Octatrack vs Deluge

Deluge realtime looping will came soon:
Deluge live looping

Maybe it’s time to make a new comparison when that update arrives -> OT vs Deluge .


There is also a sneak peek video from Cuckoo about it available:

With the streaming to and from the sd card it’s virtually unlimited regarding loop length, so it can also be used as a fancy recording solution for very long sessions.

(+100 for the @cuckoomusic vibes … just lovely)


i watched all the new firmware 3.0 videos I could find.

Deluge 3.0 will be (for me) like an Octatrack with virtually unlimited ‘pickup machines’ and still virtually unlimited flex and static machines.

it’s crazy. i have to buy it.

octatrack can be Deck A and Deluge Deck B, so to speak. joyous days ahead

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Looks like it’ll start to be able to loop but the ol OT can realtime slice, dice, make patterns with the recorder buffer placeholders before you even sample into them, add plocks to the buffer patterns for all manner of warpage, use recorder trigs with multiple per step source locks, scene control, etc. ,etc… Looping is one thing, Octatrack is another… :smiley:
Deluge certainly looks like an awesome device though. Just saying it like it is on a “vs” thread in regards to realtime sampling, hard to beat an Octatrack. Seems like a lot of fun though with a neat interface, like the light show, has a good sound… +1 for looping, knock on my door again when they add pre slicing… :smile:


I enjoy using them both together. And I’ve sampled from one into the other depending on what I trying to achieve. Works well.

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I don’t think the OT is great as a looper (I have a love/hate thing going with Pick Up machines), but when you factor in what the OT can do with rearranging/mangling/chopping those loops it still can’t be touched, it surpasses other options.


I have both, and they are very different beasts with much less in common than the huge amount of differences.

Taking samples on the Octatrack for me is much better in almost every way, you can easily and quickly (once familiar with basic operation) take a sample, normalise it, trim it, cut bits out, reverse parts, add or subtract gain, etc etc. You can easily retake a sample again, quickly save it and or multiple variations of it.

Deluge sampling is a bit more basic, everything is automatically saved since it samples direct to card, no destructive editing possible on the Deluge, I also find it a bit to easy to accidentally mash play and rec and inadvertently start sampling, a real pain when not wanted. The upside being that it is super simple to record a whole song direct to audio.

Playback of samples: Both sound excellent, Octatrack is by far the better mangle the bejezus out of your sample or juggle them around or realtime manipulate etc, but Deluge has polyphony, better pitch range, multisampling, kit sampling, and as many samples loaded as you could reasonably need, it also handles large samples.

Sequencing: Octatrack sequences samples in a much more comprehensive way, full control per step over pretty much everything, midi sequencing is much more basic than the Deluge though, the Deluge grid makes rapid experimentation of note and position super easy and quick.

P-Locks and trig conditions: Both handle these on about par, though the OT makes it easier to view what values are on a step.

FX: OT has more variety and better sounding FX, Deluge has more simultaneous FX.

Building a song: Both very different in the approach but both very capable, Deluge arranger is very good but can suffer from a bit of LED fatigue when things get complex, OT can be a bit fiddly if wanting to do complex arrangements, both though seem to give good compromise between power and usability given their interfaces.

Performance: Quite different in the approach again, OT has scenes and crossfader, trig modes, fills etc. Deluge focusses more on moving between sections, muting and trackwise or all track manipulation of parameters. OT can realtime resample, mix external, and so on, Deluge can use line in and realtime repitch and generally filter and fx incoming audio but obviously only on the 2 inputs.

It will be interesting to see how the Deluge looper is implemented.


I have both also. @darenager pretty much sumarized it. The octatrack is much more cappable from a sound design perspective. 4 ins and outs, can serve as a mixer, very deep sampling options, complex routing options, a very robust FX section.

Deluge is an incredibly well crafted composition machine. To me, it has Many implementations that are just genius, and I’m puzzled as to why they are not the standard in the industry. Infinite tracks, with infinite resolution, and infinite lenght, to me, is just basic, and almost no one does it as good as the Deluge. Triplet implementation is great. Synths, sampling and FX, are just Ok. Not the worse, not the best, some good sounds can be acchieved, but it’s not the most inspiring. You can always multisample, and I think Deluge works best when you load it with your own curated sounds.

In the end, it’s not really an apples to apples comparison.

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Yes and I think they complement each other very nicely, as they each seem to have strengths where the other has weaknesses, and they both handle the same sample format which is handy.

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Woah is that monomes angry son ?!

Hi! If u use Deluge as sequncer, how would u say it compares to Ableton piano-roll?Any limitation?

I’m not familiar with Ableton’s piano roll, other than that it allows you to add notes.

Does it do any thing else?

You don’t have ‘follow actions’, but in terms of dedicated hardware, the Deluge sequencer is the best around.

drawing audio parameter and midi automations

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I was thinking about notes drawing, like chords, legato, slides, editing… and so on, if it has the flexibility of a daw piano-roll.

Isn’t it hard to do zooming on longer musical sequences and see the notes together?

@darenager, a guy on Audiofanzine asked about OT vs Deluge vs Blackbox. Could you also compare them with BB?

Deluge is not as user friendly but more powerful than BB, lots of menu diving and scratch head moments, built in synth is ok, fx are a bit lacking. “Unlimited” parts.
BB is very stripped down, like a sketchpad for audio, simple direct, basic, but surprisingly nice features like the sequencer and song mode and quantised launching. 16 parts.
I’ll let you explain OT to him :wink:

I like them all for different things, BB quickest and most limited, OT is most flexible at audio, Deluge is very nice but lacks focus of what it wants to be, IMHO it tries to be all things to all men, however it does have some extremely nice features, polyphonic sample playback, multisampling, looping, but lots of menu diving and a cryptic LCD.


So Cryptic, not sure why they couldn’t at least use a screen like a SP-202/303/404.

Synthstrom are a very young company and personally I think they focussed on cramming in features, looking at features on other similar products and in many cases bettering them - but I don’t think they looked hard enough at user interface on other products IMHO. If they had got that side of things a bit better I think Deluge would have been even more successful and even better than it is.

Can’t be too hard on them though, I mean for a first product it got a lot right, and I like their attitude.