norns: ideas

Sounds like something similar to MODEP, but norns-flavoured.

The “universal engine support” proposal thread is probably relevant:

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So, from what I understand, if support is added for the engine that MODEP is running on (which I guess is debian?), you could just import it to norns?

Like GitHub - antonhornquist/r: A modular engine for norns?

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Yes and no. The concept is almost the same, only that it lacks a proper layout and is rather limited in options. Also, it seems that it’s meant to be used as a basic “synth creation machine”, rather than an effects unit.

Tried Orac?

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yes, you can install and run MOD on your norns hardware if you want, and connect it to norns lua with some effort. (mod-host is the headless lv2 host that does the heavy lifting for MODEP, and if memory serves it comes with an OSC interface built in. (sorry no it is a plain network socket, but same diff.))

of course, we consider that supercollider itself is already a modular environement for creating shareable audio synthesis and effect patches.

anyways, as far as existing modular-framework-engines on norns, you might enjoy pedalboard which is sort of zoia-like, includes a substantial modulation matrix and an extensible framework for adding “pedal” modules. it lacks many control flow programming operators, but on norns the natural way to implement those is in lua, and projects like mod matrix aim to provide engine-agnostic complex modulation features.


Thanks for the answer and suggestions everyone! I’m still a noob at all of this stuff, so I wont be able to make much of it. Actually, I just wanted to put the idea out there to “clone” the zoia and add support for grid and community-made effects/synths/etc. to it. I know there are many similar things out there, but right now, that doesn’t really help me.

you might enjoy pedalboard which is sort of zoia-like

The pedalboard program was what actually sparked this idea, funnily enough.

But still, thanks for all the suggestions, I’ll probably be able to make more out of them once I know how to code in supercollider

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There’s also PHONOTYPE which meets the brief. The way of arranging patches is its own little textual language.


i totally forgot about phonotype’s flexibility.

obvs the wrong thread for it, but i wonder if it would be possible / easy to add a paragraph or so of documenting the steps required to adapt an arbitrary ugen graph function to a new phonotype operator…

(is each op self contained in if so, it would be easy to add extension operators in a separate class file.)


They’re in a few different files, actually, but they’re all statically loaded. I think I now know enough to make it dynamic though.


Would love to know what pedalboard would need to add to make this match your vision :smile: the idea for pedalboard was definitely to make it super easy to create and patch together lots of small effects. I also put a lot of effort into making it extensible, hoping more people would contribute their own effects, but… that never really happened.

Oh and it’s currently set up for processing audio input, but it wouldn’t be too hard to let the user toggle between audio input source vs oscillator source! :person_shrugging:


My idea is mostly about being able to create your own effects by connecting different building blocks, so you could maybe have a input analysis module that changes the delay feedback based on how you play, stuff like that, that you wouldn’t get out of “normal” effects.

But since I guess that many of those crazier patches are already being coded by other people, there wouldn’t be much need to make pedalboard able to do that.

I think the key difference is just that pedalboard is mainly about chaining effects, rather than making them interact with each other, so I think it would be cool if there would such functions as:

  • setting an effect to only affect the trails of other effects, for example tremolo on reverb trails, etc.
  • parallel blending multiple effects
  • connecting stuff to LFOs
  • being able to put more effects on the board

it wouldn’t be too hard to let the user toggle between audio input source vs oscillator source

that would also be pretty cool, to have a little synth engine running in front of all the effects or in between them and also being able to control its effects by LFO and stuff like that

I guess I’m asking a bit much at once and not being very correct about some things, so feel free to correct me :smile:

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What’s cool is that these are more or less the same idea: being able to do customizable audio routing, as opposed to the current hard-coded serial pedal approach. I helped someone do hard-coded parallel in the Pedalboard thread the other week for their own personal build, but haven’t taken a stab at making this a full-fledged feature.

This is already there! There’s a full on mod matrix built in to Pedalboard, with 3 LFOs (with customizable shape and rate) and 1 envelope follower, all route-able to any parameter on any pedal at any depth or inversion :smiley:

Sadly this one’s not really possible as far as I’m aware – Pedalboard already runs up against norns’s CPU limits with even just 4 pedals (although of course different effects have different CPU hits, but… generally speaking it caps out at 4). If someone far better at SuperCollider than I wants to take a stab at optimizing the pedals, we may be able to raise that limit! But it’d likely ake some very deep, very technical work.


Do you think/know if there’s a way to display how much % of the CPU one effect uses/will use? And if serial vs. parallel routing uses more or less CPU? Because I think it’s already valuable to know the limits if it’s not possible to raise them.

I think part of that is because it isn’t mentioned over at the page, so maybe it’s worth it to create a new topic for that, where people can contribute their self-made effects.

For sure! It’s in the source code for each pedal, e.g. pedalboard/delay.lua at 59970c5aae48e9a6b9a8e4454678e7233b627492 · 21echoes/pedalboard · GitHub

Those comments include instructions about how to re-measure for an existing effect or any new effects, spelled out in more detail here: pedalboard/ at 59970c5aae48e9a6b9a8e4454678e7233b627492 · 21echoes/pedalboard · GitHub

Even with just 4 pedals, some combinations of pedals get you into CPU-pressure-causing-audible-glitches territory, so there’s code to use these measurements at runtime and show the user a warning: pedalboard/board.lua at 0323837f9f4e2a1b82d0ba0da474300578e58180 · 21echoes/pedalboard · GitHub

Sure! I’ll write up a blurb for the lines thread and the wiki topic, great idea.

  1. KOI

I’m thinking of a “KOI” script that generates sounds based on different parameters.
It is just an idea… I love fish :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

A screen with 3 fish (or more) that swim around.

Possible actions

  1. create new fish (size, weight, agility)

  2. feed fish (fish become more excited)

  3. clean water (filter?)

    Just jotting this down here so I won’t forget :smiley:

  1. deer / hoofs
  1. Generates soft percussive sounds like hoofs in the forest ground.
  2. Prints of different animals can be picked and sound different.
  3. The footsteps move across the screen, can be sped up etc.

Each animal has a different sound


Kind regards


Wow, some kind of nature/wilderness ‘scene’… environment? Sounds really cool. Reminds me of The Endless Forest - Wikipedia


How would the movements of aquatic and aerial creatures be codified?


Yes! I’ll try to keep it simple, maybe just footprints from a birds eye view.

I will start working on prototypes with ChatGTP and my profile will contain a link to github soon.


I like your footprint idea and I am curious to see your workflow with ChatGPT!