Less Concepts 3

thanks for clearing some things up for me, really appreciate it
have a great rest of your night

add: is the adc in the refrain section the input of the norns?
thats is just my guess, apologies i don’t know what adc means :sweat_smile:

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@vicimity Still loving this script and Refrain is just so good. I was wondering how hard it would be to copy refrain and add it to other sequencing apps?

I haven’t looked at the code since the release and I think @dan_derks would probably be able to answer this better. But I think refrain works with the same bitstream as the note sequencer so it would require some more than just moving it to another script.


Oh right, didn’t think about it being tied to the bitstream. Hopefully it’s not too complicated to add to other sequencers. I was thinking about adding it to the new colourwheel script. I love when sequencer scripts have a delay/looper built in. Seems like a such a great was to fully utilise Norns.


Has anybody gotten this to work with midigrid? I’ve tried the usual but not been successful, so any tips would be welcome!

I believe I tried and failed so gave up, but will check my scripts folder next time I have the Norns switched on just in case I did get it to work with midigrid.

Update: Nope, no luck with midigrid, though no errors were reported in Maiden either.

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Bumping this to see if anyone has had any luck over the past couple of months. I have added the usual Midigrid line to line 1169 (local grid = util.file_exists(_path.code…“midigrid”) and include “midigrid/lib/mg_128” or grid), and the buttons on my Launchpad Mini MK3 do seem to perform the functions shown in the diagram at the beginning of this thread. However, none of the lights are responsive at all - they all reflect the previous script that I had loaded, and don’t change with key presses. Maybe this is a hint for someone with more Midigrid knowledge/understanding than myself?

hope the weekend’s been well :black_heart:
i’ll be releasing an update to the script in the next week or so and will bake midigrid into it, similar to cheat codes. if anyone has specific help in the meantime, please share! but i should have something that doesn’t require local modification soon (including olafur mode, which was teased a few years back / was added to the m4l device, but didn’t see official release in the norns version)


That’s fantastic news, @dan_derks! Thank you very much!!

I spent a lot of time yesterday upgrading the Norns to the latest image and reinstalling all of my scripts :slight_smile: . It will be really good to get this one back working with Midigrid.


yussssss! thank you!

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YES!!! Love Less Concepts

a quick note of gratitude

i cannot thank @vicimity enough for his generosity, care, and brilliant work on less concepts 3 – he has such a beautiful imagination, well-balanced with a practicality that roots all of his ideas into concrete action. his curiosity, both as an artist + developer, was such a pleasure and inspiration to watch unfold over his three months of constant development + the many months of support and iteration that followed.

i’m so grateful that his work is how i personally frame this script – linus is why i started playing with it again :revolving_hearts:

220403: less concepts v3.1

linus and i have agreed to merge our work into a single main repository. i also wanted to add a few new bits to correct decisions i made in 2019 that he kindly did not disturb – so, very close to the 3 year anniversary of this script, i’m stoked to have another iteration of less concepts out in the wild!

requires norns update 220321+
if you’ve already installed norns: new image 220306, then this update is available via SYSTEM > UPDATE

installation note

since linus’s work has been migrated into the main repository i started a few years ago, the combined + updated script is housed under less-concepts (instead of the older less_concepts and linus’s less_concepts_3). you can install it by:

  • searching for and installing less-concepts in maiden’s project manager
  • by executing ;install https://github.com/vicimity-dndrks/less_concepts in maiden’s repl
olafur mode

olafur mode

inspired by the self-playing pianos of Olafur Arnalds, olafur mode bypasses the chosen scale and builds note pools from direct MIDI input.

to get started:

  • connect a MIDI note source to norns + launch the script
  • head to PARAMS > time, midi & outputs > midi and hit K3 on enable olafur mode
  • identify your device and hold notes on it
  • rather than rely on a built-in scale, the notes you’re holding will be cycled through the rule/seed combo
  • you can optionally MIDI map hold to ignore your external device’s ‘note off’ messages
  • if things get stuck, you can also hit panic to clear the scale
  • by default, snapshots will not collect olafur notes – they’ll just restore the other parameters, so you use snapshots as a companion to your playing on the external device. if you want to collect these notes with your snapshots, then turn on save with snapshots

this mode totally changes the player’s relationship to the rule/seed combos. even though there are 65,536 possibilities of notes and rhythms, it doesn’t take long to hone in on your favorites – for me, this stagnates things a bit. by having an additional input source, i can focus less on exploring the melodies of certain rule/seed combos and focus more on the energetic interplay of an automated process being informed by / informing a manual process.

