Norns Shield problems. Errors and noise explosion.

Hi everybody! I tried to find something similar on the forum, but did not find anything suitable. I am new to Norns and really looking for your advice and help :dove:

I received my Norns Shield the other day and everything is wonderful, except for a few points that I would like to know more about and perhaps fix them.

I noticed that the Norns Shield worked rather unstable.
Almost every time you start, errors pop up (jack error, supercollider error, duplicate engines, error init), which for some reason disappear after a restart (or several). Also, almost always after loading new scripts, the device hangs on restart. It also takes a long time to turn on/off. It can hang on restart, after which other scripts also stop loading (not always). I googled information on the name of these errors, and most often I met advice on reflashing sd card, I have already done this twice, but nothing has changed.

And one more thing that I would like to single out separately, because it’s just awful. When using some scripts, when changing parameters, there is a sharp, terrible roar of noise that sounds through the mixer (video here). That is, even at the minimum value of the overall output level, this destructive noise is as loud as possible, and does not respond to changes in the faders in the mixer. Unless a complete decrease in the volume of the output channel turns it off. In all other positions, the master exit noise sounds equally loud.

After this happens, the Norns works and loads other scripts, but the noise does not disappear, it will change its frequency content, but it is always an maximum loud shrill noise that can cause serious hearing damage, depending on what sound output device you are using. I was in headphones… Sometimes i have panic attacks, and this incident caused it. Now I’m just afraid to use my Norns Shield, and I’m very sad that such a wonderful device, with such magical scripts, has such shortcomings. Specifically, one script with which this noise ALWAYS occurs with a certain sequence of parameter changes is NC01-DRONE/INTERPOINT. Noise disappears after reboot. I don’t remember anothers, but with most of the scripts that I tried (about 20) there are no such problems. But it’s still a huge problem. To meditate on pleasant soft sounds, and to know that at a random moment your eardrums will burst from a wild noise is very stressful, and discourages the desire to take risks. And I have no idea how to take it to live performances with such problems.

This leaves me with three questions:

  1. Regarding mistakes. Is it possible to deal with them? Or is this a feature of Norns, and do all users have this?

  2. What could be the problem with the sudden loud noise? Where to dig? Is there any hope that this can be completely fixed?

  3. Does the original Norns represent a more stable device than Norns Shield? I would gladly be ready to buy the original if I knew that the problems described above are not there.

1 Like

I had some trouble with distortion/glitch starting out with mine and it turned out the problem was an inadequate power supply. I only got it reliably working once I ordered a power supply specifically for raspberry pi. Its 2.5a, wheras a normal phone charger or USB cable from a computer doesn’t supply enough amps. Since then it’s completely reliable (except when there’s an actual bug in a script)


Thanks! I’ll try to find a native pi power supply.

1 Like

Mine is a 3rd party one but marketed as being for Pi. Anything 2.5 or 3 amps should be fine. I got one with an online power switch which is handy for switching the Norns on and off without just unplugging power. (p. S. Since its not massively obvious for beginners, you shpuld absolutely always shut down Norns by doing “sleep” from the menu and waiting for the data LED activity to stop before powering off)


Th sudden loud noise is a known issue from the.latest image.

A fix has been in the repo/beta and should be showing up in a stable update any day.

Two workarounds are possible, for any script using softcut:

  • ensure that the enable command for a voice is sent last
  • bypass the filters

But yes,.also definitely use the right power supply (2.5A / 3A) and cable gauge (24AWG or thicker)


Oh my god this was a pleasure to read…

1 Like

I bought a better power supply, a better sd card, and installed a new system update and everything works just great.

Many thanks to the Monome team and the community! :sparkling_heart:


We fixed the known sporadic noise issue in latest hotfix update. So that probably did it. But upgraded power cable won’t hurt

(Somebody I think in this thread wondered why they don’t get saem problems on standard norns with crappy cable. Reason is battery. Low current delivery is still a problem but symptom is different - won’t degrade performance e, instead will slowly drain battery in use (eventually shutting off) and slowly charge it when not in use. Battery lifetime degrades in this scenario.)


Hi all,

This is great to read - I am also getting the noise on a relatively new Norns Shield. I believe I have the correct power supply as I have the one that came from Monome, but is there another I can try? Pretty sure mine is a 4B. Also checked my system and I am running version 220306.

hihi! hope all’s well :slight_smile:

there was a hotfix released about two weeks after, as 220321, which is available via SYSTEM > UPDATE and should fix the issues you’re running into. please let us know if you continue to experience trouble though!

more info about the update, for reference: norns: update 220321

Oh great. Thanks so much!! :grinning:

EDIT: Hi there,

I installed the system update, but I am still getting a static crackle in the right audio channel every 5 seconds or so. Power supply looks to be correct - anything else I can try?

1 Like