Norns: ideas



i have tons of ideas that i havent shared so let’s start with the latest…recent news about crystallization of dead stars had me wiki diving into articles about crystal formation (and the difference between simple cubic forms, body-centered, and face-centered structures).

two loose ideas which could be pages in the same app, vais

  • a three mode sample trimmer/editor in which parameters are mapped to lattice points and can be edited visually by modifying the cubes

  • a sequencer based on 2d display (with and w/o grid control) of bravais lattices…samples can be assigned to different rows and steps muted…sequence is changed by nudging points (left or right) to play with phase relationships between samples because in my head all points shift in unison so basically you are morphing between lattice group shapes as you tweak

i imagine it will take a bit of time to work out how to generate the visuals and lua control script…then this could be applied to any of the available sampling engines


anyone interested (or already started) helping build a virtual ‘instrument rack’ for norns? I have successfully ported my lisp-on-linux midi looper/sequencer to norns now all it needs is some decent-sounding soft synths!

am thinking to start in the one-instrument-per-channel ‘midi paradigm’, then subsequently extend both controller/sequencer and synth outside of equal temperament (haven’t decided yet whether I am sold on ‘MPE paradigm’ or go with a different OSC implementation). Anyway here are a potential list of ‘channels’:

  1. drums (probably ‘analogue modelling’, possibly samples)
  2. bassline synth (1 voice)
  3. FM synth (4 voice)
  4. wavetable piano/organ/orchestral tones (4 voice)
  5. physical emulation synth (4 voice)

I guess this is too conventional and unimaginative to sound like a fun project in itself. But I think the possibilities for controlling this kind of ‘instrument rack’ are really challenging and very interesting for live performance with just norns+grid.


Love the concepts! Really excited to see what you come up with. If I could add anything to your ideas would be to please have midi and possibly mutli timbral.

I’d actually love to see this implemented in all apps. Especially when using Norns to sequence external gear.
Using Norns to sequence my modular is so enjoyable and inspiring. Just imagine having all these apps ready for when crow drops!


Awesome! Does any of the existing engines support multi-voice?


…add filter and delay at the top level…


How much of a pipedream is getting a new hardware version of norns with a Dante output?


i wasn’t familiar with dante until just now. if it’s over IP, seems there could be a linux dante-jack bridge or dante driver etc. 2 seconds of googling suggested as much but i didn’t get into it. so i don’t think a hardware rev would be necessary.


how straightforward/possible is bitcrushing/sample reduction with Norns? a delay with adjustable/modulate-able bitcrush/sample reduction could be fun


Ordered it for my Paca, haven’t had a chance to use it yet as I left on vacation just as it arrived but it’s supported by Kyma. Should be doable for Norns.


I’m mostly interested in Dante for norns to do multichannel stuff. Does Audinate make any USB dongles with more than 2 inputs/outputs?


I wonder if softcut could be used for this purpose somehow. It seems to do some sample rate reduction when pitching things up/down in MLR so I wonder if that code could be edited to somehow stage up and down the sound. Not sure that would be super modulatable though.


SuperCollider has the Decimator ugen which does this kind of thing easily:


how straightforward/possible is bitcrushing/sample reduction with Norns?

bitcrush is easier than realtime SR modulation but both are straightforward. (bitcrush can be done easily in supercollider, resamp would be a bit painful)

softcut UGen artifacts are because of broken resampling code, basically. not useful. (note to self: we should put the resampling changes into the ugen code, could be a pre-2.0 update)


Doesn’t look like there is, though you may want to have a look yourself


Along with new sound engines, perhaps a paging scheme using the grid to set up LFOs to modulate synth params in addition to sequencer steps. I assume param modulation will be a possibility with the arc, but the grid seems a perfect multi-use controller for this.


I’ve had a not fun time hacking on audio over IP (layer 2 and 3) outside of netjack (which I liked a little more) and concluded it isn’t worth the time on open platforms.

Big integrated systems that do audio over IP with Ethernet connectors are rad but I haven’t found an open standard. AVB is interesting and might already be obsolete.


@carltesta I had the same error on startup on macOS (RESULT = 126). Fixed by upgrading to the latest SuperCollider (I’m on 3.10.2-rc1 now).


Waveset synthesis is a Trevor Wishart invention – his Tongues of Fire is a fantastic example of the approach. It’s basically 20 minutes of variations on one 2-second input sound (him making monster sounds with his voice) plus some phase vocoder processing.

Doesn’t seem to be a full version in the clod, but someone uploaded the extras disc from the CMJ issue that has sound examples to – scroll down for the excerpts and keep in mind this was done in 1994!!

Here’s the article about that piece: (and other pieces)

His book Audible Design goes into depth about his approach to waveset synthesis. I’ve been looking for a used copy of Audible Design for years… it’s not easy to find. I’ve never seen one available anywhere, not even a crazy expensive copy. Seems like the kind of thing you hold onto. I recently found a PDF scan of the main book on soulseek though, but it’s missing the appendixes… still very worth tracking down!


Looks like someone named Olaf Hochherz wrote a waveset synthesis library for Supercollider. Could be a fun Norns project.


I’d love to have a speech synthesis engine so norns could speak-n-spell.

Couldn’t find much on speech synthesis in SC tho. :frowning: