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

Welcome RD! I’ve been loving the new tape (Systik).

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Oh hey, thanks for the support. Cheers!


@RichardDevine Hey Cool, really excited about enjoying what you will achieve with Monome


Hi everyone, I’m new to the monome universe and would like to dive into Norns. I wondered whether it would be possible to explore Norns by building a virtual image before getting a shield and raspberry pi up and running. Perhaps it would even be possible to integrate Norns into VCV Rack? Any pointers would be highly appreciated!

I asked this question before and the answers somewhat befuddled me, they may mean more to you:

there’s no reason not to simply get/build a shield if you can afford it and are interested. in retrospect, the theoretical half-step of having it running on my computer seems less interesting to me now than it did before I had a shield, although that could be a personal bias towards hardware.

Thanks a lot for the pointer! Reading up on it, I guess the closest someone has gotten was this attempt:

It seems to have been inactive for a long time — guess getting it to work smoothly would involve some work. I will have a closer look.

Some more has been done, it’s an interesting use case for development, it just involves a bit more system architecture stuff that is still ongoing. I’ve written a patch (which depends on some other ongoing work / needs rebasing) to let the norns code draw to different types of screens depending on startup configuration, which allows you to show the norns screen in an SDL window for instance. This still doesn’t wire up anything for buttons / encoders to e.g. drive encoders from this SDL window. If you had that then it would be possible to do this on Linux.

Doing this inside a VM is a bit of another matter because you need to tangle with how the virtualization layer handles audio.


Yep, that was me… I expect the issue I had was having a 1 year old in the house… the actual software seemed to work pretty okay I think. I have to say those READMEs on the GitHub repos are surprisingly detailed and I have no recollection of writing them… sleep deprivation really messes with your memory retention.

I’d agree with this, at least if you try running it in Docker (or other container software) on Linux you can allow direct access to the hardware. If you do want/need to use a VM maybe first experiment with vanilla SuperCollider? It will give you a good idea for what is possible in terms of audio (and set big buffers!).


Can anyone point me to a SUPER simple, and I really, really mean SUPER simple video tutorial explaining how to get sounds into MLR? I’m talking about the kind of tutorial that makes NO assumptions about my level of understanding, but explains the absolute basics. Or perhaps someone offers 1-2-1 online tutorials? For payment of course. As helpful and generous as everyone is on this forum, I feel so utterly overwhelmed by it all. My brain just can’t process technical stuff unless I’m guided through step by step. There must be other folks who feel this way? Thanks in advance.


This helped me a lot when I first started using MLR:
Not the best video but it does the job. :slight_smile:


Thanks a lot - will check it out!
Take care

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Hi everyone,

Coming from the modular world, I’m getting my norns shield very soon and have been wondering how people control it from their modulars (if at all). I see that monome crow is supposed to do that, am I correct in assuming this?


Crow, or any usb midi to CV device will connect norns to modular, though crow has the advantage of having to two CV inputs to norns, as well as 4 CV outs, and it can run standalone scripts, and some norns scrips implement crow in more interesting ways than you would just get from midi to cv :slight_smile:


I really liked this video because it was so dang entertaining.

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I agree! Have watched it a couple of times now and it’s informative as well as entertaining… but I still want something more rudimentary. This guy assumes that I know how to get sounds into MLR. I have since figured out the dust folder and how to put audio into norns. Thanks for the suggestion!

Hi all! I’ve been digging into Crow and Norns (+Grid) for the last few months with my modular system, and am wonder now if getting an Ansible would be redundant? I’d love to use the Grid solo with my modular sometimes and not have Norns BUT I do enjoy the variety of scripts on Norns

Should I invest instead in something like W/ or Just Friends to utilize i2c?

Really really depends on what you want to do. Ansible + Grid is explicitly a sequencer (3 sequencers, actually). W/ can be a delay, a recorder, or a synth voice (I’d hold off on one for now – big update forthcoming). JF is a modulator, an oscillator or, with Crow over I2C, a full voice.

Are you happy with your current sequencing options? Are you happy with the voices you have in your rack as is? Which of these areas do you feel you would enjoy augmenting or going deeper with?

For what it’s worth, I have ansible, grid, JF and a norns shield, and used to have crow. I was super excited about integrating norns with my modular and enjoyed it very much for a while, but found that it added a layer of complexity that, for me at least, ended up detracting from the joy of interacting with the modular. (I like patching from scratch each time I sit down, so maybe that was part of it?). There’s something alluring to me about having a modular synthesiser with one power lead, a headphone jack, and a grid attached that is a self-contained world of sound. It might also be down to the fact I don’t have much spare room in my house, so I need to have my synth corner set up on the rug in the corner of my living room so any extra wires tend to annoy me :slight_smile:

I absolutely adore the way ansible works as a sequencer. It’s really beautifully designed and I find myself using all three of Kria, Meadowphysics, and Earthsea for different purposes. (Though, for me, Kria alone is worth the price of admission - it’s so easy to go from blank canvas to beautiful complexity in a few steps!).

Just Friends is my favourite module bar none. It’s endlessly rewarding as a voice, especially paired with ansible via i2c (where it becomes a complete polyphonic synth voice), and when I’m not using it that way, it invariably ends up being a modulation source for something else.

The funny thing is that adding ansible to your system won’t directly get you much more than what you can do with norns and grid. But I was in exactly the situation of having both, and it was crow that got sold (I can’t quite part with norns yet… I still wonder about using it as an entirely separate musical universe.).

In the end, it’s all so personal and subjective. I’m always looking to reduce the friction that prevents me from grabbing a spare 10 minutes to sit down and create. But one person’s friction is another person’s joy…


Hi all,

Just joined, do I create a topic for a question or do I add my question to the endless vortex of posts in the eurorack thread? Confusion abounds.

In case I’m doing it right: I just got my Teletype, first Monome gear. Other than JF, what modules are good for beginners to start learning? In terms of tutorials and whatnot for total beginners.


Welcome! What other modules do you have? Teletype is really able to glue to anything. The main reasons IMO JF is often paired with teletype is the fact that it can be controlled over i2c from teletype (oh and it is a lovely module in any case). In other words: I’d suggest you get the teletype going with what you already have, it can be a lot to take in, so maybe better to do that in familiar surroundings…