Arc - how are you guys enjoying yours


Due to waiting forever for something else to ship my arc is still in the states - about to ship
Thing is - I would have thought this beautiful instrument would have been more of a focus. Seems like there’s 2 ansible apps and a white whale but not much else.

So I guess what’s your (monomes) plan for the arc?
Are there any more apps scheduled?
I know there’s been some problems but they seem to be largely ironed out…

It’s a really large chunk of money for me (as everyone else I guess)…I guess I’m looking for a little reassurance :slight_smile:


love mine!

mainly been using cycles. it’s conceptually simple, but so performative. much to explore there. and with the new teletype communication enabling timed resets and reversals of each cycle… wowow! i don’t have the walk module, but i’d wager it makes a stellar companion.

looking forward to digging into levels at some point… but for now i’m content :slight_smile:


Thank you :slight_smile: exactly what I wanted to hear… I’d love to see some type of tape head windowing type app.

Something like a rotor head like the above


The Rotorhead is an interpolating scanner with an inbuilt scanning oscillator, isn’t it? I think it mixes/shifts between 4 inputs to 1 output while Ansible has no audio inputs and does not go into audiorange itself. Maybe I don’t understand what you are thinking of…

Regarding my joys of Arc, while loving the concept and despite of having fun playing it I sometimes wish I had waited a bit longer before getting one.
The main reason is that the firmware, especially the teletype remote functionality, witch for me is a key function for it, is still a bit faulty. I like to work on a patch quite a time, trying out a lot of different things and liked the Arc as a controller with preset/pattern functionality. Now I find myself hesitating cause I know/hope that there will be updates for bug fixes and all saved sets will be lost then. Plus you have to constantly think of saving cause it could freeze - like writing texts in the old computer days…

Another point is that I feel the lack of push encoders a bit limiting. Playing a great and beautiful instrument interface and still having to dive between the cables to do button combinations on the module interrupts the workflow a bit. I’d wish this would be possible via teletype and would like to use something like Walk for this then. The Grid seems to be more of a complete instrument interface to me and I am still learning to let them merge into one.

Also many of the great computer applications that did shine with Arc seem to rely on button presses to gain all of their potential. I think Arc is a lot about software too but cannot write my own. Many of the max patches I found are not all working in modern enviroments and for simple duties as having four controllers in Live (which is nice of course and I appreciate the shared patches for that) I also have a Kenton mini with 8 controllers and knobs. As mentioned above, scanning through samples with Arc and still having to use the computer keyboard to switch or record new audio is cluttering.

I think for a minimal setup with a computer and/or a small modular it is great two have just two interfaces for playing music, especially if they are of such an inspiring and beautiful design. But I would still hesitate to do something more complex or live music with it as it still freezes from time to time and behave unexpected and unstable (the last points refer to the whole system of trilogy/ansible and teletype). Maybe it’s more of an open source interface for programmers than Grid is and you have to be able to code to get the most out of it.


Interesting points. I still went with it still with the promise of it working correctly soon in the future but I’ve just started to dip my toes into programming and didn’t buy it with that in mind TBH.
I mean for what it is already it’s super impressive - I just haven’t seen much talk on here about the Arc and thought it strange.

Regarding the button presses - the reason they didn’t do a push button encoder was due to the design of the new encoders? Was it a mistake not it add push button encoders?
Is there no way to bring those buttons out to a breakout so they are easier to use in a performance?
I’ve also got a grid and a teletype, 2 x ansible on the way as well


LOVE my arc.

Like @shellfritsch, I mainly use cycles. I’ve had a few ideas for alt firmwares/refinements (knob recording, selected cycles output waveforms, …) but haven’t had the time to pursue. Having too much fun besides.




I have an old push button arc 2. It’s a great little device.

For me, buying a monome 64 and arc was never about the patches that others had made. This was quite a while ago now though. It was much more of an enforced jump into diy/programming back then I think. There were no eurorack modules with preloaded software on them that you could connect a grid/arc to and get instant results. At a minimum there was some degree of setup involved in Max to get things working as they should. This was great though! I really used it as a gateway into starting to learn about and ultimately learning how to program (a bit) with Max.

Expectations are different these days. That’s not a criticism. The evolved monome eco-structure has redefined what many users now want. There are some very valid points above.

Enjoy your arcs :slight_smile:

If you find they don’t do what you want maybe consider starting to learn a bit of programming in Max or other environment. I didn’t do this until I was well into my 30s and wish I had done so sooner! There’s nothing like writing a bit of software yourself that achieves a need you have.


Can we talk about ARC. How are you using it? Do you like it? How has it affected your sound/video/art making?

I have wanted one for years but always find myself hesitant to purchase. I have found some information out there but I find fewer reviews, demos, performances with ARC online than expected.

