Composing With Multiple Norns

Tips, tricks, and strategies for using multiple norns boxes at the same time.


Today I used norns A to sequence my Moog Sub 25 via Awake. I used a very slow sequence with the probability turned down to about 50. From there, the audio went into a BIM, and landed at norns B, which was running cheat codes. Tons of possibilities with this workflow for any midi instrument.


the plural of norns is norntopia


I can’t resist, maybe the plural is nori


I’ve got a chance to buy a secondhand Norns for an ok price, so I’m seriously contemplating adding a second one.

Multiple Norns owners: how do you feel about having more than one? Do you feel that it’s an overkill or does a second Norns add more into your composition and workflow?

“goth sushis”

nori, black beans, black vinegar, artichoke hearts

nori, forbidden rice, pickled beets

nori, black pepper tofu, hijiki

nori, charred red pepper, desi chickpeas


I’m building my second Norns (bless DIY). Already contemplating what to do with two units.
Basically I was thinking on Cheat Codes and a sequencer, like @mattlowery said.

Also two Cheat Codes (It’s that good), one with sample based stuff and use of the new delay (percussive?) and another with audio feed from the modular mangled into distro/unquantized loops.

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i recently picked up a Norns Shield and feeling quite smitten. But immediately i want to use different apps together and now i’ve convinced myself to look for another. I was wondering if others out there use more than one Norns at once and would share their experience of that. And is synchronising them a trivial affair?


I use timber + samsara to quickly arrange and iterate percussive ideas and could scarcely be happier.

However, this set up does not require syncing.


I haven’t yet tried those apps, i just enabled Ableton Link in Abacus and sync’d with Ableton Live no trouble, so perhaps just Linking 2 to Ableton would be the easiest way

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My Fates is usually the dedicated Pools machine on a send from the mixer.

A Shield will be the Bounds / Barcode / other looper machine after an Alesis Wedge on my other send so I can loop 100% wet reverb tails. Instant vibe!

Factory Norns for MLR or ANGL.
Blessed with magic boxes (or spoiled :clown_face:)


i forgot about this thread

for a few months i had three norns (full, fates and shield) and while fun, i never tried to sync them

only really used em together for audio mixing and recording & once i tried linking two via midi but it didn’t work as planned…eventually i’ll revisit that idea

having two norns is loads of fun as shown here


cool vid and looks great too, thanks for sharing. And so it follows that 2 norns eventually necessitates 2 grids! oh where will it end, well hopefully

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full disclosure that video is my friend (not me)
i will never own two grids!

i like how using two allows him to work with the same app and same interface tho

i’ve briefly tried using cheat codes on two machines
w/o mirrored setup of two 128s i had the traditional grid setup on one side with an opz controlling the second norns

still and insane level of power

Hi! Just curious on opinions of having more than one norns/shield/fates in your setup. For those who have, was a worthwhile investment? Thanks for your opinions!

Just wondering what others have done with multiple norns,
particularly a fates, shield and diy grid, either midi with other instruments or running audio through, maybe something like running cheat codes on one and fx on the other. Would love to hear any ideas, as it’s so versatile. Was sort of thinking like a textural sampler playing with a zoom and running field recordings through tape, if anyone has any ideas on that too! Thanks!


I have 2 x Norns Shields and I use 2 x Launchpads as a poor man’s Grid. I wonder if it’s possible to use a USB switching device that would allow me to share the grid amongst the two Nornsies.

Has anyone tried this before?

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While I wait for my shield to arrive I can’t stop thinking about the possibilities. Seem that one (good) problem is deciding which script to run. Since Norns only runs one script at a time, is everyone pairing their Norns with other gear or is anyone running 2 Norns for the flexibility?

I guess the cheaper and perhaps easier way would be to use the Tape function to constantly bounce and mix audio between scripts correct? Most of the videos you see online are of someone running a single script they’ve memorized/mastered for a couple of minutes and not of using multiple tools to build a complete track or performance from start to finish.

So today I tried connecting my two Shields via USB-A to USB-A cable in the hope that they would pass midi to each other, this didn’t work. So this begs the questiion: how can I get Norns 1 to sequence Norns 2 without an intermediary MIDI device?

ah, please don’t do that. it will not work and is not safe. the accepted answer in this SO post gives a good rundown why.

(this one gives even more detail.)

here is a thread discussing ways to connect norns to other USB hosts

in a nutshell, it requires a device in between. here is a DIY example:

and here is a commercial one (in spanish)