Nervous about buying a monome but want to none the less

Hello guys…

First topic here, been lurking this forum and the old one for a while. Just registered here a few days ago. I’ve wanted a monome for years. Been through all manner of hardware along the way because every time I nearly buy a monome, I read about setup problems and talk myself out of it.

I have finally come to a place where I’m willing to try it. I’m not looking to make my own patches, just to use common ones within max4live. Somebody give me some reassurance a guy like me with only basic computer skills can make this happen. No real OSC experience but I do know my way around live pretty well, obviously.

If I’m understanding correctly what I should do setup wise is install serialosc. Im on a MacBook, 2013 model so I should remove my FDTI driver as explained in several threads and get the most current version. I’m still on Yosemite.

Once that’s done I’m slightly foggy. Serial OSC runs in the background so do I need to tell it to do anything or am I free do drag and drop compatible m4l monome apps straight away from there once everything is installed / ran. I’m looking to at first run Terms but I’d like to be able to use applications that are not included in that suite at some point in time down the line.

Anyway, all that mess is just me looking for reassurance that I can indeed do this because I really want to make this monome thing happen…finally.

Thanks guys, looking forward to joining the community. You have a cool thing going on here.


you will be fine. you don;t need to do anything beyond that really just select the grid as your controller. There are a bunch of really fun Max patches as well that you can fool with. I finally grabbed a grids after kind of being scared and getiing a launchpad pro with Gridlock first. I ended up using the LPP for ExpertSleepers Drum Sequencing via the ESX8GT and the LaunchControl XL is used with my FH-1/X for LFOs so i still needed a control controller [i know it sounds silly] but those things were supposed to quench my desire for a grids but because they got ‘assigned’ to a specific use i eventually HAD to get a grids and i am loving it . I am also considering grabbing an ARC.


Thanks for the reply man. It’s helpful to know that setup for these devices won’t be like a guy like me trying to learn another language or something.

I’ve also considered buying a launchpad or something and getting ported applications but somehow that’s just not near as interesting to me as the real thing.

Had my eye on a 128 on eBay but I missed it today. Hopefully another one will come up soon. Thanks again for the reply.

Still on the hunt for a 128 but I have a question. Is there any difference in the new grids and older ones say walnut or greyscale? I mean besides aesthetic and bus power. I’m not into modular gear yet but obviously I’ve seen the newer monome demos controlling modular gear. I’m wondering if the older units have the same capabilities. Yes both old and new operate via USB so in theory they should be able to do the same thing, I think. I just want to make sure before I pull the trigger on an older used one but in doing so maybe miss out on functionality I might want down the line.

Oh, you’ll do just fine.

I jumped on the monome wagon back in '06 when the 40h was released and then moved up from there to a 256 then 128…i eventually sold them, but i primarily used it to play my tracks out and have a way to jam bit/pieces of my tracks easily. if you can follow instructions, you can easily play with a monome especially now that it works so well with Live.

i used to have to rewire shit to max/msp and that wasn’t always the best…with max4live, i don’t see near as many issues popping up…

i actually just bit the bullet and crossgraded to max4live for $100, and i am now on the prowl for a varibright monome (256 preferably). super stoked to play with all the goodies that have been made since i last had one!

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the biggest thing i’m looking out for are varibright leds since a lot of the new apps use that functionality. anything prior to 2011 won’t have that and the 2011 models apparently had some flickering issues.


^Thanks for the thoughts and that link. Most helpful. I hadn’t considered apps being written specifically for vari bright. That definitely changed things regardless of if I ever get into modular or not. Thanks again, very helpful indeed.

So I took the plunge. Just went for it and worked a deal with Perfect Circuit Audio on a brand new 128 Grid. Really can’t wait to get it. I’ve kicked around the monome idea for years now and it’s probably the only remaining piece of hardware that I’ve yet to try that I’ve long wanted to. Looking forward to digging into MLR and Terms to get started. Anyway, just thought I’d share my joy here, stoked to be on board.


Congratulations, but please tell me you didn’t just buy the last Grids in stock! When I saw PC got in Ansible modules this morning, I resolved to visit later today and pick up a Grids + Ansible. I’d expected to start with an Arc, but the idea of being able to be integrating Monome in to my modular set up as soon as this evening is just too, too tempting.

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@RFJ Thanks, it’s a good habit to share joy. And that reminds me that after I finished assembling a grid kit recently, my entire family gathered around the table to play with Meadowphysics for an hour, entranced. It’s such an open and appealing device.


my entire family gathered around the table to play with Meadowphysics for an hour, entranced,

Gregory, thanks for sharing that. I have to admit that part of my interest in Grids and Arc is what I imagine will be its appeal to children. My son is 8, and he fell in love with patching my modular system a few weeks ago. I’m excited about the possibilities of these interfaces in that regard too; it’s got to be pretty wonderful, watching the whole family so engaged in this stuff.


Thanks man and no o don’t believe I did. It looked like to me they had a quantity of 6 from what it said on eBay where I purchased the unit. Hope you get one them!

Haven’t really figured how to reply to two people in the same post but I’m sure I will soon. Yeah dude I’ve got a couple of kids who I’m sure will be put in a trance as well by the grid.

Meadowphysics? Never heard of that one. I’ll have to check it out. Any other applications you can recommend besides the standard MLR, ploygnome, etc.

Edit: meadow physics - something to do with modular stuff, I see now. :slight_smile:

it’s this>

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@RFJ The abundance of that github link is inspiring, and there are also some simpler paths in. Two I’ve appreciated: ‘Terms’ for Ableton Live, and the Monome package that’s accessible from the Max package manager.

@Larrea Your son is lucky! As someone closely in touch with his own inner 8-year-old, I’m pretty sure grid and arc would make almost any childhood better. My own kids are a bit older, but that’s a great age to start shaping sounds.


Thanks for the link there. Yeah terms is going to be one of my first stops. Question though as related to the other stuff on github. I saw a thread this morning as related to older apps not working with max 7 and various other updates OSX etc. I’m curious to know if this is also a problem for applications within max4live? Like I said I’m looking to run MLR but some reports say it’s not working at all on newer systems.

Like this thread here…

I’m just curious to know if the MLR max4live patch has the same issues?

Thanks guys!

Thanks for the reply. Yeah I’m doing some reading on re:mix throughout today. Seems to be a good option.

MLR max4live I saw here:

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Just a quick question about serialosc, no need to start a new thread. So, I downloaded it, installed it, can’t find it anywhere. Did some quick reading and it’s my understanding that this program is “invisible.” As in there isn’t a serialosc interface of sorts I have to open up and tell to do something? It’s always running in the background? Is this correct? Full disclosure I have yet to attempt to plug in and run my 128. Just trying to get everything setup prior to. Had to update to Live 9.6 and do some other things. Going to have my first attempt this weekend but I’m just trying to understand it all beforehand.

Thanks guys, I’ll probably have a question about the FDTI driver but for now I’ll leave it at that.

Holy crap!

Had 10 min before I had to leave for work this morning. So I grabbed sum, plugged in the 128, seems to be working flawlessly. Was totally expecting it not to so I’m really happy it connected. Next step getting it linked with max4live and running re:mix. Hopefully the result will be the same.

Beautiful looking device when it’s running by the way.