Norns: help

If you haven’t already done so then I’d grab cyberduck and set up a git account and fill it up with any scripts that seem interesting from the norns library thread.
I’m finding other people’s scripts my main way of learning to write code, also this forum is unusually helpful and civilised. Do the studies, they are worth doing.
Book a load of time off, this thing eats days but it does so I’m a lovely way.


Second this. It took me a lot of poking around to understand the UI, but now it feels like an extension of myself. I’d also recommend Otis as a great script for understanding how to get audio into norns, loop it, play it backwards, record the output, etc. Scripts like MLR and Cranes are amazing after that, because they map that functionality to a monome grid.

Also, would there be an appetite for a very basic “getting started” video for norns? I would be happy to take that on if there’s interest; though I also feel that there’s value in throwing yourself in the deep end and figuring it out.


yes please, would love to see a ‘getting started’ video. just bought myself a used norns from this forum. can’t wait to dive in.
been reading this forum and the documentation, but still can’t really grasp it. maybe i should just wait till i get to hands on with it.


Ahhh! That sounds great. Thank you for the info/link. Excited :slight_smile:

@sensum_clunch, thanks for that tip. I’m going to get on that right now! been following the library threads for quite some time now. Ooof, I guess it was a bad idea to grab this when my semester started… sounds like I’ll be a little distracted.

@mattlowery thank you for the info as well. I’ll give Otis a shot for sure.
I think it’d be interesting to see a video, but I do agree that some of the fun is just jumping in I guess! I could see it help people who are on the fence on purchasing a Norns understand how it works a bit better.

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sorry to change subjects here, but i was curious of everyone’s thoughts regarding norns as a sampler.

i love the tools available re: softcut, and there’s clearly been a focus on live sampling of input instruments on norns - but is there any viability or resources for pre-made samples being used on norns?

i want to use norns and a grid live but as an instrumentalist, i’m a drummer - and one not interested in midi triggers. i don’t feel like norns needs to process my sound but i’d love to use it alongside my drum sound. all this to say - i want to glitch and manipulate samples with norns and the grid as an interface, but i don’t want to be generating these samples live.

do i have the right tools for the job?

still in beta but take a look at Timber Player

Besides Timber player, you might actually dig using Orca to create patches for this. You can basically set many parameters and have buttons of the grid be programmed. Throw in a bit of randomized or probabilistic softcut, you got a great way to access the timber player and program each grid key!

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How do I use a Norns grid sequencer script to play a Norns midi controlled synth script?

Thank you.

it’s currently not possible to run two scripts at once, but it may be somewhat trivial to modify a sequencer script to use a particular synth.

which combination are you hoping for?

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Is there any reason E1 requires a little extra spinning before going into menu nav?

Do you use the Librarian updater script to keep your scripts updated?

Having bought a second hand unit, the usb cable has a 90 degree connector which covers a usb port when charging. Is this normal or did I get the wrong cable?

Thank you!

norns ships with a straight USB cable made my molex, rated for high current. “normal” thick USB cables should be fine. don’t use a super thin cable.

E1 in menu mode has lowered sensitivity (in software) to prevent skipping pages.

don’t use the Librarian, it is likely to cause problems. check out the docs for best methods. there’s a maiden-based-library-manager forthcoming.


As a follow-up to my post from the other day, I jumped in head first this afternoon and had a blast with Cranes and MLR right out of the gate. What an amazing machine Norns is. Thanks for the advice everyone :slightly_smiling_face:


thanks for this, orca looks really interesting… maybe not for use while drumming, but this could be a neat way to try generating things. i’ll take a look at it and timber.

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For sure!!its actually an interesting script. It is clearly built for programmatic randomness, but the ability to program each key on a grid actually makes it an interesting programming tool for grid instruments. One could remove all randomness all together and just have a very specific grid/softcut sample instrument.

It would work much like the Timber Player, but it’s got a bit more flexibility in build out, while losing some visual specificity. All VERY fun!

Ok so I’m not sure what’s going on here. I just installed a cm3+ into Norns. Flashed the image and all was good. I decided to update to the most recent version of Norns (since I had flashed to the previous img file that’s available on the norns help page) and also ssh’d into Norns to copy my Audio folder and Script folder from the backup I did before doing the install. However after I did this I am getting an error from Norns “error: SUPERCOLLIDER FAIL”

I Have no idea why this is happening. I can not load any scripts now. Norns just hangs on loading… I have tried resetting from the system page and also tried a hard reset. Any insights would be greatly appreciated so I can continue to use Norns.

This sounds like a duplicate engine. Can you access maiden? If so click the sc tab, it’s over the REPL. Try loading a script, and you should see an error message naming the problem engine.

actually i only just now realized they had orca running on norns… woah. i was already on board when i thought i’d have to run it on the laptop.

do you know if you can save your live coded material? could be good for me to enter all the usb keyboard stuff away from the drums and then just play/manipulate things on the fly with the grid?

Yeah! You can save your patches. There have been a few updates over the last few months that have caused some patch breaks, so maybe find a way to back them up visually or in print so you can rebuild over time if needed. But its fantastic. The extra benefits of orca on norns are: softcut parameters, it triggers both the timber engine (your sampler engine) but also midi, and you can easily set specific grid buttons to fire bangs, making it a sweet way to basically program sample and midi fires AND do softcut params all from a grid and editable from a nearby keyboard. I’d be happy to share any answers I got (I’m still semi newish at it compared to some) and the norns orca thread’s a good place to go.

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Orca doesn’t recognize a varibtight/wooden 128 grid on my Norns. You mention they are useful together?

Are you sure you input the positions correctly and the Norns recognizes the grid? I have a 2010 grayscale that works just fine… what you do is use the

symbol (the positions before it are XY coordinates of the button you wish to use). When you press that button, the > will output a bang below it. That bang then needs to affect something else.

If you wish to see the LED of that button, you need a separate command:


This, when hit with a bang (which you can have as a constant bang from some values) will just light the LED.

Beyond that, I would head over to the thread

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