How to sync two USB MIDI hosts

at its most basic, it’d be:

local m
local clock_id

function clock_tick()
  while true do
    clock.sync(1/(4*24)) -- 24 ppqn

function start_clock_out()
  m = midi.connect()
  clock_id =

function stop_clock_out()

just drop that in your script, call start_clock_out() when you’d like, and call stop_clock_out when you’d like.

while i’m fairly confident the above works (i pulled it out of my script Cyrene, which is a bit more complex), it’d be cool to not require it. i see that norns’ global clock has a “midi out” option, but it didn’t do quite what i expected when i turned that from “off” to “port 1” or “port 2”. i’ll have to dig around in the code a bit to see what it’s trying to do (or someone else who knows about it could reply here and educate us!)

EDIT: we’re DMing about this – you shouldn’t need any code to get clock out working; while in any script, go to params > clock > and route “midi out” to whichever device you want. that’s not working on my end, but :man_shrugging: it may work for you!

this should just change which MIDI device in the DEVICES > MIDI list gets the clock signal – the ports are the 4 slots. is this not working as expected?

i don’t work with a ton of MIDI gear, but I wonder if some improvements couldn’t be made – at the very least being able to send MIDI clock signals to multiple destinations seems like it’d be helpful?

Hi - I can’t find another thread on this so here goes …

Anyone else with two Norns devices working together?

I’ve a Fates and a Monome Shield I’ve built that I’m hoping to partner with each other.

Audio is straighforward but midi less so. Any thoughts on how to get them speaking midi to each other without meaningful intermediate hardware (like a pc)?

1 Like

Does it have to be MIDI? If so then you need to have some additional hardware to act as a USB MIDI bridge, because norns is a USB host and cannot act as a USB device. If not, maybe you can just use OSC? Pretty much all norns settings and script parameters are accessible via OSC.


some references from up thread:

But as @csboling mentions, you can wirelessly communicate between the 2 devices with OSC. This would likely require some scripting to add to existing scripts.

You can also use Link to sync clock between the two (if the scripts in question use the global clock system)

1 Like

thanks - think i’ll try build a simple single arduino/similar board that can be detected as a midi usb client by norns #1; with midi DIN sockets hooked up to the arduino rx/tx to then connect via a standard USB-DIN midi cable to norns #2

since standard USB-DIN midi cables are kinda cheap, I think you could also just use 2 of those with DIN-to-DIN adapters. Pretty sure that works although I’ve not actually tested it.

1 Like

yes definitely a possibility!
… though i have found not all usb midi din cables are equal quality. some are more usb compatible than others

Any other solutions out there to get norns and mac/ableton to play nicely together?

Link is available now for norns. For me it’s good enough for most applications but it isn’t midi as far as control is considered .

1 Like

some relevant bits on getting MIDI events from Live over to norns via OSC: Norns — receive OSC notes (from Ableton)

I am so confused — any help so appreciated. I bought two reamp boxes and DI to get audio from my interface to Norns and my guitar pedals and back into Ableton for audio. Now I want to coordinate for it to work allowing both MIDI in and MIDI out to/from Ableton.

Example: I want to use Awake to push MIDI notes to a VST synth in Ableton.

Example 2: I want to use MIDI signal from my Komplete Kontrol 49 into Ableton push midi to Norns for any of the synth options available etc.

Hope this makes sense, I am brand new to this.

Since norns is a midi host and your computer is one too you need either two USB-midi interfaces connected back to back or something like okyeron’s 2host (if you search the forum for “norns usb midi host” you’ll find detailed answers).
I use a 2host between my Fates and Ableton or Max and it works perfectly :slight_smile:

Awesome thank you! Do you have any USB to midi interfaces you recommend to do this with? I’m guessing I would need one male and one female right?

I don’t have a Kontrol, but as long as it’s class compliant, you should be able to plug it straight into Norns and then navigate to system>devices>midi. It’s a good idea to assign it to be device #1.

I use an Arturia Keystep in this way, and it works great.

What kind of audio interface?

For what it’s worth, you might try simplifying things by going straight out of your interface into norns. norns accepts line level signals, which is most likely what your interface is spitting out. Same thing going back in- you can probably try without the direct boxes.

Give it a shot. If it works, then try adding some pedals in. That’s where you might hit a signal level issue, but I’d cross that bridge once you’ve conquered the I/O thing.

1 Like

Alright so I was so excited because my Sevilla usb host to host adapter showed up yesterday but it’s giving me some troubles. I will say I’ve only had about a half hour troubleshooting, but here is what I’ve seeing on my end.

  1. If plugged in to the usb host adapter and norms when I power up it just loads a blank screen.

  2. If I power up then plug in the usb it may work for a few mins or seconds but eventually just leaves the norns in a frozen state.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Current setup. Norns to Sevilla soft adapter to Mac. Using ableton live on the Mac.


Asking for help with this one. Does anyone know if I could play a softsynth on my computer from a MIDI sequencer I’ve written on the norns?

The context: I have a generative sequencer and I’d like it to play a synth (in Ableton).

I’m hoping for solutions that don’t require use of two physical MIDI interfaces for the norns and computer, respectively. Ideally something over WIFI or USB.

I have this working well with a physical synth connected to norns over USB and now I’d like to go virtual.

Any ideas are appreciated.

Any of the MIDI interfaces mentioned above in this thread (which specifically support connection between two USB hosts) would be sufficient. I use a mio2 interface between norns and Ableton Live quite regularly.

If you are adventurous and fully familiarized with Linux then another option would be to experiment with RTPMIDI as described in this PR. The needed support for virtual raw MIDI devices has been released as part of recent norns update(s).

1 Like

Thanks for directing my question to this thread! I’ll do some reading and try it out.

Hi all. I’m about to embark on some midi exercises with Norns and I wonder if anyone can help me befiore I even get started.

I want to use Norns Awake to send midi notes from AWAKE to Studio One, basically exactly like Mat Lowry does in this video:

I have a an interface that accepts 5 pin midi-in (M-Audio 2x2).

Any tips on how best to achieve this? Do I go USB-USB direct to the computer, or use a USB-Midi cable into my interface?