluge, we at the same time introduced support for good ol’ MIDI polyphonic aftertouch, plus you can now record both pitch bend and channel pressure (aka monophonic aftertouch) into synth, MIDI and CV clips. And, this data now stays with the clip even when you change presets or switch between clip type (e.g. from MIDI to synth etc.).
Previously, synth clips could only record pitch bend, not channel pressure, and CV clips couldn’t record either.
ADJUSTABLE BEND RANGE
The Deluge is no longer stuck with a 1-octave bend range. Now, there’s a global setting under DEFAults -> BEND to set the default bend range. This should default to 12 semitones (1 octave) for all existing users, it will default to the more normal 2 semitones for new users. Anyway, you can go ahead and change it.
WAVETABLE SYNTHESIS, AND IMPROVED SINGLE-CYCLE WAVEFORM PLAYBACK.
How about an entirely new form of synthesis? The Deluge will now support Wavetable files, Ringmod on the Deluge is also totally compatible with Wavetable, you may even put a separate wavetable in each of the two oscillators, with each of their wavetable-positions affecting the resulting sound.
The Deluge has always supported the playback of single-cycle waveforms by loading them as samples. But now, a technically superior option is for these to be played as a wavetable, as the wavetable engine is more fit for this purpose: it is more CPU-efficient, and will produce higher quality sound with less aliasing, particularly with high notes. It also allows the use of ringmod and oscillator sync. The wavetable-position parameter is not available when playing single-cycle waveforms, as there are not multiple cycles to interpolate between.
PRESET & SONG FOLDERS
Our users jumped for joy when we announced this new addition. You can now separate your 1 million presets and songs into folders to make navigation easier!
DIFFERENTIATING MIDI INPUT DEVICES
Now, the Deluge will differentiate between MIDI coming from different hosted USB devices, and MIDI into the input DIN port, and from a connected computer which is hosting the Deluge.
Let’s say you have the Deluge hosting say a Keystep via USB (and that’s through a USB hub), and you’ve actually learned all 16 channels from that Keystep to different synths on the Deluge. Well, then you could connect another USB MIDI device to your hub, and learn those 16 MIDI channels to yet another 16 synths on the Deluge. And whatever MIDI device is plugged into the Deluge’s DIN input will have its 16 channels treated as independent yet again.
IMPROVED MODULATION MATRIX
Lastly, we’ve also improved our modulation matrix! - The feature where the modulation-depth of a source-param pair (or “patch cable”) can itself be modulated by another modulation source – well, previously the Deluge could only handle doing this for one such patch-cable per synth. This limitation has now been removed, and you can do it for as many patch-cables as you want, subject to other existing limitations.
Euclidean Sequencing, play-directions, row length:
You can download the new update (free for all users) from here: https://synthstrom.com/product/deluge/#downloads
Place the .bin file on your SD card, make sure there are no other .bin files on there. Put the card back in your Deluge, hold down the shift button and switch on. A spinning animation will display and the firmware will be permanently installed
Download our updated manual by Synthdawg
You can download just the changed/added pages
Download the updated community guide
All Deluges ordered from today will ship with the new 4.0 firmware.
Buy a Deluge now $999USD +shipping (receive in 3-5 business days)
Please read first before posting
This is a place to say what features you would most like to see on the Deluge in future. If you have an idea, start a thread on this forum explaining it. If you like an idea, please upvote it so we can see which are most popular.
3.0 feature tease #2: Live Looping
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.
3.2 Firmware Tease (Wavetable)
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
DELUGE goes OPEN SOURCE
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.
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.
You are more than welcome of course to discuss this kind of thing on discussion groups we don't moderate such as the Deluge Discord, Deluge Users SubReddit or 'Open' Facebook Group
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.
New OLED display
All Deluges shipped from today will feature a new OLED display.
Purchase, as always, through our site: https://synthstrom.com/product/deluge/
If any existing Deluge owner wants to join us in this new world of multiple lines of text and more than four letters on a screen at once, we made it so you can!
http://synthstrom.com/OLED for details
To reflect the cost and development associated with the new screen and the rising manufacturing costs in the synth industry, we’ll be raising the price of the Deluge incrementally over the next 12 months.
http://synthstrom.com/OLED for more about this.
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