Synthstrom Audible "Deluge" Sampler/Synth/Groovebox


#1037

New firmware available to download here: https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/synthstrom-audible-deluge/Deluge+firmware+V2p1p0.bin

This update contains a huge number of new features and improvements:

Sample engine
– Multisampling
– Waveform view
– AIFF file support, and WAV file support extended to include 8-bit files
– Sample loop point support - UI, and import from tagged files
– High quality 16-point windowed sinc interpolation now used for sample pitch adjustment / sample rate conversion
– Better quality pitch shifting and time stretching - also ~60% more efficient
– Automatic pitch detection and transposing of all samples loaded into “synth” instruments, including single-cycle waveforms

MIDI / gate
– Greatly reduced jitter on MIDI, gate, and trigger-clock output, regardless of CPU load
– When MIDI clock or trigger clock output is enabled, stopping all tracks and then starting one again no longer restarts the clock
– Can set to ignore MIDI clock input

Arranger
– Arrangement recording from live performance in song view
– Can now add / delete instruments, and learn MIDI input channels to them, directly in arranger
– Automation of “affect entire song” params, in arranger only

Media management
– Can import a whole folder of samples as a kit
– Collect media tool - copies all song’s samples to a folder for export
– For certain sample params (POLYPHONY, MODE, REVERSE, SPEED, PITCH/SPEED), can now apply change to whole kit by holding affect-entire button

More
– CPU efficiency improved another ~15% (on top of the 30 - 50% gained in V2.0)
– Horizontal scroll position numeric indication is now present in arranger, and has been changed everywhere to the more standard “bar.beat” format. The same numeric format is now shown when editing track length
– Settable defaults and randomness for tempo, swing, key and scale
– Multiplying a track now alters notes’ iteration dependence to keep the piece sounding the same where possible
– Sidechain and pitch are now adjustable at the “kit” level, using “affect-entire”

Read all about the new features in our updated manual.

Ron Cavagnaro has a great video showing the new arrangement recording feature, and will have more videos on his channel on other V2.1 features before the end of the day.

Just like we did with our last big update, we’ve asked our users to contribute some new sounds to be supplied with all new Deluges - this time focusing on samples. They’ve contributed some beautiful sounds to work with. For existing Deluge users, you can easily download this content too.
Entire V2.1.0 factory SD card contents (332MB) - most useful if you’re wanting to start afresh with a clean SD card.
New V2.1.0 content only (154MB) - you can paste the contents of this zip file “on top of” your SD card. This will add kit presets 15 thru 29, and (multi-sampled) synth presets 168 thru 170. If you’ve already put custom presets at these numbers, you’ll probably want to rename their files to a different number first - or choose to overwrite them.

To install the update, place the .bin file onto your SD card, ensure there are no other .bin files on there, put the card back into your Deluge, and then hold down the shift button while powering on. A spinning animation will display, and the firmware will be permanently installed.


#1038

So what are your impressions after owning the Deluge for a while and this new update ?


#1039

I think it is a nice machine for sure, but it is sometimes rather obvious that it is Synthstroms first product, a lot of the design choices and UI speak of a machine which went quite quickly through the prototype stage and with a limited number of testers/feedback early on.

For example a couple of the more esoteric functions have dedicated buttons yet everyday functions can require combinations of press encoder and hold button to access, to my mind it would have been much better to have the less used functions tucked away in a menu and the more commonly used stuff more accessible.

The method of editing synth parameters is not too bad, and after familiarity with the shortcuts becomes second nature, the synth engines themselves are just ok, not really great but not terrible either, the filters, envelopes and LFOs are the weak links IMHO, hopefully these will be improved over time. The fx are pretty bare bones compared to Elektron effects and even the Electribe2, and there are quite a few obvious things missing from them, such as input and output filters, feedback and modulation options, again it is possible that they might be improved in the future.

The sample editing is much better with the update, and the sampler itself is probably the main reason I keep hold of it, if it didn’t have the ability to stream large samples and a large number of them, and polyphonically then it would have little else to hold my interest.

