Approaching: norns

Aand I’m getting it. Going to pick it up this afternoon!


I’d say you won’t regret that. Have fun!

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I’ve got it out of the box, and I’m visited by a curious guest. I’m almost afraid to touch it. I may not do anything with it this evening, but I fully plan on beginning to learn it tomorrow. Any suggestions on how to begin getting a taste of what this device has to offer?


I’d just start with the awake script. It’s pretty great and does not require grid. I played around with it for a few hours to familiarize myself with the interface, reverb and compression, navigation, etc. and it sounds awesome and is very immediate.

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@ecfike Have a look a the tutorials if you want to get started with making little norns toys.



I might have overlooked this somehow but, was a grid-less version of mlr for norns released since this discussion?

i think “implement a grid-less one” meant “implement a grid-less async looper,” of which there are now quite a few on norns (and it’s very easy to roll a new one to your taste.)

grid-less mlr doesn’t really make a ton of sense; grid interactions basically define the insturment.

Ahh…thanks for clarifying. I’m still on the sidelines trying to decide how limited I will feel working with norns by itself for live audio capture/manipulation. I presume I am in the minority wishing to work without the addition of a grid or midi controller. Eventually, I will just need to leap off this diving board!

that could be true, but if so it is a sizeable minority in which i include myself most times.


That is encouraging to read. Thank you :slightly_smiling_face:

At this point I pretty much use one Norns solely as a softcut machine :sweat_smile: softcut is soooooooo good. Most of the scripts I use do not need, or even work with a grid.


@Justmat I was literally typing a pm to you just now to ask you about a couple of your scripts! It seems like, whenever I come across a video example which resonates with some of my working process, it’s made by you.

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Oh wow, thanks for the kind words!

PM away, happy to answer any questions that I can :sweat_smile:

Is there a list of purely in-the-box norns applications anywhere?

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edit: do you mean what applications on in the OS install or what scripts are available?

os: basically raspbian lite with supercollider added
scripts: see the Library category here on lines

I think in the box means scripts not dependent on other hardware.

there isn’t a category system like that.

I think a repo with sub modules could be a useful community project

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Yeah, what @zebra said.

Now that I have one of these in my hand, the thought of being able to use the norns by itself to compose/perform music is indeed very compelling. It would be great to use/study what has been done already.

From an HCI standpoint, I feel like you could get a lot of expressive control out of the norns’ limited interface, at the expense of maybe a bit more cognitive load. The form factor is also very intriguing too. Like, does anyone use it like a handheld console? When you hold it with a portrait orientation, it looks/feels like a martian gameboy. Seems like you could build some interesting applications around that.



Hope everyone is doing well…
I was wondering if anybody knew what marimbas were used to make the Norns demo on the homepage?
Would appreciate any input!

Kind Regards,


it’s a metallophone:

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