This has solved every problem I initially ran into my first couple days. Thank you :pray::heart:

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I was just thinking of the main window of the script

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My new cranes tattoo!


:sob: omg :hugs:
totally beyond
really lovely lines, looks incredible
such a deep honor, thank you :revolving_hearts:


Hello all,

New Norns Shield owner and I don’t know if missing something but I can’t seem to find controls for midi loop start and end, is this something that’s mappable?

hi hi! welcome :slight_smile:

cranes was written a few years ago (insane!) and does not support MIDI mapping loop start and end points, as those parameters’ ranges are not predictable – loops can be as long as 60 seconds and as small as a few hundred milliseconds.

i have some ideas on how to tackle this now, but it’s just a balance of time – i’m hoping that once i’ve wrapped the final version of another (much larger-scoped) script i’ve made called cheat codes will help free up some brainspace + i can give cranes a meaningful rewrite :rainbow:

so, tl;dr: those are not currently mappable!


Thank you Dan, that’s awesome.

I’ll have a dive into cheat codes definitely.

Only just dipping into Cranes, but kinda struggling to find the “sweet spot”…
I’ve got the grid map printed out on a piece of paper. Got @dan_derks very clear “get started” instructions in front of me, but it hasn’t quite clicked yet.

It’s like taming a wild beast.
I’m sure it will click eventually but things seem either fairly dull, or totally manic…

Any tips or hints ? Anyone know of a video demonstrating someone using a grid with this script? That’s how I tend to learn best


p.s hope you’re recovering well @dan_derks

My tip is possibly not relevant to everyone but I like to use Cranes without the grid, at least for focusing on finding interesting sections. I like to use the norns encoders to find sweet spots while looking at the screen.
Another tip is to record different materials to parts of the buffers and dial in snippets of that on one side


@DuellingAnts , Thanks Hans. Yes, I know what you mean; I felt like I had more success when I didn’t use the grid and just focused on the shield.
I’ll just keep playing. I’m sure it will fall into place.

On the grid it’s row B that confuses me most. How do I erase the snapshots? On the grid map above, it says “left: erase all”, but I don’t know what that means…

Oh, one other thing - I’ve seen people pressing K3 and getting a little momentary increase in the pitch, but that doesn’t seem to happen when I hit K3(?) I think I read that this function was removed, but I thought it was replaced by something else. When I hit K3 nothing discernible happens.

hey y’all, hope all’s well :slight_smile:

this is a fun opportunity to kinda add some context to cranes which time has sorta buried :hammer_and_pick:

cranes was my first norns script, which hasn’t been revisited in a few years – not just from a code perspective (tho everything runs), but from a process perspective. the script represents a way of working which my 2019 process was super interested in. namely, setting myself up for improvisational approaches which at the time meant no saving, no minor edits, only all or nothing so i had to make choices and stick to them.

less poetically, my understanding of grid interfaces was limited. there are things about the grid interface which are how i wanted them and there are things which were compromises for my abilities at the time. i’m glad for this, in a lot of ways – the considerations around snapshots (freezing start/end points and being able to jump between 'em) led me to the fundamental mechanism of cheat codes rather than focusing on iterating cranes. this means cranes is also definitely frozen in time in terms of my music-making approaches – it’s funny to consider whether i could re-create this in 2022:

lemme try to answer some q’s, in case it helps guide toward the vibe :slight_smile:

that’s in relation to the create snapshot key – so the one to the left of that key (row two, key 15) will erase all the snapshots. again, a mix of not knowing how to code a targeted press (eg. cheat codes where you can erase a single pattern in the pattern sequencer / a snapshot on the delay page) and having very specific opinions about how i wanted to improvise (i spent a long time in chicago’s improv comedy scene, where ‘nothing is a mistake if you don’t let it go’ was basically the only rule) is why this was designed like that. def not how i’d approach it now, but kind of a sweet lil’ time capsule :sparkles:

K3 behavior has a couple of options, which are selectable under PARAMS > KEY3:

hope this helps! what a fun lil trip, considering my needs as an artist and reinforcing the strength of this platform – to allow someone with very little coding background to create the exact tool they needed in the moment of need. dang, i’m so thankful for all of it :gem:

also, yes! recovery is going well! slow but all positively indicating :slight_smile: going to finish another 5 weeks of recovery at home on Saturday, cannot wait to not be in a hospital (been in 'em steadily since Jan 9). thanks so much for the well-wishes :hugs:


Check the params - the k3 action should be listed there. You should be able to select what you want the button to do

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Thanks so much for this @dan_derks
Really appreciate your help :smiling_face:

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Just a note that this script also exhibits the Merzbow noise blast softcut feedback loop issue on my Norns Shield.

very super tiny update!

cranes 2.2


@ramphands , the noise blast has been fixed upstream in the latest norns update :slight_smile:

in other news, i have a significant update nearly completed for cranes. i’d love some beta testers, so if you’re willing to experiment and try it out, it’d be great to gather a few folks! please dm <3


i recently learned how to use Cranes finally but have since forgotten. so today i ran my CZ-101 through it with a tone mix of two percussive melodic patches and started playing around with the buffer playback controls on the grid and got some killer sounds out of it. i really love this script


Just started getting to grips with this as a more immediate alternative to Cheat Codes and I’m really, really enjoying it. Thank you so much for making this wonderful script.

I’d also be happy to beta test your update if any help is still needed!


This seems like a good idea. I probably missed it above, but is there a way to load a pre-recorded file into the audio buffer, rather than live audio input?

Sorry in advance if this is a dumb question.


I’m really hoping that @PeterBark includes Cranes in his tutorial series. I still can’t get my head around the Grid controls…Everything I feed into Cranes is either “can’t-tell-the-difference”, or “completely apeshit”, and I can’t seem to find the in-betweeny bit…


not a dumb question! it’s one of the features in the upcoming rewrite. projects have just been a bit piled up, but the next cranes is almost ready! hoping to get it out to y’all in the late summer.

re: grid controls, these are also going to be completely overhauled. cranes was my first norns script + first coding project, so it’s largely a capsule of what i could brute-force my way through. it’s been fun to revisit and rewrite everything, so if the current version doesn’t vibe it’s not on you :slight_smile: