Monome Trilogy Modules & Non-variable brightness Grids... Still Worthwhile?

To preface, I have two pre 2012 grids (one walnut 40h and an early grayscale 128) and just recently wanted to start putting them to use again after I ditched my laptop years ago because I was so fed up with trying to make music that way.

Recently realized how accessible Eurorack was, my mind exploded with ideas/excitement after I found out monome was making modules for them and I’m still picking up the pieces as we speak…already got myself a 6u 104hp case and down the rabbit hole I go!

But to the point of the topic, will my grid (the grayscale 128) be worthwhile to use as an interface for the Monome Trilogy or would I be better off spending efforts in getting an updated grid before going all out on the modules?

I’ve already seen the comparison video tehn made, but wanted to see what other opinions would be here.

I had the greyscale 128 for a while. I had no issues with white whale, meadow physics, or orca. I eventually upgraded, but still rocked out with my smock out with no problems. Earthsea may be a bit weird, but everything is kosher.


Did you find it odd tapping buttons with no leds? I need to upgrade to a 128, and there are good prices on older models these days.

Currently using gs128 with latest white whale and meadowphysics. MP is less cool looking and kria requires a bit of memorization, but they work as normal. I’d say it depends how much you value a few hundred bucks.

Few hundred bucks is a big concern these days :slight_smile:

I only have a WW anyway, no plans for other modules. There’s not really much vari used in WW as I remember? Not had a grid the last while.

The modules in mono are like having poor vision; you’d better remember where you put your stuff, and the world isn’t quite as pretty.

How’s this for a conflict of interest: if anybody decides to go gs128, pm me with an offer😉

i didnt try kria yet because i didnt know it worked with gs128 –
can you describe your experience? :slight_smile:
thx in advance!

So it sounds like I could make do with the grayscale 128, but it’s definitely lacking. I’d hate to get rid of these old grids, but I would never use them if I got an updated one :disappointed:

Can’t get past needing these monome modules in my case though…

Thanks for all the replies so far, everyone.

for orca it’ll be mostly eye candy, there isn’t much functionality that relies on VB (i tweaked it so all the important feedback would work on non VB grids). but yeah, that was mostly because it wasn’t difficult to do so for orca specifically, but in general VB is the way to go, and for some apps having different brightness levels would be essential.

Looks like there is little interest out there for older non-vb monomes and I kinda refuse to let this mint grayscale go for $300. I’d sooner keep it forever as a relic to worship.

Kinda irks me though that I’m stuck in limbo with a product I dearly love, but I get little function like I used to out of MLR and also can’t get the full function out of the eurorack modules.


Guess I’ll start saving my coin and let these old grids collect even more dust. :disappointed:

I had three grids at once for a hot minute. Plenty of uses for the old ones. Love the 40h with party van.


I’ve completely moved away from making music on my laptop and if I was even able to try, I’d have to invest in a new laptop and blah blah blah. Just over the computer producing altogether, so it kinda leaves the monomes without.

That’s why the eurorack implementation excited/interested me so much…

“can’t get the full function”
disagree; simply requires more memorization

“refuse to let this mint grayscale go for $300”
agree! decided to keep mine as a backup

ANY monome is an AWESOME monome

Just wanted to report back in—I’m humbly very happy so far with my grayscale 128 in usage with a white whale running v1.2. :slight_smile:

I’ve had a week or so to get acquainted with it and it really brought my other modules to life like I hadn’t been able to do so far, all while keeping it it harmony. The CV outs are just outstandingly fun to use while triggering drum beats with the other outputs and I’ve only just grazed the surface. Outstanding!

I do plan on upgrading to a vb grid, but this pleases me a lot that I won’t feel the need to ditch the grayscale.

Very glad I took the leap and can’t wait to get more monome in my case!

(also very happy with my Mangrove as well. Amazing work on all fronts from the creative team here and within the Whimsical R. - Mannequins line.)



Has anyone tried a grayscale or similar non-vb with Ansible?

I just ordered and wondered if I’d be able to use my gs128 at all with Ansible
(i.e. kria and meadowphysics)

I echo everyone here by saying there are no functionality issues wth old monomes and new modular gear. It’s really all about optics. Sure, VB makes it “easier” to navigate, but that’s it.

And I agree with @altoaiello - any monome is great and has use.

Just as a word of caution, with my gs128 I find it hard to use some of the functions on kria on ansible like the probability modifier and the config view because of the lack of visual feedback. Although the ansible version has some features I wish the white whale version had, the current version of kria on white whale is much easier to use for me (plus the white whale version has transposition).

Meadowphysics on ansible with the gs128 is no problem from my experience.

Maybe with some updates the situation with kria could change…? I have looked briefly at the code for both versions of kria but I’m not sure how to go about implementing non-VB compatibility, and I don’t have experience compiling new firmware for the modules.

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So how do you toggle between the three Loop Sync modes on the gs?
I tried single and double-clicking, long press and pressing two or three buttons
at a time on the right quadrant with no change in mode.

To toggle loop sync modes, it seems like on the right half of the grid you need to press a key in the 4th row to toggle track mode or the 6th row to toggle all mode.

On the gs128, changing note sync and loop sync modes with no visual feedback in the config view is possible but tricky to keep track of and verify. Without a VB grid as a reference, in order to figure things out I had to look at the source code on github.

I don’t have a VB grid so I’m not completely sure, but the config view seems to work that way for me. Because of the difference in visual feedback and the lack of transposition with ansible kria I prefer using white whale kria for now, even though it only has 2 tracks.

I’m selling my 256, which is non-varibright. But if I were still making music with the laptop, I’d never sell it; and if I don’t sell, I’ll happily hang on to it in case I ever return to laptop music. The 128 varibright looks absolutely awesome, but very cramped for applications like the Mark Eats sequencer. Some applications need more space to be really playable imo. The 256 is still a very valid option, varibright or not.