Grid - firmware hacking?

Hi there :vulcan_salute: I’m new to this wonderful monome universe and I was wondering if it’s possible to modify the grid’s firmware to add velocity/pressure messages to use with midi or other custom applications.

hey oscar! welcome :slight_smile:

you can definitely write this as an intermediate application on your computer that converts data received from grid to these types of messages. velocity/pressure aren’t dimensions that grid is natively measuring/reporting, but it’s possible to translate grid’s messages to these types of messages inside of the environment you’re hoping to use them. i could see mapping columns + rows to specific velocities, for example.

highly recommend the grid studies for deeper dives. depending on what you’re connecting to (ableton? max? norns? supercollider? etc), the answer can become more specific – but in general, I think Max is particularly well suited to these tasks.

(also, there’s a special questions category, which i’ve migrated this to :slight_smile: )


Thanks! I’m still going through the docs bul I’ll make sure to take a look at the studies :smile:

My intention is to use it with norns and max. But I would also like to have the option to use it to play synths/samples with velocity and aftertouch, experiment with some isomorphic layouts, limited/fake MPE, things like that. Of course, I haven’t seen the board and I’m assuming that the grid is similar to other similar devices and it just needs some software to interpret the data from the pads to add the new messages.

At first I was thinking of building one with neotrellis boards… but then I thought that if I can modify the original I would rather support the company and buy one. Also, the thing is just beautiful, hehe

i assume you literally mean hacking the grid’s firmware to act as a different device profile, etc.

this is one part of the monome ecosystem that is not really intended to be modified.

i’m actually not sure if the newest editions use an FTDI part for serial<->USB conversion (in which case there is no feasible way to modify the profile), or if they are using LUFA on AVR (in which case you could get in there with e.g. JTAG and modify at your own risk.)

re: velocity, nope. the buttons are literally switches, there are no continuous pressure sensors. the design is deliberately minimal and mechanically robust, different from midi pad controllers.

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I’m assuming this is also gonna true of the neotrellis, so i’d say that a Touché would add some nice dimension and might be more workable than trying to get ~1cm pads to fake MPE

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yes, AFAIK the trellis is also “just” an illuminated keypad.

I don’t know why I thought the neotrellis boards had some kind of pressure sensors. That changes everything :stuck_out_tongue: I think in that case I’ll just get a grid and redirect my tinkering energy to norns :smiley:

It’s a shame, I thought I could have one controller to rule them all. But I’ll just continue playing my synths with something else.

I shouldn’t have mentioned MPE. I just wanted velocity and some other modulation under the same finger. I used to own a ROLI seaboard and it was very fun to play, but I found the lack of tactile feedback made it hard to play accurately. That’s why I was thinking that a grid like thing would be fun.

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Linnstrument maybe.

You need to start with something that allows for pressure, etc and then you could dumb it down for other things.

Unfortunately you can’t smarten up dumb switches.

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Yeah, I’ve thought about getting a Linnstrument but after my experience with the seaboard I’ll have to try it first.

Maybe after I’m done playing with all these monome toys :smile:

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