~ r e f r a i n

~ r e f r a i n: filters, sample loading, fixes

~ r e f r a i n, the script’s softcut-powered stereo delay that gets triggered by the same rule/seed combos as the note sequencer, has gotten a bit of TLC as well.

  • under PARAMS > ~ r e f r a i n, you’ll find finer-grain control over each the voice’s filters
    • these are also now post-voice, which is much more expressive – the previous versions affected the signal as it was recorded into the delay line
  • under PARAMS > ~ r e f r a i n, you’ll also find a place to load a sample into each of the 8 second delays – super fun to load a complementary drum/textural sample and mess around with the note -> param and gate prob settings to manipulate playback!
    • to clear a sample and get back to delay mode just hit K3 on the clear sample parameter
  • i realized that the softcut fade time parameter was turned way way up, which offset the playheads weirdly – this has been fixed + things sound a lot tighter!
64 grid

64 grid

the script now detects whether a connected monome grid has 8 or 16+ columns and will auto-resize the interface to match! has most of the 128 functionality packed into a tighter space.

rows 1 + 2: cols 1-8 selects bit per voice
rows 3 + 4: random generators

  • 3.1 + 3.2: seed + rule
  • 3.4 + 3.5: bit v1 + v2
  • 3.7 + 3.8: low + high
  • 4.1 + 4.2: octave v1 + v2
  • 4.4 + 4.5: time + (time + ALL parameters)
  • 4.8 + 3.8: ALL parameters

row 5: blank
row 6: snapshot management (presented in reverse for easier conceptual on-boarding)

  • 6.8: press to create a snapshot
  • 6.7: hold to delete the selected snapshot
  • 6.6: hold to delete all snapshots
  • 6.1 - 6.3: sequencer step directions – down, random, up
    • long press for destructive mode

rows 7 + 8: snapshots – recall a stored snapshot by selecting it from the bank of snapshots

edit: oh, dang, @2197 !! i didn’t realize you were working on this with linus – please lmk if you want to migrate in, it’d be fantastic to add you as a collaborator to the script!



midigrid is now baked into the script and initializes if the following conditions are met at script launch:

  • the midigrid script is installed at dust/code/midigrid
  • no monome grid is currently plugged in

the script defaults to the 64 grid size, but you can adjust for 128 by changing this line:



local midigrid_size = 128

after that change, a quick restart of the script will give you the full 128 layout

PSET save/load

PSET save/load!

i’ve removed the previous save functionality, which did not allow for meaningful naming – this function was written before @infinitedigits added save + load callbacks to PSETs, which i recently expanded in the latest norns update to include deletion. so, i rewrote all the save/load functionality to piggyback off of normal PSETs – as you work with the script, you can just do normal PSET management and it’ll handle everything else.

for folks who have worked with the script in the past and have saved work, PARAMS > historical load will allow you to load up your past saves. once you load one, please re-save it as a PSET :gem:


This is so exciting! I am an unapologetic Less Concepts evangelist. Excited to take this for a spin

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THANK YOU @dan_derks!!

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i’m glad y’all are excited! it was such a pleasure + incredibly humbling to build off of linus’s fantastic work :sparkles:

just to keep channels clear, i made a new thread for support + discussion of the script moving forward: less-concepts

there’s a joke about too many threads for so few concepts here somewhere…


I :heart: this script. Thank you so much @dan_derks @vicimity

I have a small WIP PR open to adjust the 64 monobright UI. This PR should only affect the 64 part of the code - I think. If anyone wants to try it out with a 64 mononbright grid, the fork is here: GitHub - aidanreilly/less-concepts: less concepts for monome norns

Any comments or suggestions welcome.


Oop. I get a load fail error message with less concepts. I also I seem to get it with some other apps loaded from maiden, not all though, Arcologies working just fine.

Running latest OS
What am I doing ring?

hihi! hope all’s well :slight_smile:

if you already have passersby installed, i’m not sure what else could be causing trouble. could you please share the longform load fail message printed to maiden? it should help identify the trouble for quick resolution :sparkles:

also, in case it got buried, there’s a new renamed version which merges linus’s excellent work into a long-term support project (he’s currently exploring other non-norns worlds): less-concepts

Ah yes that will do it. Thanks.

I seem to have Less Concepts and Less Concepts 3 listed. Shall I remove the first one?

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rad! glad it worked out!

good q! less-concepts is the only one that’s listed in the maiden catalog, for any needed updates / fixes. if you have that one installed, you can safely remove the less_concepts_3 one, as all of those features are built into less-concepts (that’s the one the new thread represents)

so stoked you’re digging into the script!! linus really brought it to wonderful territory – it’s been an honor to have his contributions define my favorite parts of the timeline :revolving_hearts: