If you read back, than you can see that I just reacted on what I read and was hearing from others here in this topic. I also mentioned before that I have received my Deluge. It’s too soon for me to judge the synth quality. But, i’m learning
Just a suggestion from my own experience to play with the synths & get a better idea of what you feel you need/want to add… What you feel is missing from the Deluge
Had the Deluge for a year or so. Two things made me let it go, eventually - it tries too hard to do many things and as a consequence, masters none. And even as a sampler, it seemed to lack character.
Elektron is the opposite. Their boxes define an area, and then take it to town with their own particular vibe.
Anyway, this was the last thing I made on the Deluge and fortunately, also the piece I was most happy with in the end.
I also experience it as lacking character–I’d describe it more as vanilla than a fail–but taken as a total package, it’s a 100% keeper, even inspiring sometimes. I’m surprised you didn’t find it worth storing in the closet for when a portability situation comes up, or to bring online quickly when you need a utility device. Given that 95% of the interface is right there on the front panel, I would think you could return to it at random times without too much re-learning. But no, I wouldn’t keep it in reserve it as even a third-string synth sound.
Agree. It’s more plain than bad, in terms of character.
I’m not much of a keeper when it comes to gear I’m not using. There are only a few instruments that have lasted the test of time for me. But those few aren’t going anywhere, ever.
I’ll store anything that I can at least vaguely imagine using sometime in the future unless it’s particularly large or will clearly become obsolete within a few years. Since the Deluge market and Synthstrom are so small, I don’t see them upgrading the device for at least five years, maybe much longer, like the OT. My only real obsolete-proof gear are a guitar that it would cost a fortune to get the same thing, a Zendrum controller because it does everything needed, a Soma Pipe because that super-niche market means there will never be anything that does what it does, and a Nord Electro that supplies the basic B3, piano, and electric piano on exactly the kind of keyboard bed I need.
So which ones are you married to?
I’ve been on the Octatrack since 2014. It’s my everything, sometimes I start on the OT, sometimes I go there in the end, and sometimes I work things out in the middle with the help of it. Most of the time, all my tracks end up here eventually since it’s so easy to bring on stage and I’m comfortable using it in almost any situation. I love its sound and its character, especially the filters, EQ and compressor, and once you know it, it’s so quick and easy to get unexpected and interesting results.
I got the Tempest around the same time. That one took time to learn. First, to get along with the interface. Not too hard, but having never used an MPC, it was all very unfamiliar to me. Then, to learn how it approached sound design. It’s just not a very elegant implementation and the kind of thresholds that stops you from just ruining a good patch, aren’t all there. But that’s also why I love it. You can use those danger zones to create interesting results. And it swings like nothing else, especially in Beat mode.
I haven’t had the Analog Heat for more than maybe a year or so, but the way it opens up anything I run into it, I know it’s a keeper. Also, running it from midi makes it an awesome real time fx processor. I usually sequence it from the Octatrack, for ducks, beat fx and stuff.
Then there’s the Reface CS. I’m still scratching my head as to why I won’t part with this, but I just won’t. It’s limited and yet it’s not. The looper’s stupid bare bones. But it does quantise, it does overdub, it can record stupid long sessions, and it syncs. So there’s that, for just live playing and coming up with ideas. And the sliders bring out sounds very quickly that I’d struggle to find on other instruments. For comparison, as much as I can appreciate the intellectual value of the Digitone, the Reface just takes me to where I want to go in an instant. The Digitone, I’m like, “Where did I go now? And why am I here?” I feel like an old confused man when working with that.
I’m still looking for a full-scale keyboard to which I can find a lasting relationship like I have with these instruments above. Monos aren’t for me, I love them but the romance around that single voice architeture in the end just frustrates an old piano player. The poly beasts out there, some (many) are great, but they’re just too good, you know? I had a one year thing going with a Prophet 6. Everytime I ended up using it somewhere, it just sounded so clean and clear, I was like “Oh, Max Martin told Van Halen to call and ask for his synth back.”
Really, I’m considering just getting a damn good stage piano and be done with synths. I sat down with a Yamaha CP73 the other day, in the store, and played it for hours with the Black Box connected to it to record clips and loops. Man, that board sounds amazing.
And just to be able to do that, bring something like the Black Box to a music store, hook it up within minutes and then jam and record for hours to bring it home and try out the results with your other stuff - makes the Black Box a strong candidate as a long time keeper.
