Play+ is like a Deluge Lite (appreciation post)

I have a Synthstrom Deluge (OLED model). I love it because it does everything I want and I love that it has a very visual sequencer like the Play… and it plays samples back.

I’ve made a ton of music on the Deluge… some of my favorite music I’ve made, ever. I learned so much about HOW I like to make music by using the Deluge. In fact, that’s why I bought the Play+.

My second favorite piece of gear was my Tracker. I became a HUGE fan of the usability of it. It was so easy to learn, and I had never used a tracker before. When the first Play was announced, it actually didn’t appeal to me because of the structured sample folder requirement. (I still don’t like that, personally.)

But then the Play+ was released and it caused me to take a second look. By that point, I was deep in Deluge world, loving life. But as the Deluge has matured, it’s usability has taken a nosedive (a lot like the SP-404mk2)… they’re sticking SO much functionality into a device whose buttons were never meant to accommodate that.

So you end up with a Roland problem—so much functionality is buried in menus and key combos that the box stops being fun to use.

I still love my Deluge, but I got fatigued by having to memorize so many key combos that often didn’t make logical sense.

Enter the Play+… Polyend has some special sauce when it comes to UI/UX design. (I’ve been a UX designer since 2000.) They know how to create a paradigm and stick to it, making a device easy to learn.

For example, with the Tracker… the MAIN thing people remember about trackers are the vertical workflow and the hexadecimal format. Polyend used their brains and decided to make the hexadecimal format an option, not the default behavior. Because it wasn’t necessary. (Hexadecimal’s main purpose is arguably to save screen space.)

So they just numbered the tracks and instruments like normal, logical people, so that other normal, logical people could pick up the device and use it. /hotTake : )

I deeply appreciate this approach to instrument design. I’ll be a Polyend fan for life if they keep on doing what they’re doing.

The Play+ feels a lot like what a Gen-2 Deluge or Deluge ‘Lite’ could be… getting that sequencer front-and-center… samples + synths… keeping it feeling hands-on instead of like I’m ‘programming’ music.


yea i hear ya. for me play+ is sorta exactly what I wanted from the deluge. loved the idea of the dellie but alas, the ux & fx quality never really did it for me. play+ nailed it - lush reverb, really nice distortion, no friction sample n p-locking, real nice synths. party time :slight_smile:

jus my personal experience.


I love the Play plus and its UI. Its some of smartest Devices i ever used (even outside the music world)
And yes i whrite some problems here in this Forum…but only because i really like this Device

1 Like

Glad I’m not alone in being a tad sad nonplussed by all the bells and whistles added to my Deluge…the ability to focus and rapidly get creative movement was exactly why the Play appealed and has since surplanted the Deluge for me…it’s a lesson in why simplicity and focus are are oft forgotten cornerstones of great creative flows.

+1 for the Polyend UI design love too :slight_smile:


Personally I do not think it is similar to deluge in any way, fundamentals aside, play/play+ is a wildly unique product and both fit in my studio just fine!

The new features in deluge can lead to very basic and also different workflows, and both can coexist - but I do not think they are comparable!

Thats my 2 cents!


You could always advocate for a second community fork of the Deluge firmware that focuses on a stripped down experience with better UX. Or even a “lite” mode in the existing community firmware.

:open_book: “Just tap Shift 3 times and hold down this 5 key combo for exactly 2.5 seconds to toggle lite mode”


:rofl: lma0

Deluge User interface is not complicated. I am not sure why people might think so.
You don’t need to remove all of the functions if you just want to use it’s base UI that was there since the first release.

1 Like