Custom scales

While enormously inspired by the apps available for Norns, I find many, if not most, of them quite limited in their implementation of musical scales, viz., the reliance on major or minor scales without the option to program and utilize one’s own, custom scales. Admittedly, I haven’t done any programming for Norns. Is it possible for one to add their own scales to existing Norns apps? If so, is there guidance on how it might be done? I consulted the online guidance, but didn’t find anything.


it depends on the script.

when a script needs to use subset of the chromatic scale as MIDI notes (often 8 tones), often the developer will use the large list of such subsets provided by the norns musicutil system library.

it’s common to expose scale selection from this list as a parameter, so that scale selection can be performed from the params menu and saved in presets. for example, the default awake script does this. so in fact you are not limited to ionian/aelolian modes in that script. (though you are limited to only 8 intervals from the tonic at one time.)

if you want to use other 8-tone subsets than those on offer, you can either edit the script in question, or add to the selection in musicutil.