I’ve got a much-loved 2008-era monobright 8x8 monome grid in my studio, but in recent years it’s been gathering dust a bit: most (all?) new apps seem to be being made for 16 x 8 varibright grids, and buying a Push has made the grid’s former role controlling Ableton redundant.
I’ve tried going back to some of the old classics like flin, or a max4live emulation of a MakeNoise Rene which I made a while back, but these don’t fit into my workflow quite as well as I’d like. I’m feeling a bit stuck for inspiration on how to bring the grid back into my setup.
How are people using their older grids nowadays? Have they totally fallen out of favour, or are people still finding interesting ways to be creative with them?
My first experience with girds a few years ago (about 2014) was similar to yours. It’s definitly frustrating using old/outdated apps built by others. Things don’t work, or if they do maybe the don’t fit into the way you work. Especially now when a lot of development resources are going into the eurorack modules. I actually sold my first grid.
Then I got into Max programming and realized that the grid is the ultimate platform for making your own apps. Now I own two grids, two arcs, and have gotten into SuperCollider (an audio programming language).
So my personal recommendation would be to see if the programming side of things gives you a bite. That’s what worked for me. If you use ableton and max for live, try the monome pacakage. There’s some great devices in there (including flin).
Otherwise, it’s ok to say the grid isn’t for you. It isn’t for everybody, and I believe everyone around here knows and accepts that.
Grids are merely buttons and LEDs. These can do whatever you want them to, that’s the exciting part !
I’m currently trying to sell the grid 64 I recently acquired (I’m in need of money because of a stupid - but harmless - car accident), but if no one wants the grid then I’m definitely going to build one (or more) musical app(s).
Although I really agree with you I think this is also sometimes part of a problem. While it could certainly be a very inspiring and refreshing tool for making music it could also just seem like buttons and LEDs.
I’ve never owned a monome but do have a Livid Block (similar in terms of the monobrightness aspect to your monome) and a Livid Code that I got quite a few years back thinking that I could do some things with it that fits inside of the monome sensibility. Getting a monome where I am from wasn’t really a viable option at the time. I used it quite extensively for a period but it has been collecting dust for the past couple of years.
Recently I’ve also though about what I could still do with them since I now work with a small modular system and homemade sound machines. I still don’t really know the answer but the exploration itself is for me a creative act. I would probably also suggest that you dig into the programming side of things if you are at all interested but like I said I really think that it becomes a creative process in its own right that can either become very separate from musical practice or perhaps enhance it.
For what it’s worth, I am currently exploring using either the grid device or the Livid Code with an iPad running MobMuPlat (essentially an app that can run Pure Data patches on the iPad) to see if I can create a little self contained ‘instrument/environment’ with just the iPad and the controller.
Thanks all. I’m not struggling so much with technical issues around m4l or the theoretical idea of an open grid, more looking for creative inspiration: the “what” rather than the “how” if that makes sense.
In terms of my in-the-box setup, it’s pretty standard: I work solely in Ableton, composing / controlling with Push. I’ve been working separately with hardware for a while (Digitakt, modular, Blofeld) but I’ve found I quite like keeping those two systems distinct.
In thinking about moving back to the laptop, I guess I’m hoping the grid can be a more open-ended / generative / abstract tool than Push, but I’m not sure what that would look like yet, and was after examples to spark my own ideas.
daemon, arpshift, fourths, decisions, wolves, xor, parc… there were so many fabulous apps running on the monobright and grayscale 64. i never used them myself, having only linux installed, but i recall i loved watching the demo videos
i would like that some of these fantastic apps (i really like meadowphysics/ decisions/ flin/ xor/ parc/ boiingg/ corners…) could be ported to sc/linux. all these works very well on monobright 64/128. on modular side, ww/mp/kria work with monobright also.
a dream is something like sum for these. i know Grrr can work to build all these apps, i just dont have enough knowledge to implement this! something like animalation/mlr + GrrrSeq + meadowphysics/decisions + flin/boiingg + some nice fx(grainfields/cocolase)
Whilst I’d love some Linux native options as well the majority of the max 5 patches work without issues in Max 5. I have a list of the ones I tested, will add it to the Linux docs.
Max 7 crashes when clicking on a drop-down, so is effectively useless at the moment.
Yeah, I’m sorry but the situation just isn’t the same with Pd.
It’s just that nobody ever built anything like mlrv in Pd. Perhaps it would have been a better choice than Max.
Or Supercollider. That also seems like a good choice.
One major weakness that both Pd and Supercollider share, is with GUI programming. And it’s GUI programming where Max breaks backwards compatibility. Perhaps the problem with mlrv was such heavy reliance on custom GUI.