Approaching: norns



As soon as I learned about Norns I’ve found it to be a truly fascinating project and I’m seriously considering Norns as my entry into the world of Monome.

My question reads as follows:

I realize at this point it may be hard to give a good answer to this since we have yet to learn the finer details about Crow and it’s capabilities but what I imagine Norns can be is a sort of central hub which connects my acoustic and electro-acoustic instruments (classical and electric guitar) with my Eurorack. A way to make performance between those two worlds less of a multi-tracked, engineered recording and more of a live performance with my Eurorack as my “band/orchestra” (even if this is strictly meant for studio use, at least for the time being).

Keep in mind that my experience with scripting is nil but I am more then willing to put in the hours to learn if that’s what it takes.

Would it theoretically be possible for Norns to act in either or both of the following ways:

  1. A processor for my classical and/or electric guitar (granulator, delay, frequency shifting etc more or less standard effects like any combination effect-pedals) which can react dynamically according to my playing (loudness, trigger one effect when the signal is louder for example or increase the volume of another effect if I play higher notes and vise versa) and at the same time output either just a simple gate (at first through a regular Midi/CV interface and then through Crow when that is available) or perhaps even a more complex CV to my Eurorack (advancing Rene 2, perhaps a random/semirandom voltage or advance an internal sequencer outputting both gate/CV to adress Rene’s locations, that sort of thing).

  2. Record one of my instruments into MLR and have MLR output gate/CV (via Midi) based on how I “play” the samples in the app?

There are probably a lot of ways in which these ideas could overlap or some parts which may be possible in isolation etc and even if none of them is possible exactly like how I’ve described them, I’d love some input from the more experienced users/coders here, perhaps some of what I’ve described could be more easily facilitated by pairing this with a Teletype for example to further process the output from Norns and turn it into something more complex?

For the MLR example I’m assuming that I’d need to get a Grid as well, are there any other perquisites to these ideas besides some way of turning the output from Norns into CV?

Given the fact that I have never coded anything outside of some super simple program in highschool 15 years ago I have a hard time grasping what the limit is of what is possible so some of what I wrote may be completely ludicrous to someone with even basic knowledge of these things.

Looking forward to learning just how ludicrous it is. :slight_smile:


just saw this and looks like it could be a nice solution for protecting a Norns if you wanted to toss it in your backpack or suit case with enough room left over for cables/charger.


Hun, that’s cool. It’s 7 inches by 5 inches, like a tablet.


Added a new feature to Ekombi tonight. It now has a couple modes that randomly change sound parameters everytime a sample is triggered. Instantly made this a thousand times more interesting. Here’s a short demo using just the 606 clips.


External hard drive cases also are about the right size.


needs bit of code tidying & readying the PR & fixing the bug I just found!

need to think about glide and repeats - the latter is just maths - the former is not obvious using midi…

nothing exciting going on in the video - just driving two zeeons on my iPad and messing about with functionality making sure it all works… (it does!)


I can see this being fun


Great video! Can you share a little bit about the tablet on your left, specifically a) what sort of tablet is it, b) what software are you running and c) how do you connect it to Norns?

Asking for a friend :wink:


It’s a iPad pro 12.9 (latest model which I may have “accidentally” upgraded to :wink: ) - but this all worked on my old one as well: iPad pro using Komplete Audio 6 via usb - audio out into my ADAT expander on the PRO 40 into my computer (I can also connect the iPad via the iConnect MIDI 2 I have which is ace but requires the aggregate device on the computer which sometimes needs re-setting - using an audio connection is easier in terms of fiddling and it doesn’t sound any worse to my ears)

Midi is a crappy USB midi interface on the Norns - Edriol UM1SX - I’ve got a better one somewhere was going to look for it today - going into the Komplete. I’m syncing the clocks via Midi Link Sync app - it basically takes a midi clock and turns it into an ableton link signal for AUM which is the Audio host I’m running on the iPad - then in that I’m running two Zeeon’s which is just an ace sounding synth and two Ruismaker Noir which is an interesting percussion synth - it turns pitch/velocity into modulation on a percussive synth - you can hear that on its own right at the start.

