norns: ideas

Thanks man! Yep, I could probably do this on Timber too. But there I would also have to add these steps and sequence them. I would not be able to hear immediately how a sample sounds like when you slice it evenly to 8 pieces and loop. It produces nice results especially when you use something like an ambient pad. So the whole fun here would be to just hear right away how something appears when sliced / looped.

For the grid it would be awesome if it acts like Digi → place a step, hold the button to change the startpoint / endpoint / nudge the position of note :v:


I’m just going to put this out here in case anyone wishes to pursue this! It works… sort of? It’s very very rudimentary and quite slapped together, but I got some nice sounds out of it using some melodic material. Beats are a bit harder, and I don’t really have a good sense of what bpm/clock division is at the moment, so a lot of the clock stuff is off. But hey! really had a good time stretching myself this evening, and thanks to @Ukasz for all the feedback.

Hahaha the more and more I use it the more I realise it’s just basically one sliver of cheat_codes in a standalone script :sweat_smile:

EDIT: Sorry, I forgot to give credit where credit is due. A lot of the structural elements dealing with the sample slice management is from abacus, so thanks to @infinitedigits – I’ve just learned so much from opening up your scripts :smiley:


haha don’t thank me yet! its very much an idea. although I think it would be pretty easy - the guts would be very similar to amen. the main roadblock for me is the ui design, which is kinda everything. trouble is that the po-33 is sorta 5x5 which doesn’t stamp well onto a 8x8 grid interface. so the faithfulness of the po-33 might be sacrificed to put more po-33’s on one grid (maybe 2 po’s that are 6x4 instead of 5x5) or maybe make it have more steps (32 instead of 16?). my main intention is pretty aligned with @Ukasz’s idea, that it would be nice to have a thing that loads a sample and makes it really really easy to chop and sequence. my secondary intention is to make something that helps me sell my po-33 :wink:

this is awesome! great work :slight_smile: :sunflower:

edit: its no longer an idea lol


Thanks, it means a lot coming from you! :herb:

This looks amazing! Super excited to see what comes out of it. I love how you’re building this wonderful body of work with all these wonderful scripts, and the music you make with them too!


Via Music Hackspace:
Sam Tarakajian and Alex Van Gils presenting their new language Nestup as a free livestream on Youtube.

Might be a good space to inquire about a Nestup port to a Norns script?

Date & Time: Monday 10th May 6pm UK / 7pm Berlin / 10am LA / 1pm NYC

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2nding this after starting to learn Nestup. It seems as though Nestup would be a wonderful fit on norns in the same way that orcλ is, but necessarily being less screen real estate-intensive because of the manner in which code is written during use.

I don’t in any way know how to write in Lua, unfortunately, so I’m approaching this purely as one who would be an enthusiastic end user. But using the Nestup output to trigger internal/sound sources via MIDI, and maybe also the softcut buffer/Timber engine would be so great!


Hi - I sequence midi via Mac version of Orca. Wondering if there is a script on Norns that would allow 8 or more samples to be loaded and played back on separate midi channels to be sequenced externally? Kind of like the process of externally sequencing a Digitakt or Octa if you catch my drift…

3rding. Actually came here to ask this. Would be really cool to be able to use this on the Norns via midi

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A Paulstretch type script for Norns.
If it could have the same sort of functionality as the VST version, that would be really sweet and another reason not to use a generic all-purpose computer.


Cool! I’ve been thinking about having a crack at this for a while. Are you thinking about using it with live input or by loading samples? Which parts of the VST do you use the most?


I was looking into this a while back and came across this bit of code: Paulstretch for SuperCollider


Nice, that was the same code that I was looking at. I’m keen to try and bring some of the cool harmonics features (fifths, +1 octave, +2 octaves etc) and some of the other additional bits across from the VST too.

I’ll have a crack at turning this into something over the weekend.

Edit: turned the idea into something! Check out glaciers: Glaciers


Cool. Ideally if it could work with both live audio capture and loaded samples that would be really good. To be honest I mostly just use the stretch amount setting and apply additional reverb later in the chain. So I can’t really justify the request for full VST-like functionality! I’ve also used the standalone and Audacity based versions, but the VST just seems better somehow. Sorry that’s not very helpful. I’ll go and have a play with the different versions again soon and get back to you about what I like about Paulstretch.

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I have yet to actually receive my Norns, but I’m already bursting with ideas about what to do with it! If I can get my hands on a Crow, I’d really like to build a sequencer/LFO tool which works based on orbital mechanics.

Specifically, I’ve been interested in the mathematical dynamics of elliptical orbits for a long time, and Crow is kind of perfect for exploring this - four outputs means I can have three bodies, form lines between each pair, and output the angles between each of them as well as the area of the triangle they form. These produce deterministic but interesting waveforms; for example, here’s the area swept out by three bodies in circular orbits at various resonances:

Screen Shot 2021-05-07 at 1.00.59 PM Screen Shot 2021-05-07 at 1.07.10 PM

It’s kind of like a wavefolder.

This becomes much more interesting for sequencing when we consider sampling, or latching, this waveform at intervals. Regular intervals, especially prime number ratios, give basic not-quite-repeating melodies:

Screen Shot 2021-05-07 at 1.08.32 PM Screen Shot 2021-05-07 at 1.11.37 PM

More interesting still, though, is what happens when we sample the system based on the system itself, by only taking a new value at the time when any two bodies are at their closest or furthest point from one another:

Screen Shot 2021-05-07 at 1.17.36 PM Screen Shot 2021-05-07 at 1.19.05 PM

(here, systems of circular bodies with ratios of 7/11/13 and 7/11/15). These are complex, interesting patterns, which repeat perfectly after a period of time and include naturalistic elements of performance, like portamento or glide. Quantizing to a scale when latched preserves musicality.

Obviously, these are just very basic plots I worked out in a simple Python script, but I hope to replicate a similar idea with elliptical orbits and proper quantization when my Norns arrives. I would love to hear what the Lines community thinks of the idea!


This LOOKS brilliant! I felt like I was seeing Alien Architecture! (Which also happens to be the title of one of my projects: Alien Architecture - Album by Nulmatica | Spotify or ‎Alien Architecture by Nulmatica on Apple Music )

I need a norns! Please build this :sunglasses:


Thank you! I’ll do my best. If you want some more of the shapes, I’ve posted the script I used:

You need Python and MatPlotLib, or a Jupyter environment, to run it. Cheers!

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your idea is fantastic and I can’t wait to hear what you come up with when you have a norns and crow!

maybe useful - I’ve recently learned that SuperCollider actually already has a lot of interesting nonlinear dynamical systems turned into UGens, including Newtonian simulations, predator-prey models, lots of chaos generators. I’ve not done this, but it should be possible to hook up SuperCollider running one of these dynamic generators to OSC back into a norns script that could send stuff to crow. not that you need a starting point (since you already wrote code for elliptical orbitals), but SuperCollider makes it easy in the case you want to hook in other wild types of oscillations.


Super neat, thanks for the heads up! I have not used SC much, but as a lapsed physics student dynamical systems are absolutely my jam.


Much appreciated, but giving such tools to me is like giving a rocket ship to a frog!!!

I’m likely to be the one looking for the power switch for a month! :flushed:

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This looks incredible! Are you thinking that the animation on Norns will actually show the orbiting objects spinning? I would be extra excited if the orbiting objects could be tiny pixel art satellites or planets :slight_smile:

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