Yeah, quite frankly I wish I could have a baby grand piano, and I’m afraid it would have to be a Steinway. I just fatigue too quickly on polysynths. I mean, I love plenty of (quality) synth sounds, but when it comes to sitting down and just playing keyboard, I last about 10 minutes on a synth before I have to switch over to a grand piano sound or B3, but most recently Rhodes. Lucky for me, I’m happy enough with digital re-creations, or else I’d just have to go without because of the maintenance and logistics of a real baby grand.
I’m the same with electric guitar: I love the feel and other people’s sounds, but when I go through a guitar-playing period and sit down to play guitar, I fatigue on all the beautiful effects in 10 minutes andI always go back to a clean archtop sound. For many reasons, I can’t spend $10k on a nice jazz box, but happily my guitar/life partner that I referred to above is a Parker Fly Bronze that has great clean acoustic sound in the form factor of a light electric. That one’s a unique piece that replacing it would cost 7 times as much as what I paid for this one, and take up to two years.
I’ve never tried a Tempest. People swear by them, but the demos, though they’re good, don’t give me GAS., so I’m lucky there. I haven’t put in enough time on my OT, and now studio logistics have forced me to move it to another location, so it could take years for me to form a real opinion about it.
Hello, here are two more examples of pure Deluge… the first one is new and the second one is modified version of the previous demo…
You got any experience with the MODX? I got my hands on one now and quite like it so far.
These are much better! Like them both.
Is it possible to monitor a external source? (i.e. sound from PC/Synth)
Yes, to monitor you start a new synth track, start a new patch, set an Oscillator to line-in and then lay a note all the way across the grid. (Check the manual!)
There is a way in the current beta to quickly set an arranger track to have monitoring permanently on without having to do the above.
Experienced actual Deluge owners are a compelling bunch. Clearly there is something good going on.
No. The closest thng I’ve had is a Korg Kronos when they first came out, but I left too much of its capabilities lying on the table back then. It’s not the same thing, but I’m currently considering a Novation Summit as my last gasp at a big keyboard polysynth. It’s either that or stick with Arturia V.
EDIT: I meant to ask what you think about the reface CP? The demos sound good, but I can’t tell how it compares with Arturia V.
At the risk of underlining the derailment I caused (I realise talking about the Reface here might be off topic, but I started it, so I figure I owe you a reply :), the Reface CS is my long time keeper. But - I had the CP for quite awhile as well, and it’s a lovely piece of kit. It really does punch over its weight in terms of sound, and if you’re a keyboard player, I think you’ll love it. The keys are great for their size. I don’t want to call them mini keys because that draws comparions to the rest - the Micro Korgs, JD-XIs, Supernovas and whatnot. And they don’t come close to the keys of the Reface.
Having said that, what the Reface doesn’t do, is all those breathes and noises that an old vintage Rhodes does. All the quirks and traits from electrical vintage pianos aren’t present, but it sounds more like a cleaned-up, fresh from the factory or perhaps restored Rhodes, Wurlitzer or Clav. That’s not a bad thing, but I love the dirt and air from those old keys. I think Korg’s SV-1 gets it just right, and I would imagine that Arturia’s got plenty of that going on in their software (though I wouldn’t know).
I’ve still just tried the classic keuyboard sounds of the MODX, but it has a few of these things going on, layering the sound itself with the subtle touch of sliders, movement and stuff, and that makes all the differene when it comes to these kind of key sounds, I’d say.
But the Reface CP for what it is, is a cracking good instrument.
The one reason I let go of the CP in the end, was that it doesn’t have a looper like the CS and DX. Might sound trivial, but really, sitting down and laying out a few bars (or plenty) without anything else connected to it, makes a big difference and is one of the primary reasons why I keep coming back to the Reface CS. It’s not just a great instrument, I can actually lay down an idea for a track on the CS alone, with its looper, and overdub on that idea, ready to record.
Here’s a track with only Reface CS sounds, and an old Volca Sample on drums.
And now, mods and Deluge owners, I won’t be hijacking this thread no more. Sorry.
Thanks that’s very nice of you to say
Just wanted to say I always enjoy reading your posts and comments. You’re really eloquent and generous with your insight and observations. Ok that’s all.
Also that track is sick. I’ve owned both and never did anything this good. I never thought about syncing the looper to drums, and I didn’t like how all the sounds had to change together during looping and play back. That said, shit that’s a good track.