Kinda Frustrated with Apps? Anyone else?


I felt your pain when I first joined this community 4 or 5 years ago. I bought a 40h and had problems getting applications to work and to fit into making music. When mlrv2 came out, it felt like and was a hug step for the monome. A big patch with bells and whistles and a great gui. Once that app worked its way into the way I thought about making music, other applications seemed more useful as well. It was like I had to update my brain and adapt to the grid.

I’m not saying your concern is invalid, just that with any instrument it takes time to realize and hurdle the limitations.


OH Yeah! I can tell, Im trying to evolve now! LIVE! Hahahahahahah! Although some of this is frustrating, especially in my culture and times (I want it nowCulture!)! However, I actually do enjoy the challenge of getting stuff to work… And tackling the learning curve head on! \


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Thanks for the reply! I most certainly never expected your reply!

So, since you took the time, here is my counter reply!

I just want to say this… what you, and everyone involved, has accomplished here is simply mind-blowing! This community is the bomb… and the Monome is a truly unique, in your face, rebellious, device… which I love! However, I have to admit, that I am a product of our current culture and sometimes just want want want… This is a weakness of mine! So I apologize if my initial post seemed negative… It was certainly not meant to be! Nor, would I want to take a dump on all the amazing work that has occurred and is occurring here…

Honestly, Monome is an amazing Instrument… =To me the mystique of the device that is Monome means a lot! And, I believe that what is happening here is changing the way music is made and Expressed…

This mystique…

The freedom of creation, expression, and open development is a big fuck you to more “commercialized” Walmartish equipment on the marked created through slick advertising, marketing, and profit schemes… Not that those devices are bad or evil… should I dare to say such a thing… as if a piece of equipment could be evil… hahahaha…

That is basically why I bought the monome, because it is open source… and I kinda had a moment of come apart and vented my frustration here… which I apologize for and hope I didn’t make you feel down by it… You are doing an amazing work here tehn! There is no doubt about it!

All of this that everyone has created out of this big universal creative community collective is simply very exciting indeed!

So you stated I might be asking Why don’t you fix it… nah, Im kinda asking myself that question… So, tehn, I think I will join in, learn,and help! It is what I signed up for… It was just kinda a scary moment when I thought about the dollar signs I may be spending… but, rest assured, I plan on moving forward with those purchases(modular purchases) to keep learning and expanding my knowledge… as my bankroll allows of course!

tehn, keep up the good work, and keep slugging onward! I look forward to being a part of this community and using the Monome to musically express myself…

By the way, there is no better feeling than using something you helped create to make and express music… I have made some small diy synths… and in the middle of a performance, while using the device, had a moment when I realized the power of what I had done… To make something, create it, and use it to express something new and unique in the world… Powerful indeed!

Thanks for the replies…

Mark O’Cummings


good, i look forward to using them in the future!


this being the most important point, and i suspect everyone agrees. how to care for it-- i’m glad we’re talking about this. i didn’t mean to come off as having a “lost cause” attitude and i apologize. i’m simply aware that it is very difficult to maintain a decade’s worth of work and community contributions, and find the correct way to honor and preserve those contributions while also creating an optimal introduction to new users. while also allowing myself time to develop new work which will keep monome alive and evolving.

i’d like to reiterate my deep gratitude for you taking so much librarian/archival duty. and i empathize with your request for others to help!

mlrv2 is a mystery, and i’ve put in numerous hours on this (as has Trent, who made it) because we all like it and want it to work. the permutations of max versions, os versions, soundcards, and machines is simply overwhelming. on my own combination it does not work similarly between sessions. and i’m certain that once the next OS update comes along something new will crop up. maybe even it’ll just start working.

i’m not sure that it’s an issue for cycling74. patch collaboration can be achieved by good code hygiene. there might be standards for this in a max patch-- regarding modularity and documentation and reusability-- but i’m certainly not aware of any. whereas with C or javascript, there is a very long history of ways to facilitate collaboration and good code. hence conversations about just this are happening here on the forum regarding the eurorack codebase.

