New to monome, and monome + modular: ask questions here

Hey everyone. Total newbie here. I come from a background in spoken word recording (audiobooks, podcasts, etc) so this is also very new to me. I originally got interested in electronic music because of the OP-1. I was thinking of purchasing a Zoia but then came across the Norns and I believe it to better suit my needs. This may seem like a totally simple question but I wanted to ask because most of the material online about Norns is very vague. I am interested in recording acoustic instruments into Norns and allowing it to mangle the recording. I was hoping to be able to record directly into Norns and hear the recording in real-time. Is that possible or would I need to record into my DAW and then load the clip into Norns? I use Logic as my DAW and have zero experience in Ableton. Would this be a setback in terms of getting the most out of Norns? I would love to dive headfirst into the Monome world but I’m unsure if this is the best first step into modular and electronic music. Am I overthinking this or is everything in Monome as daunting as it appears? I also have no real coding experience. I’m happy to put in the work but I also want to be able to get some feedback and have fun as I learn with an investment of this price. Thanks in advance!

re: clarity I’d recommend spending some time with the apps page if you haven’t already (sort of an overview / highlights reel) & see if any of these accomplish your goal, in short i think it really depends on the type of mangling you’re interested in - some of the apps support live input & some do not ! but of course if it doesn’t exist now, it might come along someday later

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Thank you! I’ll check that out!

Assuming you are capturing acoustic sources with a mic or pickup, you’ll need a preamp of some sort in front of norns to get up to line level. If you do this then yes absolutely, you can mangle in real time. It’s a blast. Thanks


Awesome!! That’s what I needed to know! Thank you

Hello all!

I’m a relative newcomer to the world of modular + monome, and I have a question about gating continuous oscillator output.

I’m running a setup in which I’m using a grid plugged into a norns plugged into a crow to provide pitch control to an oscillator (in this case, mangrove).

I’m able to control the mangrove’s pitch just fine using the grid/norns, but I’m struggling to determine how to properly gate the signal so that when no grid input is provided, the mangrove outputs zero signal, and when I press a grid key to alter the pitch, an audible signal is output.

This is possibly a dumb question, but among these components, how might I properly gate the signal?

I can take pics of my setup if that’s required to understand my situation.

The exact norns scripts I’m attempting to make use of are ash/earthsea and crow-grid

It sounds like you’ll want an envelope module triggered by the gate, which can then go into the air of mangrove. The envelope will open the vca (air). Leave air turned down completely.

As Jonny said, but crow can make the envelope for you if you just want a fixed length / shape note.


Thank you both!

This actually helped me reach a result that’s very close to what I was desiring.

While performing a manual patch (in jonny’s instruction: “an envelope module triggered by the gate, which can then go into the air of mangrove”) I can’t seem to get the floor of the audio perfectly to zero, so while there’s a noticeable gate effect, and I can “play” notes as I’m wanting, there’s still a very low note continuously being played that I can’t seem to zero out, even with AIR zeroed out.

crow can make the envelope for you if you just want a fixed length / shape note.

Is this simply a matter of programming OUT 2 to create such an envelope?

I was poking around crow’s documentation and recalled the release video:

At 8 seconds, the exact effect I’m more or less going for is performed! It’s achieved with what appears to only be crow patched to a mangrove — would this entail that the neccesary gate-triggered envelope is programmed via crow?

If you check out @21echoes’s Cyrene you can toggle the Crow outputs between an AR envelope and a gate.


The mangrove air doesn’t close completely, so that may be what you’re hearing (the low note being your 0 volt pitch). It’s a quirk of the mangrove that can be overridden by using a slight negative offset into the air input. I forget the original reason for this and can’t seem to find it.

A gate by itself is just a sharp rising voltage, held as long as you hold down the pad/key, so as others have said, you may want to change the crow script to output an attack/decay envelope to soften and shape it like you’re hearing in the video.

I’m wondering if there’s any grids users here that have owned or also played with an Intellijel metropolis.

It has a very specific way of creating repeats and rests for each “stage” of the sequence.

I’m wondering if there are any sequencers for Grid that can replicate this? Either Kria, or perhaps some of the others that exist.

There are currently 2 that I know of :slight_smile:

One for norns and crow from @jlmitch5 : M18s (0.4 update, ux improvements + output modes)

And one I just posted for grid, norns and crow: Skylines

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Hello all!

I am finally in a position where I can consider buying a grid (when they become available) and was wondering if there was any places I could find good info for starting when I do? Tutorials etc… direct info seems to be sparse (or rather I’m missing it)

I have ableton suite with max, is it literally a case of finding plugins putting them into ableton like any other max plugin and it straightaway works? Is my apprehension of it being waaayyyy more complex than that completely fabricated by myself?

On getting various complete scripts that people have made, besides mlr and the ones directed from the monome website. Do I just find them directly from GitHub? Or are there more specific sources?

Also, from the looks of things, do you think it’s reasonable to get one and get a lot out of it without code knowledge? Like with max there seems to be a massive community around it and plenty of scripts around to experiment with without needing the background working knowledge from the off…?

Cheers for any help you can give

Hi @Gordiegoose -

I suppose I’d like to ask whether or not you plan to use the grid only with ableton/max for live via serialosc only, or if you plan to also use it with a norns device.

welcome to the community! happy to have you here.

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Hard to say

As somebody who has never developed my own grid app, but happily used one for years, my gut response was “YES”

but really this might be dependent on your desired usage (some require knowledge of code)

speaking of which
like @sademik i’m wondering if you have a defined goal already for your grid

are there any videos you saw which piqued your interest more than others? if we know a bit more we can definitely explain what you’ll need to get yours working in a similar fashion

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I was thinking just with ableton to start with, depending on finances and whether I want to grow into that. From looking at it that would require more experience with the whole thing.

Thanks for the welcome

I’m trying to wrap my mind around Norns. From what I’ve gathered, I’m going to run out of mind before I’m finished wrapping, which is a good thing! Never used supercollider, so the prospect of entering that field is really exciting. Coming from the Axoloti environment right now, and I know that they’re completely different platforms, but it’s the overall diy, endless imagination aspect that has drawn me to it.

I’m looking for one very specific thing though, which is sort of the make or break. Is there a polyphonic/linear sequencing patch available? A la a DAW style sequencer that someone has made? I discovered Norns on my search for something open source/diy that has that capability. I want to find a sequencer that does clips/patterns, and can be arranged into a song mode, and can also do multiple events per step. Ultimately, I just want to be able to play chords where you can hear my fingers hitting the keys at different times, rather than all notes hitting at the same time. It doesn’t even need to be crazy high ppq or anything.

The difficulty in finding something open source that does this has made me determined to learn how to code in an environment like supercollider, but given my (almost 0) experience with coding, it will be a good while before that’s something that I can provide for myself and put out open source. Either way, this is a wonderful forum, happy to be here!

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hopefully someone else can offer suggestions which meet your need

takt might work well for your style of sample seq (or at least show whats possible to build)…not sure i fully understand your idea for chords tho