It is a beautiful and useful piece of equipment, maybe you all can help me decide to get one!


There’s already a thread for this


@kaba It’s totally worth it.

I went through a struggle a while back of trying to find just the right piece of hardware that would allow for very fine resolution changes for values while still allowing for large changes quickly for my audio or visual programs (I’ve used it with SuperCollider and Processing mostly). The arc is where it’s at.

The key is that it uses “delta change”. Which means that when you move the encoder a little bit it outputs a value of “1”. When you turn it a bit faster it will output a “2”, or a “3” if you go faster still (it continues on up from there very high). This is a very good thing. I will do my best to explain why:

The last attempt before getting the arc was getting a tablet and using Lemur. Lemur is great in it’s own right.

However, the lemur encoder does not have delta change. That means every time you move the encoder you output a value of 1. The issue arises in the fact that the screen of the tablet has a refresh rate of 60 frames a second. What that means is that in 1 second, I can only output a maximum change of 60! But what if I turned that knob as fast as I could from one side to the other? On hardware that would be a full sweep of the values. Not with the Lemur encoder. So the Lemur encoder is fine for making very small changes slowly, but not for making very large changes quickly.

The other thing I tried was “high resolution midi”. With those (in my experience) you end up spinning the knobs around and around making these very tiny changes but you can never make those big changes.

Then of course regular midi the resolution is not very high. That’s fine for some things. But not for others!


Thank you for this explanation.
I had never heard about “delta change”.
Now I see that using an Arc for this feature only would make perfect sense !


I’d throw in that the arc’s advantages come in very specific use cases. it comes with the big disadvantage of having only four controls after all. the euro modules are built around these situations, but in a building programs software context I’ve really only come across a few use cases where I was like “wow this thing was worth it”. I’ll imagine I’ll find more. it also takes some level of comfort with your chosen language to code, probably a little more so than a grid.

if this is one of your first controllers I’d strongly recommend something like the naked boards controllers instead. if you’ve done midi plenty and want to break out of those limitations the arc is the thing for you.

I’ve also personally haven’t found any of the existing max programs on the arc very compelling.


Thanks for all the feed back! I currently have a Grid, Ansble, and Norns. So I would mostly use it with Euro stuff and Norns.


otoh, given that there are endless encoders and lights, Arc is well-suited to a motorized-faders-style approach to control, with the question becoming how to solve the problem of page selection.


I had this approach for a bit where I used a 4x4 section of the grid to page 16 values on the arc. there would either be a row or column lit up for the 4 active controls on the arc, and a key combo on the grid would “rotate” the active values, so pagination is two dimensional.

pretty cool, but ultimately I prefer 24 low-res midi ccs all at the same dang time :sunglasses:


woah, with this approach you could even mix and match! something like the last four grid keys pressed will have their corresponding values available for modulation on the arc … I had been imagining only dedicating one or two grid keys to paging through selections, but hmmmmmmmm :thinking:


Arc is very tempting for sure. Personally, I’m going to see how’s it’s implemented in Norns 2.0 before making a purchase decision.


I’m not sure there will be many Arc scripts right off the bat in 2.0. It might take a couple weeks of people playing with the new functions to get some new scripts built around it.

I’m working on a couple demo scripts to show some of the code/interaction, but still pretty basic stuff. The code is easy and works similarly to the built-in encoders for encoder data. LEDs work like grid (setLED, refresh). There’s also a nice “segment/range” function for leds. Button presses (from older Arc versions) are supported as well.


I’ll do my best to explain the system I came up with. I use it in all my audio and visual apps now.

I essentially have things set up to split the arc into two sections, the left two encoders (0 and 1) and the right two encoders (2 and 3). On the grid I have a 4 wide by 8 tall section that is dedicated to page selection on the arc.

Basically each button on the grid represents a parameter bank. So lets say I have my parameter banks laid out like this:

attack decay sustain release
filter cutoff filter resonance filter lfo speed filter lfo depth

Each parameter is represented by a button on the grid.

Further, within my column of four I have two columns of two which I use to pick whether a pair of parameters is assigned to the right two encoders or the left two encoders.

Here’s some examples:

If I press the grid key where attack is stored (0x0), then the attack and decay parameters are mapped to encoders 0 and 1 on the arc. However if I press grid key 0x1 where decay is stored, then attack and decay are mapped to the right two encoders.

Then lets say I press grid key 0x2 (sustain) then the sustain and release are mapped to the left two encoders. Now if I press grid key 1x1 (filter resonance) then filter cutoff and filter resonance are mapped to the right two encoders.

I hope that’s clear enough.

The advantage of this system is that I’m never caught on a “page” of four parameters where I want to change a parameter that’s in another page of four parameters. With this system I can always get to the parameter I want when I need to get there.


love this!!! thanks for sharing