i am right now working on projects that hope to unify our collective efforts, but i’m in the mid-early stages.

i absolutely do not think that everyone should jump on the eurorack bandwagon. it is certainly a bandwagon and a hypemachine. euro is not for everyone. it isn’t even for me on many days. but certainly having a fixed hardware target and development environment make collaboration insanely easier.

one thing i was hoping to encourage is JS inside of max patches. and supercollider, etc. i feel like grids make a lot of sense to be manipulated with text programming. but max serves as a good introduction to programming in general, connecting boxes and making synths etc. i do not have a solution for what’s the best way at the moment.

once the windows 10 installer is fixed (which was worked on this weekend) new installers will be posted. that’s my fault for lagging, as i didn’t perceive a big problem as many have success with 1.2

basically something that is as efficient as possible, has a trackable codebase, and is ideally maintained by someone who is committed to the project. of course a plugin introduces various other problems.

this is a very good set of guidelines. and good to keep in mind is in addition to the upfront labor of classification, there will be future maintenance needed when versions of max/osx/etc shift.

i’ll be thinking of these issues and do appreciate any further feedback!

Structured Programming

Thanks for the encouragement… and true about taking the time to learn it! I guess If I approach like learning any other instrument, it takes time! I certainly never learned the basic of acoustic guitar in a day… my fingers still hurt! But that pain is so beautiful when I do it right! hahahahah!

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@Holl1f3ld is right, these buttons trigger preset forward/back. i’m going to add some kind of fail-safe, so if u haven’t yet saved the layout as a preset it’ll show a “preset not saved, are u sure?” pop-up or something like that. I’ve lost some good setups because i forgot to save or accidentally triggered the preset buttons, so hopefully this fixes that.


I feel you man. Here are some things I gathered just starting out too. But before I go in to it, I just wanted to share a bit of info on software and working in a “Pro” environment.

I want to buy the monome hardware because I know it should work almost all of the time. So if it is reliability you are looking for, use hardware. That is a benefit of outboard gear. you could get into euro for about $800. buy an thonk power supply and case, a monome module, and some cheap vco’s and vca’s.

Nothing always works. I’ve set up massive templates with all my routings set so I can start working quicker. Sometimes they are not routed properly when I open that same template, sometimes live doesn’t find files that are in the project folder. Sometimes you midi files or plugin settings get lost or corrupted magically (bounce everything to audio all the time…)

Most recording studios that operate as a business that need to run 7 days a week, use software that is 5 years old. Because it is at a point to where they know it always works. They rarely update to the newest version of anything. Not their OS, DAW, or even plugins themselves. Having the newest version is not worth the risk of stuff failing. To combat this I have two hard drives in my system right now with different OS’s. One is Windows 7, one is Windows 8 (which I will soon upgrade to 10). But 7 will stay consistent. While I can try new things out on the newer OS, I know that 7 always works.

The other day, I tried to sync two machines in Live. I used a midi cable. Tempo, start and stop would sync, but not timeline position. I went out of my way to download the midi over wifi plugin. And it worked perfectly (using the same sync settings) and the cable did not. I even tried two different ones.

Here’s the things I’ve learned with my monome:

Read the manual. Most the monome apps are not very user friendly at first. They have wildly different control schemes and setups. The fact that is is open source means they aren’t pandering to the accessibility of the masses.

No matter how many times I double and triple checked my diode orientation, I still put 2 on backwards when building the grid.I thought I had fried the board or got a lemon, but I was just a user error. Most of the time it is. It took me posting a picture on here and somebody being like “they are backwards”.

I have both a 32 bit and 64 bit version of Max 7. Some apps only work in 32 bit, like cut glove and anything that uses Karma right now. In windows, you can’t switch between 32 and 64, so I have to download two versions of Max and Ableton.

In windows, you can’t drag and drop files from your desktop in to Max or Live if they are running with administrator privileges.

realizing that there is usually an on button and a volume slider in the most apps that need to be assessed before most apps will make noise.

