Cyrene: a drum sequencer based on Mutable Instruments Grids

Oh wow! That is majestic!
Thanks. What an update!

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I’ve just started using norns today - so maybe I’m just missing a step here - but every time I’ve installed cyrene I get an “error: load fail” message. I had the same problem with orgnwrms, but not with any other scripts. I’m not sure what to make of it.

One idea, that may or may not be important, I loaded both of these scripts to norns without restarting in between. I haven’t repeated that since receiving the error message with cyrene and orgnwrms, and I haven’t received any error messages. Could this be the source of the problem? And, if so, how do I fix the problem?

Thanks for any feedback and ideas.

Cyrene requires you to install the Ack engine first: GitHub - antonhornquist/ack: A sample player engine for norns

It should be listed in the library as well. If you’re using the new command line install method:


As with all norms engines, you must restart after installing

Hope this fixes it for you!

All better! Thank you!

@21echoes Thank you for this update! Any plans or is it even possible to get this running as a mod of some kind? I would love to be running other apps and have this drum sequencer for MIDI purposes baked in. A boy can dream! cheers

It’s hanging out as a pull request in the repo actually. You’ll need the matrix mod and/or I need to implement midi out for it though. So even with the mod, we are only almost there.


Thats fantastic news. I’m patient and “only almost there” is beyond good enough for me.

Yes! I’ve been very slow to review the PR, as I just released my latest album, then my partner and I had a baby :smile: I’ve also taken the possibly foolish approach of rebasing the PR to the latest changes, including the new n-tuplet swing. So it’ll take a little longer still… But it will happen!


Congratulations on the baby! :blush: :blush: :blush:
Cyrene is the only script I’m currently trying, that doesn’t start with midi clock, it syncs to it (bpm changes) and also sends out midi just fine, but when starting playback from Live 11.2 Cyrene doesn’t. Other scripts do though. Anybody got an idea?
Thanks for the great script!
(Black stock Norns)

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Interesting, Cyrene definitely starts & stops for me when receiving MIDI start & stop messages. Here’s the code that handles that: cyrene/cyrene.lua at 252efb4d6bbee8997a4792702ccba77227f17654 · 21echoes/cyrene · GitHub

if you’re interested in debugging some yourself, i’d recommend opening up maiden and dropping in a print('received start message!') on line 306 as a new line before the if statement line. then you can see if you see that print message in your maiden logs when Ableton sends a start message

Are you confident Ableton is sending transport start & stop messages, not just bpm? I use Logic, so I’m not 100% on how Ableton works, but MIDI start & stop are definitely distinct messages (often called “transport” messages) not just bpm messages (often called “clock” messages). In Logic, transport messages are enabled separately from clock messages. Do you have a different MIDI device that can send start & stop messages, and can you see if that works?

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Thanks! I am now back home (was on vacation) and using Norns and Cyrene with the ERM Multiclock, it all runs like clockwork ;-).
So something must be strange with my minimal travel setup (Laptop, also Live, RME Multiface, one of those recommended USB Host to Midi adapters going into the RME). Will try to investigate further.

Live only has “Midi clock sync delay” and “Midi Clock type” as entries, clock type can be Song or Pattern. But it definitely sends transport messages. I use external arpeggiators all the time.

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New version up now! v1.9.0 (80420d6)

This version is now a Mod! This means it can run alongside any other script, outputting rhythms as MIDI, Crow CV, or as a norns-internal modulation source. It accomplishes all of this via integration with the wonderful matrix mod.


  1. Install the matrix mod (instructions in that linked thread)
  2. update Cyrene to latest (;install in Maiden REPL)
  3. go to SYSTEM > MODS and enable Cyrene and Matrix mods
  4. SYSTEM > RESTART norns

Now there are two main ways to use Cyrene as a mod:

  1. As its own mod, alongside any other script

    1. Launch any non-Cyrene script
    2. Scroll to the bottom of the PARAMETERS > EDIT menu
    3. Find the Cyrene MIDI or Crow group and turn one or both on
    4. Scroll up and find the Play param (first one in the Cyrene section), and kit K3 to start playback
    5. Edit the Grids X, Y, Chaos, Density, Euclidean, Swing, etc. parameters as usual
    6. See your Crow and/or MIDI device receive Cyrene triggers as if the full Cyrene script was running!
  2. As a modulation source for matrix

    1. Launch any non-Cyrene script
    2. Go to SYSTEM > MODS > MATRIX and you’ll see all this launched script’s parameters
    3. Select a parameter you want to modulate with Cyrene with K3
    4. Scroll thru the list of Cyrene triggers (binary modulation sources) and velocities (unipolar modulation sources), and use E3 to set the modulation depth (or K3 to clear the modulation routing)
    5. Additional detail in the matrix thread
    6. Scroll up and find the Play param (first one in the Cyrene section), and kit K3 to start playback
    7. Edit the Grids X, Y, Chaos, Density, Euclidean, Swing, etc. parameters as usual
    8. See your active script get modulated by the Cyrene rhythms!

Hope y’all enjoy this! It’s been a long time coming :smile: and let me know if there are any issues

cc @MatthewAshmore


thank you so much for these efforts!! I’m currently trying to give it a spin. So far I’m having some troubles with cheat codes and this running… but to be completely honest this still may be user error. I have successfully gotten midi out while CC2 is running but not to my desired device (the LXR drum synth)

again these are probably kinks on my end. I’ve got CC sending midi to three different devices, so midi mapping and whatnot going at once so I may have some silly oversight on my part.

I just wanted to give a very sincere thank you and a happy New Years @21echoes !!! I’ll report back after I spent some time with this. cheers!


Cyrene as a Matrix mod!?

Very cool, looking forward to checking it out. Norns truly is a gizmo far far beyond the horizon, with cool and complicated features like this. Impressive.


ok I came back to report my findings. I can get midi out from cycrene to the Lxr drum synth and all is gravy!

it appears Cyrene can only send midi to the first device you have set in the midi devices tab.

How im currently using cyrene this is totally fine!
but being able to send midi to multiple devices would also be aces!

having a blast with this and cheat codes!!!

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Thank you for this reply, it fixed my load fail issue too … onwards to learn Cyrene (it looks amazing!) Thanks! :slight_smile:

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Version 1.9.1 (7915bd0) pushed! Don’t know if anyone else was having this issue, but my STOP button (K2 on the main page after booting) would frequently not work. This version should fix that – please let me know if you still have any issues after updating!


Brilliant features! I’m sure this is going to inspire a lot of drum machine designers. I hope so anyway. Having it as a mod is a great bonus. Thanks for the inspiring work. (I’m thinking it might be fun to try emulating and experimenting with this in the Bitwig Grid too.)