I’ve had the Synthstrom Deluge for a little under a week. I’ve got to say, I love it. It’s feature packed beast in a small footprint. It’s a multitrack sequencer, sampler, polyphonic synthesizer, drum machine, groove box extraordinare. It has an incredibly cohesive design, and a ton of music making potential just in this one box. It’s simple to pick up, but to take full advantage it’s got a learning curve.
It’s only very slightly larger than my old 11 inch MacBook Air. A bit thicker. It is very hands on. It’s got dedicated knobs for navigation and effects. And the entire 144 buttons that control the setup step sequencer acts as a secondary display, and access to the modulation matrix. Even though it’s got a four character display, you do not have to do much menu diving.
I was looking for a way to produce and demo some songs that doesn’t feel like working with a mouse and keyboard. I think I’ve found it. The grid of buttons feels very different to working with a touch screen.
While trying to learn the features of the Deluge, I’ve been doing a rework of an old song of mine that I know like the back of my hand. And I realised the song is ten years old! And so is the band. That time was tinged with trepidation about the working world, and the great shifts that moving and a fixed work schedule brought.
The rock band I was in at uni was winding down, and a couple of us were looking to do something different. It was an intense period of time, and we put together about 20 minutes of material over that month.
This year had a similar sundering of expectations. There are restrictions on movement, and being able to see friends. And, undifferentiated time in front of a screen. It’s not too surprising that I’ve wanted to return music, my old friend. And, in a way that isn’t spending more time in front of a computer.
In general, my creative output has been lumpy. And this is fine. Yet, I’m hoping having a dedicated device with an integrated workflow is going to make it easier to do a small bit here and there, between those focused periods.
Baba is You
And, I’ve also put 10 hours into Baba is You this week. Considering I spent zero hours playing computer games last week this is a step change. It’s a cute, but challenging puzzler. You push blocks around and change the rules of the game, which had made for serious head-scratching and lateral thinking.