Norns Non-Coders unite and contribute

So, I was just thinking.

My position as a norns user who doesn’t code seems akin to a DIY synth user who doesn’t solder. In fact I am both. And I’ve been very happy to pay for the privilege of not having to solder (my eyes are probably not good enough anymore, anyway, these days).

So, I’m not sure how many others there are like me , in this capacity, in this community, but I’d be quite happy to contribute to a fund for all of the scripts I use. And I’d also be more than happy to pay for bespoke scripts, if coders would be OK with that.

I know this a community thing and all, and bringing commerce into the equation might mess everything up, but all other areas of development here (Teletype, for example) I’ve been able to feel that I’ve brought enough to the table to feel OK about taking some stuff, too. In this case I’m really not bringing anything other than some pretty obvious ‘this would be cool’ ideas.

This could be a Patreon type thing and the $ just go to site upkeep, but if there was enough of a pool, I’d have no problem with coders taking a share. If I’m happy to pay $50 for a Valhala reverb. I’m sure I’d be happy to pay for these awesome scripts.

Feel free to shout me down. Right now I’m just saying thanks.


Are there specific functionalities or scripts you want?

If you feel like supporting the community, you could consider putting out bounties of sorts; eg “I’ll pay $50 for an Euclidean sequencer” (with the result being released open source for all to benefit from)

The only thing is to make sure the request is well spec’d, such that the requester and whoever ends up making it agree on what constitutes a deliverable fit for payment.

The same principle can work to eg requesting bug fixes in your favorite projects (“I’ll pay $50 if this bug is fixed in the next 2 weeks cause I have a show to play”)


One thing worth mentioning, and apologies for teaching grandma to suck eggs, is that there are many ways for non-coders to contribute. For example, proof-reading or expanding on the documentation, providing good demos, or how-to videos, helping to distill down/provide feedback on how the scripts work./could be improved.


I can’t speak to compensation but I remember the excellent Loom script being a collaboration between @instantjuggler (idea) and @markeats (execution) brought about via a post on here somewhere


I’m starting to code my own scripts for Norns (will be sharing a first one soon) and would be happy to chat with any non-coder about their ideas for new scripts, with a view to realising it.

As i see it, my incentive for this would be for building shared knowledge/insight and conversation rather than any personal financial incentive. Time is limited but avoiding a transactional situation would hopefully manage expectations. Let’s do something together!


It looks like almost everything I want is materializing, as we converse. I’d love to see a delay along with the reverb in the system audio, with the option for it to be in parallel or series with reverb.

OK, I feel a little better. I do all of this already :wink:


Time is precisely what I don’t have to offer. If I did, I would learn to code. But as pointed out by yourself and others, there’s plenty of other stuff I can and do do. I will continue to comment and critique and hopefully my POV can be helpful.

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I like the idea of this thread being a place how one can contribute to the open source Norns ecosystem as a non-coder.

That being said, the studies are definitely time well spent, and more than just talking about coding, they hint at potential integrations and tweaks which might seem daunting at first, but can actually be pretty simple.

I think the stuff you were posting @lloydcole in the cranes thread (cool track you created and shared, ideas for enhancements) are awesome ways of contributing.

I don’t foresee there being too much trouble with getting bugs fixed as they arise w scripts (either by the original creator or by others in the community) based on my experience (though it may take time). And reporting issues with clear steps to reproduce are another awesome way to contribute.

As an aside, I think trying to involve capitalism with open source always has the potential to get messy and exploitative (while acknowledging loom is a case on how that can be awesome)


Not completely on topic but it would be great if non-coders felt comfortable to ask questions about fundamental programming concepts - for example what is a function, variable, table and when each should be used. It could help to expand understanding the studies.

These should not be too time-consuming to initially grasp and rewards further exploration.


just wanted to say, sometimes contributing can be as simple as just making sure to follow up on the initial request. i’ve had occasions when i would make a firmware mod on request only to receive zero feedback. as a coder, it’s super helpful to know whether something i implemented actually worked or not (as this can help with implementing other features), and to know whether it satisfied the initial requirements.

same thing for troubleshooting issues - a simple follow up helps to know whether something worked or not - and this benefits not just the person who provided a suggestion, but others who might be having a similar issue and wouldn’t know if the suggestion helped or not otherwise.


I hope this is the right place to ask this. I’m your nearly decade old lurker who purchased a Norns and I’m jumping in finally. I’m in the camp as everyone above where I don’t know anything but I want to become knowledgeable to be able to contribute to code. Where do I start with zero experience? Should I do the studies in the Docs first? Sorry for the dumb guy questions.


I think the studies would be a great place to start, and are written with beginners in mind. It would probably also help to look up some basic Lua tutorials so you can understand coding fundamentals such as variables, loops, functions, if/else conditions, etc.

The best way to learn IMO is just to dive in, and research (including asking questions here) any issues you have along the way. I know there is also an ongoing effort to improve the documentation, so if you start the studies and get confused about anything in particular, I’m sure folks around here would love to know.


Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. :slight_smile:

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Ditto what @crim said. I’ll also add that there’s no harm in stepping back (or away) from more generic lua tutorials once you’ve gained enough knowledge to pursue and execute musical ideas. In other words, don’t feel like you need to master Lua in order to do anything interesting :slight_smile:

When I first got my Norns, I went through the studies but had a hard time wrapping my head around what I would consider programming fundamentals. So I then turned to these lua tutorial videos. The first ten-ish lessons were great, but then I hit a wall – hard – when the course started diving into more complex territory (like metatables). At that point, I simply went back to the monome studies, and suddenly a lot of concepts started clicking.

Frankly, I was surprised at how even a cursory understanding of the basics of lua gave me the ability to develop Dunes and Compass, and the community was immensely helpful in getting them over the finish line.


If you would like some insight from my POV, I’m more than happy to contribute as well.