The sequencer is ok, but I can’t help thinking if they had a better beta testing program and one that was open to people who don’t want to use facebook, then a lot of the features would be better implemented and more refined. Without meaning to sound like a dick I think that a lot of the user base appears to be blown away by the sequencer, but in all honesty it is roughly equivalent to most other hardware sequencers with a lot of the same features and same limitations, the arranger view whilst being ok isn’t actually that useful to me, I prefer the Octatrack’s as it is a bit more flexible in areas that matter to me, and is easier to distinguish what is going on at a glance.

The manual is not in the same league as Elektron manuals and randomly jumps between subjects, and bizarrely isn’t available as a PDF but only as a google doc, the formatting is pretty bad and I find it almost useless to be honest.

The forum is pretty dead compared to this one and it seems (only guessing here) that most stuff is communicated by facebook, a bit amateur in my opinion.

Still, for a portable groovebox it is a tidy little package although I think it will face stiff competition now from the OP-Z for those who want it mainly for a go anywhere sketchpad.

Huge kudos to Synthstrom though for making the battery easily replaceable and for coming up with a pretty solid first product, I think the price point is just about ok, the build quality is good, and it seems pretty reliable and solid. The lack of screen isn’t an issue for most operations but as mentioned some things are a bit too tucked away for my liking. I think that with a few tweaks it could be a really great product in the same league as Elektron or TE, but as it stands it is not quite there yet, for me.

I don’t want to give the impression that I don’t like it, because I do, but there are probably as many things that bug me about it as those that I like, and I’d personally rather give an honest opinion than to gloss over the shortcomings, same as I do for Elektron products or any others.


#1040

Thanks a lot darenager for this comprehensive review.
Never tried the Deluge but kinda feel like you, i mean i dont understand some design decisions like :
-Dedicated buttons for function that should, imo, be accessible via shortcut.
-The need to learn midi channel every time using external midi controller, no midi routing like Elektron.
-Zooming state not conserved when changing screen.
-No visual feedback for Automations.

I’ve been looking at all the videos and the manual for the past month and i cant decide if i should keep the Octatrack or get the Deluge.
Also cant seems to find a demo i like so im not sure about the synth engine. Maybe its just that i havent found something i like but there is nothing i’ve heard coming from the synth i liked … nothing except this one : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WHqadoIYtk

Anyway the latest update seems amazing and as a sampler and sequencer looks like it could replace the Octarack (im just using the Octatrack as a sequencer and sampler for streaming long samples )

I must say i am super impressed by the updates this machine is getting, very impressed.


#1041

The zooming is kind of a pain especially compared to say Pyramid, and changing track length and zooming behaviour is trying to be helpful but actually hindering.

You can get rough visualisation of automation but it is only 4 leds and only when target parameter is selected, quite why you can’t hold a step and get a numeric readout of actual automation value on the LED segments is a bit of an oversight I think.

At this point if I was to choose between an OT and the Deluge for the use case you describe - streaming long samples and midi sequencing I think the OT is probably currently the better option, not to say that the Deluge is lacking but the OT is more polished and has better overall handling, vastly better fx and better performance options.


#1042

I really enjoy my Deluge and the updates have been great, but it can’t replace the OT when it comes to precise sample mangling. It doesn’t even come close in that department.

But the Deluge has lots of things that make it (imo) fun and very immediate to use. I’ve been able to complete structured linear songs with ease due to the workflow.

For long sample playback, sample polyphony, layering, playing samples in key and multi sampling the Deluge works really well.


#1044

Hi folks. Is there a in depth sound design tutorial covering the fm, ringmod section of the engine and perhaps the single cycle waveform (sample) mode thoroughly too?

Might be I’ve watched whatever there is on youtube or wherever already, but I might’ve overlooked smthg. (:blush:


#1045

Fail… :slight_smile:

Just backordered mine, wondering how many of youz have both the OT and Deluge and do they complete each other nicely or too much overlap?