The sound is crap in the video - it’s literally the audio off of the phone which it can hear via the big speakers in my room - I normally bother to record audio separately and sync but not in this case (which is also why you can hear me breathing and the chair creak)


posted a video of Kria MIDI in action in latest tracks. Fixed a few small bugs in the process of making that (there has been too much code and not enough music of late! need to fix that :slight_smile: )

PR tomorrow I hope - still not happy with presets/persistence but quite frankly I’m at the “bugger it - let’s rewrite the whole thing now I understand how it works” stage - so probably best to get it out into the world…


have been trying to work out how to get midi in to my ipad from norns. do i definitely need an interface? was hoping i could pull it off with a usb-a usb-a cable into the camera connector kit…

amazing looking app, guess it’s time for me to look up how kria works. i tried porting meadowphysics from the javascript inside of max to norns but i couldn’t get a good grasp on what i was translating and gave up.


Definitely need some kind of midi interface. For iPad to computer the iconnect things are all singing all dancing & are great.

Otherwise cheap usb to din into your existing midi interface does the trick.


first steps attempt at a meadowphysics port. curious if anybody else was already working on this.


This is certainly possible and I’ve been working on something similar. See this preview video: I’ve added this code to the norns dust repo so it should be available with the next update.




Presets/Persistence needs rewriting (TBH I’m getting to the stage were if I had the time I’d rewrite the whole lot but that’s another story). Don’t write your magnum opus using it and expect presets to be able to load again after future releases.

I’d like to see the presets be more Norns-y and also work more like hardware ie not needing to think about saving stuff. Did wonder about write ahead logging - that might also be a good path to an undo function. Need to think about that more

Presets are not like the ones in ansible - editing changes the preset - you can’t reload with a long press (and there is currently no way to init a preset either :frowning: - delete or move the data file)

I’m certain there are bugs in it - I have been using it properly over the weekend and fixed a number of small things but the chances of me having found them all is zero

The script is designed to be embeded and Kira MIDI is just an example use case of how to use it - I’ve not implemented repeats or glide as yet

I didn’t implement the master clock page - it seemed more sensible to use the beat clock in Norns

I’ll be embedding this in my forthcoming Islands script - giving a multi-timbral engine on Norns driven by Kria

I’ve learned a lot about Lua doing this - you can probably see me learning it if you go though the code carefully…

I’ll be fixing bugs but I need to do some other (preferably money generating) work before adding/improving features…


looks cool, is there some where a description of the grid layout for those of us that don’t know kria?
e.g. a bit like tehns one for mlr


Should be in the middle of the page. there’s cut aways showing the different modes, etc.


yeah - this is a pretty straight port.

Differences are:

Presets - see my notes
Octave - defaults to 3 not 0 - makes more sense for MIDI (oh and I think I increased the range too)
Clock Page - not there - use the beat clock parameter

In Kria MIDI - the host script that outputs midi - repeats and glide don’t work (yet) - they are passed to the callback (see the code of Kira MIDI on how to use the kria object) but Kria MIDI just ignores them for the moment

It pretty much needs a 128 grid though - I can’t imagine it will be very useable on a 64 grid


Oh - worth nothing

button 2 - presets page
button 3 - stops and starts clocking of Kria


Some thoughts on the next version of Norns Kria so I don’t lose them (and to give people a chance to chip in):

  • reading about how people use it with Teletype - definitely want to add in OSC equivalents of the TT stuff
  • Having an alt page on DUR - that gives a 0-1 output (roughly quantised in to 7 levels obviously) - this could be used for velocity or some other value by the calling script
  • maybe glide should be generic in the same way? dunno
  • add call backs to the pages so they can update the screen - at the very least saying what the page is for!
  • break it up so the calling script can add different kinds of pages for different reasons? - so you could add different note pages or just have a bunch of generic ‘value’ pages for different controls
  • the scales page is crying out for some screen love - you could display the actual notes!