Synthstrom Deluge External Gear Tips/Tricks

The Deluge is a very powerful device which with a lot to offer. It is as close to a “DAW-IN-A-BOX” that I have produced with so far and with that comes a lot of little tips/tricks that make the device even more usable.

Connecting External USB Midi Gear

In the latest 3.0 firmware update the Deluge gained the ability to connect external USB midi hosts to its built in USB port. This opens up a lot of new functionality as a lot of midi controllers are supported out of the box and ready to plug in an use. This process tripped me up a bit, because there are a couple steps and pieces of gear you will need in order to get this running smooth.

Gear/Cables Needed:

  1. USB type A to B adapter: AMAZON
    Here is a link to a two pack I found on Amazon. I ordered 2 because they are small and I am assuming I will lose 1 somewhere in my cluttered bag.
  2. Center Negative DC Adapter: AMAZON
    This took me two attempts to get right. If you do not order from the link above make 100% certain that the tip is Negative. If it is not, it will not power the deluge and you will not have a good time. The nice thing about it being USB is that you can connect it to virtually anything to charge and power the Deluge. This was a better option for me than trying to get a wall plug with the same specs.

This is a list of supported USB midi controllers I pulled from the Deluge Forums. The list is incomplete, but does a good job at hitting the bulk of supported devices. If you have something not on the list, try the steps below and see if you can get it recognized. I personally have tried my Launchkey 25mkII, IRig Keys 39, and Novation Impuse 49. Everything but the launchkey worked no problem.

Supported Devices From Forums: Forum Link
Akai APCmini
Akai APC40 MK2
Akai LPK25
Akai MPD218
Akai MPK 249
Akai MPK Mini (1st Generation)
Akai MidiMIX
Alesis qx25
Arturia Keystep
(NB: USB midi input works great. Deluge will sync to internal clock of Keystep. Keystep still requires CV clock when trying to use the deluge clock.)
Arturia Microfreak
Arturia Microlab
Arturia Minilab Mk I
Arturia Minilab Mk2.
Behringer BCR2000
Behringer X-Touch Mini
C-thru-music AXIS-49
CraftRhythm – Modal
Craft Synth 2.0
DSI Rev2
Faderfox (UC-4)
FaderFox PC4
IK Multimedia iRig Pads
Keith McMillen BopPad
Keith Mc Millen K Board
KeithMcMillen QuNeo
Korg nanoKEY Studio
Korg nanoKEY2
Korg nanoKONTROL 2
Korg microKEY Air 37
Korg microKontrol
Korg Minilogue XD
Korg Monologue
Korg Padkontrol KPC1
Launchpad Pro (NB: sometimes, not 100% yet)
M-Audio Keystation 49e
Modal Skulpt
Moog Grandmother
Nektar Panorama P6
Nord Lead A1
Novation Circuit
Novation Circuit Mono Station
Novation SL Mk2 25 key
Novation SL MK2 49 key
Novation Launchpad Mini MK3
Roland A01
Roli Seaboard Rise – tested in Piano mode
Roli Seaboard Block
Roli Lighpad M – tested in note mode set to single channel MIDI
Sensel Morph
Teenage Engineering OP-Z & OP-1
Toraiz Squid
UNO synth
Xkey Air25
Yamaha Reface

How To Connect and Make it Work:

  1. Plug in Deluge to external Powersource. Phone charger or good 2.1A portable battery should work if using the USB above.
  2. You should see a Green/Yellow Light come on indicating that it is getting power.
  3. Plug in the USB A-B adapter to the USB cable running from your Midi gear
  4. Plug the A-B adapter into the Deluge.
  5. Turn on the Deluge. If the keyboard is supported you should see “Midi” appear on the screen.
  6. Select Synth or Kit, depending on what you want to play with the controller
  7. When you are in the instrument (i.e. you can press the audition buttons and play sounds) Press and hold “Learn/Input” and any audition button (they should be white). While holding these, press any key on the Midi Keyboard, the audition keys will flash and the midi controller will be synced to the Synth.

Extra Tips

When playing the Deluge with a USB host it functions the exact same way that a regular midi controller does. There are some interesting things you can do with the midi controller attached which make it a super powerful addition to the Deluge. Below is how to play multiple Synths in a layer as well as swap between synths on the fly with the midi controller.

Layering Synths:

When you press the Learn/Input combo all that does is map the current Midi Channel that your USB controller is on to the Deluge. This means that if you change the channel on the midi keyboard you will no longer be playing the instrument you learned originally on the Deluge. You can use this to your advantage to layer.

  1. This guide will focus on just MIDI Channel 1 (for simplicity), but any channel can be used for this method
  2. Create a synth track with your first synth.
  3. Press and Hold “Learn/Input” and any Audition button, while holding press a key on your Midi Keyboard. This will assign the keyboard’s midi channel to your synth track. When you play the keyboard now, it should play your loaded synth.
  4. Press on song to go to song view, and press and hold on the first synth track row
  5. Press the row beneath the row you are holding. This will duplicate the synth.
  6. Open the duplicated synth and repeat step 3 to learn the synth to the same external Midi Channel.
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 for as many layers as you would like.

Recording Layered Synths

Recording layered synths is as easy as recording a single synth. You just have to arm all the tracks at once

  1. Go to song view.
  2. Arm all the Synth Tracks you wish to record (Make the mute/launch buttons green)
  3. Press record, and play to start the recording.
  4. Whatever you play will be recorded across all the synth tracks at the same time.

Live Swapping Multiple Synths using External Midi Controller

I have been using this trick a lot to get a whole set created quickly. Basically it involved “Learning” each synth in the Deluge to a different external Midi Channel, then changing the Midi Channel of the external Midi Controller to switch between the Deluge Synths.

  1. Create as many synths/kits as you would like.
  2. Open the first synth/kit and Press and Hold “Learn/Input” and any Audition button, while holding press a key on your Midi Keyboard. The audition lights should flash.
  3. Change the Midi channel of the external controller. (This varies from controller to controller so look up your controller’s manual if you do not know how to do this)
  4. Move to the next synth/kit and repeat the learning process.
  5. Do this for all tracks you want to control with your midi controller.
  6. You should be able to now switch just the controller’s midi channel and play the assigned synths in the Deluge.
    IF ASSIGNING KITS: The kit will be assigned to a single midi channel, but the audition pad you press on the kit will correspond to the key you play on the keyboard. (i.e. I assign the bottom audition pad to a C5 on the midi controller. Every time I press the C5 it will play the kick as long as I am on the Kit’s midi Channel)

If you have any other questions or want to contribute feel free to comment below or just upload your own tracks in the upload section to get featured on the site! Have fun and stay inspired!