Orca is a visual programming language, designed to create procedural sequencers on the fly.


Norns, Keyboard, Timber engine


Please refer to original docs

Norns operators

  • ' timber engine(sample octave note level position): Triggers sample player.
  • " timber param(sample param value): Sets timber param on bang.
  • / softcut(playhead rec play level rate position)
  • \ softcut param(playhead param value ): Sets softcut param on bang
  • > g.write(x y value): Sets grid led on bang.
  • < g.read(x y): Reads specific coordinates. If value > 6 outputs bang.
  • $ r.note(rate scale): Outputs random note within scale.


Timber params IDs

  1. Attack
  2. Decay
  3. Original frequency
  4. Detune
  5. Stretch
  6. Filter cutoff
  7. Filter resonance
  8. Filter type
  9. Quality

Softcut params IDs

  1. Input source
  2. Pan
  3. Rate slew time
  4. Level slew time
  5. Clear region

Grid ops

x / y = 0 addresses whole row / column.


v0.9. - Download zip

  • Dont forget to rename folder to orca ( so location of script is dust/code/orca)

honestly cant thank you enough for this
insaaaaaaaane depth for all kinds of fun

very thoughtful additions with the norns ops


I was up 3 hours past my bedtime last night diving into Orca for the first time, and now I find this. Truly incredible. :clap:


in some ways it’s better on norns
especially if you are into sample-centric composition or want to explore scriptable fx

remarkable that you can use the same system either way


Yeah, seriously. The sample-based approach is what’s blowing my mind — it’s my main mode of working. Still haven’t seen how Timber and Orca interact from UI perspective, but I guess I’ll discover later tonight!

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timber is kinda the background (if you’ve used timber lua apps like timberkeys etc…it’s not the same ui)

sorry if you knew that already

orca norns really has me wishing for usb keyboard control of the whole norns ui


in one ear, you heard: “it’s your bedtime”
in the other: @its_your_bedtime

amazing script. probably the first sequencer that I could see myself using regularly.


I know I probably should ask this in the Orca thread, but any recommendations on where to start as far as reading documentation? It just feels like such a blank canvas, and I would love someone to draw me a sketch to get me started :slight_smile: Can’t wait to dive into this!

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I would suggest you start with the @Allieway_Audio intro video -


Spent the train journey home watching those. Not a bad intro at all, if a bit unstructured.


just to give more examples of the flow and spacing
here is a small patch i’ve been tweaking this week while teaching myself orca

the audio (excerpt from another orca session) is decoupled from the visual because majority of this is trigger setup


Midi out to the modular and Timber access to samples has become a tough habit to break. Orca is a very, very compelling tool

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This is incredible, I have added it to the repository documentation!


Orca is one of the most inspiring sequencers I have ever used. It’s a modular version of midi. It’s like getting the keys to Autechre’s secret Max/MSP sequencer files or something akin to Mark Fell’s algorithmic stuff. You can make any sequencer you like. Don’t be put off by all the numbers. I am not a coder, but after watching the alleyway video, I was up and running in 30 minutes.

Now to have this on Norns is a bit of a game changer as it combines midi out, the Timber sample app and the Softcut engine. You can resample from either the inputs or timbre, while timber is playing, or whilst hooked up to an external device, like a modular whilst sequencing it all within Orca. Because it’s on Norns and the size factor, it now has me thinking of using this in a live setup, specifically with the er301 combined with Ansible. But really, just Norns and a keyboard, you really lose track of time, as it’s so inspiring. Battery power and keyboard lasts for hours because, no grid and CPU is minimal.

If there is ever a sequencer that is readymade for a Teletype port, this is it.

I can’t thank @neauoire and @its_your_bedtime enough. @its_your_bedtime has put a huge amount of time in porting this over - one look at the github change log tells you this.

I know people wanting to buy Norns, just because it has Orca on it. It is that good.

I have been posting a lot of Orca related stuff using the Norns beta version because I got a little obsessed with it :slight_smile:


Hold on - what? That’s unreal. So, in essence, Orca can be used as a wild sequencer + looper + experimental delay at the same time.

I obviously need to clear my calendar this weekend.


These are all really fantastic examples.
Thank you for sharing.
I have not installed orca yet, but it looks like something I should definitely do.
I am curious: the sequences/clusters you develop, can those be saved in any way? Or is it all just “in the moment”?

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saveable with norns normal preset manager

i tested this and it even brings up the samples you are messing with


been meaning to ask ya

in the first clip with a shift register thing…what op makes the sequence go east to west?

i can tell whats going on in the rest of the patch

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FYI - there’s Orca patches here on patchstorage https://patchstorage.com/platform/orca/

Although… Ive not yet tried loading/saving from the norns version yet

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