Bad usb = a very bad time.

Pay careful attention to how to save your presets and app settings. I lost a ton of very productive mlr setups until I learned how to save them correctly.

I have problems licensing max 6 with my current license too. I haven’t contacted C74 about it yet, but I believe it is because you really only have a license for 7 depending on how you chose to pay. In response to that… I’m not gonna say I’ve never used cracked software before…

There are so many other little things I’ve forgotten. Most problems were solved my turning a specific setting on or off.

In the end I bought this to start learning MAX and programming. Which I have been doing very slowly. But as soon as I have made a few apps myself, I feel the investment will be worth it.

In response to @tehn and @jasonw22’s discussion…
I agree that there should be a little more detail as to what apps are known to be working and problems you might face. It might be nice to even have a basic Max cheat sheet that highlights some ways you might be going wrong from the start without having to dig into the manual right away. It’s more organized now with lines, but when I got my monome last year, it took me trying like 6 apps, other than sum, before one actually worked.

I like the idea of making a vst or standalone versions key apps. I was actually wondering about that. Is there a codebase that you could easily compile on to something like a rasberry pi? They use python right? I like the idea of being able to load some of the apps on to a rasberry pi and make little mini modules of software apps in a bare bones environment without needing a full on laptop. I have no idea if this would be possible or even reliable. It could be a cheaper way to have duplicates and back ups. If you little modules break or get finicky you could realistically have easy back up to switch out. You wouldn’t need a backup mackbook pro for touring which costs a lot of $$$$.

I am also willing to help test and troubleshoot older apps. I see so many on youtube that I would want to try.

As far as the idea of letting go of some of the software is good. It’s not giving up, but realizing what you want. If mlrv is essential to all my music performances, then I keep my laptop in a state where it works. If I want add and upgrade new gear to my software, eventually there will be a gap between what is supported by the app and what is supported by my new stuff.

I’ve “given up” on so many plugins when switching my OS or upgrading a DAW. When protools switched to AAX, all the rtas plugins that are no longer have support to be rewritten are gone from your set up now.

So I stay more excited about what is new to monome than what is lost. Sometimes you have to get fired from your job to move forward and get a better one.


ok so, huge announcement! I think I may have found some of my issues regarding how MLRV is running on my machine! I was running Max7 in 32 bit mode… and the app would crash… now it seems, so far… that running Max7 in 64 bit mode has kept mlrv from crashing! I do not know why… but so far it is running! Dope!



I took your post very seriously because i was on the fence and i know that Max just went through a big re-design and that usually means some issue no mater what the Software is. So i went to the Apps page and with what i had which was a Novation Launchpad and Max7 & Max6 actually. I evaluated All the major Apps that were available. Mlrv, Party Van, Flin, Arppeggio thingee [i forget it’s name] and my favorite, Muon. I just adore that quasi-reichian midi stuff mapped into a physical modelled marimba sound. But i found ALL of them to work with a little tweaking and patience. And now recently i traded an Mutable Instruments Elements for a Shbobo SHNTH so the grid and the meadowphysics are eminent. I am curious to know what/where there might be a monome greatest hits/favorites repository out there similar to perhaps?


Thank you kindly for the link Jason

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@tehn @Galapagoose
mlr/mlrv is a great program
a new instrument, really - thank you!
indeed, these issues are why software developers for video games, create a game for
a specific platform about which all is known (hardware and software is the same for all systems) with updates via the internet that will work, because the developers know the hardware involved. ie. sony ps4, not ps3 etc…
i’ve always heard about the push to develop a low priced dvd player/computer for 'developing nations, and at this point- isn’t a ps2 exactly that?
maybe mlrv3 will be a playstation 'game - it may even work on a ps3
'plug your monome grid into the usb ports on the game system :innocent:


That’s why I’m so excited about bela (or aleph, organelle, nubulae, etc). Not to mention the @tehn -rumored upcoming monome-with-linux mystery thing…

This might be helpful for folks wanting to implement mlr on Pd:

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@markthepoet Trust me when I say I know exactly how you feel.

