First Monome instrument: Grid over Arc?

I’m new to Monome, and although I own nothing yet, I’m committed to beginning to explore the system.

I was set on buying an Ansible and Arc to start with, but lo, my local retailer (yes, I can walk there from work; how dangerous is THAT?) just got Ansibles in, and has a Grid.

I suppose the question is fairly self-answering, but there’s no reason to prefer getting started with an Arc over a Grid is there, now that the Arc is available?

Glad to be joining the community too!

1 Like

What kind of music do you make? That should determine the tools.


Good question.

It goes in a few directions I suppose, depending on project, but let’s say somewhere between temporally grounded/slowly cyclical ambient, rhythmically complex material somewhere between Steve Reich and west African drumming, and unclocked, freely played performance parts to accompany hybrid electronic and acoustically recorded pieces/songs.

I hope that helps…hard stuff to articulate.

1 Like

What attracted you to the arc & ansible to begin with? the novelty? a specific app feature?
It would be tough for me to recommend anything but arc…there is nothing like it.

It feels like the pinnacle of tehn and kelli’s work together


Understood. An Arc would be part of the package, but perhaps just not first.

There are a lot of things I like about what I’m seeing in the Arc, but on a really basic level, it just seems like such an inherently right thing to have; one of those things that comes along every now and then that makes me think how bloody obviously useful such a thing is; how did this not exist already, for ages, and find its way in to everyone’s workflow?

Maybe that’s more a reflection of how my mind works than anything else, but it just seems intuitively brilliant–and obvious.

I remember a very long time ago having a conversation with Rob Playford, of Moving Shadow/drum and bass/early jungle/hardcore/whatever fame–he was a very forward thinking guy–and he said to me the real future of all this nascent digital technology was going to be in the interfacing of the tech, not the tech itself. Bits and CPU power and so forth are second tier concerns. It’s how we interface that really matters. We were both imagining things like monitor-less monitors, holograms if you will, or walls and/or borderless projections or visions of our work; interfaces, things that went beyond both types of keyboards, things with gestural input, and I see the Arc, Grid, etc., as milestones on that sort of path; interfaces re-presenting the circuitry in more tactile, intuitive ways, and crucially, NOT in terms of GUIs designed to look and act just like old devices (i.e., 1176s, Prophet 5s, Eventides, etc.); that’s boring, and ultimately just pretending to do something you’re not.

Likewise, most sequencers these days are still built on the logic of devices like 303s, 808s–stuff we were using in the 80s–and that’s not that inspiring either.

Arc, Grid–this stuff feels more like the kind of future I want to be in; they are authentic steps in the right direction of interfacing, blowing up the logic of old paradigms as it were.

Yikes…sorry for that…unexpected little blast there.

I have a Rene, but I’m looking for another sequencer that has at minimum four channels; Grid with Ansible will do that. Most sequencers–cool as they are, like Metropolis–still only do one channel. I need more.

There are other things that attracted me, but I’ve probably said enough for now.

Looking forward to the journey!


@Larrea, how’re you feeling about your decision a few months down the track? I’m in a similar position and not sure which to begin with – feeling less inspired by grid controllers in general these days (I know monome grids aren’t like the others, of course!), but worried that I won’t get as much out of sequencing my euro on the arc. Curious to hear if anyone else has any pearls of wisdom on this front too!

1 Like