norns: ideas

If you haven’t checked it out Zellen is a cellular automation based sequencer.


Curious to what would be used to achieve something similar to cycles by slate+ash

What particular part of Cycles are you hoping to approach on Norns?

Cycles is basically a loop player that can play sequenced segments of a loop, and a granular synthesizer. Both of these can have a multitude of modulation and fx (which can also be modulated).

There are a lot of loop oriented scripts on Norns and several powerful granular scripts. You could make (probably?) any of the sounds that Cycles makes with Norns, but the workflow would be very different.

Is there a particular feature of Cycles that you are looking for, or a video clip?

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I am heaps into what’s happening here

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This pairs really really well with arcologies! I was using cycles instead of crypts and was lots of fun!

I’d say cheat codes is very similar. Although cheat codes is definitely aimed more at live performance

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not sure if it had been discussed before… but given that the tempo does not drastically change while recording with tape, it would be very nice if the bpm was automatically included in the name of the recording.


i stumbled on a website called which shows chords and melodies for songs, and let’s you see the relationship between the two. here’s “nude” by radiohead as an example. was thinking a script based on this would be pretty rad, like pick a scale and then you can choose chords in that scale and have kind of an awake style sequencer, while being able to see which notes are in the chord while writing the melody. could fit together nicely with grid as well


in what sense? can only speak for myself but I rarely record/play music tied to a bpm on norns


i can give an example. yesterday i was clocking norns with an external sequencer and using that to sequence icarus synthesizer on norns. i created some interesting looping parts and wanted to record some of that using norns tape, so i may use those samples later. i could have just noted the bpm and manually entered that in the file name or something to that effect.

i then figured; if the bpm was not manually changed while recording but only naturally fluctuated slightly, then norns could automatically note the bpm value and appended it to the file name….

to what end you may ask? well, i wanted this so i could later potentially set the project tempo based upon that bpm when using those samples with a different norns script or on a different instrument besides norns.

i suppose this goes along with my wish for norns tape to somehow communicate with certain scripts so that recordings captured in tape can loop as seamlessly as possible (quantizing record start + end in some way)?

Sorry for the maybe not super helpful reply here, but you could do a lot (any?) of these sounds using any of the granular scripts on Norns (I’d start with Granchild, maybe?) as well as Cheat Codes (playing with pitched variations of your loop). However the video you linked points out why using Cycles for this would be a lot easier. They’re using the presets in Cycles, and you won’t have presets to work with on Norns. Nothing here is very complex so you could definitely get there pretty quickly, but what you would get is some audio recordings that you’d then need to cut up and lay out in your DAW.

So if you have Norns you definitely have what you need with the scripts that exist to make sounds like this, but it would still require a bit more work to realize it mostly because of the lack of presets, and the fact that depending upon which specific granular effects you may want to apply, you could probably get closer to your intended result by using multiple scripts.

thought: a way to access matron repl from norns itself, with the output showing on the screen. In the system menu maybe? would allow you to plug in a keyboard and do things like rotate the grid on the fly :slight_smile:


Norns/Grid would be ideally suited for a complex harmonic sequencer. Coming from a Jazz background, I’ve always found that existing sequencers, while very complex regarding rhythm, are rather simplistic regarding harmony. After discovering CC2 (by @dan_derks) I quickly began to realize the potential of the Norns/Grid ecosystem and started daydreaming about a new way to sequence harmonies.

I took the time to develop a concept for such a sequencer. It combines a comprehensive step sequencer with a quick and flexible way to voice complex chords. It’s basically a vehicle that allows one to program a complex rhythm over Coltrane changes in a 7/4 time signature within a couple of minutes.

I’ve attached a manual of the feature set and user interface - hopefully it’s easy to understand. Unfortunately I don’t have the time nor the skills to program in Norns and hope that someone else will pick it up and develop the script. I feel like that a lot of people would benefit from such a sequencer.

210715_Harm-Seq-Concept_vf.pdf (631.5 KB)

Edit: I’ve streamlined the feature set and user interface and uploaded an updated manual. I’m aware that the chances of someone picking this up are pretty slim given the complexity of such a script. Nonetheless, it was fun to design the ‘ideal’ sequencer and I wanted to put the concept out there.



Modeling the physics of a chaotic pendulum and harnessing it to drive musical systems.

Multi segment pendulum with outputs assigned to the nodes of the pendulum: notes, midi CCs, parameters of synth engine.

Assign values for x,y & speed per node i.e. pitch, velocity, cc value etc

Create chords with multiple nodes
Create complex LFO waveforms by summing values of nodes.
Adjust segment lengths, gravity, friction, weight, etc

Grid compatible?

Have never programmed anything before. Am going to try creating this.

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@Syntheist, i have a double pendulum running on norns and am happy to share if you’d like some half baked code.


That would be a great start thanks!

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@Syntheist, the library I created is here: GitHub - jaseknighter/double_pendulum

The double pendulum code in the library is pretty much a straight translation from javascript to lua from the code I found here:

Just watching the pendulums swing and do their chaotic thing is really, really mesmerizing.



So I’ve been away from my teletype for a couple of days but I have my Norns and USB keyboard with me.
As I’m still learning TT and I thought it would be awesome to have a TT emulator in Norns!
How cool would it be to able to work on TT scenes anywhere, save them to a USB and import them into your TT when you are back in front of your system.

Having Crow hooked up would let you spit some CV out too if you don’t have a TT.
I really think this would be awesome for Just type too. Which could also control JF via crow for people without a TT.
For people that don’t have JF or crow having an internal synth connected to the Just type ops would be awesome.
I could see softcut working for W/delay and W/tape ops.
Maybe timber connected to EX ops?

Would this be something people would be into? I wish I had the skills to code it. Anyone up for the challenge???

I think it would be a brilliant addition for Norns as a standalone app or education addition to TT.

TT studies on Norns! Cool :sunglasses:

Edit: Didn’t see @wolfgangschaltung post earlier. I’d be down with his suggestion or my simpler version. Hopefully this gets some traction. It would be a dream :sparkles:

blah blah sampling tool

super basic idea, maybe something i could execute on but hoping i’m just ignorant of someone else already having solved this (i’ll search around again right now).

a ton of cool scripts require pre-recorded samples rather than being able to record inputs live. has anyone created a simple tool to facilitate the process of recording (and trimming/naming?) samples directly into and onto norns storage for immediate use elsewhere? in my ideal world i wouldn’t have to break out the laptop for this task.

edit: found sam! it rocks. next desire would be some simple form of start/stop/length quantization via crow/midi/int clock/etc…

edit edit: added quantization and easier automatic naming! GitHub - benzweig/sam at add-naming
GitHub - benzweig/sam at quantize

up next is start/stop based on internal/external triggers and interactive quantizing (turning an encoder which snaps to set divisions). if this gets complicated enough i’ll likely just fork entirely or look at learning how to write a sampler from the ground up :dizzy:


TT on Norns would be great :100: