norns: Control Norns with iPad as midi keyboard ?

Newish norns shield user and without coding knowledge whatsoever. I’m drowning in lines tabs and norns help docs and I just can’t parse it all out. Apologies if this is succinctly answered elsewhere:

I’m wondering if there is a way to connect my ipad as a midi device, recognizable by norns, so that I can use it as a midi keyboard (for example) to control scripts over wifi.

I thought TouchOSC was my answer, and while I got the felart templates for master parameters working from my iPad, I can’t seem to figure out how to get it connected as a keyboard controller.

I know there are grid and arc TouchOSC templates that require some coding and changing of scripts to make them work … I’m trying not to get in over my head so I’ve been avoiding those. I mostly just want the iPad to function as a midi device like any midi controller, keyboard, etc would.


Is there a way to control norns from a keyboard app on my iPad (or TouchOSC)?

Is there a way to make my ipad discoverable on norns as a midi device?

Thanks in advance <3


Same here! I would like to use this device as midi controller, not only as keyboard (this could be the least case of use) but modify parameters using faders, knobs and grid buttons on the iPad.

You should get better answers from other members, but AFAIK iPad and Norns are both hosts and cannot simply communicate with each other. You would need to wire them via something like @okyeron’s 2host device for the iPad to be seen as Midi device by Norns.

Having briefly looked at it myself, it seems that although iOS natively supports midi over wifi, Norns doesn’t. Some (successful?) attempt were done in the past but I can only see a couple of posts mentioning it on lines, and it has not been widely implemented…

Yes this is doable. As @dborowik said, you need an interface device capable of receiving iPad midi and sending it along to norns. Both are hosts, so a simple usb cable won’t work. The audio/midi interface I use is a Zoom U-44, which can receive midi through the usb-c connection with the iPad, and then it sends via 5-pin midi connectors, so I have a 5-pin/usb adaptor to plug it into norns. But there many other interfaces capable of acting as the go-between.

And then to route the outgoing midi from the iPad to norns I usually use AUM, but there are plenty of other options/apps for sending midi to the interface. In norns, the interface shows up in the device list under “U-44” or something similar, so it’s just a matter of setting that as the midi source in whichever script you’re working with.

2host does the job. It’s sending midi out to organelle synth. Also sending the audio out for the beat but I have midi notes being sent out

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Reviving this thread for a minute.

Are there any more accessible, non-diy devices I can use to allow Norns to control my iPad via MIDI? For example, using fall to trigger the synth one app. I am in the U.S. and looking to purchase something domestically. Thanks in advance.

There are a number of iConnect devices that will allow 2 usb midi hosts to communicate with each other.

I have an iConnect4c and do this, sending norns midi to my computer and vice versa.

You can also send audio back and forth via usb with this device which would seem to allow me to connect with just one usb cable that would do bidirectional midi and audio, but I haven’t figured out how to do the audio part.

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FYI, here’s my solution for passing MIDI (not audio) between the NORNS and the iPad. It’s pretty cheap and versatile, and solves both the original question (using the iPad as a keyboard) and the one above (using the Norns to trigger Synth One):

Now you can both send and receive MIDI between the iPad and NORNS (or any other MIDI device added to the hub).


  • You can use the built-in keyboard in AUM to control NORNS by connecting the keyboard to the OUT port connected to the NORNS, using the patching UI in AUM.
  • You can direct incoming MIDI from NORNS to Synth One, or any audio plugins for AUM, by adding the synth as the source of a new channel in AUM, and patching the appropriate MIDI IN port, using the AUM interface, from NORNS to the synth.
  • You can also connect a physical MIDI keyboard to the second IN port on the MIDI interface. This should show up in AUM, and you can use the patching UI to connect it to the OUT port that goes to the NORNS (not sure why you’d do this, given you can connect the keyboard directly to the NORNS, but I guess you could have it also sending MIDI signals to an AUM plugin at the same time as it sends it to the NORNS?)

I’m having good results with this.

Only had it a couple of days so still working out the best arrangement for my circumstances but as far as Norns shield to iPad goes it “just works”

At the moment for me it works best connecting the Bud to my studio Mac si I can then use MidiPipe (MidiPipe) to route anything to anywhere.

Yesterday, as a test, I had Icarus on the Norns being driven by generative midi on the iPad via Bluetooth, supplemented by occasional notes played on a keystep with parameter shifts made using 16n faders both connected to the Mac via USB.

Worked flawlessly.


I’m having good results with the WIDI Bud Pro as well. Here’s my post from another thread a few weeks ago iPad monome resources? - #44 by he_nu_ri


It was that post that prompted me to get mine.

The circle is complete


20 characters of - Indeed :slightly_smiling_face:

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