I’m currently very upset with an awesome app called Pages. It’s important to ask for help before getting overwhelmed and giving up. IF YOU’RE CURRENTLY USING PAGES, PLEASE PM ME. I had everything in this app working, but it would only work for about 30 minutes, so I retraced my steps to see if I screwed something up on the install. And I’ve broken it somehow.

I didn’t know what frustration and patience were until I dove into my monome.

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The rise of modular synths seems almost to be a counter-reaction to the quick and almost immediate gratification that computers offer. Which is why White Whale and Meadophysics were so so gratefully received by me. In many ways its a problem for my Academic work as it is so rooted in hardware, supervisors are rather taken aback when I say I don’t use computers at all these days. It is almost like not showing your working if you cannot present 100 lines of Supercollider.

Modular is such a glacially slow process but that slow speed means it hangs around. You start with just a few modules maybe an oscillator and a filter and an envelope and learn to max them out, the “bleeps become bongs” stage then another gets added (distortion/delay) and you work out how and where that works in the context of what you have and then another comes along and that integration is even slower.

A lof of people throw themselves into buying a lot of these boutique expensive modular panels that are lovely but are so feature packed, unpicking it might take months… people invest so hard and fast with an image of a wall of das blinkenlichts with a hard heavy investment that almost demands sonic rainbows and unicorns form day one… whereas one aspect I like most about modular hardware is it deliberately slows and obfuscates so that development is achingly slow almost organic and very personal. And yet it is a thing that hangs around for a lot longer then a computer and an OS.

x2 slow down if you are into building DIY :slight_smile:

Software needs maintaining, either the Apps or the Framework (Supercollider/Max or the interface to the OS (serialosc) or the OS itself. Any change in that link can break it, fundamentally. That makes me edgy. A modular unit on the other hand might need a recapping every two decades and some switch cleaner but in essence its as good today as it was 20 years ago or in 20 years time. It is really hard finding a sense of permanence in computers and over the years I stripped back and back until all I own is a Chromebook and a RPi for supercollider uses. As I want samples I use a Sampler module, no shortage of them to build.

I think I am not alone in this mindset.


I love to throw my two cents here, as far as I’m concerned the integration with Live is essential and I wish there was an easier way to convert few more to M4L although those already converted are enough to cover most of the basic use of the device for in-house production and Live performances, re:mix is a beauty and it was the final reason for me to finally get a monome despite it was already working on a launchpad mini via gridlock emu. Sum also is a must along Terms but I see the point here and looking at the archive there are so many good ones sadly abandoned for lack of feedback? interest? Now that I’m here and to avoid opening another 3d about it… I’m really interested in 7up as I reckon it is a real treat BUT the 2.05d does not seems to work despite I manage to collect the SerialOSC version of the core, the 2.05d seems stuck on a monome version that is not mine, like is not able to detect any monome, the SerialOSc version does but that is it, despite that I followed the basic instruction even if my 128 is ‘seen’ by the core is just doing nothing, the stepper does not run and basically the only bits working are the LED test, does it actually run on a 128? anyone luck in making this happen on Live 9.15? any specific instructions? would be amazing…

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Nervous about buying a monome but want to none the less

7up is ancient (hasn’t been updated in a very long time) and does not work on up-to-date setups.

monome apps have always been a volunteer project from community members. Perhaps you’d like to recreate 7up for the modern age?

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oh mate…I wish I had the knowledge to do that… it would be my main task, hope someone can look into this eventually ( but the core version has been made to make it work on max 7 ? ) I did not try it on a max6 env… maybe I’ll give it a go.


Actually, anyone has a copy of Kontrol 64, I stumbled upon a youtube video were the developer used a 64 were on a side looks like TermsLaunch but on the right side seems to control a reaktor ensembles with leds feedback! I think it is pretty interesting to know how he managed so I could use my 64 on extra.