what is teletype? it’s a navigator. a conductor. a communicator. a box of wonders. a ghost in the machine. or, as the manual puts it, “algorithmic ecosystem: a dynamic, musical event triggering platform”.
it can do many things:
- generate rhythms and melodies
- process triggers, CV, MIDI
- control other modules
- orchestrate actions in reaction to events
it can be many things:
- a sequencer
- an automaton
- a controller, especially when used with grid or midi controllers
- a preset manager
- a utility module
- a live coding platform
- all of the above at once
it can talk to many things:
- midi controllers
- select bus (via disting ex)
- i2c enabled modules - just friends, telex, er-301, many others
it can be the heart of a big modular system - or a small 42hp case. it’s something that will keep surprising you even after many years. above all, it will give you the excitement and the wonder of seeing your own code make things happen.
this can also make it sound intimidating - and it shouldn’t, you can start doing interesting things with it as soon as you learn the basic syntax. but with so much information available it can also be difficult to see where to start, or to find a relevant thread. this is what this guide is for. this is a wiki, so if you see something missing, consider contributing as well!
this guide is split into categories depending on what you want to do, but make sure to check all sections as, for instance, development discussion threads can provide an interesting perspective or help to understand how to use some features (
CHAOS op, i’m looking at you). some links can appear in more than one section, where appropriate.
this guide is also a testament to the spirit of community - it would take a page just to list everybody who contributed to hardware, code, documentation, tutorials, videos and who shared their thoughts and ideas. consider contributing as well.
and this is where it all started:
what is it / is it for me?
if you’re not sure what it does or how it can be used, take a look at these threads. they don’t cover everything, however, so make sure to check other categories as well.
this thread has many examples of teletype being used in a very small system:
this is where to start if you’re just making your first steps.
the official documentation:
the official teletype studies linked above are the best way to dive in. here are the relevant threads (just remember that some info might be outdated by now):
if you prefer videos check out this excellent tutorials:
any questions, even basic ones? use this thread:
Teletype workflow, basics, and questions
teletype scenes don’t have to be complex. get some ideas here:
go deeper with more advanced techniques.
integrate with grid:
Studies for grid integration
integrate with just friends:
JUST TYPE studies
teletype talk videos also cover more complex topics:
exploration of various concepts:
Teletype concepts and thoughts
also check feature development threads as they can offer interesting perspectives and ideas on how to use specific features, and code sharing threads, to see what other people came up with.
and consider creating your own studies!
Volunteers: New Teletype Studies
these threads collect various shared scenes - use them as is or as an inspiration for your own scenes.
how do i..
threads with questions on how to do something with teletype. some of these threads are pretty old, so things that were considered impossible might be entirely possible now. if you have a question and none of these threads answer it, post it here: Teletype workflow, basics, and questions
various concepts in various stages of completeness. find ready to use scenes here or use them for inspiration. these are discussion threads - consider adding to the discussion.
many features have dedicated threads - and they can make for both a practical and a sentimental read. it’s wondrous to see how some of the features grew from a simple idea, a dream, a “what if”. some got developed, some never did. some resulted in heated arguments - we are all passionate about this little box. and many of the threads have a wealth of ideas on how to use a particular feature, or explanations on why things were done a certain way. also see the release discussion section below.
release discussions and the official release threads
several major releases had their own discussion threads, check them for background on many features or to see if a feature was already requested (or maybe even implemented).
if you have issues updating the firmware, see if these threads have the answer:
thinking of becoming a teletype firmware developer? these threads will help you set up the toolchain and give you some pointers (pun intended) on how things are set up.
you can also use teletype as a platform to develop your own alternative firmware.
the easiest way to start is to use multipass, a very lightweight framework that provides helper functions for working with inputs, outputs, i2c devices and more:
Multipass - a framework for developing firmwares for monome eurorack modules
several alternative firmwares are already available:
you can also use this alternative firmware to run teletype scripts on ansible:
Satellite: run teletype scenes on ansible
things you can connect
teletype can talk to many things, whether it’s via CV, I2C, HID or MIDI. also see dedicated sections for inputs/outputs, keyboard, grid and I2C below.
CV / triggers
right out of the box teletype can be integrated with other modules via triggers and CV. if you need additional inputs and outputs, you can use ansible and telexo modules:
controllers / MIDI / Select Bus
for additional control, you can use 16n faderbank or other i2c enabled controllers (via i2c) or grid and MIDI controllers (via the USB port). for the latter, make sure your case provides sufficient power! also, if you have an older revision of teletype (green PCB), you might need to power USB devices externally - see below.
teletype can also send MIDI and Select Bus but this currently requires expert sleepers disting ex module:
teletype can also talk to many i2c enabled modules - telexo, just friends, er-301, disting ex and many more. see the relevant section below. use this thread for any questions on how to connect i2c devices:
if you want to share the same device between teletype and something else, you can use monome switch, or build one yourself:
Building a USB switch for teletype, ansible and grid
if you want to easily switch between keyboard and another device without replugging USB:
2 devices to 1 host eurorack switch: two > one
if you’re not sure your case or teletype can provide sufficient power, consider external power. it might also be useful if you get noise when connecting an external device:
inputs and outputs
anything related to trigger and CV inputs and outputs.
teletype wouldn’t be teletype without a keyboard.
integrating with grid
teletype has a built in support for grid. script your own grid based apps, sequencers, controllers.
nothing reveals teletype potential like i2c. it was added first to control the monome trilogy modules, but since then grew into a sprawling ecosystem - i2c enabled controllers, additional inputs and outputs, sound processors and generators, all controlled directly from teletype without patch cables.
it all started here:
many more i2c modules and devices are now supported.
TXi / TXo
this guide will answer any questions on how to connect and troubleshoot i2c devices:
A user’s guide to i2c
if you just have 1 or 2 i2c devices, you can connect them directly to teletype. for more complex systems you might need an additional busboard (also see the guide above):
you can make your own i2c cables:
DIY i2c cables
interested in utilizing i2c for your own projects? check out these threads:
anything diy related.
USB stick remains the main way to backup scenes or upload scenes from a computer.
if you edit scenes on a computer and have issues when uploading them to teletype:
Teletype script editing offline
listen to music made with teletype.