norns shield


i think just:

norns/encoders.lua at ac49b42f58795aa0316f15b73e66352a08fd0b84 · monome/norns · GitHub

encoders.tick[n] = encoders.tick[n] + d/2

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the hardware issue i’m talking about gets worse the faster you turn (my single digit deltas are usually fine)

The norns shield kit I just got today (yay!) has encoders with no detents - smooth turning all the way around. Sorry I’m not familiar with the code enough to help you otherwise.

I noticed this and assumed it was a feature. If I move the encoder slowly small amounts I get the next item… If I move it quickly I cruise through it!

just to clarify, that is the feature — but @NightMachines was describing a case where slow small amounts weren’t able to get the next item, but the next-next item. if you’re able to actually get +/- 1 movement, your encoders are fine :slight_smile:

Thanks again for the help! I’ve narrowed the settings down for me now (acceleration off and sensitivity 2 works best for precise, non-jumpy editing).

In the process, I added some bits to the encoder test script from here, creating my first Norns project ever! Yay! :sweat_smile: Now you can use the buttons to change sensitivity and turn acceleration on/off.


I am an absolute noob on proper GitHub usage though (I just used it for file storage so far) and also don’t know anything about “coder ethics” etc., so I hope it’s okay to publish my script like that. If it’s not, or if I should change things, let me know.


oh! rad! congrats on your first project!

i like the idea of a test script for identifying sensitivity and acceleration settings. it seems to nicely fit the same utility category as Grid Test and Foundry :slight_smile:

fwiw, i wrote the test script – but i also think you totally refined + extended the idea of “a script to test encoders” into unique territory, so i’d be happy to lose the link (it’s kinda funny to have norns-jumpy-defect-encoders canonized, you know?) and attribution altogether. but yes, always good practice to attribute and ask :sunglasses:. for more on this, check out the Library: forking etiquette (sharing modifications) living document

lmk how i can help further! :sparkles:


What is a minimal microphone setup that I can use (for play/lofi)? I have an sm57 mic running through a guitar practice amp and then headphone out to norns in… But that seems like a bit much. I tried a laptop lapel mic but I think my mic is broken, so maybe I can get a new one of those and run it straight in?

sorry you need some kinda preamp. “use what you got” is always good advice in my book (meaning, nothing wrong with using your practice amp!)

if you want to acquire a new thing, there are many small simple preamps for purchase like (random googling) this or this, or if you want to save $, a low-fi option can be DIYd quite easily with a single opamp or from a kit
[Ed. Sorry I linked to something earlier without checking complete description; that is for output to speakers don’t plug it into norns :cloud_with_lightning_and_rain:

here are some more appropriate bits
(With built in electret adafruit)
[ Electret Microphone Amplifier - MAX4466 with Adjustable Gain : ID 1063 : $6.95 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits]

(higher V thing from velleman)
[K1803: Velleman : Universal Mono Preamplifier Developed as Pre-module for a Number of Audio Applications : Electronic Kits & Projects]

$ tail .bashrc
PS1='\[\e[30m\]\[\e[42m\]⠃▋⡇\[\e[0m\] \w\$ '

Unashamedly dorky


regarding low hassle mic input, you can get the original zoom H4 on reverb for $50 now, mics and pre in one package and it runs on batteries. it’s an interface as well although I’m not sure how that aspect would work with norns.

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HAs anyone here upgraded from the Shield to the full Norns?

I feel pretty invested in the Norns ecosystem now and, while the bigger norns is much more expensive with no real tangible improvement over the shield, I’m leaning towards it because:

  1. Internal Battery - one less thing to plug in, plus my usb wire falls out of the shield every now and then - very annoying!
  2. 1/4" inputs/outputs - interfaces easier with my pedals
  3. Headphones AND outputs
  4. I’m going to assume it has less noise than the shield, which is occasionally noisy when recording?

Ultimately I want to streamline my work flow to the absolute minimum of faffing as I work in the smallest windows of time.

It’s a considerable jump in cost (plus shipping to the UK) - anyone made the jump and want to share their experiences?


I have not made the jump but I fully intend to.

I dont do any coding but I love everything Norns Shield does. I wouldnt normally even consider such a move but Norns really does seem worth having all the things you list and better sound quality, with all the same array of options.

A more robust build too, thats something else that appeals.


Not yet… But maybe when/if they come available again… (Monome page suggests that won’t be until July/August, so at least there’s time to save up!)

That said, I do like the form factor of the Shields - my issue isn’t with limited windows of time, more like a limited amount of space on the table!

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I’m definitely considering it solely because of the battery; I want to be able to carry around this little world with me. separate headphone out on Fates is really nice, although I prefer the 1/8" jacks myself.

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I think I want a factory one at some point, but Grid is main priority. With a built-in battery and robust build it would be pretty nice to unleash Norns from my studio closet to coffee table, summer cottage and woods.

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Would love to eventually, but I probably can’t justify it at this stage as I’m not getting the time with the Shield I’d like. The form of the Norns is superb, and the extra ins and outs would be great, but I have managed some reasonable workarounds on the Shield for the time being. It would REALLY just be an aesthetic choice at the moment. A wonderful, perfectly designed aesthetic choice…

I have found running it from a 20,000ma power bank helpful in terms of plugs (yes it’s another thing to carry but hey ho), it may well help with noise as well, although I can’t attest to that.

I did buy a bunch of 3.5mm to 1/4" leads specifically to work the Shield with pedals, and that’s worked a treat. It would be great to headphones and outputs though.

One day hopefully…


I’d call those tangible improvements. I got Norns first then built a shield and gave it to a friend.


i switched mainly for a better encoder experience & i’m feeling pretty good about it.

its my most used music tool so it feels worth it to have a really high quality build (especially after dealing with some subtle flaky DIY hardware stuff)


What is the difference between the encoders on the shield and the factory norns?