Norns: ideas



Also would be cool to have tiny terminal emulator


I would love to see something eventide pitchfactor like. I’ve gotten close with MLR running at super fast speeds with multiple tracks running on the same clip and having various ones be pitched. I feel like a more specific purpose built interface could be built for dealing with chordal generation and the 12-tone scale.


If you get a chance, please take a look at Quence. It’s a probabilistic sequencer, inspired by stuff like Marbles and the Turing Machine.

The code is not optimized (this was my first Lua project), but it should work if you paste it into maiden. I’m working on newer version that I’ll eventually submit to Dust.


Definitely check out @enneff’s rebound if you haven’t. Really great interface for music making that’s pong-like


Yeah! That was what gave me the idea. It was a funny thought process when I saw your video.

“Oh, cool! A few knobs and a screen. That’d be a perfect, hackable controller. Use it for CCs, generate modulations, sequences. It’d be perfect on arc duty when needed. Maybe it would be in a metal enclosure. Perha—aaaaaand I just described norns.”

I had an arc and loved it, but I felt like I didn’t use it enough to justify owning one. Having it as a norns mode would be a delight.

Very excited for this :slight_smile: It was what made me think of mp as a good addition. Kria is the crown jewel.

Definitely! I’ll check it out this weekend. Solid video.

I love rebound. I was more cracking a joke about how Pong, Snake, and nowadays Doom (and Skyrim hahah) are among the first things that get ported to a new computing platform.

Speaking of which, in thinking about old-school games, someone could totally put together a text adventure for norns. The knobs could select actions/responses. Perhaps a soundtrack could be generated by the engine.

I’m thinking of tackling the phase vocoder spectral effect as my next sketch and first engine. It should be very simple to put together yet very powerful.


Very trivial use of Norns, but I’d love something that could load sample libraries and play them with a midi keyboard or grid (earthsea style) – mostly thinking about a Rhodes sampler :slight_smile:

(Would be great for creating content to use with MLR later…)


check out jah/hello_ack for great starting point on this

the ack engine is similar to an old akai sampler (ie s3000), @jah did an awesome job implementing it


i started in on this, porting some things i often use the laptop for (mag freeze, mag shift, vocode)

still WIP / bit too heavy for norns - haven’t had time to revisit for a while

but i think appropriate use of PV_Copy will be key to avoid duplicate FFT steps
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don’t see why not.

re-write with proper write-head resampling is currently standalone, if there is interest in looking at that
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i think it’s about ready almost ready for some optimization passes and re-wrapping in ugen. easy to do max/pd externals as well.


Yep - exactly this. Hackable for sure. It’s a teensy running things so the code could be whatever you wanted it to do. I’ve got the monome stuff going so far. midi (beyond hard-coding cc’s or something) is gonna need a little more work.

I am hoping for aluminum faceplate/panels/backplates (like 16n), but that prototyping that is not happened yet.

I was thinking today that I could also make a pcb version that is just plain norns-style knobs+buttons (rather than the button-encoders) to allow people to control more norns stuff (without worrying about the arc-style display shenanigans).



This. Kicking an idea around for a midi looper / intelligent uscale hybrid, but haven’t put keyboard to code yet.


I like the idea of old school games that trigger sounds and/or generate midi, as others have mentioned. Reminds me of the Pittsburgh Modular Game System.

I’d like to see a simple audio editor that shows the waveform, lets you set start and end points, normalize, and save with a new name. This would be useful for preparing Tape audio for loading into other scripts.

Also, a 4 track drum synth/sequencer with independent sequence lengths, rate, direction and per-step modulation. Preferably no grid required. Obviously too much functionality is tricky with limited controls and screen real estate, but I’m interested in seeing how far Norns can be taken as a standalone device.


After playing around with @Dan_Derks’s cellular automata scripts for teletype, I would love to see some kind of implementation of a CA-based sequencer in norns. It seems like there’s a few things in supercollider already.

This YT video of a organelle patch (CAmenti) reminds me of a cross between @Justmat’s foulplay and cellular automata…


Adjust grid orientation in norns’s SYSTEM settings

The standard orientation of the grid is USB connector at upper left. This can make it difficult to find the right balance between available space and desired orientation of grid and norns to each other.

norns to the right of grid can be difficult…

…as the USB cable delivered with norns can gets into its own way and those of other potentially connected USB devices:

Of course this can be prevented with special USB cables or adaptors (which can be hard to come by):

But in some situations one might just want to place norns to the grid’s right side:

In these situations, which might arise unexpectedly e.g. while setting up for a gig on location, it would be great to have a parameter in norns’s SYSTEM menu to determine the grid’s orientation (grid USB: left/right), instead of having to edit all grid coordinates in each of norns’s script.


this should be an easy add somewhere: all that’s needed is to send /sys/rotation 180 to the grid.


norns doesn’t run serialosc though


I’m playing with classic MLR this morning (Sum/Max), and it’d be great to port that as a complement to the terrific version already in Norns. I’m thinking of something that preserves some of the new features (recall, expanded patterns) but with a focus on sampling pre-existing stereo files (from tape or elsewhere) instead of live recording. Maybe Norns MLR can accommodate that?

Anywho - I love both.


Does this work as a Lua command in norns?


no, its not been exposed - its a trivial change though,

it would need adding to device_monome.c
(easy just a call to libmonome)

from there it needs to be added into the lua ‘command set’, which is done in weaver.c

then finally into lua/grid.lua

to expose it as an ‘easy to use’ lua function.

but all needs a new norns release.

(of course then if you want it on the menu, then you need to add it to the menu lua stuff too)


This please !!! I absolutely love Norns mlr, just wish I could launch sets of clips so that I could perform my written songs. It would be amazing to mangle / remix “written” songs live with Norns mlr while reserving a few tracks for live sampling. I guess figuring out how to go from song to song would be tricky, but I’d imagine it would work something like launching a scene in ableton, with bpm immediately changing when you launch.

Also , I Would love to use send effects on individual mlr tracks, as opposed of sending everything at once.

As it is now, I’ve had some great shows using Norns mlr for sets where I make more ambient music by improvised live sampling. Really I just am wishing on a day where Norns mlr could also be the center of my “written song” performance rig.