A function sequencer for Norns.

Inspired by @tehn’s spacetime, Dunes is a sequencer for the creation of emergent patterns, timbres and textures. Commands – assigned per step in the bottom row of the EDIT page – modulate sequence, engine and softcut parameters.


v1.1.1 (01/25/20)

  • You can now save your note pattern, command sequence or both thanks to an awesome contribution by @JaggedNZ! Head to the params menu to check it out.

v1.1 (08/20/19)

  • MIDI out has been added by the incredible @Justmat :bowing_man: :fire: See a demo here
  • New commands: } sets the sequence direction to forward, { to reverse. These replace the original [ and ] commands.


While running the script, use E1 to navigate between the main EDIT page and reference pages for all available commands (also available in the readme). Head to Norns’ PARAMS page for additional options (sequence saving, scale selection, softcut + passersby params).

E1 : Navigate pages
E2 : Select step
E3 : Select command at step

K1 (hold) + E1 : Modify note at step
K2 (short press): stop/start
K2 (long press): reset engine, reset command sequence, create new note pattern
K3: randomize commands


Norns 2.1.1 + (make sure to get the latest version, which fixes a minor softcut issue)
Passersby engine installed (restart/reset Norns after initial installation to activate engine)


  • Softcut: I’ve only just started exploring softcut, which means the implementation here is rudimentary. I plan on expanding the related command list soon.


v1.1: zip or github (rename folder to dunes when installing)


Oh wow.
A softcut version would be amazing


ha great fun. I really like you’ve put in pages with a key. makes it very playable

some random direction change-y things would be nice - like ‘[’ and ‘]’ but with a probability?


This is a crazy fun patch, thanks @Olivier! Between K3 and Passersby Randomize you can get some really crazy sounds and rhythms, love it. Nice work!


Oh, I love the reverse direction idea. Perhaps even instead of the [ and ] commands, as those tend to create traps :slight_smile:

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Wow this is nice. Whole lotta material going into tape right now!

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I’m having a look at the source and will answer my own question if i work it out. But does anyone know the base tempo for Dunes? I’m about to import this morning’s tape into Ableton to cut clips from…

Edit: I think I’ve deduced its running at a base of 120bpm

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That sounds right – the main metronome is initialized with a value of 0.25.

Had some fun with Dunes this morning!


@yobink this is amazing and wild. Thanks for sharing! I’m really curious about your process, as the piece is so unique – did you have some of the engine and softcut parameters under midi control as well??

wowowow @Olivier this is just fantastic! you took the command-sequencer idea to the next level. plus the super-musical demo video— looking forward to seeing/hearing more of this.


:blush: - Thank you so much! This means a ton. And I have to mention: 4 weeks ago, I did not consider myself capable of coding anything. The norns studies have been hugely inspiring, and I encourage everyone who hasn’t checked them out to dive in.


Thanks @Olivier! Nope no midi control! I actually never even modified the step commands. I came up with that really cool generative sequence, and then came up with a nice passersby sound, and then just played with the passersby params during the recording. I kept driving up Drift until it maxed out towards the end of the piece. Audio into iPad AUM with Eventide Ultratap, which I was also heavily tweaking. Really really cool patch you’ve made there, so thanks!


your code is really lovely and easy to follow – excellent work Olivier, truly!

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Thanks, Dan! As I worked on the script, less concepts was always a hugely helpful reference point. I don’t think I would have been able to implement multiple scales without it.

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Huh… That is encouraging to hear! I’m so curious to dig in to this and I hope to have some time to give the studies a shot. Barely have the time to make some music!

Last time I installed the script, it crashed the norns forcing a total scrub/rebuilding of the dust folder. I will give it a shot again soon!

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This is really great work!

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v1.1 is up! @justmat did an amazing thing and added MIDI out :bowing_man: ! Check it out:

In the video, Dunes is controlling a midi instrument in Ableton. Output from Ableton is fed back in Norns and manipulated by Dunes’ softcut commands.

The original [ and ] commands have been replaced by new direction commands: } (forward) and { (reverse). You can see them in action in the midi video demo :point_up:


can’t wait to spend time with this. I love that all commands are available to reference if you scroll through the pages!


I’ve got some stuff in place for this, but what is your method of getting midi from Norns to Ableton?