Friends of norns: gear, accessories, etc

@fever606 I honestly haven’t tried audio over usb yet. I would imagine audio over usb on a norns shield like mine would introduce noise, since it’s charging the tula from the same place.
I feel like I read about this on a post pertaining to the OP-Z and peeps trying to use the onboard mic over usb.

I found that pressing the recorded button twice didn’t create a new file for the on board memory as long as I didn’t wait too long between presses.

I’ll edit this post when I plug it in and see how the norns recognizes it.


Didnt Captain Kirk have one of these?


Good point, I hadn’t considered that.

@bc3 Pro tip for pausing recording, I’ll file that away for future reference.


Just wanted to say this was a great suggestion. These battery packs are working out for me very well! Thanks again for the recommendation!

1 Like

Does anyone have mappings of how they used a nanokontrol with Norns apps, or does it just work when you plug it in? I had a nanokontrol briefly but couldn’t get it to talk to my Fates (Fates recognized it was connected though!)

1 Like

Did you try midi mapping? It’s likely going to depend on the specific script you’re using.

1 Like

Oh jeez, no, no I had not tried that.

Does anyone have script recommendations for a suitcase setup containing 0-coast, 0-ctrl, norns, and grid?
I’ve been using a lot of less concepts 3, but doesnt really include 0-ctrl at all. It would be nice to have a app that clocks the 0-ctrl and then records time synced audio loops, but I haven’t found one.
I’m going to build a quantizer soon and hopefully that will help it all gel better.


The norns :handshake: Emacs friendship is developing. Today my configuration adventures reached an important milestone of a relatively stable procedure from norns startup to running SuperCollider Patterns code from Emacs in sclang-mode, without turning off norns features or starting a second SuperCollider scsynth process, but connecting to the one the whatever norns script starts.

Sound starts at 0:37.

M-x sclang-eval-defun means definite-fun.


I’m planning on getting a midi pedal to be mostly used with Norns’s looper apps. I’m trying to decide between Disaster Area’s Midi Baby 3 (MIDI Baby 3 — Disaster Area Designs) and Morningstar’s MC3 (

I think in this thread someone said earlier that Midi Baby worked fine with their Norns. I’m leaning into getting a Midi Baby because it’s cheaper. But I also found a thread online where many people said Midi Baby has many bugs and weird design choices with the software that have not been addressed despite the developer promising to do so. Anyone else had experience with either of these? Or are there better/cheaper alternatives available? I cant really DIY anything so thats not an option.

1 Like

wait can i do org-mode on my norns?

You sure can! This was always possible, what the above adds is doing it directly on the norns screen rather than over SSH from another computer.


I’m thinking of taking my norns shield and a small synth (volca keys or nts-1) out of the house. The output via headphones out of the shield is quite low (at home I use a Mackie mixer). Can anyone recommend a small friend that might help? A bastl dude mixer, or some kind of headphone amp perhaps?

I’m doing this kind of thing by using NTS-1 as a “headphone amp”. NTS-1 is a friend. So four items: a battery, norns shield, NTS-1 and Etymotic ER2-XR headphones connected like so:

  • Power: battery → norns → NTS-1
  • MIDI: norns → NTS-1 (and sometimes NTS-1 → norns MIDI cc)
  • Audio: norns → NTS-1 → headphones

Let there be house, but also most certainly let there be out of the house now that we have summer here in the Northern hemisphere. Parks+synths=why not?


That’s great! What battery do you use? And do you have to do anything in particular with the norns output level to balance things? I don’t think the nts-1 has any kind of input gain control, does it?

I’m not sure what the battery is, some little blue one I bought once on my travels. It does not provide stable voltage for more intensive (synthy or delay) norns software but all sequencers are super fine.

Nothing particular, just turning knobs on the levels page of norns and often pumping up the norns while keeping the NTS-1 basically as low as possible, just a millimeter or two up from silent. On some norns scripts (e.g. Orca) you can control the MIDI velocity to bring down NTS-1. I often use NTS-1 more as an effect when on the go.

Being a total brute, I often just use the filter :control_knobs:. NTS-1 does have input gain control though, from the manual, with asterisk * indicating the default value of -6dB.

Screenshot 2021-06-17 at 19.29.02

Now that it comes up, I should actually adjust mine because I think NTS-1 synths are super loud compared to incoming audio.

Park-mode: activate!


USB MIDI inquiry because I don’t know anything:

Can I send Midi over USB (using the USB connection on the back of the Summit) to Norns?

Further, can I, over the same connection, send MIDI back to the Summit from Norns?

Want to use a midi fx script I’ve written, but not sure if this is the right way.

Should I get a pair of USB → MIDI cables?

Someone mentioned being able to send midi to their digitone via the USB cable today. It might work if the Summit can receive MIDI over USB?

Just saw this in the Tech Specs for the Summit

1 Like

I don’t know about Summit, but MIDI over USB is the way to send and receive MIDI on norns. I use it every day with OP-Z and both directions work very well on the same cable.


Got it working one way (Norns is sending midi) but not the other. Any thoughts?